A new research review has concluded that cannabidiol (CBD) produces beneficial effects in patients with neurological disorders.
Cannabidiol (CBD) offers neuroprotection that is beneficial for patients diagnosed with neurological disorders, according to a new research review published in CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets.
A team of eight Italian researchers recently examined all the available laboratory and clinical findings related to CBD’s effects on neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and cerebral ischemia. More research needs to still be conducted, they concluded, but findings in the studies that have been completed are promising.
“Pre-clinical evidence largely shows that CBD can produce beneficial effects in [Alzheimer’s disease], [Parkinson’s disease], and [multiple sclerosis] patients, but its employment for these disorders needs further confirmation from well designed clinical studies,” the researchers concluded.
Affecting an estimated 5.5 million Americans, Alzheimer’s is a chronic neurodegenerative disease involving a buildup of amyloid-beta protein fragments in the brain that destroy memory and other cognitive functions. Nearly one million people in the U.S. are living with Parkinson’s disease, a chronic and progressive movement disorder that causes the death of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder that eats away at the protective sheath covering nerves, causes pain and stiffness in more than 400,000 people in the U.S.
While medications can help patients manage the symptoms associated with the disorders, none of the three neurological conditions at this point can be cured.
The findings in this new research review contribute to a growing body of evidence indicating CBD’s neuroprotective effects may help inhibit the progression of these neurological disorders. The review included only studies that investigated the effects of CBD alone. Any that involved CBD being used in combination with other substances were excluded.
CBD is a natural, non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the seeds, stalk and flowers of cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. CBD occurs naturally in significant quantities and it easily extracted from the plant. The compound has even been shown in a patent by the US National Institutes of Health to have significant and neuroprotective properties, further suggesting its efficacy for neurological disorders.
The researchers also found pre-clinical evidence indicating that CBD has antiepileptic properties and has demonstrated efficacy in both children and young adults diagnosed with seizure disorders that had previously shown resistance to traditional medications.
More clinical research on CBD’s efficacy is needed, particularly for Parkinson’s disease. The researchers made note that the few human studies that have been conducted thus far involve a small number of patients.
A comprehensive review conducted earlier this year confirmed previous findings demonstrating CBD safe for human consumption. The demand and market for hemp-based CBD products has grown significantly in recent years.
The full research review, “Neurological aspects of medical use of cannabidiol,” is available to access through Bentham Science Publishers.
We’ve detailed findings of previous research investigating CBD’s effects on Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis on our education page. Keep up with the latest cannabis-related medical studies through our news feed.