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Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic condition that causes seizures and a progressive loss of neurological function. Also, it is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder caused by an inherited genetic mutation. The genetic mutation causes damage to the striatal and cortical neurons. The disease is progressively slow and patients have difficulty moving, suffer from involuntary tremors, reduced cognitive function and psychiatric disorders. However, other symptoms include; balance problems, insomnia, dystonia (muscle spasms), depression and fatigue.
Huntington’s disease has no known cure and pharmacological treatments are mostly ineffective. Could cannabinoids be the answer for those suffering from Huntington? It is common knowledge that cannabinoids are replete with anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. CBD works together with our endocannabinoid system to promote the natural release of cannabinoids. This helps to regulate the homeostasis of the body, including appetite, mood, sleep pattern, pain and the response of the immune system. The endocannabinoid system is intimately link to the progression of Huntington’s disease. The researchers discovered that early in the disease, cannabinoid receptors massively disappear in striatal neurons.
It has been shown that when the CB1 receptor is activated, CBD can alleviate specific motor symptoms associated with the disease, such as tremors and involuntary movements. In addition, one of the main side effects of Huntington is anxiety and depression. Also, antidepressant medications come with many side effects and the risk of addiction. However, it has been shown that CBD offers relief for those suffering from anxiety and depression, and without side effects. Research shows that cannabinoids are safe and tolerable in patients with this disease.
A study published in 2009 showed that cannabis helped slow the progression of Huntington’s disease. In addition, the cannabinoid CBG can activate PPAR-gamma receptors in the affected nerve tissue, relieving inflammation and other symptoms.
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