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Medical marijuana and the treatment of multiple sclerosis

In recent years, medical marijuana has gained increasing recognition as an effective treatment method for various conditions, including multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic nervous system disease that affects the functioning of the brain and spinal cord. Although there is no known cure for MS, medical marijuana has become one of the commonly used means that provide relief to patients with this disease. In this article, we will look at the role of medical marijuana in the therapy of treating multiple sclerosis and how it can affect the quality of life of patients.

What will you learn from this article

👉 What is multiple sclerosis?

👉 Can medical marijuana help people suffering from multiple sclerosis?

👉 What do studies say about the use of medical marijuana in the therapy of multiple sclerosis?

Table of contents:

  1. What is multiple sclerosis?
  2. What is the cause of this condition?
  3. Traditional methods of treating multiple sclerosis
  4. Treatment of multiple sclerosis using medical marijuana
  5. Medical marijuana and multiple sclerosis – scientific research
  6. How can medical marijuana improve the quality of life for patients?
  7. Should you inform your doctor about using medical marijuana?
  8. What are the side effects of treatment with addition of medical marijuana?
  9. Summary

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the myelin sheath around nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Damage to myelin leads to disruption of the flow of nerve signals between different parts of the body, manifesting as a range of neurological symptoms. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis can include problems with balance, motor coordination, vision, bladder control, and cognitive functions.

What is the cause of this condition?

The causes of multiple sclerosis are not fully understood, but many factors can influence the development of this disease. Research suggests that multiple sclerosis may have a genetic basis, with individuals having relatives with the disease being more susceptible to its occurrence. Additionally, environmental factors, such as viral infections or vitamin deficiencies, may also play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis.

The immune system plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. In the case of this disease, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, leading to its damage and the formation of scars. This inflammatory process can lead to the deterioration of nerve cell functioning and symptoms characteristic of multiple sclerosis.

👨‍⚕️ Traditional methods of treating multiple sclerosis

Traditional methods of treating multiple sclerosis focus on alleviating symptoms and delaying the progression of the disease. Among these methods are:

👉 pharmacotherapy,

👉 physical rehabilitation,

👉 occupational therapy,

👉 cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Pharmacotherapy involves the use of immunomodulatory drugs that help reduce the autoimmune response and prevent the progression of the disease.

Treatment of multiple sclerosis using medical marijuana

Medical marijuana, also known as medical cannabis, contains chemical compounds called cannabinoids, which have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antiemetic effects [1]. Studies show that cannabinoids can have a positive impact on the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and improve the quality of life of patients.

One of the most active cannabinoids in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC has analgesic and antiemetic properties, which can help patients with multiple sclerosis by alleviating pain and reducing nausea and vomiting. Another important cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD), which has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. CBD can help reduce inflammation and protect nerves from further damage.

Medical marijuana and multiple sclerosis – scientific research

In recent years, many scientific studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating multiple sclerosis. The results of these studies are promising and indicate the beneficial effects of cannabinoids on MS symptoms.

According to one study published in the “Journal of Neurology,” medical marijuana can provide relief to patients with neuropathic pain, which often accompanies multiple sclerosis [2]. Another study, conducted at the University of California, showed that patients using medical marijuana experienced a reduction in the intensity of muscle spasms, which are a common symptom of MS [3].

In another study, published in the “Multiple Sclerosis Journal,” researchers analyzed data from surveys conducted among patients with multiple sclerosis. The results indicated that patients who used medical marijuana reported improvement in physical functioning and a reduction in depression symptoms [4].

How can medical marijuana improve the quality of life for patients?

Medical marijuana can contribute to improving the quality of life for patients with multiple sclerosis in several ways. Firstly, its analgesic properties can alleviate neuropathic pain and chronic muscle pain, which often accompany this disease. Pain reduction can significantly improve the comfort and daily functioning of patients.

Secondly, medical marijuana can help reduce the severity of muscle spasticity symptoms, which often occur in patients with multiple sclerosis. Muscle spasticity can cause stiffness, spasms, and difficulties in performing daily activities. The relaxing effect of marijuana can alleviate these symptoms and help patients maintain normal mobility.

Medical marijuana in the treatment of multiple sclerosis is opening a new door to relief, reducing muscle spasticity and improving sleep quality, which for many patients means a return to normal life.

Lucas Cysewski – CEO and founder of VapeFully

🤔 Should you inform your doctor about using medical marijuana?

Yes, you should always inform your doctor about using medical marijuana. The doctor will be able to assess the impact of marijuana on therapy and monitor its effectiveness and potential side effects. Moreover, the doctor will be able to adjust other forms of treatment and ensure optimal management of the patient’s health condition.

Collaboration with the doctor is crucial for the effective and safe use of medical marijuana in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Therefore, it is always worth consulting with a professional before starting any therapy.

What are the side effects of treatment with addition of medical marijuana?

Treatment with medical marijuana may be associated with certain side effects. Here are some potential side effects that may occur:

📌 Dry mouth

Using marijuana can cause a sensation of dryness in the mouth. This can be remedied by hydrating the body with regular consumption of fluids.

📌 Excessive drowsiness

Some patients report a feeling of drowsiness after consuming marijuana. Therefore, it is important to avoid driving vehicles or operating machinery when you feel drowsy.

📌 Worsening or improvement of patient’s mood

In some cases, marijuana can affect mood, causing euphoria, increased activity, or decreased motivation. It is important to monitor your well-being and inform your doctor of any changes.

📌 Short-term memory problems

Some patients report difficulties in concentration and remembering information after consuming marijuana. Introducing structure and organization into daily tasks can help cope with these difficulties.

📌 Impact on the cardiovascular system

Some studies suggest that marijuana can affect the cardiovascular system, causing an increase in heart rate and dilation of blood vessels. Therefore, individuals with existing heart conditions should consult a doctor before starting therapy with marijuana.

It is important to remember that side effects may vary depending on the person and dosage of marijuana. In case of any concerning symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. Cooperation with a professional is key to monitoring side effects and adjusting medical marijuana therapy to the individual needs of the patient.

Summary

Medical marijuana can be an important therapeutic option for patients with multiple sclerosis. Its analgesic, antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective action can provide relief in many symptoms of this disease. Scientific research confirms promising results related to the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Although medical marijuana can provide relief to patients, it is important to always consult a doctor before starting any therapy. The doctor will be able to assess the benefits and potential risk associated with medical marijuana and adjust the treatment to the individual needs of the patient.

Bibliography:

1. Cannabinoids and multiple sclerosis. (2014) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3998228/

2. Medical marijuana in the treatment of multiple sclerosis-related pain: a retrospective longitudinal study. (2020). Journal of Neurology https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00415-020-09930-w

3. Cannabis for the Treatment of Muscle Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis: An Evidence-Based Review of the Literature. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11910-019-0977-0

4. Multiple sclerosis patients’ benefit and satisfaction with medical cannabis. (2019). Multiple Sclerosis Journal https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1352458518790401

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