By Mark Ackerman

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – For more than seven decades, Gary Griffin never tried marijuana. The Castle Rock businessman and former Airman considered it “The Devil’s Weed.”

But at 74, everything changed for Griffin when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He started looking for anything that might calm the constant shaking of his hands and the sleepless nights associated with the disease. He read anecdotal accounts from other patients about the benefits of CBD oil, derived from a non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant.

gary griffin 77 Year Old Coloradan With Parkinsons Does An About Face On Marijuana

Gary Griffin (credit: CBS)

Reluctantly, he tried it.

cbd oil 77 Year Old Coloradan With Parkinsons Does An About Face On Marijuana

(credit: CBS)

“My first drop,” Griffin remembered thinking. “I may not survive. I may go wild kicking off the balcony.”

“My doctor said,’Don’t go confusing your Googling with my medical degree.'”

Soon Griffin enrolled in Colorado’s first study measuring the effects of CBD oil on patients with Parkinson’s disease. He and a dozen other Parkinson’s patients took pharmaceutical grade CBD oil they got from their neurologist Dr. Maureen Leehey at the University of Colorado Hospital.

“We legalized medical marijuana before we knew it was effective for medical disorders,” said Dr. Leehey who has researched Parkinson’s disease for more than 30 years. “I heard anecdotal accounts from my patients about marijuana use and was concerned it might be dangerous.”

maureen leehey 77 Year Old Coloradan With Parkinsons Does An About Face On Marijuana

Dr. Maureen Leehey (credit: CBS)

In the first phase of her study, Dr. Leehey’s patients tolerated a low dose of CBD oil well. Many of her patients reported positive effects.

“They had a reduction in our assessment of their motor symptoms and improvement in their night time sleep,” she said.

But, she cautioned an upcoming “placebo controlled” phase of the study will be necessary to produce meaningful scientific results. Everyone in the first phase knew they were receiving CBD oil which can influence results.

As for Griffin, he only saw a small improvement with the shaking in his hands.

“I hoped for a miracle but it didn’t happen,” he said.

But, he saw a dramatic improvement in his sleep.

“Once I started taking CBD oil, I never had a sleepless night because I couldn’t relax my muscle groups,” he said.

It was so much of an improvement, the man who called marijuana “The Devil’s Weed” has started growing it and processing his own CBD oil at home.

“I’m not a stoner, but I am a proponent,” he said.

In addition to Parkinson’s Disease, Colorado researchers are currently working to determine if marijuana helps with sleep, pain and epilepsy.

Mark Ackerman is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. Follow him on Twitter @ackermanmark

Comments (3)
  1. Jeff Spicoli says:

    Wouldnt this guy be awesome working at a martini bar? After martini’s
    Are meant to be ” shaken ” not stirred. Never…

    Whaaaaat to soon?

  2. Eric Beery says:


  3. My husband will be 81 years old next month and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 13 months ago. his main symptom were and rigidity or stiffness of his right-hand side.he also had some difficulty writing. The original diagnosis was confirmed three months later by a second neurologist. He was on one tablet of pramipexole (Sifrol), 0.25 mg three times a day. Four months ago his neurologist added Biperiden, 2 mg. he takes half a tablet of Biperiden three times a day. Since the original diagnosis, his stiffness has slowly increased. He lost touch with reality. Suspecting it was the medication I took him off the Siferol (with the doctor’s knowledge) and started him on PD natural herbal formula we ordered from GREEN HOUSE HERBAL CLINIC, I spoke to few people who used the treatment here in Canada and they all gave a positive response, his symptoms totally declined over a 6 weeks use of the Green House Parkinson’s disease natural herbal formula. He is now almost 81 and doing very well, the disease is totally reversed! (Visit their website www . Greenhouseherbalclinic . com) I am thankful to nature, herbs are truly gift from God. Share with friends!!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s