Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the myelin sheath that encloses nerves in the brain and spinal column.
When this tissue becomes inflamed for long periods of time, it causes irreversible tissue damage that inhibits the ability of the nerves to communicate with the body through the central nervous system. The result of this damage is chronic pain, loss of motor control, fatigue, and muscle spasticity and weakness.
Over the last several years, extensive research has been performed to study the effects of cannabis on the symptoms associated with MS. The results have been astounding.
Cannabinoids found in the compounds including psychoactive THC and non-psychoactive CBD have proven to reconstruct the natural process our body performs through naturally occurring endocannabinoids.
In autoimmune patients such as those with MS, the body does not adequately produce these endocannabinoids due to the immune system attacking the DNA of the individual. This attack causes a breakdown in normal body processes, resulting in a nervous system that cannot function properly.
The compounds found in cannabis connect to the cannabinoid receptors and pain receptors in the body and act as a stand-in to promote this healing process. The results are remarkable and lead to a much better quality of life for those suffering from this disease.
Here’s a closer look at how cannabis can help:
Reduces Muscle Spasticity
THC and CBD are proven to dramatically reduce uncontrollable muscle spasms including the spasms that cause the frequent urge to urinate.
Israel’s Tel Aviv University conducted a research study in which they infected mice with the condition that mimics MS. When they injected the mice with CBD, the mice were able to walk again. Before the CBD, the legs of the infected mice were crippled by stiffness and tightness. The mice treated with CBD also showed a significant decrease in nerve damage and overall inflammation.
Another study performed at The University of Plymouth in 2012 found cannabis to be twice as effective at providing relief of muscle pain and spasms than a placebo. After 12 weeks of using cannabis, patients reported a much higher reduction in spasticity than those who received a placebo.