MS, or multiple sclerosis, is a potentially disabling disease that affects the central nervous system. Namely, the brain and spinal cord. With MS, the immune system attacks what’s called the myelin that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually this causes irreversible.
MS symptoms definitely differ from person to person as well as over the progression of the disease and which nerve fibers are being affected. Symptoms often affect movement, such as:
- Numbness/weakness in one or more limbs
- Electric-shock sensations that occur when bending the neck forward
- Tremors or lack of coordination
Vision problems are common too. Those symptoms include:
- Partial or complete loss of vision (usually one eye at a time)
- Eye pain
- Prolonged double vision
- Blurry vision
There are some less common symptoms as well:
- Slurred speech
- Tingling or pain in parts of your body
- Problems with sexual, bowel and bladder function
Causes of MS
The cause of multiple sclerosis, like many of the other diseases we’ve covered, is unknown. It’s labeled as an autoimmune disease which means something is causing the body to attack itself. This immune system malfunction destroys the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord called the myelin.
Myelin is like the insulation coating on electrical wires. When the protective myelin is damaged and the nerve fiber is exposed, the messages that travel along that nerve fiber may be slowed or blocked. Still, we have no idea why MS develops in some people and not others. We’re sure it has something to do with both the environment and your genetics.
According to Healthline “On average, most people with MS live about seven years less than the general population. Those with MS tend to die from many of the same conditions, such as cancer and heart disease, as people who don’t have the condition. Apart from cases of severe MS, which are rare, the prognosis for longevity is generally good.”
Medical Marijuana and MS
This disease cannot be cured but medical marijuana eases symptoms to give patients a better quality of life. MM helps ease the fatigue and the pain associated with MS. Additionally:
- The National Multiple Sclerosis Society support the use of medical marijuana for people with MS in some instances and where it is lawful.
- In a study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, researchers gave people with MS either an oral extract of marijuana or a placebo for 12 weeks. The researchers found that people in the marijuana group experienced almost twice as much relief from muscle stiffness.
- A large 2011 study involved 572 people with MS who took either oral marijuana extract or a placebo. The authors concluded that marijuana extract is an effective treatment for spasticity in people with MS. Spasticity is the continuous contraction of certain muscles, and it is a common symptom of MS.
- In 2014, a systematic review found strong evidence to support the use of marijuana-based treatments for MS-related muscle problems.
- A 2012 trial looked at the effect of smoking marijuana on the symptoms of MS. The researchers found that smoking marijuana led to more pain reduction than a placebo.
- In another 2012 study, people with MS who took oral marijuana extract had a more significant reduction in pain than those who received a placebo.
Marijuana strains that help with associated proteins and anxiety include:
- Russian Assassin: This indica-dominant strain relieves anxiety and promotes a good night’s sleep by alleviating eye and body pain alike.
- Super Sour Diesel: This hybrid strain has more sativa than indica, combining the best qualities of both. It relaxes your mind and and keeps you energized at the same time as many patients suffer from chronic fatigue.
- Sojay Haze: This sativa is energizing and helps most with patients who have fatigue as their most dominant system. It gives deep pain relief without putting the patient to sleep.
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