Scientific evidence: Cannabis and Huntington’s Disease

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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