Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease for which there is no known cure. The exact cause of the disease remains unknown, despite years of scientific investigation. However, researchers do know that in cases of multiple sclerosis, the immune system attacks healthy tissue in the body. For this reason, it’s classed as an autoimmune disease.
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis can be very severe. They can include but are not limited to:
This is a progressive disease, meaning the symptoms become worse with time. For many patients, multiple sclerosis eventually becomes completely debilitating and they lose their independence, needing 24 hour care in their daily lives.
The current treatments for the disease are focused on minimizing the symptoms. These consist of pain medications which, although they can be effective, can cause unwanted side effects such as medication overuse headaches.
For this reason, researchers have been investigation alternative medications. In recent years, much of this research has been focused on the effects of cannabis on multiple sclerosis and the side effects it can cause.
There have been numerous studies conducted which explored the possible benefits of a cannabis-based multiple sclerosis treatment. Unfortunately, the federal restrictions placed on cannabis significantly limit research efforts. As a result, most of the studies have been limited in scope and not of a gold standard.
They have, however, produced very promising results under the circumstances. Cannabis has been known for many years to act as an effective pain reliever, and this is very beneficial for multiple sclerosis patients. Studies have also found that it can help to minimize tremors and to prevent or reduce depression.
The risks associated with cannabis for these patients don’t appear to be as severe as those associated with opiate pain medications. Dry mouth and sleepiness are the two most common side effects. A temporary increase in heart rate is also not uncommon.
Medical cannabis is now legal in a large number of states across America. In these states, the range of medical cannabis products is growing and improving rapidly. Patients living in these states can take full advantage of this and decide for themselves if the drug helps their condition.