Maybe you’ve never heard of the word dyskinesia, but it is very likely that you’ve met someone with this condition. This is a condition where the muscles move involuntarily, like in people having tics and chorea movements. This condition appears as a symptom of a severe health issue that is usually caused by a strong underlying problem or is the result of heavy medication.
What Is Dyskinesia?
Dyskinesia (Wikipedia definition source) refers to a group of movement disorders that are characterized by involuntary muscle movements. This term is used to describe a larger group of disorders related to movement issues. Dyskinesia is not a disease, but a symptom of a more serious medical condition or can result as a side effect from taking some type of medication.
Dyskinesia is manifested with a rhythmic contraction of a muscle group, which is involuntary and includes writhing sensation. There is a similar condition called dystonia, which belongs to the same group of movement disorders, but is often a painful muscle spasm and is primarily caused by some medication.
Dyskinesia can be caused by many medical conditions and here are the main types of dyskinesia.
Parkinson’s Disease dyskinesia – this neurodegenerative disease is characterized by disruption of the normal levels of dopamine, resulting in problems with motor controls. The lowering of dopamine also causes a restriction in movement, causes stiffness, slight tremors, and trouble keeping an upright posture. The proposed medical treatment for this condition is levodopa, which is a drug that mimics the effects of dopamine. Instead of making the movement-related symptoms less pronounced, these become jerky, often uncontrolled, and unnatural: this condition is called levodopa-induced dyskinesia.
Cerebral Palsy Dyskinesia – cerebral palsy is a condition that is characterized by movement disorders and is caused by some abnormal development of the brain. Cerebral palsy comes in four different varieties: spastic, ataxic, dyskinetic and mixed type. The dyskinetic cerebral palsy manifests with uncontrolled movements of the body. People with this condition have trouble with basic movements and have a very poor quality of life.
Tardive Dyskinesia – a disorder that results in involuntary movements of some parts of the body like grimacing, puckering of the lips, excessive eye blinking, and more. This is often caused by long-term use of strong neuroleptic medication like antipsychotics.
Apart from these three types of dyskinesia, there are other types that occur less frequently and are caused by specific medical conditions like Tourette’s syndrome, Huntington’s disease, ataxia, hyperkinesia, and more.
How hormone imbalance causes dyskinesia?
The initial cause for the dyskinetic disorder is the lack of dopamine in the body. Dopamine has a lot of important roles in the human body, responsible for motor control, executive controls, motivation and reward, arousal, and more.
Since dopamine is one of the primary neurotransmitters that affect movement, any disbalance in dopamine levels results in disruption of normal movement possibilities.
The dopamine levels are in close balance to another type of chemicals known as endocannabinoids, which govern the endocannabinoid system. This system has specific receptors for endocannabinoids known as CB receptors: CB1 receptors are mainly concentrated in the brain and nerve tissue, the CB2 receptors are dispersed throughout the whole body.
The normal levels of endocannabinoids influence the normal production of many hormones and neurotransmitters, affect pain management, regulate appetite, influence the cognitive functions, and by proxy, regulate movement.
The relation between ECS and dyskinesia
As I’ve explained above, dyskinesia is most likely caused by a lack of essential neurotransmitters in the brain, namely low levels of dopamine. This is regulated by the ECS and endocannabinoids, with its primary CB1 receptors located in the basal ganglia – the movement center of the brain.
The cannabis plant produces compounds known as phytocannabinoids, and from the 113 identified, the two most famous are THC and CBD. Both of these have a very similar structure and function as the natural endocannabinoids that are produced within the body. This means that taking CBD (or THC) can help stimulate the normal production of endocannabinoids in the body, bringing the normal balance within the body.
THC or CBD for Dyskinesia
As you may know, the cannabis plants produce THC and CBD, among the other phytocannabinoid substances. THC has psychoactive properties, resulting in temporary changes of the mental state known as “high”. But besides this, THC has strong beneficial influences on the disruption of the movement issues and can help with dyskinesia, pain, anxiety, and more.
THC does this by being a dopamine antagonist – stimulating the dopamine receptors in the brain and helping with the symptoms caused by the low levels of dopamine. Many doctors believe that cannabis with good amounts of THC can help with medical conditions caused by a lack of dopamine, such as Parkinson’s disease. It is why Parkinson’s disease is on a lot of qualifying conditions lists for medical cannabis.
CBD is the second most abundant phytocannabinoid and this one does not have any psychoactive properties. It is also a mimetic compound of the natural endocannabinoids, meaning that it has the ability to stimulate their production and help restore the natural balance within the body.
CBD has an anti-inflammatory role, as well as a protective role, and has good effects on reducing anxiety, stress, depression, and other psychological and physiological symptoms. CBD can’t actually reduce dyskinesia directly, like THC does, but it has antipsychotic properties and lowers the need for this kind of medication, which is one of the main causes of dyskinesia in many patients.
CBD is legal in the entire USA, and its use is gaining popularity for its excellent benefits on health and wellness. Still, if you are suffering from some serious medical condition, I advise you to talk to your physician before you go and self-medicate with CBD.
Conclusion: CBD for dyskinesia – It Is Def Worth Trying
Dyskinesia is a medical condition characterized by an impediment in normal movements and involves involuntary movements like tremors, ticks, and more. This condition is a symptom of more pressing diseases or can result from the long-term administering of some medication. Modern medicine has little to no treatment for this condition, leaving people to suffer through unpleasant symptoms.
The natural cannabinoids produced by the cannabis and hemp plants can help in some way, even though the medical studies on this are still in the early stages. These act positively on the endocannabinoid system, helping the internal balance of the body.
THC has the ability to decrease the involuntary movements and improve some of the symptoms, and it is why medical marijuana is proposed treatment for many neurological disorders that are accompanied by dyskinesia. CBD also acts positively on dyskinesia, and on the other neurodegenerative conditions. CBD helps protect the tissues, has strong anti-inflammatory properties, and reduces the need for antipsychotic medications.
Lastly, always consult your doctor before taking a new supplement or another type of treatment, especially if you are suffering from a debilitating condition that has symptoms like dyskinesia.