Huntington’s disease is a hereditary disorder that progressively affects people’s mobility and mental ability. While there is no cure for Huntington’s disease, the symptoms of the condition can be managed to a certain degree by medication, but the symptoms will get progressively worse over time. The prolonged suffering from the symptoms of Huntington’s disease has led many people to investigate alternative treatments. One of these alternatives is using CBD for Huntington’s disease.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound that is extracted for cannabis and hemp plants and it is believed to have many potential therapeutic benefits for neurological disorders like Huntington’s as well for many other diseases.
If you have Huntington’s disease or know someone else with the disease, then read on to learn some important facts about CBD for Huntington’s disease.
What is Huntington’s Disease?
Huntington’s Disease is a genetic disorder that affects approximately 300,000 Americans. It is an inherited disorder that has been called the ultimate family disease. This is because if one family member has the disease, then there is a 50% probability that a child of that person will inherit the condition.
Huntington’s causes the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain, which affects a person’s physical and mental abilities. The first symptoms usually appear in adults aged between 30 and 50 years old, and the symptoms worsen over time. Sadly, there is no cure for Huntington’s disease and any medication that is prescribed will only help manage the symptoms. The disease is ultimately fatal and anyone who inherits the defective HD gene will eventually develop the disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Huntington’s Disease?
The symptoms of Huntington’s disease usually begin to appear in midlife, but it can start in childhood. Sometimes the disease does not begin to cause severe problems until the later years of life.
The symptoms, which can be worsened by stress or overexcitement, vary from one patient to the next, but the symptoms can be broken down into three broad stages.
Early Stage Symptoms
In the early stages of Huntington’s disease, the symptoms can be quite mild, and a person may be able to continue working and live a relatively normal life. There may be a slight deterioration in balance and coordination and uncontrollable fidgeting movements may develop. A person may also become very irritable and depression may set in.
Middle Stage Symptoms
The middle stage of Huntington’s is when the disease begins to impact more severely on a person’s life. It is likely that someone with middle stage Huntington’s will start to drop things. They may frequently fall, and will experience difficulties with talking and swallowing their food. Their behavior may begin to change as well. They may experience sudden mood changes and will find it difficult to organize themselves.
Late Stage Symptoms
In the later stages of the disease, a person with Huntington’s will probably need constant care. They may be unable to walk and talk. Fidgeting movements will have become severe. They may have a lack of control over impulses and lack of awareness of their own behavior.
How is Huntington’s Disease Inherited?
Huntington’s is inherited a way that means that it can be inherited from either the mother or the father. The faulty gene that causes the disease is known as the Huntington gene, the HD gene or the HTT gene.
Anyone who has the Huntington gene has a 50% chance of passing the gene on to their children. There are genetic tests that can tell if a child has inherited the Huntington gene. Such tests are not usually carried out until the child has passed the age of 18 and has made the decision that they want to know if they have the gene.
What is Huntington’s Disease Life Expectancy?
Although there is no cure for the disease, recent advances in treatments for managing the symptoms of Huntington’s have improved the quality of life for many patients. Many people with HD have also said that alternative treatments, such as CBD for Huntington’s disease can help reduce the symptoms.
The life expectancy of a person, from the first signs of the disease, is between ten and thirty years. Sadly, when Huntington’s appears in children, death usually occurs within just ten years of the first signs appearing.
The death of someone with Huntington’s is usually the result of complications caused by the disease. This includes injuries from falling, infections or pneumonia, and problems caused by the inability to swallow. The clinical depression that is associated with the disease also means that suicide more common in people with Huntington’s than it is in the rest of the population.
The Endocannabinoid System and Huntington’s Disease?
Research has suggested that the interaction that CBD has with the endocannabinoid system could slow the development of Huntington’s. There is also scientific evidence to support the claims of many people suggesting CBD can ease the symptoms of the disease.
The development of the disease has been linked to a loss of cannabinoid receptors in the basal ganglia, which is an area in the base of the brain that is responsible for the coordination of movement. Studies into the effect of stimulating the endocannabinoid system in people with Huntington’s have provided very encouraging results. These results suggest that CBD for Huntington’s disease could delay the progression of the disease in this respect.
CBD has also been found to be effective for protecting the neurons in the brain through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is believed that the way Cannabidiol interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain could reduce the rate of damage to the neurons.
The Effects of CBD on Huntington’s Disease
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound that is found in cannabis and hemp plants that interacts with the endocannabinoid system to produce a wide range of therapeutic effects. These effects can be beneficial for people with Huntington’s disease and other neurological disorders.
People have been using cannabis and CBD oil for many years to treat the symptoms of Huntington’s. There are some remarkable testimonials to the effectiveness of CBD in terms of reducing the crippling symptoms of the disease. It is only in recent years, however, that scientists have begun to fully understand how CDB reacts with the endocannabinoid system to create these positive results.
CBD has many therapeutic effects that could potentially help a person with Huntington’s to cope with the symptoms. As an anticonvulsant, it could reduce the uncontrollable movements that are often associated with the disease. As an anti-depressant, which would alleviate the clinical depression that is commonly experienced with Huntington’s. Also as an anxiolytic, which will help control anxiety and hyperactivity.
As well as the immediate therapeutic benefits of CBD for Huntington’s disease, there is also the possibility that the neuroprotective properties of CBD could slow the progression of the disease.
How to Use CBD Oil for Huntington’s Disease
CBD for Huntington’s disease can be purchased in several forms, the most common of which is CBD tincture, which is taken orally. In this form, CBD can be taken sublingually. This means placing the oil under your tongue so that it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes, or it can be ingested.
Other methods of taking CBD for Huntington’s disease include vaping, taking CBD Capsules or eating CBD Gummies. The dosage required will depend on the strength of the CBD oil that you by and your own physiology. As there are no official guidelines for the dosages of CBD for Huntington’s disease, it is advisable to start off with small doses and then gradually increase the dose until you begin to feel a positive effect.
Research & Studies - CBD For Huntington's Disease
Below is a compiled list of scientific research and studies on Cannabidiol (CBD) and it’s potential use for treating Huntington’s Disease.
- Neurological Aspects of Medical Use of Cannabidiol.
- Neuroprotective effects of phytocannabinoid-based medicines in experimental models of Huntington’s disease.
- Sativex-like combination of phytocannabinoids is neuroprotective in malonate-lesioned rats, an inflammatory model of Huntington’s disease
- Cannabinoids: novel medicines for the treatment of Huntington’s disease.
- Controlled clinical trial of cannabidiol in Huntington’s disease.
- Neuroprotective properties of cannabigerol in Huntington’s disease: studies in R6/2 mice and 3-nitropropionate-lesioned mice.
- Prospects for cannabinoid therapies in basal ganglia disorders.