Does medical marijuana help multiple sclerosis is a key question coming up for debate in major medical marijuana lobbying arguments. There are several things that can be said about the way medical marijuana can help with conditions such as multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. The use of tetrahydrocannabinol in pain relief and muscle relaxation is sure to come up for debate.
Conditions Helped by Medical Marijuana
Let’s take each of these conditions one at a time and understand better how they manifest and how marijuana’s tetrahydrocannabinol use can be of help for them. We’ll see does medical marijuana help multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis is a condition that affects more than 2 million people around the globe and it is known to have its onset between the ages of 20 and 50 while being met more commonly with women than it is with men.
It is an inflammatory disease where the insulating covers of the brain’s and spinal cord’s nerve cells are damaged. It goes without saying that without this insulating surface, cells cannot function normally leading as such to all sorts of symptoms and signs. Many of them are of physical and mental nature but there are sometimes cases where psychiatric problems occur as well.
It is worth mentioning that MS manifests under various forms either with symptoms occurring as isolated attacks or symptoms that build up over time to lead to progressive forms of the condition.
Up till now, there is no cause found to conduct this disorder but the mechanism goes from the destruction of the cells by the immune system or by cells that fail to produce myelin (the layer around the axon of a neuron). A patient is found to suffer from multiple sclerosis in accordance to the signs they present, the symptoms and the medical tests that are conducted to diagnose further the manifestation of the symptoms.
Does medical marijuana help multiple sclerosis sufferers?
Speaking of symptoms, it is relevant to mention the most commonly met symptoms that medical marijuana can help with when it comes to multiple sclerosis. Patients will manifest aching, stiffness, muscle spasms from where other effects emerge such as pain, insomnia and movement limitations. These ones can be as well seen with spinal cord injury, a condition that occurs as a result of trauma that leads to damaged nerve roots. Depending on the severity of the damage, this trauma can end in pain up to paralysis and incontinence.
When it comes to reducing muscle spasms (where patients tense reflexively and withhold stretching) various conventional medications (Zanaflex and Baclofen) are prescribed but they result invariably in drowsiness or weakness. These symptoms are very often found with MS patients but there are as well other symptoms such as cramps, aches, and involuntary muscle contraction that is very painful. Over time, all these will become worse with patients ending up either partially or totally paralyzed.
Both of the conventional medications will present side effects such as dry mouth type and muscle weakness, the latter one being definitely not something that is optimal in a patient suffering from multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, the studies conducted on the effects of THC over these patients are at a smaller scale, but the majority of the results obtained have indicated relief for these symptoms. Many will claim that the effects presented can be about more likely the placebo effect and not the real effect brought in by using medical marijuana.
MS and Spinal Cord Injury: Two Conditions to Be Helped by Medical Marijuana Use
As to the spinal cord injury it is more indicated for the THC from cannabis to be taken orally to avoid as such any complication by lung inhalation. But it has been found that medical marijuana is better inhaled by multiple sclerosis patients to work better for their muscle spasms.
THC contained in medical marijuana is helpful as well in matters of relieving the pain while anxiety is eliminated. It is common knowledge that anxiety in itself is a mental state that makes the body be all tensed and with MS patients this makes things even worse at the level of their regular spasms. Therefore, relieving anxiety will reduce the muscle spasms as much as possible.
The researchers reported that tetrahydrocannabinol had double the rate of muscle stiffness relief compared to the placebo at the end of the 12-week period.
Medical News Today: Marijuana Extract Relieves Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms.
So, there you have it. While there are indeed conventional medications provided for multiple sclerosis patients and special treatments applied on those suffering from spinal cord injuries, there are areas where medical marijuana can be of help. So Does medical marijuana help multiple sclerosis and if so, can this be offered in the right dosage knowing that there won’t be any side effects?