Cannabis and Dystonia – An Array of Astounding Facts from the World of Neurology
Dystonia, a complex numerological disorder, involves movement disorders in the body that consequently lead to involuntary muscle contractions. Dystonia manages to secure the position of 3rd most common disease in the USA. Regardless of the factors such as age, and racial and ethnic boundaries, more than two hundred thousand people are affected by dystonia in the USA alone.
Dystonia is explained as a condition affecting the functioning ability of basal ganglia, a deep region in the CNS that proficiency regulates the speed of body movements. Thus, patients with dystonia report high extents of discomfort involving symptoms like repetitive movements, twisting, or abnormal postures of the body parts.
Experts find a great extent of compatibility between cannabis and dystonia as they closely analyze the symptoms of dystonia and the phenomenal range of health benefits of cannabis. The following write-up addresses some of the most important factors to understand the condition better.
What is Dystonia? Key Takeaways
In order to better understand dystonia, we can summarize it as follows;
- Dystonia is a medical condition that alters the way your body moves. It’s generally characterized by effects on the muscles that consequently cause involuntary contractions. This can ultimately lead to fatigue, pain, and exhaustion.
- It may or may not affect the whole body, as some types are solely targeted only to affect certain parts of the body.
- Experts explain the causes of dystonia as structural or functional problems in the basal ganglia, which regulates muscle contractions in the body.
- Certain treatments, including natural remedies such as cannabis, may help reduce the intensity of symptoms.
What are the potential causes of Dystonia?
Experts believe that most cases of dystonia occur due to different causes, including the problematic condition of the basal ganglia. This region typically controls and initiates muscle contractions in the body, which explains how it is related to dystonia. Regional dysfunction in different parts of the brain leads to poor communication, which causes dystonia. This may also alter the functional abilities of the brain and communication in the nerve cells.
Based on the causes of dystonia, it may be categorized as:
- Acquired dystonia is caused by traumas such as accidental injuries or strokes. The damage caused to the brain leads to dystonia. Exposure to several drugs and lead poisoning may also cause acquired dystonia. Other triggers such as carbon monoxide, tumors, oxygen deficiencies, and all kinds of brain trauma are considered as potential causes of acquired dystonia.
- Idiopathic dystonia is the type of dystonia that involves unknown causes. Experts are still on their way to figuring out more causes. This type doesn’t involve any apparent triggers such as structural damage or degeneration in any part of the brain; thus, the causes remain unidentifiable.
- Inherited dystonia involves hereditary factors of the patients.
Symptoms of Dystonia:
Symptoms of dystonia show quite a variable pattern in different patients. People affected by Dystonia report having different experiences in regards to the symptoms and their intensity. Thus, we have a few common symptoms in almost all patients.
Dystonia patients experience muscle contractions in the following manner:
- Generally, these contractions tend to begin in a single targeted region: your arm, leg, neck, or some other part. Symptoms vary in accordance with the type of dystonia you have. For instance, focal dystonia involves symptoms in the neck, face, or arm.
- You may suddenly experience contraction right in the middle of a physical task such as writing.
- Patients report worse experiences when they go through fatigue, anxiety, or stress.
- The condition noticeably worsens over time.
If you’re a Dystonia patient, you’re quite likely to experience symptoms in the following parts of your body.
In order to figure out what parts of your body can get affected by dystonia, once again, we need to consider the type of dystonia you’re going through.
- Neck gets affected and may result in contractions that twist your head.
- Some cases involve effects on the eyelids, which lead to repetitive blinking of the eyes. These symptoms aren’t painful; however, they may cause discomfort.
- Effects on your jaw result in other symptoms like difficulty while chewing and talking. This leads to slurred speech.
- Some types of dystonia involve effects on your hands and forearms. When your hands or arm get affected, you might experience difficulty writing and playing instruments.
Types of Dystonia
An insight into the regions of your body affected by dystonia helps the experts categorize it into different classes. Consequently, it’s not only easier for the experts to study them but also for the patients to understand their condition. Following is a generalized classification of dystonia:
- Generalized dystonia: if you’re experiencing the effects of dystonia in all of your body parts, you’re going through generalized dystonia, which is known for affecting most of or all the regions of your body.
