87% see Parkinson's Disease symptoms improve with medical cannabis

This is a retrospective study to explore the impact of medical cannabis (MC) on the treatment of Parkinson's Disease (PD) symptoms. It was published in the May/June 2023 issue of the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.

69 PD patients who were prescribed medical cannabis were included. The researchers collected data on the following factors directly from patient medical charts:

  • MC ratio/formulation changes
  • PD symptom changes after initiation of MC
  • Adverse events (AEs)
  • Information regarding changes in concomitant medications after MC initiation, including opioids, benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, and PD medications

Most patients used a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio tincture, and the vast majority exhibited improvement in at least one PD symptom after starting medical cannabis. Of the patients using opioids before beginning MC, 56% were able to reduce their opioid dose by about 29% on average.

Results observed:

87% of patients (n = 60) were noted to exhibit an improvement in any PD symptom after starting MC.

Symptoms with the highest incidence of improvement included cramping/dystonia, pain, spasticity, lack of appetite, dyskinesia, and tremor.

After starting MC, 56% of opioid users (n = 14) were able to decrease or discontinue opioid use with an average daily morphine milligram equivalent change from 31 at baseline to 22 at the last follow-up visit.

The MC was well-tolerated with no severe AEs reported

The authors concluded that "MC may improve motor and nonmotor symptoms in patients with PD and may allow for reduction of concomitant opioid medication use".

The full text article is behind a paywall, but the abstract is here at PubMed Central