PMD Alliance had a busy July, with a total of 11 in-person workshops and events, plus 5 live-stream online programs, that altogether reached over 3,000 people impacted by movement disorders. We know our community is busy and can’t always catch all our programs – even the online ones – so every month a noteworthy moment of impact from across our lineup of PMD Alliance events will be highlighted. This month’s Lunch with Docs® PD tackled a hot topic in the Parkinson’s world: medical marijuana.
Our featured expert physician speaker was movement disorder neurologist Jill Farmer, DO, MPH, of Drexel University. Dr. Farmer dove right in, clearly and concisely, with her opening statement:
There is no evidence to support medical marijuana is effective for treating Parkinson’s disease.
Many physicians stop there, but Dr. Farmer peeled back a few layers and took a deeper look, adding:
There is no (large blinded trial) evidence to support medical marijuana is effective for treating (the motor symptoms of) Parkinson’s disease.
While marijuana’s federal classification as a Schedule 1 drug impedes research, evidence does exist, which led to Dr. Farmer’s third statement:
There is (pre clinical studies, multiple surveys, and anecdotal) evidence to support medical marijuana is effective for treating (the non-motor and hyper-kinetic symptoms of) Parkinson disease.
From there, Dr. Farmer continued with a thoughtful, nuanced overview of cannabinoids and their potential therapeutic use for PD symptoms including depression, anxiety, sleep, pain, and dyskinesia.
Intrigued? If you’d like to hear more, grab your pen and notepad, and check out the video recording on our website at our video archive.