Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a neurological disorder that influences our brain and the spinal cord. MS happens when the body’s immune system begins to attack its nerves instead of protecting it. This can prompt symptoms, including fatigue, visual impairment, muscle spasms, and coordination and cognition issues.
Myelin is a fatty material responsible for protecting our nerves. When you suffer from MS, your immune system begins to destroy myelin instead of protecting it. This leads to damaged nerves and a formation of scar tissue as well.
When your brain becomes damaged, it won’t send and receive signals throughout your body, leading to incorrect messaging through the nerves.
The primary symptoms of MS include;
Difficulties to stay focused
Insufficient bladder and bowel control
MS affects about 2.5 million people globally. The symptoms of MS can vary from one individual to another. Some sufferers may experience severe disabilities, while others may experience mild symptoms. Notwithstanding the nature of the illness, most people usually go for steroids, courses of physiotherapy, antidepressants, and muscle relaxants to gain relief from its symptoms.
Traditional treatments for MS include steroid treatments, which can prompt osteoporosis, weight gain, and diabetes. Other medications for MS include antidepressants and muscle relaxant medications but these medications also have side effects like nausea, weakness, diarrhea, and dizziness.
Medical cannabis may have the potential to replace traditional medications used by MS sufferers. Medical cannabis can help relieve muscle stiffness and spasms that come with MS without prompting side effects. However, is there sufficient proof to confirm this claim?
Medical marijuana for MS
During a 2018 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers in Nashville, TN, new evidence supporting marijuana and MS was uncovered. According to the report, cannabinoids can help MS patients.
According to the study, medical marijuana could help MS patients suffering from Adverse effects, Bladder function, Pain, Spasticity, Quality of life, and Tremor. MS patients highly consider these symptoms. The gathered evidence showed that cannabinoids could be essential for MS patients with pain and spasticity.
Nonetheless, there are other studies focused on medical marijuana and MS. According to a peer-reviewed article published in Frontiers of Neurology on CBD’s effects on individuals with MS, CBD supplements could potentially reduce fatigue, pain, and spasticity. The combination of these positive effects could improve the quality of life for MS patients.
Over recent years, further evidence has been discovered. According to an article from Neurology focusing on the “real world” experience of medical marijuana in managing MS symptoms, researchers sought to get responses from people who used medical cannabis for MS. Around 77% of respondents acknowledged using cannabis to better manage symptoms like pain and spasticity.
Another exciting study discovered that cannabis reduces dependence on prescription drugs such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and pharmaceutical opioids.
Bottom line: Can cannabis help individuals with multiple sclerosis?
The current traditional treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) usually come with adverse side effects. This has made most people seek better alternatives such as cannabis. Scientific studies show that medical cannabis may help relieve MS symptoms such as spasticity and pain without leaving any side effects. However, there is a need for more studies to determine if medical cannabis can help other symptoms linked to MS.