Medicinal cannabis and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
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Multiple sclerosis medicinal cannabis condition
Multiple sclerosis is one of the major conditions where there is reasonably strong evidence supporting the use of medical cannabis to treat symptoms. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune condition that affects the nervous system, the body sends out misguided attacks to the myelin sheath – the protective covering around nerves.
The damage affects the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve which in turn can impact the nerve signals that control the muscles, eyes and even the digestive system. In its effects on the brain, MS can cause fatigue, pain and depression, just to name a few.
By damaging the myelin sheath message both from and to the brain are disrupted causing widespread and progressively debilitating symptoms. There is no one medication that effectively treats all symptoms of MS although some can reduce symptoms or the progression of the disease.
Does medical cannabis help symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
The primary symptoms of MS are muscle spasms (refered to as spasticity) and muscle rigidity. There have been many clinical trials evaluating the effect of medicinal and synthetic cannabinoids in treating the key symptoms of MS and as with much research in the medical cannabis industry, results have been mixed.
Despite this there is enough evidence is available support the prescription of medical cannabis specifically for spasticity and muscle stiffness to warrant its use for MS patients. Human clinical trials and large reviews of currently available research, medical cannabis reduces key symptoms of MS including spasticity, muscle stiffness and pain.
Another positive effect regularly reported by MS patients in medical cannabis research is improvements to sleep.
Will CBD help with Multiple Sclerosis symptoms?
CBD has the potential to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with MS. CBD is continously being investigated for its effects on chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety and complaints of the gastrointestinal tract.
Patients with MS regularly experience chronic pain and insomnia as a side effect of the dysfunction or deterioration of their nervous system, by addressing these symptoms with medicinal CBD patients may experience improvement in mobility and quality of life.
Additionally, living with a chronic disease can take a huge toll on patients mentally and emotionally, in this area CBD is well known to instill a sense of calm and reduce anxiety.
While relatively rare, approximately 5% of MS patients present with seizures. Medical cannabis, particularly CBD , is well-known for its anti-seizure or anti-convulsant action for those with epilepsy. So for those MS patients who endure seizures as a part of their symptom picture, may benefit from medical cannabis formulations high in CBD.
What kind of medical cannabis treatments are available for Multiple Sclerosis?
In terms of reducing spasticity in MS patients, an equal ration of THC:CBD is often prescribed, this may be in the form of sprays, oils or capsules depending on the needs and preferences of the patient.
When addressing severe pain THC extracts are regularly utilised and can come in a number of different forms including; liquids, patches, dssolvable wafer and more. However for those not wishing to experience any intoxicating effects associated with THC, there are options that include high CBD and low THC which still take advantage of the phenomena of the entourage effect, while avoiding unwanted euphoric effects
There are a number of ways to approach treating symptoms of MS with medical cannabis, the most appropriate treatment plan is co-operatively managed between patients and medical cannabis doctors like those at CA Clinics.