Three of the most debilitating neurodegenerative diseases are Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s, and each has been studied to see if CBD can slow their deadly progression. It is believed that oxidative stress is a primary contributor to the onset of these diseases. Our bodies need both food and oxygen, yet these two can combine to create what are known as free radicals inside our bodies. We have systems in place to help reduce these free radicals and maintain a balance internally, but sometimes these systems break down, which leads to an increase in the number of free radicals. These free radicals cause oxidative stress, which can in turn result in amyloid plaque formation (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s)46 or gene mutations (Huntington’s).47 CBD exerts neuroprotective, anti-oxidative, and anti-apoptotic effects42. It has been shown to inhibit the neurotoxicity of the beta amyloid peptide in mouse models in vivo, which translates to a slowing of the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.48 An additional investigation showed that CBD also counteracted a decrease in copper-zinc enzyme, which can lead to additional signs of oxidative stress.49 When it comes to the diseases for which CBD might be a viable treatment, those listed above are only the tip of the iceberg. More research is needed to elucidate the specific mechanisms of action of CBD in the body, which could enable the development of targeted solutions and personalized medicine for patients suffering from a myriad of issues. In order to conduct more research in the United States as to how best to treat people, scientists must have greater access to cannabinoids and whole-plant cannabis. At the end of this guide, we will review current clinical applications and consider future research needs.


Kumar, A. and Ratan, R.R. Oxidative stress and Huntington’s Disease: the good, the bad and the ugly. J Huntingtons Dis. (2016) 5(3), 217–237.