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Cerebral Palsy and CBD

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Cannabidiol (CBD) can make the symptoms of cerebral palsy easier to manage for patients who have it. Discover how CBD interacts with the body to help people with cerebral palsy feel more comfortable.

What Is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy impacts the motor control centers in your brain. It causes abnormal muscle and motor development and function. Every patient with cerebral palsy has a unique case of the condition, but they can experience symptoms such as:

  • Involuntary movements or tremors
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Stiff muscles
  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Difficulty with fine motor function
  • Delays in speech and motor development

Some cases of cerebral palsy affect the entire body, while others impact one side of it. Cerebral palsy causes many complications associated with stress or atypical brain development. A patient can develop mental health disorders, seizures, urinary incontinence and other symptoms.

A person can develop cerebral palsy as a result of brain damage that happens early in life. It can form during pregnancy, childbirth or infancy. However, you can reduce some of its symptoms using CBD. This relief helps patients with the condition function in daily life.

The Link Between Cerebral Palsy and the Endocannabinoid System

Everyone has an endocannabinoid system that creates and uses cannabinoids. When a compound activates the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, they regulate bodily functions. The CB1 receptor appears in our brains and nervous systems and impacts their well-being. Phytocannabinoids, which come from the cannabis plant, and endocannabinoids, which our bodies create, can both activate the CB1 receptor.

Research suggests that people who have certain forms of brain damage have dysregulated endocannabinoid systems. Experts discovered that animal subjects with multiple sclerosis had different anandamide levels than those without. Their bodies seemed to produce more of this cannabinoid to protect damaged brain tissue from further harm.

People with cerebral palsy may also have elevated anandamide levels in their brain tissue. We don’t have any research on the subject so far, but the multiple sclerosis study shows the connection between brain cells and anandamide. Unlike multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy does not progress over time, so patients with the condition don’t need the neuroprotective properties. However, we can boost their already high anandamide levels to use the compound’s other benefits.

How Does CBD Help Patients With Cerebral Palsy?

CBD enhances the endocannabinoid system by increasing its ability to retain anandamide. When you take CBD, it blocks FAAH, a fatty acid that breaks down anandamide. As a result, you have more of the compound in your body to manage symptoms such as pain. Anandamide has a similar structure to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but it does not cause the “high” associated with THC. Our bodies use it to regulate mood, pain sensation and other functions.

Taking CBD also activates receptors for serotonin, vanilloid and adenosine. These compounds control your mood, pain signals and sleep-wake cycle. They improve cerebral palsy symptoms like pain, sleep issues, anxiety and depression.

Finding the Right CBD Option

Medical CBD products come in a variety of formulations. Some have CBD only, while others include THC, as well. You can find CBD-only medications at natural health stores and online, but check their quality before buying. Medicine from a dispensary typically has higher potency and effectiveness. Consider your state’s laws and your needs before deciding on a formula.

Many types of CBD products can relieve your cerebral palsy symptoms. Inhaled medicine like vaporizers, inhalers and smoked cannabis gives you fast, full-body relief. Medication you ingest, such as pills and edibles, take effect after a longer time. If you have muscle soreness or tightness, you can apply CBD oil or a topical to the area for localized benefits.

The best product choice depends on the symptoms you want to treat. If you experience symptoms in sudden episodes, you may prefer inhaled medication that gives you fast relief. Meanwhile, other kinds of medicine will provide you with extended benefits for all-day function.

We recommend getting advice from a marijuana-trained doctor to get the most out of your CBD treatment. These medical professionals understand how cannabinoids relieve symptoms in many conditions. You can find one in your area using our physician directory. Enter your zip code and distance to see what options you have.

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Learn More About Cerebral Palsy

Learn more about Cerebral Palsy and what makes medical marijuana an effective treatment for Cerebral Palsy’s symptoms.

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