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Medical Marijuana and Multiple Sclerosis

Use of Medical Marijuana for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (also known as MS) is painful and degenerative disease of the central nervous system. MS slowly cripples its victims and in the end leads to death in some cases. It affects victim’s vision, memory, hearing, moves and balance. The average age of patients with MS disorder is 20-40 years. Even though no cure has been found for multiple sclerosis, this disease is not fatal. Treatment usually consists of medications, such as: barbiturates, steroids, tranquilizers, and opiates. These drugs simply help the patient to manage disorder symptoms for a limited time but are also known to cause severe side effects that interrupt normal routine. These “high risk” side effects include weakness, nausea, abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, seizures and many others. Marijuana use, on the other hand, has side effects that are mild and are classified as “low risk” side effects.

How Marijuana Use Can Help Multiple Sclerosis Patients

After dozen of independent scientist’s studies and reports, US National Multiple Sclerosis Society concluded that marijuana contains cannabinoids that have the potential to treat multiple sclerosis as well as slow down the progression of the disease. Medical cannabis is helpful for a wide variety of MS symptoms and indications, such as:

• Reduces muscle stiffness and tremors.
• Improves balance, speech and eyesight
• Allows MS patients to be more mobile and not movement impaired
• Quells muscle spasms

Many patients with MS disease agreed that smoking medical marijuana quells their muscle spasticity better than barbiturates and relives their pain better than opioid drugs. Medical marijuana helps MS patients to relieve pain and is helpful in treating other multiple sclerosis symptoms, although it there is no strong scientific evidence of that. All scientific study results are not published and are kept in secret by the government, due to federal prohibition on cannabis. Many MS patients, who are bound to their wheelchair, report that mitigated their muscle spasms they can walk without additional aid when they have smoked medical marijuana. More than half of marijuana-smoking MS patients said it relieves and alleviates their pain.


Cannabinoids, Immune Suppression and Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Natural cannabis contains more than 400 chemical compounds; approximately 60 of them are cannabinoids. There are 2 cannabinoids that play a major role in treating patients with MS disease, and these cannabinoids are: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). It has been scientifically proven, that these cannabinoids are capable of creating immune suppression.

Cannabinoids “turn off” a portion of the immune response and decrease hyperactivity of immune system cells. This prevents the patient from more damage caused by immune cells to the myelin.
Cannabinoids operate similarly to steroids, except they don’t cause severe side effects and don’t disrupt the patient from normal routine.

Legal Pharmaceutical Alternatives to Medical Marijuana

Marijuana is still considered illegal by federal government. There are legal pharmaceutical marijuana alternatives. Marinol (Dronabinol) is sold in US pharmacies and is synthetic form of THC and does not contain as much cannabinoids, when comparing to natural cannabis plant. Sativex is another alternative product that is sold in Canada and in some European Union countries and comes in the form a mouth spray.

Court Cases Dealing with MS and Marijuana Use

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