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Venous leg ulcers – also called “open leg” – are deep, poorly healing wounds on the lower leg. Older, chronically ill patients suffer most often from this disease. An additional therapy with topical cannabis-based medicines accelerates wound healing. A Canadian research team recently found this out in an open study. One reason for this is the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), as well as flavonoids and terpenes, which are contained in the cannabis plant.

Why do patients get venous leg ulcers?

The disease occurs as a result of circulatory problems in the legs. Most often due to weakness of the leg veins. Here, the return transport of the blood to the heart is impaired. The ulcers are usually treated with compression bandages, which support the return transport of the blood. In addition, medicines applied externally to the skin, so-called topical medicines, are used to heal the wounds.

With these methods, however, the chances of complete wound healing are only 50 to 75 percent after six months of optimal treatment. The chance of the ulcers coming back within a year is 40 to 70 per cent. For this reason, patients must wear compression stockings as a preventive measure.

Some risk factors for venous leg ulcers are:

  • Chronic venous insufficiency (weakness of the leg veins)
  • Peripheral arterial occlusive disease
  • Reduced walking ability
  • Advanced age
  • Obesity
  • diabetes mellitus
  • High blood pressure

Complete wound closure in 79% of patients

The open study at a wound centre in Toronto involved 14 patients with a total of 16 wounds. The usual therapies such as compression stockings had not helped the study participants and the ulcers were on average older than six months. One patient had even been suffering from a wound for more than twelve years. The average age of the participants was 75.8 years and they had more complex concomitant diseases. In addition, most patients had risk factors for reduced wound healing such as oedema (water retention) and peripheral arterial circulatory problems.

Treatment was with compression bandages and topical cannabis-based medicines. The cannabis preparation was applied to the wounds and the adjacent area every two days by the patients themselves. The cannabis formulation contained the cannabinoids THC and CBD, the flavonoids quercetin, diosmin and hesperdin, and the terpene beta-caryophyllene.

The outcome of the treatment was very encouraging. Complete wound closure was observed in 11 patients (79 %) and 13 ulcers (81 %) after an average of 34 days of treatment. In the other subjects, advanced wound healing was observed. Side effects did not occur.

Interaction of cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in wound healing. The anti-inflammatory effects of THC and CBD are mediated via the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are abundant in our skin. Cannabinoids also lead to a widening of the blood vessels, which improves tissue perfusion as well as oxygen supply.

The terpene beta-caryophyllene binds to CB2 receptors and also has an anti-inflammatory effect. The flavonoid quercetin can also accelerate wound healing and diosmin, hesperidin as well as flavonoids strengthen the veins.

Simple and safe wound treatment with topical cannabis medicines

The study shows that cannabis preparations for external use accelerate wound healing in venous leg ulcers. Even in wounds where conventional therapies no longer help properly, healing was accelerated significantly. Another advantage is the uncomplicated application, which patients can carry out independently at home. In the future, there will be further studies investigating topical cannabis preparations against other types of wounds.


Maida V, Shi RB, Fazzari FGT, Zomparelli L. Topical Cannabis-Based Medicines – A Novel Adjuvant Treatment for Venous Leg Ulcers: An Open-Label Trial. Exp Dermatol. 2021 May 19. doi: 10.1111/exd.14395. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34013652.


According to the GAMSI report of the statutory health insurance funds in Germany, medical cannabis is becoming increasingly important in the treatment of diseases. In 2020, sales of cannabis-based medicines grew to 165 million euros. 16 million euros of this fell on March alone – the record month in terms of sales. Prescriptions of medical cannabis also increased in 2020 by 27 percent compared to the previous year. Cannabis flowers in unprocessed form or as preparations were prescribed most frequently. Prescriptions for cannabinoid preparations such as dronabinol capsules and finished medicines also rose sharply. From 2019 to 2020, the increase here was 76 percent.

