If you or a loved one suffers from Parkinson’s disease, you might be encouraged by a new study out of Brazil, which found that CBD can calm nerves in anxiety-inducing situations — specifically symptoms surrounding this debilitating disorder.

Previously, the Brazilian researchers had discovered that CBD increased the emotional wellbeing and quality of life for Parkinson’s patients. This time, the team wanted to better understand how CBD could affect anxiety associated with Parkinson’s.

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For the study, which was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers recruited 24 Parkinson’s patients. Half were given 300 milligrams of CBD, while the other half received a placebo. While monitoring blood pressure, heart rates, and tremor frequencies, scientists administered a Simulated Public Speaking Test (SPST) 90 minutes after the CBD dose. (This model has been used for several decades in testing anxiety symptoms in subjects.) Those patients who received CBD had significant reductions in anxiety and tremors.

Here's What Doctors Know About CBD
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“These observations suggest that CBD may be an alternative treatment for patients with [Parkinson’s] and anxiety,” the researchers wrote. “Thus, the chronic administration of CBD could be tested in future studies.”

The study represents the first randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial that focuses on how CBD affects anxiety in Parkinson’s patients. Johns Hopkins University reports that up to 40% of Parkinson’s patients have anxiety. As researchers wrote in the study, many patients are given pharmaceutical medication to treat anxiety symptoms, which can have various side effects, including tremors and impaired cognition.

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However, the researchers wrote, it is “not possible to conclude whether CBD had a direct effect on the amplitude of the tremors or whether the reduction in anxiety levels led to the differences observed.” This study will likely inspire more research into how CBD affects Parkinson’s patients. In addition, it’s a positive development for patients looking for a  more natural replacement to pharmaceuticals in the future.

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