Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
About 200 new cases of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are diagnosed in the United States each week, making MS the most widespread disabling neurological disease facing adults in this country.
About 400,000 people in the United States live with MS, and the prevalence of MS seems to be higher in places further away from the equator, such as the U.S. with the country making up such a large fraction of the 2.3 million worldwide cases. 85% of those diagnosed with MS are diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), which is characterized by clearly defined relapses, and chronic and worsening symptoms over time.
Understanding Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and its Treatment
At present, there are no medications that directly address the symptoms of MS, but rather medications are administered to slow the progression of the disease. There is no known cure for MS.
MS is a disease that affects the central nervous system and the brain’s ability to send signals to the rest of the body. While the symptoms are diverse, it’s often connected with speech problems, vision problems, chronic pain, and difficulty with balance, coordination and walking, to name just a few of the many symptoms that can be brought about with the disease.
There is no known cause for MS, but it’s believed that certain people have a genetic predisposition to MS and that there are certain environmental factors that will bring about the existence of the disease in someone.
More women are being diagnosed with MS, with the rate of diagnosis being 2 to 3 times more prevalent in women than men. It’s a disease that doesn’t begin to show its symptoms until adulthood, with many being diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40.
Medications for MS are known as “disease-modifying drugs” because they only address the disease itself and not the individual symptoms. While there are side effects of some of the 14 FDA approved medications to treat MS, one of the more serious ones includes the risk of a serious viral disease called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), which is an aggressive viral disease of the central nervous system.
With a desire to treat the symptoms of MS, many people who live with the disease are turning to medical marijuana and are finding that it significantly improves the quality of life of those living with the disease.
Connecting Medical Marijuana and MS
The ways medical marijuana is able to treat the symptoms of MS have both the MS communities and the cannabis communities celebrating, as the uses for cannabis are vast for the person with MS.
The analgesic properties that are contained within CBD are providing people with MS pain relief from the sometimes chronic pain that can accompany the disease in many parts of the body.
CBD is also being looked into for its ability to protect the brain, which is preventing the damage to nerve cells and lowering inflammation. With these neuroprotective properties, CBD is being heralded as something that can relieve muscle stiffness, and ease the difficulty in mobility and walking. In addition, cannabis has been long looked at as an effective treatment for glaucoma, which is an eye disease affecting vision. The neuroprotective properties of cannabis for people suffering from MS, like glaucoma, allow the brain and the eyes to effectively send signals to another, reducing blurred vision.
It’s also common for people with MS to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression as both a direct and indirect symptom of the disease. CBD-rich strains of cannabis assist with the brain’s ability to produce and receive serotonin, which is a key to regulating mood. The mental health community has begun to look into the ways CBD can provide an alternative to strong anti-depression or anti-anxiety drugs that produce adverse side effects.
Overall, cannabis is able to treat the symptoms of MS, where medications can’t. It’s able to provide people with quality of life, free from the often debilitating and disabling symptoms of this neurological disease.
Ready to Explore Medical Cannabis for MS?
MyCannX is dedicated to being your trusted resource and your connector for your medical needs, medical cannabis doctors, and your local dispensary. It all starts with that one step of finding more information about how medical marijuana can assist you from finding greater quality of life while living with Multiple Sclerosis.
Connect with MyCannX to get your cannabis card and begin your journey with medical marijuana to see how it can benefit you as you live a happy and productive life with MS.