Marijuana and Huntington’s Disease

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Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a severely debilitating neurodegenerative disease. The huntingtin protein, which functions to preserve cells of the nervous system, especially in the brain, becomes mutated. This mutated protein leads to destruction of neurons in the basal ganglia, which controls movement regulation among others.

Symptoms include:

Dysfunction in movement
Cognitive dysfunction
Psychiatric dysfuntion
Involuntary tightening of the muscles
Progressing Dimentia
Lack of behaviour awareness
Impulse control
Mood swings
Irritability
Depression

Cannabis as a Treatment

Research has found that the endocannabinoid system is intricately tied to the progression of Huntington’s Disease. CBD works well with regulating the endocannabinoid system and although marijuana can’t cure Huntington’s Disease, it can help with many of the associated symptoms. Some research suggest that cannabinoids initiate a neuroprotective action partly through reducing inflammation and through antioxidant effects in the brain regions that control motor activity and congition.

Anxiety and Mood

Many people who have Huntington’s Disease experience severe anxiety as the disease progresses. Due to the lack of bodily control, their cognitive processes and psychiatric health, many patients become highly stressed and anxious. Cannabis is a known to provide anti anxiety relief and mood regulation. Using cannabis can help create a more positive quality of life for those with Huntington’s. The most popular strains to help deal with anxiety are Indica’s as they’re known for providing relaxing results.

Pain and Muscle Contractions

Many people with Huntington’s Disease suffer from something called dystonia which is a muscle disorder that causes the muscles to contract, twist and tighten. This commonly causes patients pain and extreme discomfort. Both THC and CBD, activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which in turn regulate the excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters necessary to curtail spasticity and muscle tremors.

Sleep Disturbance

Many people with Huntington’s Disease suffer from sleep issues. Whether they’re having a hard time getting to sleep or they’re constantly woken up by the disease, marijuana can help. Cannabinoids like THC induce sleep. At the same time, they also extend your time in deep sleep. Indica-dominant strains with a high THC concentration will provide the best results.

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