Turnover of cannabis prescriptions increases by 34

In 2020, around 340,000 prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines, flowers and prescriptions were issued by doctors. This is an increase of 27 percent compared to around 267,000 prescriptions in 2019.

This also means an increase in gross sales, which climbed to 165 million euros. In 2019, medical cannabis recorded gross sales of 123 million euros. This means that sales increased by 34 per cent from 2019 to 2020.

Unprocessed cannabis flowers are preferred

The report of the statutory health insurance funds states that in 2020, unprocessed cannabis flowers and the preparations from cannabis flowers have the largest share of total gross sales with 43 percent. However, the number of prescriptions of these decreased by 9.7 percent.

More precisely, this means: unprocessed cannabis flowers are increasingly prescribed. From 2019 to 2020, prescriptions have increased from 91,229 to 100,090. That is an increase of 10.5 percent.

The situation is different for flower preparations. These fell from 43,952 in 2019 to 21,262 in 2020, a 51.6 percent reduction in prescriptions in one year.

Prescriptions for cannabinoid prescriptions and finished medicinal products increase

In 2019, 66,359 prescriptions for cannabinoid preparations (e.g. dronabinol capsule) and finished medicines were prescribed. This was the second highest value of all cannabinoid-containing medicines.

In the following year, the ratios changed significantly. If the prescription figures for unprocessed cannabis flowers and cannabis preparations are considered separately in 2020, cannabinoid and finished medicinal product prescriptions are the largest group with 117,171. Unprocessed cannabis flowers rank second and Sativex® ranks third.

Constant turnover figures in 2020

Turnover in 2020 is relatively constant at around 41 million euros per quarter. A year earlier in 2019, the turnover figures increased from quarter to quarter. In the first quarter of 2019, around 24.5 million euros were recorded. In the last quarter, these then rose to 36.6 million euros. This means that turnover grew by 67 %.

One reason for the increase in total annual sales from 2019 to 2020 is the approval of Epidyolex®. Epidyolex® is a cannabidiol-containing drug for rare forms of epilepsy in children (Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome). This was approved in Germany in October 2019. Other cannabis medicines include Canemes® and Sativex®, which generated steady sales.

Cannabis extracts are gaining in importance

Turnover with unchanged extracts, on the other hand, has increased. In the first half of 2020, i.e. from January to June, sales were 3.96 million euros. In the second half of the year, gross sales rose to almost 5 million euros. This corresponds to an increase of 26.1 percent.


Gross sales of finished cannabinoid-containing medicinal products and preparations

2019Gross sales in million euros*
1st quarter (January - March)24,5
2nd quarter (April - June)29,5
3rd quarter (July - September)32,3
4th quarter (October - December)36,6
Full year123
2020Gross sales in million euros*
1st quarter (January - March)41,9
2nd quarter (April - June)40,1
3rd quarter (July - September)40,1
4th quarter (October - December)42,7
Full Year165

* Rounded values

In what form is medical cannabis prescribed?

  • Unaltered cannabis flowers
  • Cannabis flowers in preparations: cannabis flowers crushed, sieved and, where appropriate, packaged in individual doses for inhalation after vaporisation or tea preparation.
  • Unmodified cannabinoid-containing substances such as cannabis extracts
  • Cannabinoid-containing substances or finished cannabis medicinal products in preparations: e.g. dronabinol in the form of drops and capsules; other finished medicinal products in preparations such as alcoholic inhalation solution or oily cannabis resin solution.
  • Imported cannabinoid-containing finished medicinal products: Marinol® (dronabinol capsules), Syndros® (dronabinol solution).
  • Cannabinoid-containing finished medicinal products: Canemes® (nabilone capsules), Epidyolex® (cannabidiol solution), Sativex ® (oral spray with tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol).


The GAMSI report only contains the data of statutory health insurance patients. Data from private patients and self-pay patients are not statistically recorded here.



