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Endocannabinoids and Your Health

Don Wyeth

Endocannabinoids and Your Health

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2 mins
June 1, 2020

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in 2015. For several years, my physician treated me with the standard therapy, which included taking the medication carbidopa/levodopa. This compound drug is meant to help minimize two major symptoms of PD; loss of balance and muscle stiffness and pain, and related range-of-motion issues. 

Scientific Literature Unveils Treatment

Two years ago, I found an article in the scientific literature citing a study done by the University of California Los Angeles. “In the 1990s, scientists discovered endocannabinoids, the natural cannabis-like molecules produced by the human body.” 

Simply put, the body produces and uses this set of neurotransmitters to create something called homeostasis, defined as “…the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes”. It has been estimated that this endocannabinoid system evolved in mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, and amphibians over the last 500 million years. 

The Study Continues

The study of these neurotransmitters is ongoing. The results to-date are suggesting that these molecules have a part in the regulation of human fertility, pregnancy, pre- and postnatal development, the immune system, appetite, pain-sensation, mood and memory. An internet search supplied me with information confirming that when the human body, for whatever reasons, cannot generate enough of these neurotransmitters, supplementing with similar molecules found in cannabis appears to help with the symptoms mentioned above. 

Considering this, I decided to take a good look at what these supplements might do for me. I found that the most promising supplement appeared to be a molecule called cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD oil. 

Concerns

One of the concerns that I had regarding the use of this supplement was its association with another cannabis (marijuana) fraction called THC, the ingredient that makes you ‘high’. Looking further, I discovered that the amount of THC found in cannabis can range from 0.3 – 4.0 %. The plants from which CBD are extracted are down at the 0.3 % range for THC, which is within the legal amount allowed. Plants on this end of the spectrum are referred to as industrial hemp. 

Armed with this information, I decided to run it past by physician. To my surprise, she not only approved my using the supplement but confided in me that her own father also used it with great success. I made the decision to begin using CBD oil approximately one year ago. 

Not a Replacement but a Supplement

Although I continue to take my prescribed medication, the addition of the CBD oil has made the symptoms of PD much more manageable. I should advise the reader that this is not in any way a blanket medical claim; simply my own personal experience in using the CBD supplement. 

Be well.

This article was orginally reported by
Don Wyeth

Passionate and intelligent columnist from Madison, WI.

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