Research on the Effect of Cannabis on Essential Tremor

Dr. Fatta Nahab, neurologist at the University of California San Diego Health (UC San Diego), is leading a study to examine the safety, efficacy and …


  1. I am a physical therapist with a loved one who has had his life taken over by essential tremor (ET). Lots of pertinent research to point to in past two decades to support conducting this study. Recent research has shown the following: (1) with essential tremor, cells in the cerebellum (Purkinje fibers) are structurally different and have altered connections with the cells they receive input from (climbing fibers and parallel fibers)–climbing fibers send motor messages to correct detected errors in movement and body position (resulting in helpful neurological adaptation, AKA plasticity, AKA motor learning) with an innate pacemaker motor signal frequency from the inferior olivary nucleus, and I would argue it is this pacemaker motor signal frequency (approx 1-10 Hz) that is ultimately abnormally relayed fwd by Purkinje fibers that results in an essential tremor that reflects this same pacemaker frequency (in other words, the cerebellum is sending fwd a signal for a movement or body position to be corrected when no correction is needed, and this displays itself as a tremor); (2) endocannabinoid receptors (especially CB1) are highly prevalent in the cerebellum and require endocannabinoid 2-AG to bind to them in order for appropriate message sending and neurological adaptation to occur–I would suggest that a lack of endocannabinoid 2-AG in the cerebellum does well to explain the structural changes of the cerebellum seen in ET; (3) THC from cannabis binds to CB1 receptors. If a lack of an endocannabinoid in the cerebellum is the problem in ET, and introducing the proper cannabinoid (THC) solves this problem, then I would hypothesize that not only would acute influence of THC on tremor be positive, but that regular ingestion of THC and keeping it in your system for a prolonged time to result in the appropriate neurological connections to repair back to normal (over time), literally undoing the brain changes that led to the ET condition in the first place. Also of note, recent research has demonstrated acute effects of alcohol to be inhibiting to climbing fiber message transmission to Purkinje fibers, meaning that alcohol inhibits the brains ability to send error information regarding movement and body position–I would argue this to explain why ET is acutely relieved by alcohol (no consistent message to correct movement or body position, no tremor).

  2. I’m really interested to see the results. I’m a 22 year old male and have had essential tremor for as long as I can remember and nothing gives me the mental clarity and symptom relief like weed. Small amounts of alcohol give me short-term relief but the rebound effect makes it not worth it.

  3. Excited to see the results of this study. I have my own hypothesis based on personal experience as someone with ET, but having double blind studies is far more invaluable than anecdotal evidence.

  4. Speaking as a 30 year old Male with ET, weed helps with the depression and anxiety associated with having et, however it does not stop the tremors. At least for me

  5. I’m all for research and development, however there seems to be a craze with cannabis/marijuana/THC. People claim it helps anxiety. There have been studies with people and their marijuana habit. THC has been found to cause anxiety and paranoia. The higher THC content, the worse the anxiety is. I myself have essential tremor. I’ve taken medication that helped tremendously and helped with my migraines. The side effects though were horrible. I’ve been looking into the trendy cbd oil and copaiba oil. I’ve found the type of cannabinoids in copaiba essential oil to help me. I do not have severe essential tremor but it is enough to affect my daily life. That’s my personal finding. Good luck in your research, I hope your studies lead to great discovery.

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