Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a severe and long-term disease that manifests itself in various ways. People suffering from this condition have a hyperactive immune system. In turn, this results in cell damage in the spinal cord, brain, or optic nerves, which are components of the central nervous system.
Marijuana, often known as cannabis, is now legal in many states within the U.S. In some cases and where it is legal, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society encourages the use of medicinal cannabis for those suffering from MS.
Cannabis products may provide well-tolerated effects with no severe adverse effects. However, cannabis products are not suitable for everyone, as some risk experiencing some negative side effects.
How Does Cannabis Help MS Patients?
Cannabis compounds have a variety of impacts on the body, some of which are therapeutic. One of the key compounds in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), contains psychoactive qualities that generate the drug’s “high.” Cannabidiol (CBD), on the other hand, does not produce psychoactive effects. Although cannabis contains many additional components, many studies thus far have concentrated on these two.
THC has the potential to stimulate hunger, alleviate nausea, and help with muscular control. Alternatively, CBD may help reduce some forms of epileptic seizures. It is also a potential treatment option for social anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. CBD has also shown promise in supporting pain and spasticity, which are common symptoms in people with MS.
In addition, marijuana or its active ingredients, known as cannabinoids, may possibly help patients with MS, fibromyalgia, and other medical disorders sleep better.
More research is necessary to assess CBD’s medicinal potential and the safe and effective doses for each use. Before utilizing cannabis or cannabis products, it is best to review your local regulations and consult a healthcare provider.
Where to Find Cannabis for Treating Multiple Sclerosis
Marijuana is still prohibited in the United States. However, more than half of individual states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, with the number increasing rapidly in the last five years. If you stay in such a state, you will need your doctor’s permission or certification to use medicinal marijuana.
In turn, this permits you to purchase it from a dispensary or pharmacy that has received medical approval. Furthermore, recreational marijuana is legal or considered a minor offense in at least 20 states and the District of Columbia.
How to Use Cannabis When Treating MS
THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most well-known component in cannabis. When you smoke, ingest, or vape it, it is what makes you high. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another active component, but it does not get you high. CBD is legal in most states for limited medical purposes. It is usually available as an oil to massage sore areas, as a tincture, or as an extract to place under your tongue. You may also take CBD capsules or even inhale or vape it.
Note that sometimes it is possible to purchase CBD online from sellers who do not have a medical marijuana license. CBD has the potential to proved to aid with pain and inflammation. However, there is a need for further human study to determine how effective it is.
Risks Involved in Using Cannabis for MS Treatment
There is a risk of experiencing negative side effects when using cannabis to support Multiple Sclerosis. Some of these effects include:
- Possible paranoia and confusion
- Vomiting and nausea, in some cases
- Increased hunger levels
- Elevated heart rate
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Issues with balance and body coordination
In addition, since the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate Cannabis products, patients with MS may not always be sure what they are using. In turn, this means that different products have varying levels of THC and CBD. More so, vaping or smoking cannabis can damage your lungs. As such, you should avoid using cannabis for MS if you:
- Suffer from heart disease
- Pregnant or a lactating mother
- Suffer from Parkinson’s disease
- Ingest valproic acid or clobazam for bipolar disorder, seizures, or migraines
- Ever suffered from psychosis
For more information on the most suitable cannabis products to use and how to use them, please fill out the form below. Our qualified team can assist you in supporting your MS symptoms.