Medical marijuana is now commonly used for a range of severe and chronic conditions, especially as it has many medical benefits. One instance of this is the use of medical marijuana for multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis (commonly abbreviated to MS) is a severe lifelong condition. It affects the brain and spinal cord and causes issues with movement, vision, memory, and thinking. Although some cases of MS are mild, it often causes serious disabilities.
Since MS is incurable, most treatments focus on relieving symptoms and improving quality of life. Medical marijuana has become a popular treatment for its ability to help with many MS symptoms.
What Is MS & How Is It Treated?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a severe autoimmune condition that affects the brain and spinal cord. It’s caused by the body’s immune system attacking myelin, an important fatty substance that protects nerve cells in the body. This can cause a range of severe mental and physical issues for those with MS.
Research by the National MS Society found that almost a million people suffer from MS in the U.S. alone. It can range in severity, but patients often suffer from various issues. This can include problems with movement and mobility, vision problems, issues with memory and cognitive function, as well as mood problems. These can severely impact the quality of life of patients.
MS can be caused by both genetic and environmental issues. While it can impact anyone, it’s up to 2 or 3 times more prevalent in females. There’s no cure for MS and treatment largely focuses on managing symptoms and helping to improve the quality of life of patients. This can include steroids, medications, and disease-modifying therapies. Medical marijuana has become a particularly common option for MS patients.
Medical Marijuana & Multiple Sclerosis
Medical cannabis is helpful for multiple sclerosis sufferers for many reasons. The cannabinoids in cannabis help to regulate the immune system and can reduce the prevalence of T-cells that attack myelin in the body. What’s more, cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties that can help counteract the inflammatory effects of MS.
A 2019 study found that marijuana use in multiple sclerosis patients was becoming increasingly common. MS patients were more likely to report marijuana use than non-MS patients, especially due to its ability to help with symptoms such as spasticity and pain.
What’s more, a long-term study on using cannabinoids for multiple sclerosis found that, after 12-months of cannabinoid-based treatment, no major safety concerns were found and MS patients largely reported that cannabis helped treat their disease.
Multiple sclerosis treatment mainly focuses on alleviating symptoms that impact the health and quality of life of patients. Medical marijuana is often used in conjunction with other treatments as it helps with many common MS symptoms without major safety concerns. This makes it an excellent option for MS patients who seek alternative therapies to help with their condition.
How Medical Cannabis Helps with MS Symptoms
Multiple sclerosis can affect patients in various ways. Some only suffer from mild symptoms whereas others suffer from severe disabilities. Medical marijuana has been shown to help with many of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis, making it particularly helpful when it comes to treating MS.
Many MS patients suffer from chronic pain, muscle spasms, and muscle stiffness. Marijuana is known to help relieve chronic pain and inflammation. It also helps reduce spasticity and has a relaxing and soothing effect on the body. This can help significantly for MS patients suffering from severe physical symptoms.
Mood problems are also common in those with multiple sclerosis. Not only can the illness affect certain areas of the brain, but the emotional impact of dealing with MS can cause severe stress, anxiety, and depression. Medical marijuana helps as it can help relieve mood problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also help patients improve their sleep and reduce fatigue.
It’s worth noting that not all studies on using marijuana for MS are positive. For instance, one study found that marijuana doesn’t help with the cognitive issues caused by MS. However, many studies show that cannabis helps with the physical and mood issues caused by MS and improves the quality of life of patients.
How to Use Medical Marijuana for Multiple Sclerosis
Patients who want to use medical marijuana for multiple sclerosis aren’t short on options. There are many types of marijuana products you can find in dispensaries, all of which can work effectively.
Smoking or vaping cannabis flower is a popular option as it can instantly relieve issues such as pain and poor mood. There are also many strains to choose from. Indica strains are better for relaxation whereas sativa strains are better for stimulation.
Some patients prefer to avoid inhaling cannabis, in which case cannabis tinctures are a good option. These allow patients to measure a specific dose of THC and apply it under their tongue. Patients can also use cannabis capsules and edibles, which give you a fixed dose of THC for oral consumption.
Those who want to avoid getting high may prefer to use CBD. CBD edibles, oils, capsules, vapes, and other such products allow you to benefit from consuming cannabinoids without psychoactive effects. Cannabis topicals can also be used to relieve pain and inflammation without getting high.
Related: The Difference Between CBD & THC
How to Get Medical Cannabis
Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common conditions that medical marijuana is prescribed for, but you’ll need to obtain a medical card first. Some states allow you to buy marijuana for any purpose as long as you’re 21 or over, but it’s generally best to apply via your state’s medical marijuana program for high-quality medical marijuana.
Getting a medical card for marijuana usually involves a few steps. For instance, in Florida, you need to visit a medical marijuana doctor before applying for your medical card online. As long as your application is approved, you’ll receive your medical card within a couple of weeks. Once you’ve been approved, you can buy a variety of medical marijuana and CBD products from state dispensaries.
Multiple sclerosis is a severe neurological condition that can cause problems with movement, vision, mood, memory, and cognitive function. Although it is incurable, medical marijuana can help manage the symptoms of MS in conjunction with other treatments.
In Florida, the first step to getting your medical marijuana card is to schedule an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor. We make it fast and easy!
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