When it comes to tremor diseases like essential tremor and Parkinson's, natural remedies' effects vary from one to another. Find what suits you at Steadiwear! There has not been much research done on the potential effects of CBD for essential tremor. However, we are expecting this to soon change.
A Complete Guide to Natural Remedies for Hand Tremors – CBD Oils Versus Gloves & Utensils
Cannabinoids such as Cannabidiol (CBS) have been looked at for its ability to relax muscles, ease seizures, and provide relief for tremor-like symptoms (1). It has been shown that cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is in charge of body functions and regulating controls. It has been suggested that CBS can play a role in combination with the ECS to target cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body that control our muscles (1).
What Is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a cell signaling system within the human body that involves 3 components; endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. (2)
- Cannabinoid receptors act as information antennas, letting the body know on a biochemical level how the inner cell environment is. A good example of its abilities is the interaction with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which tells the brain to give the user a high feeling (3).
- Endocannabinoids are molecules produced within the body, similar to cannabinoids. The endocannabinoids help the body to remain in homeostasis or a healthy state (3).
- Enzymes on the other hand help to regulate the body, they break down endocannabinoids once they are used so that they don’t continue to affect the body (3).
This system was discovered while exploring the effects of THC, a cannabinoid found in cannabis (marijuana). Regardless of whether one uses cannabis or not, the ECS is active and plays a role in functions and processes within the body such as, sleep, mood, appetite, memory, pain, reproduction and fertility (2). It is activated when the body is stressed, strained, or injured. The ECS then releases endocannabinoids that help to bring the body back to its base resting state where it is balanced again (2).
What are CBD Oils?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most prevalent active ingredient of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. The hemp plant has two major components; the Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is extracted and made into an oil with very low concentrations of THC therefore exerting no psychotropic effects (4). CBD however, does have a number of non-mood-altering effects including fatigue, nausea, irritability, and it can also increase the amount of blood thinner in your blood. (5) THC is known to relax, enhance sensory activity, reduced aggression, and most often lead to a sense of fatigue and hunger, CBD on the other hand is proposed to have many therapeutic properties with low risks (3). CBD studies have connected its ability to alleviating symptoms and side effects for chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis (MS), epilepsy, calming anxiety, glaucoma, controlling tremors associated with Parkinson’s Disease (PD), brain and spinal injuries, and contains anti-inflammatory properties (3). Essential tremor is another condition that is being tied to CBD use however, its application has not been proven to be effective just yet, it is under research (6). It is notable that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has acknowledged CBD’s medicinal benefits (1). The epilepsy drug Epidiolex is the first-ever CBD-based drug the organization has approved (1).
Characteristics of Essential Tremor & Parkinson’s Disease
Essential tremor (ET) is a disorder of the nervous system that is characterized by involuntary and rhythmic shaking within the body. Most commonly, it occurs in the hands making simple takes such as eating and drinking difficult (1). However, it is known to also affect the arms, head, face and larynx. These tremors can start at a mild range and grow to become severe overtime (6).
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a long-term disorder of the central nervous system and is characterized by stiffness, trembling of limbs, imbalances of the limbs, and loss of muscle control (7). The typical Parkinson’s Disease tremor is known to show itself when at rest, and subsides when the body part is in use or active (8). For example, your hand may shake when sitting, however, when you go to shake another individual’s hand, the hand tremor becomes less severe or disappears (8). The tremors can occur in the hand, lower lip, jaw, or legs and can interfere with daily activities such as dressing, walking and other fine motor skills (8). These tremors have a slow progression and are less common among younger people with PD (8).
The biggest difference between PD tremors and other tremors is that PD tremors are resting tremors versus other conditions are characterized by active tremors; tremors that lessen at rest and increase when one is doing something (8).
How Can CBD Play A Role in Your Hand Tremor Management?
When using CBD oil for hand tremors the CBD in the oil can target and regulate the ESC receptors which are responsible for muscle movement (6). These receptors are located in the brain and body. The regulation of these receptors allows CBD oil to relax, reduce inflammation, and ease symptoms of tremors (6). There have been studies that confirm these interactions and confirm that CBD can effectively act as a neuroprotectant (6).
