Bisogno T et al. (2008) Symptom-related changes of endocannabinoid and palmitoylethanolamide levels in brain areas of R6/2 mice, a transgenic model of Huntington’s disease. Neurochem Int 52:307-313.
Finally, a double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled trial was performed in which Sativex was administered (approximate average dose: 20 mg of THC and 20 mg of CBD per day) to 24 HD patients for two 12-week treatment periods, separated by a 4-week washout period (Lopez-Sendon Moreno et al., 2016). The Sativex was safe and well tolerated, but no significant effects were observed either in the motor, cognitive, behavioural and functional parameters or in the biomarkers assessed.
Cannabinoids and HD: clinical data
In contrast, CB1R expression is not affected in corticostriatal projections during HD (Chiodi et al., 2012; Chiarlone et al., 2014). The expression of other elements of the endocannabinoid system also changes during the development of HD (Fernández-Ruiz et al., 2011; Laprairie et al., 2015). Levels of the cannabinoid receiver CB2 (Palazuelos et al., 2009; Sagredo et al., 2009) and the FAAH enzyme (fatty acid amide hydrolase, the principal enzyme degrading anandamide; Blázquez et al., 2011) increase in the striatum of patients and animal models of HD, whereas levels of anandamide and other endocannabinoids are reduced (Bisogno et al., 2008).
Glass M et al. (2000) The pattern of neurodegeneration in Huntington’s disease: a comparative study of cannabinoid, dopamine, adenosine and GABAA receptor alterations in the human basal ganglia in Huntington’s disease. Neuroscience 97:505-519.
Cannabinoids and HD: preclinical data
The Huntington’s Disease Collaborative Research Group (1993) A novel gene containing a trinucleotide repeat that is expanded and unstable on Huntington’s disease chromosomes. Cell 72:971-983.
Huntington’s disease is often described as having ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s simultaneously, with symptoms, usually appearing between the ages of 30 to 50, and worsening over a 10 to 25-year period.
Huntington’s Disease Medications & Treatments
They concluded that from the data reviewed CBD plays a protective role in the treatment and/or prevention of some movement disorders and seems to be especially effective in treating both primary and secondary dystonic movements. They do however mention that in the case of Huntington’s disease, combining CBD with Δ9-THC in a 1:1 ratio (as in Sativex) is preferred for optimal benefits.
CBD as a Complementary Treatment in Huntingdon’s disease
They found that both CBD dosages of 0.5 and 5 mg/kg was able to reduce motor and cognitive impairments that is suggestive of it being an effective and safe pharmacological intervention for reducing tardive dyskinesia and cognitive impairments in neurodegenerative diseases.