While cannabis is not the first thing that comes to mind when discussing Multiple Sclerosis treatments, nowadays, it is becoming a much sought-after option for many MS sufferers. With an estimated 400,000 Americans living with Multiple Sclerosis, and as many as 200 new diagnoses being made each week, the condition is becoming more of an issue in the US.
As of now, there are hundreds of prescription pharmaceuticals on offer for sufferers of the severe condition, but nothing so far has been of much comfort. With only about 1 in 4 patients experiencing many benefits from prescription drugs, it is perhaps time that there was a natural alternative for the condition.
Thanks to recent awareness, CBD has become a go-to cannabinoid for the relief of many of MS most debilitating symptoms. Cannabidiol has so much potential in helping to treat different conditions, that it is being adopted as a form of treatment worldwide. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, 1 in 5 patients admitted to using cannabis as a treatment for their symptoms!
With global recognition around the benefits of CBD in the treatment of MS, it is hard not to get excited about the potential this could have on the industry as a whole!
In this article, we are going to look at what exactly CBD is, and what makes it so effective in the relief of some of Multiple Sclerosis worst symptoms.
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of the hundreds of researched cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. Along with THC, this particular compound has had a great deal of money invested in its research.
While they both originate from the marijuana plant, CBD differs significantly from its close relative, THC. While both offer some impressive health benefits, THC is incredibly psychoactive, meaning the user will feel “high” after consumption.
For many sufferers of MS, as well as other serious condition, CBD has become a go-to for a bunch of therapeutic benefits! And while some may prefer to smoke cannabis for their medicine, many prefer not to have the buzz that comes with THC. It is for this reason that over the past decade, we have seen such dramatic rice in CBD popularity.
How Does CBD work?
The first thing understand is that CBD is 100% natural, and poses a great appeal to many long-suffering patients who have tried every man-made prescription pill on the market.
Years of research have revealed that the cannabinoids found within cannabis have an interesting relationship with the human body. In fact, the body has receptors explicitly designed for receiving cannabinoids, and these are known as CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Our body produces its natural cannabinoids via the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which then works to regulate our vital organs, mood, pain receptors and more! So when we consume CBD, instead of interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in a similar way to THC, it works with our ECS to boost the production of natural cannabinoids, allowing our body to speed up the regulation process.
It is for this reason that CBD can lead to the following:
- Reduced inflammation
- Boost in mood
- Increased appetite
- Improved sleep
- Reduce anxiety
Why Choose CBD to Help with Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a neurodegenerative disease that is often categorized as highly unpredictable. The symptoms and side effects of MS vary in severity but can come on seemingly at random, which can be incredibly distressing for the sufferer.
MS can affect anyone, and while it is more common in women aged between 15 and 60, plenty of men and children are also troubled by the condition. Multiple Sclerosis involves the body’s immune system attacking the fibers of the central nervous system. This affects the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves and can lead to a serious of unpleasant side effects that can leave the sufferer in a great deal of pain and discomfort.
Symptoms of MS include:
• Problems with vision
• Bladder issues
• Pains throughout the body
• Tingling and numbness
• Dizziness and balance problems
• Weakness or fatigue
These are just some of the symptoms that are attached to this condition, and as it stands, there have not been any successful pharmaceutical drugs that have been able to provide relief in all areas of the condition.
So why would CBD be any different? Cannabidiol has many proven properties that have been shown to make a direct impact on MS, some of which we have listed for you below:
Combined, these properties make CBD a force to be reckoned with in the medical world, and it is why we are seeing so many states changing their laws around CBD legality concerning medicinal use!
Looking at just a handful of the worst side effects that come with MS, let’s see if we can see why CBD is being dubbed the newest break-through in MS treatment.
Stiffness and spasms throughout the body are a common side effect of MS. However they can affect each sufferer differently, can grow in severity and often become worse over time. Muscle spasms often come on suddenly and involve the involuntary contractions of a muscle or set of muscles. This can be very painful and incredibly draining on the individual.
Currently, there are medications and treatments out there for this, from physiotherapy and various drugs even to surgery! However, these options have come up short for many sufferers of the condition, with CBD coming out on top in the treatment of spasms and stiffness.
CBD’s natural anti-inflammatory properties combat the most recognizable characterization of MS, which is the inflammation of neural tissue. This type of inflammation over time leads to wear and tear of the nerves protective barrier, which eventually results in irreparable damage. It is this that brings about some of the most severe symptoms, including spasms and stiffness.
By opting for CBD, which reduces inflammation, many MS sufferers have been able to take control of their condition in ways that have not been possible before.
One of the most common side effects of MS is depression, resulting in around 50% of sufferers being diagnosed with it. There are a few reasons why the condition leads to depression; it could be as a result of nerve damage, which would usually be used to regulate mood. Or it can be a by-product of suffering from many of the associated symptoms of the condition, with little to no relief.
As we mentioned above, our ECS plays a huge part in regulating mood and is often used to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. So when consumed, CBD assists the ECS in producing more relieving natural cannabinoids, which help, combat low moods. This makes CBD a perfect remedy for depression.
Another likely side effect of MS is the unpleasant abdominal complaints that can cause constipation, sickness, diarrhea and even fecal incontinence. These symptoms can result in lack of appetite, dramatic weight loss and ultimately increases the likelihood of illness related depression.
CBD has been used for years to aid digestive issues and is often discussed in relation to IBS and Chron’s disease where the symptoms can be very similar.
CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors situated in the body’s intestines and activates them. This leads to the easing of cramps and pains and the regulation of bowel movements.
Final Thoughts About CBD for MS
Unfortunately, it is clear that MS is not a simple condition to understand or treat. MS often comes with a large list of symptoms that can be incredibly debilitating to an individual. While CBD is becoming a more popular form of treatment, it is important to understand that CBD as a whole is still not yet fully understood. Especially when referring to how it affects our body.
Yet, when we look at CBD’s competition, there are no doubts that an all-natural approach that comes with no side effects would be the preferred choice. Especially as in most cases, many prescription drugs cause their own list of negative side effects, and other treatments like physiotherapy can be costly.
When you way up your options, it seems as if CBD remains the obvious choice for sufferers of the condition who are struggling to find relief – but we will leave THAT choice up to you.
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