How May Medical Marijuana Aid Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?


Multiple Sclerosis

What are cannabis’s medicinal advantages for treating multiple sclerosis (MS)?

How well does medicinal cannabis work to treat the intricate and enduring symptoms of multiple sclerosis, like pain?

And how does cannabis for MS differ from prescription drugs?

Before adding medical cannabis to their ever-expanding list of medications, MS patients want answers to these questions and should get an online medical card that will grant them legal access to medical cannabis.

To address the first query, there are numerous medical advantages to medical cannabis. For instance, lowering anxiety and fatigue, enhancing appetite and sleep, and relieving pain.

These therapeutic properties make cannabis useful in the treatment of a wide range of long-term illnesses, including multiple sclerosis, cancer, epilepsy, IBD, and chronic pain.

Regarding question number two, despite the paucity of scientific research, medical professionals, MS patients who have tried cannabis as a treatment, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society all concur that cannabis is helpful and efficient in treating MS.

And lastly, query number three: “In what ways is cannabis therapy for MS superior to traditional medicine?” In addition to its many therapeutic benefits, cannabis can lessen a patient’s dependency on potentially hazardous prescription drugs.

For example, MS patients are prescribed opioids to treat their pain. On the other hand, dependence, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and dizziness are among the adverse effects of opioid medication.

According to a study by Piper et al., 77% of habitual opioid users have cut back on their use since beginning to use cannabis. Moreover, comparable results were seen with other medications that are frequently prescribed to MS patients, including antidepressants, anxiety reducers, and sleep aids.

Now that we have the answers to those three queries, let’s examine more closely how cannabis for MS might change the lives of those who suffer from this illness on a daily basis.

What is multiple sclerosis?

A disorder known as multiple sclerosis develops when your body starts to fight against your nervous system. Thus, the myelin sheath—a covering of protection for your spinal and brain nerves—is destroyed by the immune system.

The ability of nerves to transmit impulses is partially or completely lost when the myelin layer is damaged. The damaged nerves then affect how your brain and other body parts communicate with each other.

Regretfully, MS can be incapacitating if nerve damage gets too bad.

MS has no known treatment. However, a number of therapies can still help control the disease’s symptoms, alter the disease’s course, and enhance recovery from attacks.

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

The following symptoms may be present in MS patients:

  • Chronic pain (tingling or pain in parts of your body)
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs occurring on one side of your body at a time
  • Electric shock sensations that occur with specific neck movements
  • Tremors
  • Lack of coordination
  • Partial or complete vision loss occurs at one eye at a time with painful eye movement.
  • Prolonged double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with bowel, sexual, or bladder functions
  • Spasticity (muscle stiffness)

How does marijuana support multiple sclerosis management?

Numerous chemicals are present in cannabis. Terpenes and cannabinoids are two of them.

The majority of cannabis’ aroma comes from terpenes, whereas cannabinoids interact with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system through cannabinoid receptors.

Most of the effects of cannabis on multiple sclerosis are attributed to two of the cannabinoids that have been studied the most: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

For example, THC and CBD can activate specific areas of the nervous system, which lessens the severity of multiple sclerosis symptoms. For instance, MS causes leg pain as well as muscle pain.

Terpenes may also be involved in the medical relief that these cannabinoids primarily provide. However, it is always advisable to speak with an MMJ doctor who can prescribe medical marijuana, give you a card that allows you to legally access cannabis, and provide you advice on how to use the drug safely to treat your crippling illness.

Let us examine the potential benefits of marijuana for multiple sclerosis.

Assists in Alleviating Muscle Stiffness (Spasticity and Spasms) in Multiple Sclerosis

Muscles that are stiff, aching, and cramping are common in most multiple sclerosis patients.

Muscle tenseness and resistance to stretching cause spasticity, which lessens natural fluid movement. Patients thus encounter impaired coordination, slurred speech, and trouble moving.

Movement-controlling regions of the brain may be the source of spasms. There are also a lot of cannabinoid receptors in these brain regions. Therefore, it’s possible that THC or CBD stimulation of these receptors will lessen spasms.

Our bodies’ cannabinoid receptors are stimulated by CBD and THC, the two primary active ingredients in cannabis.

For instance, the “high” effect is produced by THC stimulating cannabinoid receptors. However, CBD doesn’t get you “high”; instead, it has an anti-inflammatory effect. But the precise method by which cannabis reduces spasticity is still a mystery.

One theory is that the euphoria and pain relief brought on by THC could make a patient less conscious of their spasticity or stiffness in their muscles.

●      Relieves chronic pain

Chronic pain can be effectively treated with marijuana. The most frequent reason for cannabis use, as reported by patients, is chronic pain.

As was previously mentioned, the effects of CBD and THC are mediated through the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies.

In addition to its euphoric properties, THC has the ability to attach itself to nerves and prevent pain impulses from traveling to the brain. This relieves the feeling of pain.

Similar to this, although it works completely differently, CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities also have an analgesic effect for pain relief.

These conclusions are backed by several studies. For example, according to a 2017 NASEM report, patients receiving cannabis treatment reported a significant reduction in their pain symptoms.

●      It helps with bladder problems

One well-known characteristic of multiple sclerosis is bladder dysfunction.

An oral cannabis extract called Sativex was tested in a randomized controlled trial in 2010 to see if it could help MS patients with their bladder symptoms.

The research came to the conclusion that Sativex did have some effect on reducing bladder dysfunction symptoms in MS patients, even though the outcome was not statistically significant.

●      Relieves nausea

Due to both the side effects of their medication and the common dizziness associated with MS, patients frequently experience nausea. For instance, medications such as dalfampridine and ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) may induce nausea.

Modifications in the human endocannabinoid system contribute to the control of nausea and vomiting. The presence of cannabis-derived cannabinoids inhibits vomiting by interacting with CB1 receptors. Therefore, medical marijuana, which has antiemetic properties, is a good choice for MS patients who experience nausea.

Moreover, CBD, the main non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, is useful in reducing symptoms of nausea and vomiting.

●      Improves sleep

Patients with MS frequently experience poor sleep quality. One reason is that the excruciating and difficult-to-relax muscle spasms linked to multiple sclerosis frequently interfere with sleep. Nonetheless, cannabis does offer some relief, and many MS patients claim to sleep better after using it.

THC shortens the duration of sleep latency and has a sedative effect. Patients thus get to sleep for longer stretches of time without having their muscles spasm.

In the meantime, CBD may lessen anxiety, allowing a person to unwind and let their body’s natural sleep cycle take over.

●      Relieves fatigue

One common sign of multiple sclerosis is fatigue. CBD reduces pain and enhances mood and energy by binding to specific receptors.

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