CBD Oil For Tremors

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Tremors are caused by conditions, such as neurodegenerative diseases, anxiety, and brain injury. Can CBD help with tremors, if so, how? Essential Tremor Research Program: Cannabidiol Anti-Tremor Action and Mechanisms “People tend to think of medical marijuana as a single substance; a substance that may have beneficial effects but

Best CBD Oil for Tremors – August 2022

Tremors are caused by conditions, such as neurodegenerative diseases, anxiety, and brain injury.

Scientific studies have yet to determine how cannabidiol ( CBD ) may affect tremors. However, scientists are now investigating its capability to reduce symptoms of the movement disorder .

In January 2019, the University of California, San Diego , called for volunteers for a double-blind study on how medical cannabis may affect essential tremors (ET) (6) .

Dr. Nahab explained that there are currently no pharmacological agents developed for ET. For years, epilepsy medications have been used as off-label treatment.

Also, modern treatment for severe ET involves deep brain stimulation ( DBS ) surgery. DBS is an invasive procedure where a device is implanted into the brain.

The researchers, led by neurologist Dr. Fatta Nahab , are expected to share their findings in December 2020 (7) .

In a clinical trial conducted on Parkinson’s disease patients by the University of Colorado, the authors examined CBD ’s efficacy and tolerability (8) . The study measured appropriate CBD dosing and its ability to reduce tremors.

A positive outcome from ongoing CBD studies may lead to a natural solution to treating tremors.

Although CBD ’s efficacy on tremors is yet to be seen, many studies attributed its positive effects on several brain conditions, such as neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, brain injury, and anxiety (9) .

CBD vs. Neurodegenerative Disease-Related Tremors

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a non-reversible disorder of the central nervous system . Symptoms of PD may include hand tremors , rigid muscles, impaired posture, uncontrolled muscle movements , and many more.

Neurotherapeutics released a study in 2015 that discussed how individuals who were experiencing severe PD-related pain and tremors showed significant improvements after medical cannabis treatment (10) .

Furthermore, patients from the Prague Movement Disorder Centre also reported tremor improvements after using cannabis (11) .

Medical cannabis ( medical marijuana ) does not guarantee the same amount of compounds as one would get from a full-spectrum CBD oil .

However, the two main subspecies of cannabis (Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa) are abundant with CBD (12) .

The US federal law prohibits CBD products from containing more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), the cannabinoid that causes psychoactive effects. Meanwhile, medical cannabis may contain THC levels higher than 0.3%.

More comprehensive studies are essential to determine how CBD , as a monotherapy, may affect rigidity and tremors among individuals with PD.

However, some researchers acknowledge that CBD may have neuroprotective properties that can help with PD.

A study posted in the British Pharmacological Society mentioned that CBD might be able to modulate neurotransmission and improve neurogenesis (formation of new neurons) (13) .

The study added that CBD , as a monotherapy, or if used in conjunction with other phytocannabinoids, had demonstrated significant effects among individuals with Parkinson’s disease , Huntington’s disease, and multiple sclerosis (14) .

The authors continued that CBD was able to activate the G-protein receptors, leading to an increase of adenosine (a building block for DNA and RNA) concentrations. This response resulted in the reduction of inflammatory cells in the brain (15) .

According to another study, systemic inflammation in the brain can lead to an exaggerated synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines, a protein released by the immune system (16) .

The release of these proinflammatory proteins can lead to both acute and chronic neurodegeneration. Long-term studies are needed to confirm any potential benefits of CBD for neurodegenerative or other disorders besides certain childhood seizures.

CBD vs. Anxiety-Related Tremors

A recent study posted by the Journal of Psychopharmacology has shown how CBD reduced anxiety and tremor amplitude among PD patients (17) .

The study specified that a 300mg/d (milligrams per day) CBD dose produced significant differences in blood pressure , heart rate, and frequency of tremors among the participants.

The study also saw a reduction in anxiety-related tremors during a simulated public speaking test.

Other studies have mentioned how CBD might have therapeutic benefits for individuals with anxiety and other neuropsychiatric conditions (18) .

CBD vs. Brain Injury and Stroke Tremors

An animal study from Pharmaceuticals addressed how CBD may positively affect brain injury and ischemic stroke (stroke caused by lack of blood blow) (19) .

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The study found that cannabinoids might facilitate neuroprotection and neuro repair response in the brain.

A dose of 3mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram) CBD administered to mice models with cerebral ischemia improved the neurological scores and motor coordination (20) .

The study concluded that more research is needed to evaluate CBD ’s clinical value on brain injury and stroke.

CBD vs. Other Movement Disorders

A study mentioned that basal ganglia dysfunction is responsible for causing movement disorders , like tremors and chorea (21) .

The British Journal of Pharmacology released a study that supported cannabinoid ’s affinity in activating receptors in the basal ganglia (22) .

The authors added that the activation might have therapeutic potential in treating Huntington’s disease (HD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) symptoms.