The whole world is looking for ways to fight the corona virus. Whether it is new hygiene concepts, new vaccines, or therapies to inhibit infection or start the recovery process. A team of researchers from the University of Chicago has now discovered CBD as one of these possibilities. In a study published on 10 March 2021, they show the connection between the intake of CBD and a reduced infection rate.

CBD with antiviral effect

The researchers discovered that taking CBD inhibits the multiplication of SARS-CoV 2. They discovered this by treating lung cell cultures with a cannabidiol solution and exposing them to the virus after two hours.

Two days later, the lung cells were tested for viral spike proteins and the result indeed showed that CBD is able to inhibit the multiplication of the viruses.

Only CBD inhibits the multiplication of SARS-CoV 2 viruses

Other cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG) and CBDA were also investigated. However, CBD alone showed an antiviral effect at a therapeutic dosage.

Fewer corona infections among CBD users

In order to further expand the findings in a real-world setting, 93,000 Corona test results were analysed. The results showed an infection rate of 10 percent among all tests. This rate dropped to 5.7 per cent in patients with a history of cannabinoid therapy. The greatest difference was seen in the infection rate among people who regularly take CBD. This was only 1.2 percent. Thus, the results from real life underline those from the laboratory.

How does CBD work against SARS-CoV 2?

The researchers are investigating two ways in which CBD could counteract the virus. First, there is the possibility that CBD promotes an antiviral immune response. This means that it helps the body to classify the virus as dangerous so that it can counteract it early. Another possibility is that CBD counteracts the cytokine production. The cytokine production is promoted by viruses and can have life-threatening consequences.

Taking CBD has some advantages over other agents or therapies such as Remdesivir or antiviral antibodies. It is easy to take at home without a visit to the hospital or doctor. In addition, the tolerability is significantly better.

The optimal dosage, application and drug formulation will be further investigated in future studies. Until then, the researchers advise against the preventive use of CBD to combat corona.


Cannabidiol Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication and Promotes the Host Innate Immune Response

Long Chi Nguyen, Dongbo Yang, Vlad Nicolaescu, Thomas J. Best, Takashi Ohtsuki, Shao-Nong Chen, J. Brent Friesen, Nir Drayman, Adil Mohamed, Christopher Dann, Diane Silva, Haley Gula, Krysten A. Jones, J. Michael Millis, Bryan C. Dickinson, Savaş Tay, Scott A. Oakes, Guido F. Pauli, David O. Meltzer, Glenn Randall, Marsha Rich Rosner

bioRxiv 2021.03.10.432967; doi:


CBD can help with epileptic seizures. An American study now shows that the effectiveness of the cannabinoid increases over a longer period of therapy. In the second year of treatment, the significant effect on the frequency and severity of seizures was clearly more pronounced than at the beginning.

Reduction of epilepsy seizures with CBD extract

The study by the Department of Neurology and the UAB Epilepsy Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA, involved 169 people with treatment-resistant epilepsy – 89 of them children and 80 adults. They received a CBD extract (Epidyolex). The researchers defined the response to treatment with cannabidiol by a reduction in seizure frequency of 50 percent or more.

This significant reduction in seizure frequency was more pronounced after 2 years of treatment than within the first month of starting therapy. In addition, the research team found that this effect was more pronounced in the 80 adults after one year than in the 89 children in the study. The percentage of children who achieved a reduction in seizure frequency by half or more was 44% in the first month, 41% in the first year and 61% in the second year. For adults, this rate was 34% in the first month, 53% in the first year and 71% in the second year.

Greatest improvement in adults in the second year of therapy

Seizure severity was also significantly reduced by the CBD product: Children showed a 52% seizure reduction in the first month, a 51% reduction in the first year and a 75% reduction in the second year. Seizure reduction in adults was even significantly higher, at 60%, 81% and 85%. In comparison, adults reported greater improvement than children after two years of therapy.

