IMPORTANT: All information contained on this website is for educational purposes only. None of this information should be construed as medical or treatment advice for any specific person or condition. Cannabis has not been analyzed or approved by the FDA, and there is limited information on the side effects of using cannabis as a medication. You should always consult a licensed physician in all matters related to your health.
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Multiple Sclerosis causes the body’s immune system to attack the central nervous system in the same way it would a viral or bacterial infection. The result is irreversible damage to the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. MS is characterized by flare ups, followed by periods of remission. Severity varies among patients, but symptoms are often debilitating and result in severe physical limitations or even paralysis.
MS patients may experience nerve pain, muscle spasms, numbness or tingling, vision problems, insomnia, loss of appetite, and even seizures. Anxiety and depression are also common with MS.
Because MS affects the entire body, traditional treatments involve a variety of pharmaceutical medications prescribed to relieve symptoms and extend remissions. Unfortunately, many come with their own unpleasant side effects. While implementing cannabis into MS treatment won’t eliminate the need for prescription medications, it may help reduce the dosage and amount of medications patients need to take.
The role of cannabis-based treatments in managing MS symptoms is becoming highly recognized. Studies have found CBD and THC cannabinoids to be effective in treating muscle spasms, fatigue, appetite loss, insomnia, chronic pain, and MS-related anxiety and depression.
Cannabinoids also show promise in slowing MS progression by modifying the body’s immune response to prevent it attacking the nerves. So rather than simply relieving pain, cannabis works to heal the damaged nerves that are the source of it. Cannabis is also thought to be a neuroprotectant, which could further prevent MS progression.
Many MS patients report drastic improvements with cannabis medicine — from reduced pain and improved sleep, to regaining sensation and range of motion in limbs affected by MS. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society supports the use of medical cannabis in states where it is legal, and advocates for extended state legalization.
If you’re living with MS and want to know more about how cannabis can help improve your quality of life, talk with your doctor about the potential benefits. And if you’re interested in getting your medical marijuana card, NETA is here to help.