A 2018 study released in Neurochem evaluated how CBD and other cannabinoids might have neuroprotective effects in an HD cell culture model (23) .

In the study, CBD , tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), and cannabinol (CBN) showed 51-84% protection against Huntington-induced cell death.

Moreover, a review from Neurology mentioned that CBD might have reduced chorea among patients with HD. A dose of 300mg/d (milligrams per day) CBD was administered to patients orally for three weeks.

Mild improvements in choreic movements (5 to 15%) were reported in the first week. In the second week, further improvements (20 to 40%) were reported (24) .

Chorea, like tremors, is a movement disorder . However, a tremor is classified for its rhythmicity and predictability, while chorea has more random and untimely movements (25) .

Meanwhile, a contrasting study was released by Pharmaceuticals, where a controlled clinical trial showed no significant improvements among 15 patients with HD.

In the study, patients were treated with 700mg/d for six weeks. The study did acknowledge that high doses of oral CBD (150-600 milligrams per day) might hold a therapeutic effect on social anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy (26) .

Also, CBD is a medically-accepted therapy for epileptic spasms. In 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex as a pharmaceutical drug for rare child epilepsies. The main active ingredient in the drug is CBD (27) .

Although there are no studies that have used Epidiolex as off-label medication for tremors, another antiepileptic drug, Primidone , is a medically-accepted off-label treatment.

How CBD Oil Works to Help With Tremors

The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex system made of G-protein-coupled receptors, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2).

These receptors are located throughout the human body. Most are present in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (28) .

Many researchers have discussed how modulating the ECS might result in many therapeutic promises in a wide range of pathological conditions and diseases (29) .

Researchers also learned that there is a high density of cannabinoid receptors in the cerebellum and basal ganglia (areas that control motor function).

These receptors have caused many researchers to examine how tremors caused by CNS-related diseases can be alleviated.

A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology explained how cannabinoids , such as THC and CBD , may have the ability to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors (30) .

The authors mentioned that CBD displays high potency in modulating CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Another study hypothesized that alterations to the ECS might be beneficial to Parkinsonian tremors. The study also called on researchers to consider testing the range of individual cannabinoids for their therapeutic potential in managing tremors (31) .

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Tremors

The Pros
  • CBD might be able to modulate neurotransmission and improve neurogenesis (formation of new neurons) (32) .
  • CBD has demonstrated significant effects among individuals with neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease , Huntington’s disease, and multiple sclerosis (33) .
  • CBD might help reduce inflammatory cells in the brain (34) .
  • CBD has been reported to have reduced movement disorder symptoms among patients with Huntington’s disease (HD) (35) .
  • CBD has been acknowledged as well-tolerated and safe for daily use (36) .
  • CBD has been found to improve motor functions in animal models with induced ischemia (37) .
The Cons
  • There is a lack of evidence if CBD , as a monotherapy, can help improve essential tremors or treat any disorder other than certain childhood seizures.f
  • CBD is poorly regulated. Individuals are encouraged to do extensive research before choosing a CBD brand.
  • CBD may cause side effects , such as dry mouth, diarrhea, and loss of appetite (38) .
  • According to the US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ), CBD may cause liver injury if consumed in extremely high doses (39) .
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How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Tremors

There are no recommended alternative treatments for tremors except for off-label use of other pharmaceutical drugs and compounds (40) .

  • Propranolol – contraindicated in pulmonary disease or heart block
  • Primidone – may cause sedation and cognitive side effects
  • Allopregnanolone – used for postpartum depression
  • Octanol – fatty alcohol used in perfumes and flavoring
  • TPA023 – anti-anxiety drug
  • OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) – injected into the larynx (voice box) for voice tremors and face muscles for face tremors (41) .

Researchers list the following recommendations as emerging treatments for tremors due to their anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, and sedative properties.

Meanwhile, studies have acknowledged CBD for its anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, and sedative properties (42) .

How to Choose the Best CBD Oil for Tremors

For individuals who want to improve tremor symptoms, it may be appropriate to use full-spectrum CBD oil .

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids present in hemp plants, such as CBD , cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and THC .

The previous studies mentioned in this article mostly used cannabis as a trial treatment.

Most full-spectrum CBD products contain all the phytocannabinoids one can find in a cannabis plant (43) . However, the product may not contain more than 0.3% THC due to the United States ’ federal law .

The broad-spectrum CBD oil is another product that contains all the cannabinoids with 0% THC . Broad-spectrum oil is recommended for individuals who do not want THC in their system.

Moreover, individuals who cannot tolerate other cannabinoids may opt for CBD isolates, which contain only pure CBD .

CBD Dosage for Tremors

The recommended dosage for individuals who want to take CBD for brain- or CNS-related conditions is less than 1 milligram to 50 milligrams per day (44) . The dosage can be increased when the body gets used to CBD .

A high CBD dosage is not recommended due to lack of information on how CBD may affect symptoms of essential tremors .