In a study conducted by Dr. Handforth, CBD is tested in a variety of doses and it is noted that robust suppression of tremor in mice is possible, without showing any signs of impairment or sedation (9). The research team also went on to discover what receptors in the brain may be involved in the noted effects. It was suggesting that CBD activates the 5HT1a receptors to suppress tremor by activating the TRPV1 receptor (9).
Individuals affected by hand tremors find it difficult to complete hand-related tasks because of the consistent shaking. A recent discovery for CBD use is its potential in treating hand tremors. People with shaky hands have started making use of the CBD’s anti-tremor mechanisms, many of which have found that daily doses of CBD products are successful in managing their symptoms (10). Many of the prescription drugs used to treat essential tremors can sometimes affect mood or cause depression (10). CBD is an alternative natural remedy with anti-tremor capabilities that has a good safety profile, along with minimal side effects (10).
In order to have the best experience when using CBD, it is crucial that one does their research on which brands are trustworthy and best fit your condition. CBD is offered by a variety of brands which differ in application methods such as oils, balms, creams, edibles and vape (10). Furthermore, it is very important that you read the product labels and descriptions thoroughly to make sure that contents are present, active and not altered in any way (11). You should be aware of products with high amounts of THC or products that don’t actually contain CBD (10). Please keep in mind that CBD generally is known to have few side effects, it is still recommended that one should consult a neurologist or physician who knows your medical history before using it. The doctor may be able to assist with the correct dosage according to the method of administration for your condition while making sure that it does not have a negative effect on the pre-existing medication you are taking, if any (10).
Using CBD For Hand Tremors (Dosage and Use)
The two most popular ways of taking CBD for hand tremors is using a CBD oil or vaping the CBD. Everyone reacts differently to CBD so it is crucial to experiment with the method and amount used to see what works best to relieve your particular hand tremor condition (6). It is suggested that one should start with a low dosage such as 1 drop, 3 times a day and increase it according to your tolerance and how much relief it provides (6). On an average, about 25mg is a good amount for someone with non-severe symptoms (6). It is important to note that depending on the product, the CBD content should be used with caution as no single ratio is right universally. CBD comes in 2 forms that work for hand tremors; CBD oil, which comes in a bottle with a dropper. A drop or two is placed under the tongue to allow the oil to absorb into the body. It also can be used as a Vaping CBD, these are E-Liquids available to incorporate into the vape pen. This allows for a quicker pathway into the body and hence the fastest way to experience the effects. The vapor enters the lungs first and reaches the bloodstream immediately.
Learn more about the Steadi-Two- a revolutionary glove designed to reduce hand tremors.
Which CBD Oil Is Right for You?
There are many CBD oils on the market however, it is very important to differentiate that not all of them are made equally. There are no CBD products currently approved by the FDA, and nor are all of them equally as effective (12). When deciding to use CBD products be aware of any negative and positive reactions. If your on the market to purchase CBD oils here are some tips to keep in mind while exploring all the options available:
Tips for When Shopping for CBD Oil
- Look for products that have been made by a state that have legalized recreational/ medical use of cannabis (13) and for products derived from high-resin cannabis grown sustainably in accordance with Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) standards (13). Keep in mind that locally grown products will most likely be more expensive than imported products (14).
- Look for full spectrum CBD oil extracts that contain less than 0.3% of THC (12). Full spectrum represents numerous cannabis compounds, it does not isolate only the CBD. If you choose to not have THC in your CBD oil you can look for broad spectrum CBD oil products that include other cannabis components except for THC (13)
- Reach out to the brands directly if you have questions, do not shy away. If you do not get a response look for another brand that will provide answers.
- Look at the product labels to see if it indicates the amount of CBD and THC per dollar (13).
- Look out for CBD vape cartridge products with harmful ingredients such as thinning agents; propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol (13).
