Can CBD help with Parkinson’s disease?

Heightened anxiety is a major non-motor symptoms often experienced by patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease (PD). A new study from a team of Brazilian scientists which was published in the Journal of Pharmacology is reporting results from the first randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial exploring the effects of CBD on anxiety in Parkinson’s patients.

Daiene de Morais Fabricio, corresponding author on the new research explains that “CBD modulates brain regions related to stress and anxiety.”

The research team previously investigated the effects of CBD on Parkinson’s subjects, finding the therapy significantly improved patients’ emotional well-being and quality of life. However, the prior study suggested CBD did not improve the motor control symptoms commonly associated with the disease.

The new study, which recruited 24 patients, set out to more specifically home in on the effect of CBD on anxiety in Parkinson’s, and whether CBD can reduce tremors that are induced by anxiety-inducing situations. Each subject received a 300-mg dose of CBD, or a placebo, and 90 minutes later took part in a Simulated Public Speaking Test (SPST).

Unsurprisingly, the trial revealed CBD notably reduced the anxiety induced by the SPST, but more importantly, the treatment also reduced the “amplitude of tremors induced by the anxiety test.”

The researchers suggest it is not unexpected to see this correlation between reduced anxiety and tremors – after all, even healthy subjects will often get a little shaky during anxious situations. But, as social anxiety is more prevalent in Parkinson’s patients it is suspected that these emotional states can amplify the severity of tremors associated with the disease. So, the effect of CBD in reducing anxiety-induced Parkinson’s tremors is significant in this case.