Medical cannabis is legal across Canada, but it’s still not widely used as a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). However, more research on the subject is coming out every day. This article covers everything from the extent of evidence behind using cannabis to treat MS symptoms to how you can use it safely if you have MS or another condition that benefits from its use. This article reviews the evidence and discusses potential effects of medical cannabinoids in treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis and other neuro autoimmune diseases.
What is MS?
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The symptoms of MS can vary from person to person, but most people experience some combination of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms. The most common symptoms of MS are fatigue, problems with balance, vision, or other senses, brain fog, and increased sensitivity to pain. Other symptoms include muscle spasms, pain, and twinges that may feel like a nerve pain or migraines.
What are the symptoms of MS?
The symptoms of MS do not occur in all people with the condition. In addition to fatigue and other common symptoms, people with MS may experience:
- Sensory symptoms, such as problems with vision, sensitivity to light, or hearing
- Vomiting, nausea, and a decreased appetite
- Muscle spasms and weakness
- Cognitive symptoms like memory loss, impaired concentration, and slow thinking
- Emotional issues like depression, anxiety, and mood changes
- Sexual issues like decreased desire, pain during sex, or not being able to have sex at all
- Incontinence or urinary tract issues
How can medical cannabis treat MS?
The endocannabinoid system plays a role in a variety of functions, including motor control, mood, pain, and gut motility. Research suggests that cannabis may influence endocannabinoid levels, which can have effects on the central nervous system. Certain cannabinoids found in cannabis (e.g. CBD, THC) are under investigation for potential therapeutic use in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis. Studies have looked at the impact of cannabis on certain MS symptoms. One study found that people with MS who used cannabis felt less pain, had less fatigue, and had improvements in sleep quality. Another study found that cannabis reduced spasticity, a common symptom of MS.
Benefits of using medical cannabis to treat MS
- Reduced Fatigue – Fatigue is a common symptom of MS and can make daily tasks difficult. Long periods of fatigue can negatively impact daily functioning, including work, school performance, and relationships. In some cases, it can even contribute to depression.
- Improved Sleep – Sleep is important for maintaining physical and mental health, and a good quality of sleep has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. Sleep also plays an important role in memory consolidation, which means it’s important for learning and daily function.
- Improved Spasticity – Spasticity can affect muscle function, causing stiffness and spasms. It can also cause pain.
- Reduced Pain – Pain is an important symptom of MS, and in some cases it can lead to severe psychological distress.
Side effects of using medical cannabis
The effects of using cannabis depend on your age, sex, health condition, and how much you use. If you have asthma, you should be careful because marijuana contains THC, a substance that can make your condition worse. It’s important to keep in mind that the side effects of using cannabis are related to the amount you use. Using a small amount of cannabis every now and then is unlikely to cause serious side effects.
As the evidence grows, many people with MS are choosing to use medical cannabis as an alternative treatment for pain, nausea, and other symptoms. However, it’s important to use cannabis safely and responsibly. Patients should never drive or operate heavy machinery while high, and they should always use products recommended by a medical cannabis physician. MS patients should also keep in mind that this is not a cure for MS or a replacement for medications. Cannabis is not recommended for people with MS who are experiencing symptoms that are unrelated to pain, fatigue, or spasticity. If you would like to learn more about using cannabis to treat MS symptoms, speak with your MS doctor or pharmacist. They can answer any questions you have and help you choose the best product for you. Visit Wccannabis.co online dispensary for all your cannabis needs.