- Beware of claims of CBD being derived from the seed or stalk of the hemp plant. CBD is not found in hemp seed and very little can be extracted from the stalk (13).
- Look for products that were tested by a third-party laboratory (13) . Certificates for analysis from these third-party laboratories require paid tests and are important in determining the CBD quality (14).
- Make sure it is meant to be taken orally (12).
- Look on the product to make sure it indicates a manufacturing date and a batch number (13)
Top 10 CBD Oils
If you want to take a dive into CBD oils, here is a list of 6 featured on Huffpost’s list of best CBD products (15). The following brands offer more than just CBD oils however for the purpose of this blog topic surrounding Hand tremors we will be looking specifically at brands that offer CBD products in Oil form.
CBD Oils Versus Gloves & Utensils for Hand Tremors
CBD oils are used within the body to help a variety of conditions and symptoms. Currently, on the market they are a fairly new product and require a lot more investigation and research to recommend as a management tactic for ET and PD Hand tremors (14). Some research shows that CBD can play a role in tremor management however, it is not supported by a governed body just yet for hand tremors specifically due to ET. As a result of the uncertainty of CBD’s effects it might be worth checking out other alternative solutions before diving into products that may have side effects on the body in the short and long-term.
It might be worth checking out assistive devices that are used externally on the body part that is tremoring to help improve daily activities. On the market currently there are a large variation of assistive devices available that cater to specific tasks such as, the Liftware steady spoon that helps to improve daily eating, and then there are some that aid in a vast number of activities such as, the Steadi-Two glove that is designed to help perform multiple tasks that one may struggle with throughout the day.
The following table weighs out the positive and negative aspects of each type of product and our suggested rating for each product type that is available and you should further look into.
- no psychotropic effects
- Suggested to help to relief hand tremor possibly
- proposed to help with hand tremor management
- used for MS, PD, Epilepsy, injuries, and muscle pain
- Does not work for everyone
- Can test Positive for marijuana on a drug test as it may have traces of THC
- Side effects such as, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, nausea, irritability, increase amount of blood thinners in blood
- Effectiveness for hand tremors as a result of ET is still in the research phase
- Must repurchase periodically
- On-going cost ($$$)
- Works to counteract multiple challenges when dealing with hand tremors
- One -time purchase
- Instant tremor relief
- Does not work for everyone, most cater to hand tremors from PD and ET
- Price ($$ can vary depending on the brand)
- One-time purchase
- Assists with eating
- Does not work for everyone, sometimes griping is an issue
- Works to counteract single eating activities
- Price ($$ can vary depending on the brand)
Placement of products within this blog in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, or company by Steadiwear. This is strictly for awareness purposes.
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(1) WayOfLeaf (2020). What’s Essential Tremor, and Can CBD Oil Help? Retrieved June 7 th , 2020, from https://wayofleaf.com/cbd/ailments/what-is-essential-tremor#:~:text=In%20the%20case%20of%20tremors,has%20become%20a%20patented%20neuroprotectant.
