The Role of Cannabis in Treating Multiple Sclerosis

The role of cannabis in treating multiple sclerosis

Several studies have shown that medical cannabis can reduce pain in people with MS. However, scientific evidence is not strong about its benefits for other symptoms of this disease.

Smoked cannabis may also improve muscle spasticity, or excessive muscle contractions. A trial of smoked cannabis showed that it reduced spasticity and pain in patients who had not responded to other therapies.

Symptoms

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) can experience a variety of symptoms, which can affect their quality of life. These include fatigue, bladder problems, muscle spasms, tremors, vision and gait issues, depression, cognitive problems and changes in mood.

Medicinal cannabis can help reduce the symptoms of MS, including pain, spasticity and neuropathic pain. For example, a study found that smoked cannabis reduced pain and muscle stiffness in patients with treatment-resistant spasticity.

However, it’s important to remember that cannabis is not a cure for MS and may not be appropriate for everyone. Before you use it, check your local laws and discuss it with your healthcare provider.

Medical marijuana is a natural substance that contains chemicals called cannabinoids, which help alleviate the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and other conditions. There are a number of studies that show it can help with numbness and tingling, pain, spasticity and tremors.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego found that smoked cannabis was effective at reducing pain and muscle stiffness in patients with treatment-resistant MS spasticity. In addition, cannabis also helped to improve balance and coordination in those with MS and was able to help them maintain a normal level of activity.

Another study by researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver showed that medical cannabis may be an effective way to treat chronic pain and neuropathic pain caused by MS. It was also shown to reduce anxiety and stress, which are common in people with MS.

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis can vary from person to person, and it’s difficult to diagnose. The exact causes of MS are not known, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that attacks the myelin sheath that lines the brain and spinal cord.

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis can be very debilitating, and they can lead to poor quality of life for both the patient and their family members. This is why more and more people with MS are seeking out medical cannabis as a possible treatment for their symptoms.

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In a recent survey of patients with multiple sclerosis, most of the participants reported being very comfortable discussing cannabis with their MS physician. Moreover, most participants were aware of the effects of cannabis on their symptoms and felt that it was helpful in managing their symptoms.

Treatment

Many treatments are available for multiple sclerosis (MS). They can help control symptoms, treat relapses, try to modify the course of the disease, promote function through rehabilitation and provide emotional support.

Medications are the most common treatment for MS. These include medications that can prevent relapses and those that can treat the symptoms of the disease, including muscle spasms, eye movement problems, pain, fatigue and depression.

Some medications also help to control the underlying inflammation in the central nervous system that is associated with MS. Drugs that can reduce inflammation are called anti-inflammatory medicines, and a class of drugs called immunomodulators are used to reduce the reactivity of immune cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Other medications that can help to treat the symptoms of MS are a group of drugs called disease-modifying therapies (DMTs). These include Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) and Cladribine (Mavenclad). Both are humanized monoclonal antibody medications, which means that they have been engineered to target specific proteins in the body.

These medications have been shown to reduce the number of relapses in people with relapsing-remitting MS, and they may also slow down the development of disability in some people with primary progressive MS. However, they don’t work for everyone and they can have serious side effects.

Another way of controlling the inflammation in the central nervous system that is associated in MS is through a procedure known as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). It involves harvesting bone marrow or blood from a person with MS and then administering it back into them via an infusion. This results in the formation of new, healthy immune cells that do not contribute to the reactivity in the central nervous system.

This procedure is used to treat children with relapsing-remitting forms of MS, as well as adults with secondary-progressive MS who have had an initial attack that is not controlled by medication. It has been shown to reduce relapses by about a third, although the long-term effects of HSCT are not well understood.

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Other treatments that can be used to help manage the symptoms of MS include physiotherapy, which can improve muscle spasms and stiffness, and can also relieve pain. Other therapies for muscle spasms and stiffness include a variety of medicines, such as benzodiazepines, which have a calming effect.

Side effects

Many patients with MS report that cannabis can help alleviate some of their symptoms. Some of these include pain, fatigue and tremors. Several studies have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of cannabis on these symptoms.

For example, a study in the UK found that people who smoked marijuana experienced more relief from muscle stiffness than a group who took a placebo (an identical pill with no active cannabinoids). It also found that CBD-rich cannabis extracts were effective at reducing neuropathic pain in MS patients.

Another study in the US found that patients who smoked cannabis for three days a week for two weeks experienced less spasticity than those who smoked the same number of placebo cigarettes. They also reported greater improvement in their sleep quality.

However, this study was limited by the fact that it was only a short-term intervention. The research team said that they hope to conduct longer-term clinical trials of smoked cannabis to see if it can be effective for treating the symptoms of MS.

In the meantime, people with MS who have been treated with other treatments for neuropathic pain should be aware that cannabis can increase their risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking their medication. This is because it can affect the way the brain works.

The majority of these side effects are mild and can be easily treated with other medications. The AAN says that there are currently only two synthetic drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of MS: dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet).

Some cannabis products are available over the counter or can be bought as supplements at your local health food store. They are usually tinctures, oils or extracts that contain cannabinoids. They may be labeled as containing CBD, THC, or both.

These products can be taken by inhaling, orally or through the skin as a topical application. Inhalation is the most common method, although some people use oral sprays and vaping.

A recent survey of multiple sclerosis patients found that most of them rely on themselves to guide their decision about whether to use cannabis. The researchers found that only 29% of participants relied on their doctors for information about the drug.

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Precautions

In some people with multiple sclerosis, cannabis (marijuana) can help improve symptoms of spasticity and pain. It can also reduce tremors and decrease the use of prescription drugs for MS-related side effects, such as opioids and benzodiazepines.

Patients with MS are more likely to report using marijuana than are people without MS. However, it is important to be aware of the possible risks and benefits associated with cannabis use.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society supports the use of medical cannabis for some people with MS in states where it is legal and in conjunction with conventional therapy. A person should speak to their health care provider to determine whether cannabis is appropriate for them and how to obtain it.

Currently, only one product is approved for the treatment of relapse-remitting MS: Epidiolex (GW Pharmaceuticals). There is more research needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of other cannabis-based products for treating multiple sclerosis symptoms.

A number of studies show that smoked cannabis and certain CBD-containing medicines can have a positive effect on the symptoms of MS. A 2018 review found that cannabis products were generally well-tolerated and serious adverse effects were rare.

Some people with MS who smoke or eat weed have reported that they experience improvement in their symptoms, particularly in the areas of fatigue and depression. Others have found that it can help them sleep better, and even improve their moods.

In a clinical trial, people with MS who used medicinal cannabis for spasticity reported that their symptoms improved and they felt better about their condition. The improvements were measurable in some ways, such as the ability to walk faster or complete tasks.

For example, the CAMS study measured changes in the amplitude of participants’ tremors. At one year, the tremors of patients taking medicinal cannabis were decreased in most cases.

For patients who want to use medical cannabis, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society recommends that they do so under the supervision of a doctor or pharmacist. They should have a history of MS and be comfortable with discussing the risks, benefits and side effects associated with using cannabis with their health care provider.

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