- •Cannabis use in PD was not associated with increased self-reported depressive/cognitive symptoms.
- •No link between cannabis use in PD patients and higher reported psychotic events.
- •Cannabis use did not enhance annual Hoehn and Yahr progression in PD patients.
- •Cannabis use did not accelerate the annual levodopa equivalent daily dose increase.
- •The median cannabis dose for PD was 20 g/month with a 10/4 THC/CBD% ratio.
Whole-plant medical cannabis (MC) products are widely used for controlling symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease (PD). Despite its widespread use, few studies have investigated the long-term impact of MC on the progression of PD or its safety profile. This study examined the effects of MC on PD in a real-life setting.
A retrospective case-control study of 152 idiopathic PD patients (mean age 69.1 ± 9.0 years), followed at the Sheba Medical Center Movement Disorders Institute (SMDI) from 2008 to 2022 was conducted. Seventy-six patients who used licensed whole-plant medical cannabis (MC) for at least a year were compared to a matched group who did not receive MC in terms of their Levodopa Equivalent Daily Dose (LEDD), Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) stage, and cognitive, depressive, and psychotic symptoms.
The median monthly dose of MC was 20 g (IQR: 20–30), with a median Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) percentage of 10 (IQR: 9.5–14.15) and a median Cannabidiol (CBD) percentage of 4 (IQR: 2–10). There were no significant differences between the MC and the control groups for LEDD or H&Y stage progression (p = 0.90, 0.77, respectively). A Kaplan-Meier analysis showed no evidence of relative worsening of psychotic, depressive, or cognitive symptoms reported by patients to their treating physicians over time in the MC group (p = 0.16–0.50).
Over the 1–3 years of follow-ups, the MC treatment regimens appeared to be safe. MC did not exacerbate neuropsychiatric symptoms and had no detrimental effects on disease progression.
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Published online: May 04, 2023
Accepted: April 16, 2023
Received in revised form: April 9, 2023
Received: March 3, 2023
Publication stageIn Press Journal Pre-Proof
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