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Cannabis and Huntington's Disease

Huntington’s Chorea, also known as Huntington’s disease (HD), is a rare inherited neurodegenerative disease with its earliest symptoms affecting a person’s mood and mental abilities. It is often characterized by a general lack of coordination and an unsteady gait, usually resulting in movement, cognitive, and psychiatric disorders.

In a recent literature review on Medical Marijuana’s Effects in Movement Disorders with a Focus on Huntington Disease, the authors concluded that “the majority [of subjects] showed statistically significant results favoring the use of medical marijuana, especially for improving motor symptoms and quality of sleep.” Before diving further into the possible beneficial relationship between cannabis and Huntington’s disease patients, it’s important to first get a better understanding of the disease.

Understanding Huntington’s Chorea

According to Mayo Clinic, movement disorders associated with Huntington’s disease include both involuntary movements and impaired voluntary movements such as jerking or writhing (chorea), rigidity and muscle contracture (dystonia), abnormal eye movements, problems with posture, balance, and speech defects. These impairments, especially involuntary movements, can have a huge impact on a person’s ability to perform daily tasks and communicate effectively. In terms of cognitive disorders, patients often lose their ability to stay focused on a task, control their impulses, and process new information for learning.

For many patients, these symptoms cause major psychological distress and can result in other comorbidities such as depression, social withdrawal, insomnia, apathy, and general fatigue. Weight loss is also an extremely common side effect in HD patients, especially as the disease progresses.

Medical Marijuana and Huntington’s Chorea

an elderly couple dancing together while holding hands

According to the Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, weed has shown promising results in relieving certain symptoms among Huntington’s disease patients. Some of these studies made use of rating scales specific to HD, noting improvements in the following symptoms:

  • Tremors
  • Chorea
  • Psychomotor Decline
  • Rigidity
  • Depression
  • Cognitive Impairment

These studies also found a positive correlation between the use of cannabis and the average number of hours that Huntington’s disease patients sleep per night. If you or your loved one are diagnosed with Huntington’s disease and are experiencing these symptoms, you may be eligible to get a medical marijuana card.

Why Choose Ozark MMJ Cards?

Huntington’s disease treatment doctor with arms crossed

At Ozark MMJ Cards, our doctors and consultants are highly experienced in the fields of medical marijuana and Huntington’s Chorea treatments. In the state of Missouri, Huntington’s disease is a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana card. If you decide to start this process with us, our doctors will go through your medical history, certify you, and will be happy to discuss all treatment options that will work for you. Contact us today to learn more about cannabis and Huntington’s disease.