Refractory epilepsy – resistant to treatment

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), epilepsy affects about 50 million people worldwide. It is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases. The disease is characterised by recurrent seizures that either affect the whole body or only a specific part. Occasionally, people with epilepsy may also lose consciousness during seizures. Refractory epilepsy is a difficult-to-treat form of the disease that does not respond to antiepileptic drugs.



Gaston TE, Ampah SB, Martina Bebin E, Grayson LP, Cutter GR, Hernando K, Szaflarski JP; UAB CBD Program. Long-term safety and efficacy of highly purified cannabidiol for treatment refractory epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2021 Mar 2;117:107862. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.107862. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33667843.


Almost three quarters of the people who receive cannabis medicines on prescription in Germany use them to treat pain. Of these patients, 70 percent perceive an improvement in symptoms. This is shown by the interim result of the accompanying cannabis survey of the BfArM (Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices).

What is medical cannabis used for?

With 73%, the lion’s share of all cannabis prescriptions in Germany is issued for the therapy of pain. This is followed at a great distance by the treatment of spasticity (10%), anorexia/wasting (6%) and other indications (10%). Doctors prescribe dronabinol in 65% of the cases, followed by cannabis flowers, Sativex, with an increasing tendency cannabis extracts and in last place nabilone.

Which specialist groups prescribe cannabis?

The largest group of doctors prescribing cannabis are pain physicians (anaesthesiologists) with a share of 49%. This is followed by general medicine (17%), neurology (12%) and internal medicine (10%).

How successful is cannabis therapy?

In the largest group of cannabis patients, those with pain as their primary symptom, 34% felt their pain was significantly improved and 36% felt it was moderately improved. Thus, medical cannabis was able to alleviate the suffering of a total of 70% of pain patients. 28% said their pain was unchanged.

Among people with multiple sclerosis as their main diagnosis, spasticity improved significantly in 41% and moderately in 43%.

35% of the cannabis patients discontinued their therapy within one year. In 25% of the cases, this was due to the side effects and in almost 40% due to insufficient effect of the therapy. In 21% of the cases, the person concerned died ­– this is also counted as a therapy discontinuation in the accompanying survey.

Private prescriptions not recorded

When looking at these results, it must always be kept in mind that the accompanying survey does not cover all patients treated with cannabis medicines in Germany: The data of self-payers, privately insured persons, inpatients and persons treated within the framework of clinical studies are not transmitted. Furthermore, no survey is compiled for persons who receive the finished medicinal products Sativex and Canemes according to the approved indications.

Accompanying cannabis survey – what is it?

In Germany, doctors who prescribe medical cannabis at the expense of the statutory health insurance are obliged to take part in an accompanying survey on the use of these medicinal products. The survey is conducted by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM). After three years, this institute has drawn up an interim balance with more than 10,000 data sets that were available by the evaluation deadline on 11 May 2020. One year earlier, the BfArM had already published an interim result based on the data evaluated by then.

The objectives of the survey are the monitoring of side effects and the tolerability of cannabis products. In addition, the survey is to show for which indications cannabis is prescribed. The results should serve as a basis for the planning of later clinical studies.



Schmidt-Wolf, G., Cremer-Schaeffer, P. 3 Jahre Cannabis als Medizin – Zwischenergebnisse der Cannabisbegleiterhebung. Bundesgesundheitsbl (2021).


A survey among people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) found that over 8 percent of PD patients use cannabis products. More than half of these people report a positive effect of cannabis treatment. The results are based on a survey from Germany.