How to Take CBD Oil for Tremors

When taking CBD oil for tremors, the fastest delivery method is through vaping. A study had mentioned that the lungs are a very efficient mechanism for drug delivery.

The authors continued that CBD inhaled through aerosols or vaporizations can deliver plasma concentrations that can be felt within 10 minutes or less (45) .

Vaping is also recommended for its accessibility. Individuals who are looking to find a quick relief can vape CBD at home or while traveling.

However, there had been several reports that vaping can potentially cause harm, such as chemical irritation, allergic reactions, shortness of breath, and chest pains (46) .

Individuals may also opt for oral or sublingual (under the tongue) delivery, such as CBD capsules or CBD tinctures . The oral administration allows for optimal absorption (47) .

Some CBD tinctures may have an earthy taste and smell due to terpenes and flavonoids added into the concentration. Individuals who do not care for this distinct flavor can opt for CBD capsules.

Individuals must discuss their treatment options with a licensed physician before using CBD for their medical conditions .

Conclusion

Reports on CBD ‘s therapeutic potential in improving PD’s primary motor symptoms have resulted in scientists pursuing the mechanism behind its efficacy (48) .

A positive outcome of these studies could significantly impact individuals who suffer from tremors.

Nevertheless, tremor sufferers may also adjust their lifestyle to naturally improve their quality of life, such as trying meditation, avoiding caffeine, and reducing alcohol (49) .

Experts also advise a few modifications, such as using the hand with less tremor more often, utilizing voice-activated commands on smartphones, and speech-recognition on computers.

Always seek qualified professional medical advice for any personal health concerns and before taking CBD for any reason.

Essential Tremor Research Program: Cannabidiol Anti-Tremor Action and Mechanisms

“People tend to think of medical marijuana as a single substance; a substance that may have beneficial effects but also causes mood- and mind-altering effects,” explains Dr. Adrian Handforth, Assistant Chief of Neurology at VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in California, “But that is not the case at all. Actually, marijuana is made up of many related chemicals, called cannabinoids.”

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Dr. Handforth is the lead researcher of an upcoming IETF funded study that will explore the effects of a particular cannabinoid known as “CBD” (cannabidiol) on essential tremor. Unlike the well-known cannabinoid “THC” (tetrahydrocannabinol), which has mind- and mood-altering effects, CBD does not alter the mind, the emotions, or one’s judgment. Although its long-term safety remains to be thoroughly studied, CBD has already shown some promising initial results in the treatment of epilepsy, pain, anxiety, and other disorders. Dr. Handforth and his team will try to find out whether CBD can suppress essential tremor in an animal model. And if it does, he will take the next step and try to understand how it works.

This is exactly why the IETF is so pleased to support Dr. Handforth and this cutting-edge research with a nearly $20,000 grant. “The significance of this work is two-fold,” says Dr. Handforth. “First, finding that CBD suppresses tremor in an animal model may provide justification for a clinical trial of CBD for essential tremor in humans. Second and more importantly, if we can understand how CBD stops the tremor, what mechanisms are at work, then an ET-specific medication could be developed that would be better-tolerated and more effective than what it available today.”

An ET-specific medication would impact millions of people around the world who have this life-altering condition but who don’t respond to the medications that are currently available. An ET-specific medication would be a life-changer for millions of men, women and children today and for generations to come.

Cannabidiol Anti-Tremor Action & Mechanisms – Conclusion

Principle Investigator: Adrian Handforth, MD

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. However, by federal law, the possession of cannabis is illegal in the United States, except within approved research settings; however, a growing number of states, territories, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize its medical use.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved cannabis as a treatment for any medical condition. However, the chemical components in cannabis are being studied. It is well known that certain chemicals in cannabis activate specific receptors throughout the body and these chemicals may be useful in treating neurological conditions, like ET. In this study, Dr. Handforth is looking at a specific chemical called Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 113 active chemicals (also known as cannabinoids) identified in cannabis. However, CBD does not produce any intoxicating effects or alteration in mood. For years it was thought to be a benign and unimportant part of the plant. Now it is being investigated as a possible treatment option for ET.

In this study, Dr. Handforth aimed to show CBD can suppress tremor in animal models. If successful, it would offer justification for further study of CBD in humans. First, the study had to determine what effects CBD would have on mice impacted with harmaline–induced tremor. Then, if reduced, the team had to discover how CBD suppressed the tremor.

Testing a variety of doses, Dr. Handforth was able to note a robust suppression of tremor in the mice given CBD, without the animals showing any signs of impairment or sedation. Next, the team worked to discover what receptors in the brain might be involved in the noted effects. After looking at several options the information suggests that CBD activates the 5HT1a receptors to suppress tremor by activating the TRPV1 receptor.

Although the finding is clear with this model in mice, the extrapolation to human ET is tentative and would ultimately require validation in trials with the suggested therapies. So the findings are only suggestive at this time.

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