Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder characterized by involuntary movements, cognitive decline, dementia, and other psychiatric disorders. This disorder is caused by the progressive degeneration of neurons in the brain. The onset of the disease usually happens to an individual in his or her 30s to 40s.
Huntington’s disease is caused by a gain-of-function mutation in the protein Huntingtin gene. This would lead to the Huntington becoming toxic in the striatum and cerebral cortex.
As of now, there is neither a cure to eliminate the disorder nor a drug to prevent further development of the disease. Moreover, drugs that would delay degeneration of the neurons have not yet been developed. The drugs administered to patients with Huntington’s disease are just for treating the symptoms such as for the motor abnormalities and for the psychiatric disorders.
CBD rich hemp oil, or hempseed oil, are oils extracted from the seeds of the cannabis plant. Hemp oils are reported to have a lot of medicinal benefits. Moreover, hemp oils do not contain THC or tetrahydrocannabinol — the psychoactive cannabinoid which makes an individual feel that “high.” Hemp oils also contain terpenes which are aromatic compounds that cause the smell of plants. Terpenes has a lot of medicinal benefits such as anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
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The main component of hemp oil is cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has been proven to have a wide range of therapeutic properties, including Huntington’s disease. Right now, several medical researches show that cannabidiol or CBD can not only treat the symptoms that manifest but also to prevent further onset of the disease as well.
CBD is one of the phyto-cannabinoids or the cannabinoids that are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids, on the other hand, is a collective term for the compounds that act on the endocannabinoid system. There are two known cannabinoid receptors — CB1 and CB2. CB1 or Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 is expressed in the brain and is responsible for regulating neurotransmitter release. CB2, however, is predominant in the immune system.
Cannabidiols are known to inhibit movement, thus treating the involuntary movement symptom of those suffering from Huntinton’s disease. Several studies also show that cannabidiols have a neuroprotective effect in Huntington’s disease. CBD can slow down the progression of the disease by treating oxidative injury. The proposed mechanism is that CBD activates the pathway of NRF-2, a transcription factor regulating proteins that prevents oxidative damage; and that CBD can scavenge reactive oxygen species. In short, cannabidiol can restore the balance between oxidative events and the endogenous antioxidant mechanisms that are usually disrupted in neurodegenerative disorders.
Thus, cannabidiol-rich hemp oils might be a promising treatment for Huntington’s disease patients.
Cannabidiol Research: Huntington’s Disease
- Neuroprotective effects of phytocannabinoid-based medicines in experimental models of Huntington’s disease
- Cannabinoids: Novel medicines for the treatment of Huntington’s disease
- Sativex-like combination of phytocannabinoids is neuroprotective in malonate-lesioned rats, an inflammatory model of Huntington’s disease: role of CB(1) and CB(2) receptors
- Controlled clinical trial of cannabidiol in Huntington’s disease
- Prospects for cannabinoid therapies in basal ganglia disorders
- Neuroprotective Properties of Cannabigerol in Huntington’s Disease: Studies in R6/2 Mice and 3-Nitropropionate-lesioned Mice
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