Medical marijuana has been suggested by researchers as a treatment for lots of health conditions, and Huntington’s disease is no exception. Whenever it hits the news it draws a lot of interest, and recently marijuana found the spotlight again with researches proving that it has the capability of reversing the nerve cell damage in Huntington’s disease. These are extraordinary assertions that demand more research and clinical tests to better explain the wonders of this God ordained plant.

What Is Huntington’s disease all about?

Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disease that affects both the physical and cognitive functioning of patient as it affects the nerves in the brain, resulting to a progressive break down over time. This disease originates from a gene defect as humans only need one copy of the defective gene for the disease to occur. If a parent has the defective gene that triggers Huntington’s disease, each child in the family has a 50% chance of inheriting this defective gene. Statistics show that approximately 30,000 Americans portray symptoms of the disease not forgetting another 200,000 who are at risk of inheriting Huntington’s disease. Some common symptoms of this disease include

  • Movement symptoms of the diseases such as Involuntary jerking movements, Muscle issues, including dystonia, which causes rigidity or muscle contractions, changes in eye movement, unsteady gait or problems with posture and balance, difficulty with speech and swallowing
  • Cognitive symptoms often such as, difficulty focusing or prioritizing tasks, inflexibility in thinking, loss of impulse control, which can lead to outbursts, sexual promiscuity or lack of thought before acting, slowing in processing thoughts, inability to learn new things efficiently, reduced awareness of behaviors
  • Psychiatric symptoms such as irritability, sadness, depression, apathy, withdrawal, fatigue, insomnia, suicidal thoughts or frequent thoughts about death, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mania, bipolar disorder.

What is marijuana or cannabis?

Marijuana is a plant that originated from Asia and India, and has been known for thousands of years to have positive effects on the human brain. Many cultures have used it for medical as well as recreational purposes.  It was first used due its psychoactive properties which imply that when it is ingested for example by smoking its leaves can alter the way our mind perceives things, characteristically as well bringing relaxation and euphoria.

Later in the 1940s that researchers discovered the active ingredients in marijuana, which consist of oily chemicals known as cannabinoids. Other plants make cannabinoids too, such as some herbal teas, truffles and even cocoa.

Why Medical Marijuana is Effective for Huntington’s disease

There is no conventional cure for Huntington’s disease. The current treatments and medication administered to patients only help in managing the symptoms associated with the disease. Due to absence of cure for Huntington’s disease, medical treatment focuses on allowing the patient to live as normal a life as possible by fighting the symptoms  like reducing anxiety  which is not only caused by the disease but also the syndrome of  suffering  from a fatal disease  which can, understandably, lead to  stress and anxiety. Researchers and clinical studies have proven that medical marijuana reduces anxiety. The anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and anti-seizure drugs which are often prescribed to patients suffering from Huntington’s disease come with a host of possible negative side effects. Apart from the possibility of overdose, these medications are accompanied by a high risk of dependency and can result to addiction as well. They may trigger diseases like nausea, insomnia or gastrointestinal problems. As if that is not enough, some of these drugs cause, or contribute to the worsening of, depression or other psychiatric conditions.

Medical cannabis, on the other hand, is not accompanied with it many of these negative side effects. Instead it may help to reduce tension and anxiety as well as help reduce nausea, restlessness or insomnia. Clinical test have proven that Huntington’s disease are strongly connected to the body’s endocannabinoid system, which responds to the cannabinoids in imbedded in marijuana. This connection helps in relieving Huntington’s disease.

Equally, Dystonia, a symptom often associated with Huntington’s disease triggers pain. Science has proven that Medical cannabis is an effective pain reliever, which can help ease the discomfort felt by the patient. Consuming Marijuana also minimizes feelings of nausea, thus stimulating appetite. This is good for patients with Huntington’s disease as they often suffer from loss of appetite and lose weight as the disease progresses with time and the appetite stimulation will thus help in combating that symptom of the disease patients.

It should also be noted that CBD, a cannabinoid chemical imbedded in medical marijuana, has a neuroprotective effect on the brain. This is good for patients with Huntington’s disease since patients who use marijuana seem to react positively to neuroprotective drugs, implying that CBD could have a positive effect on the disease as well. CBD contains an antioxidant quality that reveals signs of helping neurons. Strains that combine TCH and CBD may have an even stronger neuroprotective effect.

THC one main chemical compounds of marijuana is a known to minimize the jerky movements associated with Huntington’s disease thus providing relief and making it easier to complete normal daily tasks. Clinical test also suggest that Indica-dominant marijuana strains produce a sense of sleepiness, which is useful for Huntington patients who at times feel restless or suffer from insomnia. Sativa-dominant strains on their can create an uplifting effect reducing fatigue.


Cannabis can be effective in not only treating the symptoms of Huntington’s disease, but it can also counteract the side effects of medication taken for the disease. For this reason, it is advisable to use marijuana even if when taking other prescription drugs for the condition.


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