Around the world, there are hundreds of adverse medical conditions that inflict themselves upon millions of people every day. While many of these conditions are well known, there are still plenty of lesser-known and lesser-researched conditions that affect a huge percentage of the world.
Essential Tremor, sometimes referred to as ET, is one such condition which affects around 7 million Americans, and millions more the world over. Despite how common ET is, there is yet to be any cure and there is very little treatment in place.
| “Despite how common Essential Tremor is, there is yet to be any cure and there is very little treatment in place…”
However, recently there have been some promising movements towards research into cannabis offering potential relief for those suffering from essential tremor, namely CBD oil. But can CBD oil really help relieve symptoms of essential tremor? We take a look at what an ET is, and how CBD oil could help.
What is an Essential Tremor?
Essential tremor is a type of shake or tremble, often confused with Parkinson’s disease. However, an ET presents itself during movement, particularly things such as writing or holding heavy objects, and doesn’t tend to occur 24/7.
Essential tremors usually occur in the hands, presenting in up and down movements. However, they can also affect the arms, head, eyelids, and larynx (voice box), which results in a shaky voice. Essential tremors can be difficult to detect at first, as they tend to start discreetly and worsen over time.
An essential tremor is not to be confused with what is considered to be a normal tremor, as most people do have a slight tremor when performing specific tasks, which is entirely reasonable and nothing to be concerned about. Things such as caffeine, stress, smoking, and tiredness can bring on a normal tremor.
What Causes an Essential Tremor?
Statistics reveal that at least half of those suffering from an essential tremor have a family member with the same condition. With evidence showing that the condition can be passed through family genes, this appears to be the most significant cause of the condition.
However, many sufferers don’t have afflicted family members, so what are the other causes of essential tremor? Below are some of the leading causes:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Withdrawal from substances such as alcohol
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Overactive thyroid
What Treatments are Available to Those With Essential Tremor?
There is currently no cure for essential tremors, and treatment is limited to medication or surgery in extreme cases. While there is no medication capable of completely removing the symptoms of essential tremor, there are some that can reduce them. Some commonly prescribed medications include:
- Primidone (anti-seizure drug)
Could CBD Oil Help Reduce an Essential Tremor?
Cannabis has now been heavily researched for its potential in treating a plethora of medical conditions, and there are now many states across America that have laws allowing cannabis use in some form.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one the most heavily researched compounds of the marijuana plant, as it shows massive potential for medicinal treatment. Research has shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a patented neuroprotectant, among other promising benefits.
Despite the level of research into CBD, and with so many states having their medical marijuana programs in place to treat a list of qualifying conditions, there is still minimal research into cannabis for essential tremor.
CBD’s ability to treat conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s shows testament to the abilities of the cannabinoid, with epilepsy drug Epidiolex recently being the first ever drug approved by the FDA. Until recently, there has been no real movement to research the effects the cannabinoid could have on essential tremor patients.
CBD Oil for Tremors
As we have stated, there is a great deal of research into cannabinoids such as CBD, and their ability to relax muscles and ease seizures or tremor-like symptoms.
Research has shown that the cannabinoids found within the marijuana plant interact with the bodies internal endocannabinoid system(ECS), which plays a vital role in our everyday regulation of bodily functions. Our ECS controls the way we feel pain, hunger, emotions, and regulates things such as body temperature and other important things that keep us healthy.
When something goes amiss internally, it is the role of the ECS to release healing endocannabinoids, and when CBD is consumed, it works alongside the ECS to increase the rate of cannabinoids, which are released.
In the case of tremors, CBD may work with our ECS to target the cannabinoid receptors in both the brain and the body, which control our muscles. This interaction can aid relaxation, reduce inflammation, and ease symptoms of tremors. It is for these reasons that CBD has been patented as a neuroprotectant.
Future Research into CBD for Essential Tremor
Despite encouraging research into CBD for other conditions that have some similar symptoms, we are no closer to adding essential tremor to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.
However, all is not lost as there has been a recent breakthrough for the industry over in San Diego! The University of California San Diego’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research has recently announced that the FDA has approved their plans to receive both CBD and THC capsules from Tilray. This is to research the effectiveness of the cannabinoids in treating tremors.
| “UC San Diego has recently announced approval to receive CBD capsules from Tilray, in an effort to research the effects of cannabinoids on treating Essential Tremor.”
This is massive news for sufferers of essential tremor, but also for the cannabis industry as a whole; even though cannabis has been approved for medicinal use in 31 states, this will be the first time that scientists have looked to the plant for its effectiveness in calming essential tremors.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for Essential Tremor
While the big research project into the benefits of CBD and THC in essential tremor patients isn’t due to start until next year, the evidence of how these cannabinoids work with similar conditions is promising.
With conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, MS and epilepsy being treated successfully with CBD, things are certainly looking promising for the future of CBD and essential tremor patients. Watch this space!