Infographic | How Cannabis Relieves Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
How Cannabis relieves symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). At The Healing Clinic, we have helped numerous patients dealing with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) receive medical cannabis to ease their symptoms. We are very sympathetic to those with MS, as their is no known cure, though medical cannabis can drastically help with the symptoms.
MS is a disease of the nervous system in which the body’s own immune system begins attacking the myelin sheath, a protective covering, surrounding nerve cells. This can cause severe pain and discomfort due to inflammation, blurred vision, muscle spasms, depression and feeling tired, among many other symptoms. MS was first recognized in 1868 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, with the help of Robert Caswell, a British professor of pathology and Jean Cruveilhier, a French professor of pathologic anatomy, providing previous reports of the disease. As the most common autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system, the number of people suffering from MS is estimated to be 2-2.5 million worldwide, with varying rates in different regions of the world.
So, how does cannabis help MS? Human bodies posses an endogenous endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body. This means that humans are born with molecules inside the body, cannabinoid receptors, that are stimulated by cannabis.
Brain / Central Nervous System & Inflammation
MS attacks the central nervous system, consisting of the brain and the spinal cord, which includes an intricate system of nerve cells in charge of sending, receiving, and interpreting information from all parts of the body. Nerve cells are protected by the myelin sheath. When attacked by MS, this produces scarring on the myelin, which interrupts nerve signals, and causes inflammation as a response. Cannabis protects the brain and central nervous system from inflammation by decreasing the production and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Pain & Muscle Spasms
A major effect of Multiple Sclerosis is pain due to inflammation. Approximately half of all MS patients experience pain at some point. Cannabis is considered to be analgesic, or a pain reliever. Cannabinoids, such as THC or CBD, engage the body’s natural cannabinoid receptors, relieving pain for the cannabis user. Muscle spasms occur in about 20% of MS patients due to damaged nerves sending imbalanced signals from the brain to the limbs. Called “Spasticity,” muscle spasms can happen in the legs, arms or back. Spasticity is caused by an imbalance in the electrical signals coming from the central nervous system.
Depression & Stress
Humans naturally produce endocannabinoids, which preside over communication between cells. When endocannabinoids are low, depression and stress may occur. By taking cannabis, we are then able to imitate the natural endocannabinoids with cannabinoids that appear due to consuming cannabis. This causes the consumer of cannabis to not feel depressed or stressed.
Blurred Vision & Uncontrolled Eye Movements
Blurred vision and uncontrolled eye movements are a very common symptom of MS. Inflammation, yet again, is the cause of perturbed eyesight. By consuming cannabis and thus reducing the inflammation on the optic nerve, damaged vision can be restored.
Multiple Sclerosis can be terribly painful, which may keep a sufferer awake at night. Indica marijuana strains are the perfect, non-opiate, option for dealing with sleep deprivation.
Common effects of MS include abdominal pain, bowel control, loss of appetite and constipation. Cannabis is known to relieve these symptoms. Not only does cannabis act as an appetite stimulant, it also reduces inflammation, which would be the cause of the majority of MS related digestive problems.
Thanks for reading, we hope this information will help anyone suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. If you live in Illinois and are interested in registering for medical cannabis, you can request an appointment. The Healing Clinic will make the confusing process of registering very simple. Check out the infographic below: