Cannabidiol and Cannabinoid Compounds as Potential Strategies for Treating Parkinson's Disease and L-DOPA-Induced Dyskinesia

Neurotox Res. 2020 Jan;37(1):12-29. doi: 10.1007/s12640-019-00109-8. Epub 2019 Oct 22.


Parkinson's disease (PD) and L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID) are motor disorders with significant impact on the patient's quality of life. Unfortunately, pharmacological treatments that improve these disorders without causing severe side effects are not yet available. Delay in initiating L-DOPA is no longer recommended as LID development is a function of disease duration rather than cumulative L-DOPA exposure. Manipulation of the endocannabinoid system could be a promising therapy to control PD and LID symptoms. In this way, phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), the principal non-psychotomimetic constituent of the Cannabis sativa plant, have received considerable attention in the last decade. In this review, we present clinical and preclinical evidence suggesting CBD and other cannabinoids have therapeutic effects in PD and LID. Here, we discuss CBD pharmacology, as well as its neuroprotective effects and those of other cannabinoids. Finally, we discuss the modulation of several pro- or anti-inflammatory factors as possible mechanisms responsible for the therapeutic/neuroprotective potential of Cannabis-derived/cannabinoid synthetic compounds in motor disorders.

Keywords: Cannabinoid receptor (CB); Cannabinoid system; Endocannabinoids; Neuroinflammation; Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR); Transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor (TRPV).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use*
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology
  • Cannabinoids / therapeutic use*
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / adverse effects
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*


  • Cannabinoids
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Cannabidiol
  • Levodopa