There’s no single test for CBD. Instead, the diagnosis is based on the pattern of your symptoms. Your doctor will try to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as Parkinson’s disease or a stroke.
CBD is caused by increasing numbers of brain cells becoming damaged or dying over time.
The symptoms of CBD get gradually worse over time. They are very variable and many people only have a few of them.
The surface of the brain (cortex) is affected, as well as a deep part of the brain called the basal ganglia.
You may need to have a brain scan to look for other possible causes of your symptoms, as well as tests of your memory, concentration and ability to understand language.
As a result of these complications, the average life expectancy for someone with CBD is around 6 to 8 years from when their symptoms start. However, this is only an average and CBD is very variable.
Most cases of CBD develop in adults aged between 50 and 70.
As CBD reaches an advanced stage, muscle stiffness will continue to get worse. People with the condition may lose the ability to move 1 or more limbs. Some people are unable to walk and need a wheelchair or assistance to transfer (such as help getting into and out of bed).
Some people with CBD also have dementia, although this doesn’t always occur, symptoms may include:
Some of the main symptoms of CBD are outlined below. Most people with the condition won’t experience all of these.
Walking, balance and co-ordination may get worse. Many people have problems with their speech, which will become slow and slurred.
As CBD progresses, it may eventually start to cause problems in your other limbs.
Other problems people with advanced CBD can experience include:
The symptoms typically become more severe over several years, although the speed at which they worsen varies.
Some people also develop problems with walking and co-ordination.
The condition tends to develop gradually, which means it can be mistaken for another condition at first – such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia or a stroke.
It's important to point out that CBD is not regulated by the FDA and therefore dosages might not be accurate. It’s also difficult to know what an appropriate dose is the first time you try a new product.
There are several reasons why someone might want to use CBD. The substance can be found in a multitude of products ranging from pain-relieving creams to edible tinctures to skincare. Research is still underway, but over the last few decades scientists have become more aware of how CBD might be beneficial when applied either topically or ingested.
Some common side effects when using CBD include drowsiness and sedation. This is also considered a benefit, but Dr. Jas Matharu-Daley, a physician and chief medical officer for a CBD brand, notes that the effects might be too strong if you’re also taking CBD with other sedating medications.
She adds, “[Another difference is that] CBD is derived from hemp and has been classified as a legal substance. Hemp has <0.3% THC. Conversely, cannabis plants such as marijuana are grown to have much higher levels of THC and are still illegal according to the FDA , although individual states vary as to their use.”
CBD Is Still an Unregulated Substance
“CBD is not an intoxicating substance, whereas THC is a psychoactive that can get you high,” explains Dr. Jas Matharu-Daley, a physician and consultant for a brand that specializes in CBD production.
Ultimately, the primary reasons why people use CBD is because it tends to have calming, relaxing, pain-reducing effects. It has been used to alleviate joint pain and nerve pain, reduce anxiety and stress, treat insomnia, improve migraines, and address nausea.
Generally speaking, CBD is considered a safe substance when applied topically or taken orally. There are, however, some potential side effects to keep in mind when using this substance, the majority of which are mild.
“Since discovering the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body in the 1990s, CBD has been researched more extensively. The ECS is a central regulatory system restoring normal balance and homeostasis in a range of human physiologic systems throughout the body and brain and has cannabinoid receptors and chemicals in its function,” explains Dr. Matharu-Daley.
Wendy Rose Gould is a lifestyle reporter with over a decade of experience covering health and wellness topics.