• Multiple Sclerosis and Medical Marijuana

Wellspring Fields
November 8, 2020

Multiple Sclerosis, more commonly referred to as MS, is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to various nerves in the body. There are various types of MS that range from relapsing to remissive stages, and stages that progressively worsen without remission. The symptoms of MS vary case by case. And oftentimes the degree of severity can be mild to debilitating, even for the same person. The most commonly experienced symptoms of MS are vision problems, pain, numbness, muscle weakness, bladder issues, fatigue and cognitive issues. Because the disease affects multiple different areas of the nervous system, the list of symptoms can be rather extensive. 

Other symptoms can include balance problems, stiffness, tremors and other involuntary movements, anxiety, depression, dizziness, and sleep disturbances. Oftentimes, there are days where little to no symptoms persist, and the opposite when there is a flare up occuring. 

What Causes MS?

There is no known cause for multiple sclerosis, but there are instances where certain behaviors or factors may cause a flare up. A flare up is considered to be when the nervous system becomes inflamed and causes new symptoms or symptoms to become worse. Some factors that can cause inflammation to occur are stress, lack of sleep, extreme temperatures, diet, and infections. It’s important for those who suffer from MS to understand what may cause a flare up for them and control the factors that they can. 

Medical Marijuana as Treatment for MS

It is advised that people suffering from MS talk to their doctor and come up with a plan to manage  their symptoms through various means. This can vary for everyone. Some people find relief through diets that limit inflammation, certain vitamins and more. As with various other conditions, many people are reporting that incorporating medical marijuna into their daily routine has helped reduce and alleviate MS symptoms and even reduce the number of flare ups. The reason for this is that the cannabis plant has anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabinoids also suppress the body’s inflammatory response that helps stop the death of cells and aids in regulating the immune system.

In another study, it was found that marijuana can have a significant effect on the pain and stiffness associated with MS. The National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) stated that the use of Cannabinoids improved symptoms associated with autoimmune diseases. It goes on to include that Cannabinoids specifically improved MS symptoms such as pain, stiffness, tremors and involuntary movements due to their immunosuppressive and neuroprotective properties.

Effects on Other Symptoms 

Along with the many other symptoms of MS, medical marijuana can also assist with the emotional and psychological symptoms that come with it. Medical marijuana’s two main cannabidiols, THC and CBD have both been found to alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety. Another study published by NCBI found that Cannabidiol, or CBD, enhances serotonin levels immediately upon the first dose of CBD. Due to how quickly the effects of CBD are, and how long-lasting the effects remained, CBD also showed similar effects to that of antidepressants. Numerous studies have also concluded with evidence that cannabinoids have a therapeutic effect on MS related tremors and movements.  

Getting Your Card

In Ohio, and in most states, MS is recognized as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use. The  first step is to schedule an exam with a registered MMJ Physician. At your appointment, you’ll want to bring in any relevant documentation of your condition and discuss with your Ohio MMJ doctor your symptoms to determine if medical marijuana is right for you. We recommend you keep track of which products work best for use and side effects/ effectiveness. Because MS is such a complex disease, everyone’s case will be different. Monitoring your symptoms, triggers, and finding support in the medical marijuana community could greatly benefit the effectiveness of your medical marijuana treatment plan.

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