(2) Rayple, C. (2019). A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System. Retrieved June 7 th , 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system
( 3) Neuravive. (2018). Essential Tremor and Cannabinoids. Retrieved June 7 th , 2020, from https://essentialtremortreatment.com/essential-tremor-cannabinoids/
(4) Holland, K. (2019). CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference? Retrieved June 7 th , 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-vs-thc
(5) CBDOILreview. (2018). Blood Thinners and CBD Oil Interaction. Retrieved June 8 th , 2020, from https://cbdoilreview.org/diseases-conditions/cbd-oil-blood-thinners-interaction/
(6) Bal, A. (2019). CBD for Essential Tremor. Retrieved June 8 th , 2020, from https://hemppedia.org/cbd-for-essential-tremor/
(7) Bal, A. (2018). CBD for Parkinson’s Disease. Retrieved June 8 th , 2020, from https://hemppedia.org/cbd-for-parkinsons-disease/
(8) Parkinson’s Foundation. (2020). Tremor. Retrieved June 8 th 2020, from https://www.parkinson.org/Understanding-Parkinsons/Symptoms/Movement-Symptoms/Tremor
(9) IETF. (2015). ESSENTIAL TREMOR RESEARCH PROGRAM: CANNABIDIOL ANTI-TREMOR ACTION AND MECHANISMS. Retrieved June 8 th , 2020, from https://essentialtremor.org/resource/adrian-handforth/
(10) Wheless, H. (2020). CBD for Essential Tremor: How It Can Help You Manage Your Symptoms. Retrieved June 8 th , 2020, from https://www.remedyreview.com/health/cbd-for-essential-tremors/
(11) Grinspoon, P. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD) – What We Know and What We Don’t. Retrieved June 8 th , 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
(12) Cronkleton, E. (2020). Choosing a CBD Oil: 10 Favorite Oils to Try. Retrieved June 9 th , 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/best-cbd-oil
(13) Project CBD (2019). How Do I Choose A CBD Product? Retrieved June 9 th , 2020, from https://www.projectcbd.org/how-to/10-tips-for-buying-cbd
(14) Fendler, R. (2020). The 2020 Definitive Guide to Everything You Need to Know About CBD Oil. Retrieved June 9 th , 2020, from https://snacknation.com/blog/cbd-oil/#where-to-buy-cbd-oil
(15) Nims, B. (2019). The Best CBD Products of 2019 That Are the Real Deal. Retrieved June 9 th , 2020, from https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/the-best-cbd-products-of-2019-that-are-the-real-deal_l_5c4b745ce4b0287e5b8a87e0
(16) Charlotte’s Web Stanley Brothers. (2020). Shop CBD; CBD Oils. Retrieved June 9 th , 2020, from https://www.charlottesweb.com/catalog/category/view/id/166?cat=141
(17) Medterra. (2020). CBD Products. Retrieved June 9 th , 2020, from https://medterracbd.com/products
(18) Made by Hemp. (2020). Find the Best CBD Oils for You. Retrieved June 9 th , 2020, from https://madebyhemp.com/
(19) Endoca. (2020). Say Yes! To Clean CBD & Vitamins. Retrieved June 9 th , 2020, from https://www.endoca.com/
(20) Lord Jones. (2020). Lord Jones Royal Oil. Retrieved June 9 th , 2020, from https://lordjones.com/products/lord-jones-royal-oil-1000-mg-cbd
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(23) Steadiwear. (2020). Steadi-One. Retrieved June 9 th , 2020, from https://www.steadiwear.com/
Learn more about the Steadi-Two- a revolutionary glove designed to reduce hand tremors.
CBD Oil for Essential Tremor: How Can It Help?
Essential tremor, sometimes referred to as ET, is a condition that affects around 7 million Americans and millions globally. ET affects up to 1% of the general population and up to 5% of people aged over 65.
Despite how common ET is, there is no cure, and there are currently very few treatment options available.
Despite how common ET is, there is no cure, and there are currently very few treatment options available. Some have proposed that CBD oil could offer potential relief to those suffering from essential tremor. This article will explore this possibility in-depth.
What Is an Essential Tremor?
Essential tremor is a nervous system (neurological) disorder. It is characterized by involuntary and rhythmic shaking, which can occur in any part of the body. It most commonly occurs in the hands when performing simple tasks like drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces.
The tremors are similar to Parkinson’s disease symptoms, leading to ET being confused with Parkinson’s. Here are some of the key differences between the two conditions.
The Timing of the Tremors
With ET, the tremors usually occur when the affected person is using their hands. However, with Parkinson’s disease, these tremors or shakes arise when they are inactive. For example, Parkinson’s hand tremors are most prominent when they are by the person’s side or resting on their lap.
Posture and Movement
Some people with ET develop ataxia, which means that they no longer have full control over their bodily movements. As a result, people with ataxia often have an unsteady gait. On the other hand, people with Parkinson’s disease often have a shuffling gait. Other associated symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include slow motion and having a stooped posture.
