Researchers seek CBD solution for Parkinson’s psychosis

A pioneering clinical trial is to investigate if cannabidiol (CBD) can treat hallucinations and delusions in people living with Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s UK, Europe's largest charitable funder of Parkinson’s research, is backing a world first clinical trial at King’s College London (KCL), which will test whether CBD is safe and effective for treating Parkinson’s psychosis symptoms.

There are currently 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK. Between 50 and 60% will be affected by Parkinson’s psychosis at some point in their life. There are no licensed medications to treat it in the UK.

Parkinson’s UK is funding the first large-scale trial which aims to provide preliminary evidence that CBD can stop hallucinations and delusions for people with the disease. The research is led by Professor Sagnik Bhattacharyya and Dr Latha Velayudhan at KCL.

The first stage of the study is a six-week pilot to find the ideal dosage of oral CBD capsules. During this time, participants will take doses of up to 1,000 mg/day. In the second stage, 120 people with Parkinson’s-related psychosis will be recruited to take part in a 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Dr Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK, said: “We know from a recent survey we carried out that people with Parkinson's would continue to use, or start using, cannabis-derived products if robust evidence became available that they are safe and effective in treating Parkinson's symptoms.

“There are many unanswered questions about the value of CBD for people with Parkinson’s, but this trial will help us to determine whether it can help with the debilitating symptoms of hallucinations and delusions.”

Meanwhile a survey conducted on behalf of Dr. Ed, a new CBD oil supplier founded by neuroscientist Dr. Edward Jones, asked 2,000 Brits for their thoughts on CBD.

Two-thirds said they thought it was outlawed, while 80% said it was “dodgy” and that it is the same as smoking cannabis. The study found CBD is most widely used by women aged 45 to 60, as 67% of them claimed to have taken or considered taking the oil, whereas only 21% of respondents aged 25 to 30 were open to trying it.

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