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Dyskinesia & CBD Oil: Breakthrough Studies & Buying Tips

The causes and manifestations of dyskinesia are incredibly complex and varied. No matter the cause, the common, overlying symptom is uncontrollable and involuntary movement. Known to be effective at reducing muscle spasms, cannabidiol (CBD) oil may be a possible solution.

With limited treatment options available, it can be difficult for people with dyskinesia to find suitable relief. Research into the uses of CBD oil for dyskinesia is equally limited, but the information that is currently available suggests that CBD oil may provide some hope to people living with such movement disorders.

Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Dyskinesia

The options for the treatment of dyskinesia are incredibly frustrating.

Oftentimes, dyskinesia is a side effect of prescription levodopa medications used to treat the limiting motor symptoms of conditions like Parkinson's disease. An offshoot of this is tardive dyskinesia, which is characterized mostly by involuntary movements of the face, and is often a side effect of antipsychotic medications.

Therefore, the initial suggestion for treating dyskinesia is to reduce or stop these medications. But that’s not ideal since most people need to take these medications to manage the larger conditions at hand to lead a relatively normal life.

For many sufferers of dyskinesia, treatment is a vicious cycle with no real forward movement. Is it any wonder then, that more and more people are turning to CBD oil for dyskinesia symptom relief? The research is early, but points to the use of cannabinoids like CBD as possible methods for reducing the symptoms associated with movement disorders like dyskinesia, without the need to change or reduce your prescription medication regimen.

Of course, before you even consider making this transition, or using CBD oil with any current medical treatments, it is important to talk to your doctor. CBD oil is generally safe for use, but because it is processed through the CYP450 system, the same system that processes most medications, it can interact with some common prescriptions. It is essential that you have this conversation with your physician so you can determine if CBD oil is a good and safe option for you.

Effectiveness of CBD Oil for Dyskinesia

While the effects of CBD on dyskinesia depend to some extent upon the cause of the disease, its overarching benefit is for the control of muscle movement, something that has been historically difficult to treat.

The endocannabinoid system modulates neurotransmission involved in motor function, as many of the cannabinoid receptors are located in the basal ganglia. While it is not yet fully understood how phytocannabinoids like CBD function in reducing the symptoms of dyskinesia, multiple studies have acknowledged that they do exert that effect:

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  • In 2004 a Swiss research team conducted a placebo-controlled, crossover study testing two groups of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients with spasticity and related mobility issues. The study found that cannabinoids provided beneficial results for the test subjects and concluded “a standardized Cannabis sativa plant extract might lower spasm frequency and increase mobility with tolerable side effects in…patients with persistent spasticity not responding to other drugs.”
  • In 2010, the University of California conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study to test the effects of cannabinoids on spasticity in MS patients by using smoked cannabis. A total of 30 participants completed the trial and reported a 2.74 point average reduction on the Modified Ashworth Scale when compared to the placebo results. The Modified Ashworth Scale is the primary clinical measure for determining muscle spasticity.
  • The New York Medical College published a review in 2015 of various studies conducted on the use of cannabis to treat certain movement disorders like dystonia and dyskinesia. The results indicate that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may be the most effective cannabinoid for addressing the symptoms of dyskinesia, but more research is needed. The review concludes, “larger studies will prove there is a promising role for this class of drug in the therapy of dyskinesias, tics, and possibly dystonia.”
  • In a study from 2014, CBD oil was found to reduce the movements associated with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). RBD is associated with Parkinson’s Disease, and causes people to move uncontrollably in their sleep, often acting out their dreams. In the end, the Parkinson’s patients saw a decrease in movements associated with RBD after taking CBD.

The limited amount of current research and clinical trials on the use of CBD oil for dyskinesia makes it difficult to say whether CBD—or any other cannabinoid—could be a long-term treatment for this disease. However, the studies conducted thus far show cannabis and its derivatives to be a low-risk option for people suffering from spasticity and involuntary muscle movement.

It’s important to note that many of these studies and experiments have tested the effectiveness of cannabinoids on dyskinesia through the use of cannabis and not isolated CBD. It is possible that some of the observed effects were the result of a combination of cannabinoids, meaning the whole cannabis plant could be most effective as a potential treatment for dyskinesia. Or conversely, only one or two components of the plant may exert an effect on symptoms of dyskinesia. While further research is required, these findings are promising.

How to Take CBD Oil for Dyskinesia

Before undertaking any new or supplemental form of treatment, it is important to speak with your doctor. While CBD is considered to be relatively safe with very few side effects, getting the “all clear” from your doctor is a necessary first step.