Parts of the Body Affected
ET mainly affects the hands, head, voice, and legs. With Parkinson’s disease, these tremors usually start in the hands. However, they can also impact the legs and chin.
Marijuana is the future. …
Symptoms of Essential Tremor
Essential tremor signs and symptoms include:
- Beginning gradually, usually more prominently on one side of the body
- Worsening with movement
- Occurrence in the hands first, affecting one or both hands
- A possible “yes-yes” or “no-no” motion of the head
Upward and downward movements characterize ET in the hands. These tremors can also affect the arms, head, eyelids, and larynx (voice box), which results in a shaky voice.
Essential tremor symptoms can be challenging to detect, as they tend to start discreetly and worsen over time.
Emotional stress, fatigue, caffeine, or temperature extremes may aggravate this condition. However, people should not confuse essential tremor with what doctors consider to be physiologic tremor.
Many people have a slight tremor only when performing specific tasks, which is entirely reasonable and nothing of concern. Factors such as caffeine, stress, smoking, and tiredness can bring on a physiologic tremor.
What Causes an Essential Tremor?
One risk factor for ET is age. Essential tremor is much more common in people aged 40 and older. Remember, ET affects up to 5% of people aged over 65.
The other main risk factor is a genetic mutation. The inherited cause of ET is due to it being an autosomal dominant disorder. This means only one parent needs to have the defective gene for their children to inherit it. Research shows that if one parent has the defective gene, children have a 50% chance of developing the condition.
Can CBD Help with Essential Tremor? Current Research
There is plenty of encouraging research into CBD for other conditions with similar symptoms. However, experts are no closer to adding essential tremor to the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.
However, there was a recent breakthrough for the industry as researchers at the University of California San Diego are currently investigating the effect of cannabinoids on ET. They are conducting a study that will look at the effectiveness and safety of a cannabis formulation for helping ET.
The researchers estimate that approximately sixteen participants with ET will take part in the study. All participants undergo a complete neurological examination and psychological testing as part of the study.
The participants take an oral cannabis formulation with a CBD to THC ratio of 20:1. Upon completion of a particular dosage of the cannabis formulation for two weeks, participants taper off. After a washout period, they then cross to an alternate study arm.
The study will take approximately one year to complete. The researchers will use various types of validated tremor rating measures in the study. As well as quantifying tremor severity, the researchers will assess the safety and tolerability of the cannabis formulation.
Dr. Adrian Handforth is the Chief of Neurology at VA Greater LA Healthcare System. He is the lead researcher of an IETF-funded study that explores the effects of CBD on essential tremor. Dr. Handforth and his team seek to determine whether CBD can suppress ET in an animal model.
He says that finding positive results could justify a human clinical trial. Also, Dr. Handforth hopes to understand how CBD stops the tremor. If his team can achieve this, their findings could help develop an ET-specific medication.
Are There Any Research Results?
Yes. A recent study published in May 2021 offered hope for ET patients. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen looked into the effect of medical cannabis on essential tremor. An injection with a synthetic cannabinoid into the spinal cord turned on the astrocytes located there. This process resulted in the release of adenosine, a substance that reduces nerve activity and shaking.
According to researchers, this new approach avoids affecting the neurons in the brain responsible for our cognitive abilities and memory. Therefore, it is possible to provide patients with involuntary shaking an effective treatment that doesn’t lead to certain marijuana side effects. The next step is to perform clinical trials on patients with ET to see if this approach has the same impact on humans.
While it is exciting news, the results of such research are probably years from being published.
What Treatments Are Available to Those with Essential Tremor?
There is currently no cure for essential tremors. Treatment is limited to medication or deep brain stimulation surgery in extreme cases. Here is what’s available right now.
While there is no medication capable of completely removing the symptoms of essential tremor, some can reduce their severity. In general, doctors prescribe drugs for oral consumption. Some commonly prescribed medications include:
- Primidone (anti-seizure drug)
- Benzodiazepines (e.g. lorazepam)
Another option is to undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS). This is a procedure that involves implanting electrical leads in the brain’s thalamus. The thalamus is associated with muscle control and coordination. Many experts believe it is responsible for the tremors experienced by people with ET.