- Multifocal dystonia: in some cases, the condition involves several body regions. If you’re going through muscle contractions in more than one region, you’re probably going through multifocal dystonia.
- Segmental Dystonia: this type of dystonia is typically characterized by muscle contractions in adjacent body parts.
- Hemidystonia: As by the name, this kind of dystonia affects half of the body, i.e., the arm and leg on the same side.
What Are The Risk Factors For Dystonia?
Experts are still on their toes to figure out the exact causes of dystonia. However, scientific research brings forth certain factors that make you a lot more vulnerable to developing dystonia than other people. Here’s a brief account of all the risk factors of dystonia:
- Just like other medical conditions, your genes have a lot to do with your vulnerability to develop the condition of dystonia. Anecdotal evidence reveals that hereditary factors greatly contribute to your vulnerability to developing dystonia.
- If you got injured in an accident that affected your nervous system or brain, you’re more likely to develop dystonia.
- Strokes increase your chances of developing dystonia to quite a huge extent.
- Neuroleptics are considered as potential threats to develop conditions like dystonia or worsen the symptoms if you already have them.
- Certain infections, lead poisoning, and other similar factors may contribute to your vulnerability.
Cannabis and Dystonia: How Cannabis Can Help?
Cannabis is a wonder plant with a phenomenal range of healing capacities that may directly or indirectly address several body functions. This helps improve the conditions of patients facing different medical discomforts, including dystonia. Experts believe that the symptoms of dystonia and the cannabis plant may find a reasonable amount of synchronization to help the patients.
Cannabis can potentially improve the quality of life of dystonia patients by reducing the intensity of even the severest symptoms of dystonia.
- Reduces Involuntary Muscle contractions
Medical cannabis is found to be helpful in reducing the frequency and intensity of involuntary muscle contractions. It is generally carried out by active interactions with the cannabinoid receptors in the basal ganglia. This region actively controls the involuntary muscle contractions and releases GABA. This explains how cannabis might be a potential reliever for the symptoms of dystonia.
- Pain Management
Pain management is another significant factor contributing to the applicability of cannabis extract to improve the condition of Dystonia patients. Experts believe that CBD can directly interact with the TRPV1 channel. It not only reduces the intensity of pain signals but also helps decline the sensitivity level of your receptors towards pain.
In addition to all these aspects, cannabis may facilitate the improvement of several other medical discomforts faced by Dystonia patients. Cannabis may help the patients sleep well. Also, it is found to improve the body’s healing capacities.
Cannabis and Dystonia – Research findings
Experts have been on their toes to figure out whether cannabis products are helpful for the symptoms of dystonia or not. Cannabis is a complex plant with over one hundred cannabinoids and several terpenes and flavonoids; thus, there’s huge room for research. This diligent research brought them across several astounding facts, which are as follows.
- CBD or cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. Studies approve of its ability to address neurodegeneration and oxidative stress, which ultimately leads to improvement in the patients’ conditions. 
- Trials specially designated to assess the abilities of cannabis to improve the condition of patients going dystonia show positive results. It is suggested that cannabis may facilitate improvement in patients going through hyperkinetic movement disorders. 
- A series of studies from the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease suggests that using medical cannabis to address dystonia may prove quite helpful in improving the symptoms. The patients have reported reasonable amounts of improvements in pain.
The aforementioned aspects of cannabis and dystonia explain how different plant components may work together to improve your life and help you manage the symptoms as a dystonia patient. You can add cannabis extract to your daily regimen to see a reasonable amount of improvement in your condition.
Legal Disclaimer : Medical Cannabis Doctors does not provide medical services or medical advice. This information is for awareness purposes only and is NOT medical advice. Do not self diagnose or prescribe any forms of treatments based on this information or the information on this site. Always consult with a licensed physician in your state for any medical advice, treatments, prescriptions and medical services.
Get insight to all things about cannabis
Whether you’ve got a question about our services, basic information about cannabis or something else entirely, please contact us and we are here to help. We will help you discover the benefits of cannabis and guide your cannabis journey.