Parkinson’s disease and cannabis: interest is high

Interest in the therapeutic use of cannabinoids to alleviate various symptoms is growing steadily – and this is also true for Parkinson’s disease. The survey was conducted among the members of the German Parkinson’s Association (Deutsche Parkinson Vereinigung e.V.).This is the largest association of Parkinson’s patients in German-speaking countries with almost 21,000 members. The researchers aimed to investigate the attitudes of people with Parkinson’s disease towards medicinal cannabis and to evaluate the experiences of patients who already use cannabis products. The research was published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

For the survey, researchers analysed more than 1,300 responses. These showed that the Parkinson’s community’s interest in medicinal cannabis is high, but knowledge on the subject is limited. At least 28 percent of the respondents knew about the different forms of intake, such as inhalation and oral intake. However, only 9 percent were aware of the difference between the active cannabis ingredients THC and CBD.

How does cannabis help with Parkinson’s disease?

More than 8% of survey participants reported using cannabis products, and more than half of these users (54%) reported a positive clinical effect. The general tolerability was good. More than 40 percent of the respondents said that it helped them with pain and muscle cramps. And more than 20 percent noticed a reduction in stiffness (akinesia), restless legs and tremors, as well as depression and anxiety.

Furthermore, it is interesting that the patients reported that inhaled cannabis products containing THC were more efficient in treating stiffness than oral products containing CBD. On the other hand, THC was slightly less well tolerated.

Cannabinoid treatment for Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s patients who used cannabis tended to be younger, lived in large cities and were better informed about the legal and therapeutic aspects of medical cannabis. 65 percent of the respondents who did not use cannabinoids before were interested in using medical cannabis. Lack of knowledge and fear of the side effects were given as the main reasons for not trying it.

“Our data confirm that patients with Parkinson’s disease have a high interest in treatment with medicinal cannabis, but they lack knowledge about how to take it and especially about the differences between the two most important cannabinoids, THC and CBD,” says study leader Prof. Dr. Carsten Buhmann, medical director of neurology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). “Doctors should take these aspects into account when advising their patients about treatment with medicinal cannabis. The data reported here can help doctors decide which patients might benefit, which symptoms might be treated, and which type of cannabinoid and route of administration might be appropriate.”

Taking cannabis, Prof. Buhmann admits, could be associated with a placebo effect due to the high expectations of those affected. However, the medical doctor does not assess this negatively, because “even that can be seen as a therapeutic effect.” Nevertheless, he points out that the results of the study are based on subjective reports and that clinically appropriate studies are urgently needed.


Klagenfurt Clinic is currently using the cannabis substance CBD for covid patients – with good results. The anti-inflammatory and immune-strengthening properties of the cannabinoid are particularly interesting here. A study is already in progress, which should provide well-founded findings.

Positive results with CBD in covid patients

As reported by ORF, intensive care physicians at the Klagenfurt Clinic in Austria are achieving positive results with cannabidiol (CBD) in covid therapy. CBD is a highly interesting substance, also in the treatment of covid patients, explains Prof. Rudolf Likar, who is head of the department of intensive care medicine at Klagenfurt Clinic. CBD works in many ways. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can positively influence the immune system. In Klagenfurt, certain patients received CBD over a period of three weeks. Initially in a dosage of 200 mg, which was then increased to 300 mg.

“We saw that the inflammation parameters in the blood decreased and that people left the hospital faster than the comparison group. CBD supports the immune system,” Prof. Likar told ORF.

A study on the use of CBD is currently underway at Klagenfurt Clinic. Prof. Likar is satisfied with the data and results so far. Therefore, he wants to use CBD “probably routinely, just because it has no side effects.” The medical doctor explains that his team has been researching cannabidiol for quite some time. “It’s an interesting substance and Israel is even in the process of approving CBD for covid therapy. So we are not the only ones working with it.“

Cannabidiol (CBD) – a valuable cannabinoid

THC and CBD are the two main active substances of the cannabis plant. A large number of studies on the use of cannabidiol are already available and science has been able to gain many important insights. Since 2013, PubMed, a US medical research database, has indexed more than 1,500 studies on cannabidiol. This is another reason why many researchers consider CBD to be one of the most important cannabinoids discovered so far.

