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Medical Marijuana and Huntington's Disease

Huntington's Disease and Medical Marijuana

Because there is no known cure for Huntington’s Disease, medical treatment focuses on allowing the patient to live as normal a life as possible. One aspect of treatment is to reduce anxiety. Not only does the disease itself tend to produce a variety of psychiatric conditions that include anxiety symptoms, but simply knowing that you suffer from a fatal disease can, understandably, produce stress and anxiety. Medical marijuana has been proven to reduce anxiety in numerous clinical studies.

While anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and anti-seizure drugs are often prescribed for a sufferer of Huntington’s Disease, each of these drugs comes with a host of possible negative side effects. Aside from the possibility of overdose, these drugs carry a high risk of dependency and addiction as well. In addition, they may cause nausea, insomnia or gastro-intestinal problems. Worse still, many of these drugs can actually cause, or contribute to the worsening of depression or other psychiatric conditions. Medical marijuana, on the other hand, does not carry with it many of these negative side effects, yet may help to reduce tension and anxiety as well as help reduce nausea, restlessness or insomnia.
Medical Marijuana and Huntington‘s Disease: Clinical Evidence
The tension reducing effects of medical marijuana are well known. Numerous studies have been done that show the possible beneficial use of medical marijuana for patients who suffer from tension or anxiety. Cannabidiol, or CMD, is a chemical component found in marijuana and widely believed to be responsible for some of the beneficial effects of marijuana. A recent study, looked at the benefits of medical marijuana on patients suffering from Huntington’s Disease and found that the participants showed a modest improve of symptoms which increased with the amount of the drug they received. Even more promising results were obtained in an animal study. In that study, a mutant strain of hamsters that exhibited the symptoms of dystonia, a sub-group of disorders that share similar characteristics to Huntington’s Disease, were given a synthetic cannabinoid that activates the same cellular receptors as THC. The hamsters showed symptoms of dystonia that included rapid jerky movements or slow, repetitive movements, similar to Huntington’s Disease sufferers. In that study, the hamsters showed a marked reduction of symptoms when under the influence of the synthetic cannabinoid, indicating that medical marijuana may be beneficial to those with Huntington’s Disease.

Medical Marijuana and Huntington’s Disease

Because there is no known cure for Huntington’s Disease, medical treatment focuses on allowing the patient to live as normal a life as possible. One aspect of treatment is to reduce anxiety. Not only does the disease itself tend to produce a variety of psychiatric conditions that include anxiety symptoms, but simply knowing that you suffer from a fatal disease can, understandably, produce stress and anxiety. Medical marijuana has been proven to reduce anxiety in numerous clinical studies.

While anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and anti-seizure drugs are often prescribed for a sufferer of Huntington’s Disease, each of these drugs comes with a host of possible negative side effects. Aside from the possibility of overdose, these drugs carry a high risk of dependency and addiction as well. In addition, they may cause nausea, insomnia or gastro-intestinal problems. Worse still, many of these drugs can actually cause, or contribute to the worsening of depression or other psychiatric conditions. Medical marijuana, on the other hand, does not carry with it many of these negative side effects, yet may help to reduce tension and anxiety as well as help reduce nausea, restlessness or insomnia.

Medical Marijuana and Huntington‘s Disease: Clinical Evidence

The tension reducing effects of medical marijuana are well known. Numerous studies have been done that show the possible beneficial use of medical marijuana for patients who suffer from tension or anxiety. Cannabidiol, or CMD, is a chemical component found in marijuana and widely believed to be responsible for some of the beneficial effects of marijuana. A recent study, looked at the benefits of medical marijuana on patients suffering from Huntington’s Disease and found that the participants showed a modest improve of symptoms which increased with the amount of the drug they received. Even more promising results were obtained in an animal study. In that study, a mutant strain of hamsters that exhibited the symptoms of dystonia, a sub-group of disorders that share similar characteristics to Huntington’s Disease, were given a synthetic cannabinoid that activates the same cellular receptors as THC. The hamsters showed symptoms of dystonia that included rapid jerky movements or slow, repetitive movements, similar to Huntington’s Disease sufferers. In that study, the hamsters showed a marked reduction of symptoms when under the influence of the synthetic cannabinoid, indicating that medical marijuana may be beneficial to those with Huntington’s Disease.

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