Condition Report: Huntington’s Disease

October 22, 2019


In 2017, the National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine released a comprehensive report, “The Health Effects of Cannabis & Cannabinoids”, based on the research that had been done to date. Following that valuable report, we’ve been providing weekly Condition Reports on 2018 research for each of the conditions cited in that report, such as chronic pain, cancer, anorexia, and more – these reports seek to provide evidence for both medical benefits and risks for each condition.

Because prohibitive cannabis regulations have, for years, limited the amount of available information, we believe it is important to educate the public about up-to-date research. Although medical cannabis usage is still both controversial and inconclusive, the World Health Organization has urged for nations to remove cannabis from Schedule IV from their list of drug scheduling, which would allow the protection for researchers to conduct more comprehensive studies. and its affiliates aim to provide general information about cannabis consumption in the hopes for policymakers, users, researchers, and the general public to make informed decisions about cannabis and its derived products. In order to do this properly, we must seek and report the best available research for a better understanding of cannabis as it takes on the medical field.


For an overview on how cannabis can be used to treat other medical conditions, please visit the following Condition Reports:


Huntington’s Disease Highlights:

-Because of the hypokinetic properties of some cannabinoids, cannabis has been increasingly studied as a potential treatment for symptomatic disease relief for Huntington’s Disease.

-In one study, 93.7% of patients reported improved health and decreased pain level after starting cannabis treatment. In that same study, the most common adverse effects of the cannabis treatment included dizziness and dry mouth.



Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disease with dysfunctions of the motor, cognitive loss, and psychiatric manifestations (McColgan and Tabrizi, 2018). HD is caused by the inclusion of trinucleotides (CAG) in the huntingtin gene on chromosome 4, and it is 1 out of 10,000 patients prevalent (McColgan and Tabrizi, 2018). HD pharmacotherapy is still aimed at symptomatic disease relief believed to be due to dopaminergic hyperactivity. Typical and atypical antipsychotics are often used for this treatment, which had led to a growing number of studies to be conducted to verify the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid compounds in HD treatment, primarily because some cannabinoids have hypokinetic characteristics (Abdel-Salam et al., 2018).

In the elderly population with HD, 2736 patients over the age of 65 started cannabis treatment and responded to an initial questionnaire (Abuhasira, Scleider, Mechoulam and Novack, 2018). After six months, Abuhasira et at. reported that 93.7% of respondents showed improved health and the pain level said was reduced from a median of 8 on a scale of 0-10 to a median of 4. The most common adverse effects were dizziness and dry mouth. Abuhasira et al. concluded that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe and efficacious in the elderly population. It may also decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids for HD treatment (Abuhasira et al., 2018).