What Happens When CBD Is Used to Treat Multiple Sclerosis? | cannabisMD

What Happens When CBD Is Used to Treat Multiple Sclerosis?

CBD Treats Multiple Sclerosis

Curious about what happens when cannabinoids are used to treat Multiple Sclerosis? Click here to find out what effect they have on this disease.

Have you heard of using cannabinoids to treat Multiple Sclerosis?

You might be surprised to learn that CBD is actually very effective in treating this challenging disease. Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a debilitating disease that can be hard to combat with traditional medicine.

For many MS patients, CBD is just what they need.

What happens when MS is treated using cannabinoids? How do they work against the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, and why?

In this guide, we’ll answer all of those questions and more. Keep reading to learn why cannabinoids are changing the lives of MS patients.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

To understand why cannabinoids are so effective in treating MS, it’s helpful to understand a little about the disease itself. Let’s take a look at what makes MS a unique and challenging illness to treat.

The Basics

MS is a disease that affects the spinal cord and brain. Because it affects the nervous system, it has the potential to be disabling.

When MS occurs, the body’s immune system starts to attack the myelin sheath around the nerve fibers. Without this protective sheath, the nerves don’t work correctly, and the brain starts to have a hard time telling the rest of the body what to do.

Over the course of the disease, the nerves themselves may eventually start to deteriorate. They can even become irreversibly damaged.

Because this disease affects the nerves in ways that can be subtle or drastic, it’s unpredictable. The symptoms vary a lot depending on how much nerve damage occurs, and which nerves are affected. At worst, people can become unable to walk. However, some people go for years without MS symptoms after a diagnosis.

This disease has no cure, which is why finding effective long-term treatments, like cannabinoids, is so important.

The Symptoms

There are a wide variety of symptoms that can be seen in MS patients.

Some of the most common symptoms include weakness and numbness in limbs, vision loss, double vision, pain, and tingling. Often, symptoms affect just one side of the body at a time.

Other symptoms include a general unsteady gait or loss of coordination. MS patients may also feel fatigued, have slurred speech, or become dizzy.

The Course

The course of the disease varies a great deal from patient to patient. A lot of people go into a relapse and remission cycle. They’ll have relapses during which they get new symptoms for days or weeks at a time. However, the disease can also go into remission, which can last for years without any new symptoms.

Some people even see their symptoms start to get better, rather than worse, over time. However, certain symptoms tend to continue to worsen – mostly those associated with mobility.

The Cause

The cause of MS is not entirely understood. It’s categorized as an autoimmune disease because the body starts to attack itself using the immune system.

Researchers believe that both genetics and the environment may play a role in developing MS.

People between ages 15 and 60 are most likely to be diagnosed with MS. Family history of the disease can indicate that one is more likely to get it, and women contract it twice as often as men.

How is MS Treated?

Before the use of cannabinoids to treat Multiple Sclerosis, people have struggled to use conventional medicine to manage the disease.

First, a doctor will test to be sure that MS is the problem. They’ll use an examination to rule out other possible diseases, since there are no tests for MS in particular.

Those tests can include a spinal tap, MRI, and blood tests.

MS Prescriptions

Then, prescriptions are usually given to help manage the symptoms of the disease. A common prescription for MS is corticosteroids, which help with nerve inflammation. However, they come with side effects including mood swings and changes in blood pressure.

Another common treatment is plasma exchange. This involves removing the liquid part of your blood, called plasma, and separating it from the blood cells. Then, a protein solution is added to the blood cells before they’re reintroduced to your body.

Needless to say, this is an invasive procedure. It also tends to work best on patients who have new but severe symptoms.

Although these treatments are used to manage MS attacks, there are many other prescriptions that are used to slow the progression of the disease. However, none of them are entirely effective, and all of them are associated with side effects.

The side effects of MS medications range from symptoms of the flu to development of cancer. People with this disease have struggled to balance the need for treatment against the desire to avoid side effects.

Cannabinoids and Multiple Sclerosis

Cannabinoids, or CBD, have been found to be useful in treating countless diseases and medical issues, from injury-related pain to cancer. Multiple Sclerosis is now solidly on the list of things CBD can help with.

How does CBD help, and why? Let’s take a closer look.

Why CBD Works For MS Patients

CBD has been shown to have a wide variety of different medical benefits. Neuroprotective properties are among those benefits, making this a perfect treatment for people who suffer from MS.

Although more research is needed, people who have tried CBD to treat MS have shown promising results already. There are a number of different ways cannabinoids help treat this disease – here are a few of the most promising ones.

1. Fights Inflammation

One of the primary symptoms of MS is inflammation of neural tissue.

When the immune system attacks the nerves, the myelin sheaths become inflamed in the process. The inflammation is what leads to the myelin becoming damaged beyond repair.

Damage to the myelin sheaths is responsible for all the symptoms of MS, from mood swings to mobility issues. If that damage can be minimized, people with MS won’t suffer from it as much.

Cannabis is a well-known anti-inflammatory, making it an ideal treatment for MS. CBD helps minimize the immune response that attacks the nerves, keeping inflammation to a minimum.

Scientific studies have backed this up, showing that the neurodegeneration associated with MS can be inhibited using CBD.

2. Relieves Pain

Pain is one of the most frequent symptoms of MS and can play a major role in how debilitating the disease becomes.

Chronic pain is hard to live with, in any form. The inflammation of the nerves associated with MS is a common cause of the pain. Muscle spasms associated with the disease can also be very painful.

Cannabinoids have been shown to help with chronic pain, as well as inflammation. Again, science backs it up: in at least one study, an oral medicine that used cannabis has been shown to be an effective way to relieve pain for people with MS.

Other studies on smoking cannabis have shown similar pain-relieving results. CBD is a much better long-term solution for pain than other common medications, such as opioids, which have a high risk for addiction.

Cannabinoids act on both the immune system’s pain response and on inflammation, reducing pain from both the cause and the symptom.

3. Reduces Spasms

CBD can also make the painful spasms less common for MS patients.

These involuntary muscle contractions are experienced by many people with MS. The sharp pain that comes with spasms doesn’t usually last long, but it is intensely felt while it’s happening.

These muscle contractions can also lead to long-term feelings of soreness and tightness. Fortunately, cannabinoids are an effective way to make spasms both less common and less intense.

Studies show that cannabis has been effective in educing the number of muscle spasms, while increasing mobility for people who suffer from them.

Again, the reason CBD works this way is probably because it reduces inflammation, which seems to be the root cause of these spasms.

4. Works as an Antidepressant

It comes as no surprise that people who suffer from long-term, debilitating diseases like MS often suffer from depression.

The symptoms of the disease such as chronic pain can contribute to depression. However, the depression might also be caused by damage to the nerves that are in charge of mood regulation.

On top of that, depression is a common side effect of medications used to treat MS. Other mental and emotional health issues can also arise as a result of the disease or the medications used to treat it.

A number of studies have shown the antidepressant effects of CBD. Because cannabinoids interact with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating mood (among other things), it makes sense that they would help treat depression.

Of course, it’s possible that the mood elevation seen when people use CBD is a result of their symptoms getting better, too. When people who suffer from pain or muscle spasms no longer have such debilitating issues to deal with, their depression may just go away.

Interested in Trying Cannabinoids?

If you or someone close to you suffers from MS, trying CBD is a great idea.

There are minimal to no side effects associated with CBD, and the benefits are powerful.

Are you ready to give it a try? Check out our CBD sites here.

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