There are a variety of options for taking CBD oil for dyskinesia and choosing the right products will ultimately be a case of personal preference. With the above studies in mind, opting for a full-spectrum CBD oil product may be your best course of action since it contains all of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. If you live in a state where THC isn’t legal or you’d prefer not to consume THC, look for broad-spectrum CBD products, which are exactly like full-spectrum CBD oils minus the THC.

Your dyskinesia symptoms will help dictate which CBD delivery formats are best for your condition. For severe or chronic dyskinesia, a transdermal CBD patch can be applied to provide long-term relief. While these patches can be slow to take effect, they can last up to 48 hours.

Most people opt to choose a delivery format that is familiar to them. This usually means starting off by taking CBD oil capsules or edibles. Using a CBD oil capsule or a CBD edible can provide you with a fairly consistent dose, with effects that can last for up to six hours. The only downside is these delivery methods are slower to show effects—typically taking an hour for onset—as the CBD must first be processed by the digestive system before being absorbed into the bloodstream.

CBD oil tinctures or drops are also popular. Absorbed directly through the skin under the tongue, these CBD delivery methods can show effects within 30 minutes and can last for up to four hours. They are also discreet and make adjusting your dose incredibly easy.

CBD vape oils and CBD flower are the fastest ways to obtain relief. With CBD inhalants, the CBD is absorbed directly into the lungs and goes to work within minutes. The effects of a CBD vape or flower are short-lived though, and can be gone in as little as 60 minutes. Vaping or smoking CBD is best used when sudden and immediate symptom relief is required.

The variety of ways that you can take CBD oil means that there truly is an option to suit any need or preference. You may find that you need to experiment with a few products before finding something that works well for you and your condition. You may even find that a combination of products is what is best.

Dosage of CBD Oil for Dyskinesia

As the symptoms and severity of dyskinesia differ between individuals, finding the right dosage may involve some fine-tuning. It is recommended that you begin by following the lowest recommended dose on the CBD oil product.

If you need more guidance, at CBD Oil Review, we have analyzed hundreds of products and have come up with a standard serving suggestion to get you started:

The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25 mg of CBD, taken twice daily

If you are not getting results from this amount, we recommend increasing the serving size by 25 mg of CBD every 3 to 4 weeks until you attain relief.

For more information on dosages and some useful tips for getting it right, check out our dosage guide here. You might also consider speaking to a naturopathic doctor who can provide you with a personalized CBD dosage and treatment plan.

The Best CBD Oils for Dyskinesia

There is no one CBD oil product that is best for dyskinesia. What is most important is that you find a product that works best for you. But, in order to do that, you will need to buy a high-quality CBD oil.

Here are some tips to point you in the right direction:

  • Look for an organic product. Buying CBD oil that has been sourced from organic hemp will eliminate the risk of contamination and the presence of pesticides and herbicides.
  • Check for THC. In some states, it is possible to buy a CBD oil that has a THC concentration higher than the federally allowed 0.3%. It is important that you check the THC content before buying any CBD product to make sure you are within your states’ laws and/or avoid intoxication, if desired.
  • Read Certificates of Analysis (COA). Many brands will have their extracts tested by external laboratories to determine the purity and potency of each batch of their CBD product. The lab results will be posted in a Certificate of Analysis, or COA. Reading this document can help you verify the CBD and THC content listed on the label, while also showing you whether harmful heavy metals or chemicals are present in the final product. If a CBD oil company does not provide up-to-date COAs for its products, it’s time to shop elsewhere.
  • Read the ingredients. Look for a CBD oil product that contains only natural ingredients like cannabinoids, terpenes, fatty acids, flavonoids, and natural flavorings like cinnamon or mint. Avoid artificial additives when possible.

While the science is not conclusive, it does appear that CBD, and other cannabinoids in cannabis, may be effective in helping treat dyskinesia. To find out if CBD oil is an option for you, make an appointment to speak with your physician.


+ 5 sources


  1. (2021) Tardive dyskinesia - MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000685.htm
  2. C Vaney et al. Efficacy, safety and tolerability of an orally administered cannabis extract in the treatment of spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15327040/
  3. Jody Corey-Bloom et al. Smoked cannabis for spasticity in multiple sclerosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3394820/
  4. Barbara S. Koppel (2015) Cannabis in the Treatment of Dystonia, Dyskinesias, and Tics - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604174/
  5. M H N Chagas et al. (2014) Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson's disease patients: a case series - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24845114/

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