MRI-Guided Focused High-Intensity Ultrasound
One final treatment method revolves around the use of MRI to focus ultrasound. The idea is to destroy the tissue located in the thalamus. One significant downside is that patients stay awake during the procedure, which isn’t a pleasant experience.
Could CBD Oil Help Reduce an Essential Tremor?
Cannabis research is ongoing and focuses on the plant’s potential to address a plethora of medical symptoms. Many states across America now have laws allowing cannabis use in some form.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the most heavily researched compounds of the marijuana plant. CBD could potentially be hugely significant in mitigating a host of disease-related symptoms in the future.
Research has shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and is a patented neuroprotectant. It also displays other promising benefits.
The FDA has also acknowledged CBD’s medicinal benefits for certain types of seizures. The epilepsy drug Epidiolex is the first-ever CBD-based drug the administration has approved.
Despite the level of research into CBD, there is still minimal research into cannabis for essential tremor.
Despite the level of research into CBD, there is still minimal research into cannabis for essential tremor. Nonetheless, the lack of treatment options for ET means that a growing number of patients are looking into CBD oil to help.
In theory, cannabidiol targets and regulates the endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors, CB1 and CB2. These are found in the brain and throughout the body and help regulate bodily functions such as muscle movement.
CBD could potentially enable muscle relaxation and ease the symptoms of ET. Studies into CBD for Parkinson’s have proven fruitful, and it is hoped this will be the case with essential tremor research.
As an interesting aside, one experienced doctor claims that THCV helped a patient with a severe ET case. According to the physician, it was the worst case of essential tremor he had seen in almost 40 years. The patient could hardly walk, write her name, or swallow food.
Yet, within 24 hours of using THCV, she could eat, control her tremors, and her speech was almost normal. This is a fascinating tale as it shows the potential power of cannabinoids for patients with ET.
Using CBD for Tremors (Dosage and Use)
Patients that use CBD for tremors tend to consume it sublingually or via a vaporizer. As everyone reacts differently to the cannabinoid, it is best to begin with just a single drop 2-3 times a day. Increase the dosage once you’re comfortable that there are no side effects. As a rule of thumb, up to 25mg of CBD a day is sufficient for someone with a mild to moderate ET case.
Please note that vaping provides a faster effect and has a higher absorption rate than sublingually consumed CBD. Also, individuals with a hand tremor may find it difficult to hold the CBD oil dropper. It could take a while to determine the right amount of cannabidiol for you, so be patient!
Shopping Tips for Best CBD for Essential Tremor
Finding the best CBD for essential tremors isn’t as easy as one might hope. The cannabidiol market is unregulated federally in the United States. As a result, there are lots of low-quality products around. Here are a few tips to ensure you get the best from your CBD experience.
- Stick with tried and trusted brands. Read the reviews published on WayofLeaf to determine if a company is trustworthy.
- Make sure the CBD comes from industrial hemp with a maximum of 0.3% THC.
- As a combination of CBD and THC potentially works best, opt for full-spectrum products.
- Don’t buy from any brand that doesn’t provide third-party lab reports.
- It is best if you only choose CBD oil where CO2 extraction is used.
- When it comes to CBD vape products, avoid ones with thinning agents such as PG and PEG.
- Patients with essential tremor should focus on oral CBD products.
- Make sure the label clearly outlines the ingredients and has a batch number and manufacturing date.
- Steer clear of products that say the CBD comes from the stalk or seeds of the hemp plant. Those parts of the plant have minimal CBD.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for Essential Tremor
The clinical trials occurring right now are crucial for sufferers of ET and the cannabis industry as a whole. This will be the first time scientists have looked to the plant to calm essential tremor symptoms effectively.
The results of this research could potentially have a life-changing impact on people with ET. A positive outcome would likely pave the way for further clinical studies using cannabinoids.