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New Research, Medication and CBD Oil in Parkinson’s with Dr. Trevor Hawkins

[The Parkinson's Podcast™]

New Research, Medication and CBD Oil in Parkinson’s with Dr. Trevor Hawkins


There are a lot of medications on the market to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s and finding the right ones for you can take some trial and error. In this episode, Dr. Trevor Hawkins is back to talk about the most common medications that people with Parkinson’s take as well as current research and trials that may result in even better solutions in the future. 


  • One of the biggest issues with oral medications is that you may have a lot of ON and OFF periods
  • Rytary is an extended-release combination of carbidopa-levodopa designed to maintain a steady level of relief and minimize peaks and valleys
  • Duopa is a suspension form of carbidopa-levodopa that is delivered continuously by a pump through a tube into your intestine for up to 16 hours
  • NeuroDerm is a continuous flow patch that is in clinical trials and may be available in 2019
  • Ropinirole is an oral dopamine agonist that’s used to treat the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s
  • Neupro is a dopamine agonist that is delivered via a patch
  • Apomorphine is an injection to treat loss of body movement control and it’s currently in clinical trials in the US
  • Current research and clinical trials are focused on developing medications that are more specific and only hit certain receptors so they produce fewer side effects
  • Exercise is the one proven way to slow down the progression of Parkinson’s
  • There are exciting trials being done with the cancer drug Nilotinib to test if it can modulate dopamine in people with Parkinson’s
  • Using CBD oil to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s is becoming more and more common; however, the lack of oversight and inconsistency from batch to batch are big problems
  • There’s a trial going on at the University of Colorado right now for a CBD pill to treat Parkinson’s tremor
  • The biggest hurdle for CBD studies is that there’s no monetary support – unlike the money that big pharma companies get
  • If you want to experiment with CBD oil, make sure that you tell all of your providers about it because there can be serious drug interactions and be aware that each batch you get can be very different
  • There are two species of cannabis – marijuana (15-40% THC) and hemp (.3% THC)
  • THC is what produces the high
  • CBD oil that is derived from hemp is legal in all 50 states
  • CBD oil that is derived from marijuana is not legal in every state
  • There’s new research being done on CBD oil so keep an eye out for it

As with every therapy you try to treat your Parkinson’s symptoms, be sure to consult with your doctor, movement disorder specialist, neurologist and everyone on your care team. Anecdotal evidence is great; however, not everything works the same for everyone. Do your due diligence and make sure all of your experimentation is under the direct and frequent supervision of your doctors.

Concepts Mentioned in this Podcast & Further Reading

The Neuroscience of Parkinson’s
Living with Parkinson’s: What is OFF?
MAO Inhibitors
Dopamine Agonists
What, When, Why, How & More of DBS for the Newly Diagnosed
Exercise is Medicine for the Brain
High-Intensity Exercise Helps Slow the Progression of Parkinson’s
Exercise Essentials Mini Course
Hemp Vs. Marijuana: The Difference Explained
Is CBD Legal? Legal Status of CBD in 50 States
Senior Citizens, Marijuana and Parkinson’s: What I’ve Learned
My First Trip to the Marijuana Dispensary as a Person with Parkinson’s
Can Marijuana Reduce Insomnia for People Living with Parkinson’s?


Trevor Hawkins MDDr. Trevor Hawkins is an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine Anschutz Medical Campus. 





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4 Comments on “New Research, Medication and CBD Oil in Parkinson’s with Dr. Trevor Hawkins

    • James Benedict

      December 8, 2018 at 1:15 pm Reply

      Excellent review with cogent insight regarding state of the art of current medications including a discussion of newer drug therapies. I am looking forward to learning more about the potential with use of CBD oil. I have heard that there is current research regarding regarding a medication that has the potential to arrest the progression of PD and possibly even reverse it. If such research is currently on going it would make an interesting topic for future Podcasts.
      Well done! Thank you!

      • Melani Dizon

        December 10, 2018 at 8:56 am Reply

        Thanks for listening, James. There’s so much happening in the area of medical therapies to treat Parkinson’s right now. It’s an exciting time for sure.

    • Tommy

      February 8, 2019 at 4:18 pm Reply

      I have a uncle that suffers from severe Parkinson’s . He want try the CBD oil to see if it helps. Any word of encouragement.

      • Melani Dizon

        February 11, 2019 at 9:44 am Reply

        Thanks for reading, Tommy. We always encourage people to try treatments they are interested in; however, only under the careful watch and recommendation of their doctors. Every person is different and the only way to really know what is the best path for your uncle would be for him to discuss options with this care team.

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