The use of CBD oil for treating motor-related disorders is getting more attention in recent years. There is also a great interest in its use for the treatment of essential tremor. Here’s what you need to know about the effects of CBD oil on essential tremor and where the research stands.
Essential tremor (ET) is a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable shaking of hands. Other parts like head, tongue, and jaw can also be affected.
Although medications are available, they are unable to cure the ET. Moreover, they come with side effects that may worse the patient’s condition.
Therefore, researchers are looking for alternative therapies, and one such therapy is the use of CBD oil.
So, is CBD oil useful for people with ET and what does the research say about this?
Let’s find out here!
But before getting into the answers to these questions, it is good to know what CBD oil is and what potential therapeutic benefits it offers.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is made from a compound called cannabidiol (CBD) obtained from a Cannabis plant, also known as the hemp plant. The Cannabis plant contains over 100 chemicals, but the two well-known compounds that make it stand apart from other plants are the CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Most people often confuse CBD with marijuana. But the two are completely different compounds that come with different brain effects. Medical marijuana is abundant with THC, which is the main mind-altering molecule found in a Cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive properties. It will not alter your mind and emotion the way like THC does.
When making CBD oil, the CBD part of the plant is extracted and then diluted with commonly used oils like vegetable oil or coconut oil. Briefly, the plant is first dried, grounded, and mixed with ethanol. The mixture is then filtered and passed through a micro-filtration to get the concentrated form of CBD oil, which is then diluted in a carrier oil. The extraction process is performed in a well-ventilated and open space to ensure the purity of the oil.
What are its Beneficial Effects?
CBD has emerged as a promising strategy to treat a variety of medical conditions. In research studies, CBD has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. It is because of these beneficial effects that make it one of the alternative therapeutic approaches for a number of disease conditions. Currently, researchers are exploring its potential therapeutic uses for the following diseases:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Arthritis related pain
How About its Beneficial Effects in Essential Tremor?
While laboratory experiments on animals show some promising results, it is still uncertain whether CBD has the potential to treat ET in humans. Currently, a lot of clinical trials are underway to check the beneficial effects of CBD on ET.
One important trial is being conducted at the University of California San Diego. The research team tried to look at the effectiveness and safety of cannabidiol in 16 people with ET. All participants took an oral cannabis formulation containing 95% CBD and 5% THC. Although the trial started in January 2019 and was expected to complete by the end of 2020, the outcomes of the study have still yet to be published.
Not to mention a very recent study conducted at the University of São Paulo, Brazil that shows that a single oral dose of CBD has no beneficial effect in patients with essential tremor. In this study, researchers performed a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover study on 19 patients (10 males and 9 females) with ET. The patients were given a single oral dose of CBD (300 mg) or placebo in two experimental sessions performed 2-weeks apart. They were evaluated immediately before and after oral ingestion (60 min and 210 min) using a standard scale. Unfortunately, the research team did not find any improvement in the patient’s tremor. The study concluded that ‘‘a single 300 mg oral dose of CBD had no significant effect on the severity of upper limb tremors of ET patients’’.
Even though the results from this recently published study is not in support of CBD as a treatment option for ET, we still have to wait for outcomes of the many more similar trials that are ongoing.
Is the Use of CBD Legal?
CBD law and regulation for therapeutic and recreational use is not the same and varies from country to country. While its use is legal in most parts of the world, under the FDA regulation as of 2021, its selling is illegal.
Some companies are marketing and selling cannabis or cannabis-derived products as dietary supplements. However, the FDA considers it a violation of the FDA Act 2021. The FDA has clearly stated in their regulatory policy that ‘‘both CBD and THC are excluded from the dietary supplement definition and cannot be sold or marketed as such’’.
Learn here in more detail about the FDA’s regulation of cannabis-derived compounds.