7 Benefits for Treating Multiple Sclerosis with Cannabis

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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.

Eases Nerve Pain

Cannabis helps ease a lot of the nerve pain associated with MS.

Cannabis is a powerful analgesic that engages pain receptors in the body, significantly reducing chronic pain.

This chronic pain is caused by inflammation of nerve tissue, which leads to pain signals being sent throughout the body. Just as having something pressing on a nerve in one’s back can cause pain to travel down their leg, often, a patient will feel a large amount of pain in an unaffected area of the body due to damaged nerves signals traveling to the area.

By reducing the inflammation on the nerves, patients find much-needed relief from this pain.

Reduces Inflammation

The common thread to the majority of symptoms of MS is the effect chronic inflammation has on the body. This inflammation is the number one culprit of much of what ails MS patients.

Cannabinoids found in cannabis are very potent anti-inflammatories. THC and CBD compounds derived from cannabis deactivate this immune response that leads to chronic inflammation and stops the attack on the central nervous system.

The compounds are also powerful antioxidants which contain neuroprotective properties. This capability protects the cells, tissues, and DNA from damage.

When unprotected, the tissues become inflamed and irritated which leads to deterioration. This decline sends pain signals through the nerves throughout the body leading to intense pain.

The cannabinoids found in these compounds helps prevent this and promote neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells.

Aids Digestion

MS patients commonly have severe gastrointestinal issues like constipation, uncontrolled bowels, and difficulty with digestion.

cannabis in jars
Cannabis can help with all sorts of issues in the body at the same time. (Picture taken at Buds & Rosesdispensary)