Medical Marijuana Touted by Some as a Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
Let’s say you (or at least people you know) have had multiple sclerosis (MS) for quite some time now. Probably, you have already tried a lot of things to ease your pain or control the muscle spasms. However, it still seems that none of this stuff works. Good news! Here’s something you should know.
“Currently, there is no cure for MS, but there are treatments that modify disease activity, slow the course of the disease, and alleviate its effects.”
― Nancy J. Holland
Usually, the commonly available treatment means only gives you a quick yet temporary relief. Some medical experts and alternative medicine support groups have been vouching for alternative methods. Perhaps it’s time to consider these methods. A report even discussed in full details the seven reasons why Cannabis sativa is effective against MS.
Will medical marijuana prove to be a miracle treatment for people with multiple sclerosis?
Could it be an option for you? Well, the answer is: Yes, it’s possible.
Although the National Multiple Sclerosis Society says there are still uncertainties about how effective marijuana is in relieving MS symptoms, the organization continues to extend its supports for patients who wish to work with healthcare providers to access medical marijuana where it is legal.
It is also common knowledge that the advocates of medicinal marijuana are more forceful in their advocacy that “weed” is useful in many therapeutic and medicinal purposes especially when utilized accordingly. There are even reports and findings that Cannabis has been widely used since ancient times for various conditions and has been noted to ease symptoms of certain illnesses.
So far, FDA has not approved any product containing botanical marijuana. Nevertheless, FDA officials say they understand that there is considerable interest in the use of the substance to treat some medical conditions, including MS.
Studies continue to recognize the significant benefits of Cannabis. Also, self-medication is common, particularly among frequently reported conditions such as pain, anxiety, depression, headache and migraine, nausea, and muscle spasticity. Apparently, many people are not waiting for FDA’s approval. They, of course, want to be totally assured.
Understanding Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. This is a neurodegenerative autoimmune disease that affects the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve.
To date, the condition affects millions of people worldwide, but unfortunately, there is still no cure. Treatments with MS typically involve powerful drugs that aim to slow the progression of the disease, manage symptoms, and speed up recovery from attacks.
The infographic shows the following symptoms that make it tough for the patient to live a normal life.
This is where cannabis comes in. The herb can improve brain function and ease symptoms of MS. According to WebMD, some studies have shown medical marijuana’s effect on treating the following MS symptoms:
- Stiffness or uncontrolled muscle movements. Medical marijuana may help calm spasms and let the patient move the limbs more freely.
- Overactive bladder. The drug can ease the spasms that cause such frequent urge to pee.
- Nerve pain. Cannabis relieves the pain, which can help promote better sleep, too.
How does it work?
Cannabis works with the endocannabinoid (EC) system in the human body via the CB1 and CB2 receptors by mimicking natural chemicals created in the body.
Recent studies found that an extract of cannabis taken in a capsule form can help relieve multiple scleroses (MS) symptoms, such as muscle stiffness (spasticity) and spasms, and may also reduce pain. A mixture of cannabis extracts taken in spray form possibly also reduces symptoms of spasticity, pain, and bladder urgency.
Likewise, another study reported that nabiximols and nabilone significantly improve spasticity. The other concluded that nabiximols and orally administered THC (tetrahydrocannabinol — the primary cannabinoid in marijuana) are “probably effective” for reducing patient-reported spasticity. This study also labeled oral cannabis extract as “established as effective for reducing patient-reported spasticity scores.”
However, oral cannabis extracts, THC, and Sativex are not currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use by people with MS. The FDA has approved only two forms of marijuana for medical purposes: dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet).
Here’s what else you need to know about medical marijuana:
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