Unlike THC, CBD does not produce a high. When CBD is used in combination with THC, cannabidiol reduces the psychoactive effects and side effects of THC. Experts who have studied the relationship between CBD and the immune system have already outlined the positive effect of CBD in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. In addition, there are studies that have investigated the effect of cannabidiol for the relief of chronic pain or for the treatment of epilepsy.

Other studies have shown that CBD can relieve pain and have a calming effect on people with cancer. Scientists have also found that cannabidiol can reduce cell growth in breast cancer.


Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash


Cannabinoids enable pain patients to reduce or even completely discontinue opioids. This is the result of an American survey. In addition, cannabinoids can reduce the severity of pain. The vast majority of respondents experienced a higher quality of life and improved functioning thanks to the use of cannabinoids.

40 percent were able to stop all opioids

American researchers from the Society of Cannabis Clinicians in Sebastopol, USA, conducted an online survey of patients from three medical cannabis clinics. Of the total group of over 1,000 respondents, 525 had been taking prescription opioid medications in combination with medical cannabis for at least three months to treat their chronic pain.

Of these 525 people, about 40 percent reported that they had stopped all opioids thanks to taking cannabinoids. About 45 percent were able to reduce the amount of opioids. No changes in their opioid medication were reported by 13 percent and one percent had to take more opioids. About one third of the respondents reported that they were able to maintain the change in their opioid medication for more than one year.

The cannabis patients not only reported positively on the reduction of opioids – the pain intensity also decreased. Almost half (48%) felt 40 to 100 percent less pain. Nine percent did not notice any change in pain, while three percent experienced an increase in pain.

Clear majority gains in quality of life

Another particularly pleasing result of the survey is that the vast majority of respondents – namely 80 percent – felt an improved ability to function. And even 87 percent stated that their quality of life had improved with medical cannabis. Most of the pain patients (62%) did not want to take opioids in the future. While the change in pain intensity was not influenced by age and gender, the younger age group had improved functioning compared to the middle and older age groups.

Cannabis useful for chronic pain

The researchers therefore conclude that “cannabis may be a useful adjunct and substitute for prescription opioids” in the treatment of chronic pain. Furthermore, cannabinoids have the added benefit of improving functioning and quality of life.

According to the researchers, this is one of the largest surveys of its kind. The results show a remarkable percentage of patients reporting both complete discontinuation of opioids and a reduction in opioids with the addition of medical cannabis. The researchers hypothesise that these effects are due to the “synergistic pain relief shown when cannabis is added to opioids”.



Takakuwa K M, Sulak D (December 02, 2020) A Survey on the Effect That Medical Cannabis Has on Prescription Opioid Medication Usage for the Treatment of Chronic Pain at Three Medical Cannabis Practice Sites. Cureus 12(12): e11848. doi:10.7759/cureus.11848

Photo by Christine Sandu on Unsplash


CBD can reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia, especially pain-related symptoms. This is shown by an online survey with 2,700 participants, mainly from the USA, who suffer from fibromyalgia. The survey also reveals that the use of cannabidiol (CBD) is widespread among people with fibromyalgia.

Many fibromyalgia patients use CBD

The anonymous online survey was conducted by researchers from the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, USA. Overall, about 38 percent of respondents reported never using CBD, but 29 percent reported past use of CBD and 32 percent reported current CBD use. Thus, more than 60 percent of respondents have tried or are still using cannabidiol.

The people taking CBD mostly suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms that are not sufficiently relieved by their regular therapy. The patients who do not use CBD gave safety concerns as the main reason.

Two thirds of the interviewed patients who take CBD informed their doctor about it. It is noteworthy that only 33 percent sought medical advice on the use of CBD. Participants used CBD for many fibromyalgia symptoms, most commonly pain. CBD achieved mild to strong improvements in all symptom areas. About half of the respondents reported minor side effects.

Fibromyalgia – what is it?

