A new study from researchers at Southern Cross University will look at the cannabis use habits of Australians suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
Parkinson’s Disease is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that affects one in every 308 people in Australia. People with Parkinson’s often experience a range of symptoms that make everyday movement increasingly difficult.
While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, many people worldwide use cannabis to manage symptoms of the disease. Naturally, research is starting to explore cannabis as a more formal treatment for many neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
Some of this research has discovered that cannabis can be used to improve some of the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s – including sleep issues, pain, tremors, rigidity and bradykinesia (slowness of movement).
As the majority of Australian research has previously focused on other conditions, medical cannabis is not currently available to Australians with Parkinson’s. Instead, many Australians access cannabis through the black market.
The study is being conducted by Dr. Andrea Bugarcic and Dr. Janet Schloss from the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine. According to Dr. Schloss, the study is looking to discover how Australians access black market cannabis, and how they use it to manage Parkinson’s.
It is extremely important to look at what people are currently doing, their attitudes and conduct a clinical trial, so we know what does work and what doesn’t.
Researchers are also looking to discover which components of cannabis help with which symptoms. This could pave the way for cannabis medications with CBD and THC ratios that are perfect for managing specific symptoms of Parkinson’s.
The study is being conducted online and requires participants to report their own cannabis use habits. It will continue until the end of February 2021 and was approved by SCU’s Human Research Ethics Committee.
The survey is anonymous.