Fibromyalgia often means severe pain, exhaustion, sleep disturbances and not infrequently psychological suffering. The symptoms of chronic pain syndrome are manifold and vary greatly from person to person. Many sufferers have great difficulty in coping with their daily lives and the level of suffering is very high. Some studies have already shown that the medical use of cannabis can have a beneficial effect on the symptoms.

The disease manifests itself through muscle and connective tissue pain, which is particularly expressed at certain pain points (tender points). The pain can occur all over the body, but usually shows up near the joints. In Germany, 2 percent of the population is affected by the chronic pain syndrome, women six to seven times more often than men.

Die Ursache der Erkrankung ist ungeklärt, medizinische Fachleute gehen aber davon aus, dass eine genetisch bedingte Krankheitsanfälligkeit eine Rolle spielt. Darüber hinaus können Traumata wie beispielsweise Misshandlungen im Kindesalter, aktuelle psychische Belastungen oder chronische psychische Belastungen wie Stress die Entstehung fördern.

The cause of the disease is unknown, but medical experts assume that a genetically determined susceptibility to the disease plays a role. In addition, traumas such as abuse in childhood, current psychological stress or chronic psychological stress such as stress can promote the development.



Boehnke KF, Gagnier JJ, Matallana L, Williams DA. Cannabidiol Use for Fibromyalgia: Prevalence of Use and Perceptions of Effectiveness in a Large Online Survey. J Pain. 2021 Jan 2:S1526-5900(20)30117-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2020.12.001. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33400996.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Cannabidiol (CBD) can provide relief for Parkinson’s patients. This was shown in a study by the Department of Neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora (USA). The motor symptoms of the disease were reduced, but also nighttime sleep and emotional disturbances improved significantly. However, liver enzymes elevated in some participants of the study due to the high dosage.

People with Parkinson’s disease can benefit from CBD

In the study, 13 people with PD and substantial rest tremor received herbal, highly purified CBD (Epidiolex; 100 mg/mL). The CBD extract was titrated from 5 to 20-25 mg per kilogram of body weight and maintained for 10 to 15 days. The patients had an average age of 68 years.

All 13 participants in the study reported mild side effects, such as diarrhoea (85%), somnolence (69%), fatigue (62%), weight gain (31%), dizziness (23%), abdominal pain (23%) and headache, weight loss, nausea, anorexia and increased appetite (5% each). Elevated liver enzymes occurred in five people, representing 38.5% of the total group.

Three people dropped out of the study due to intolerances. The remaining ten achieved an improvement in overall and motor scores. Other positive results were that nightly sleep and emotional or behavioural control disorders improved significantly. The researchers therefore conclude that CBD in the form of Epidiolex may be effective in PD. However, the relatively high dose used in this study was also associated with increases in liver enzymes.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. In Germany, about one percent of people over 60 are affected by the incurable disease. The medical treatment options are limited. Therapy is primarily aimed at alleviating the symptoms and improving the quality of life of those affected.

At the beginning of the disease, the symptoms are non-specific. These include pain in the shoulder or neck area or in the back, as well as a slowing down and decrease in movement. In addition, there is a rest tremor that begins on one side. In the course of the disease, the gait pattern changes. Those affected bend forward and take only small, short steps.

In addition to motor symptoms, sleep disturbances, pain in muscles and joints and depressive moods may occur. Later, affect lability, apathy, anxiety disorders and dementia may develop. These non-motor symptoms should not be underestimated, as they often severely limit the patient’s quality of life.



Leehey MA, Liu Y, Hart F, Epstein C, Cook M, Sillau S, Klawitter J, Newman H, Sempio C, Forman L, Seeberger L, Klepitskaya O, Baud Z, Bainbridge J. Safety and Tolerability of Cannabidiol in Parkinson Disease: An Open Label, Dose-Escalation Study. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2020;5(4):326-336.

Photo by Hugo Delauney on Unsplash

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