Although treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) has advanced significantly in recent years, symptom management remains challenging, prompting many patients to seek alternative approaches such as cannabis for symptom relief. In a survey conducted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 66% of respondents indicated that they currently use cannabis for this purpose.
Medical cannabis use is now permitted in 30 states and Washington, DC. Because of conflicts between state and federal drug laws, there is no such thing as a medical cannabis prescription. Instead, patients must obtain certification from a physician who is approved to certify patients for participation in the program, based on one of numerous conditions, including MS. Once certified, patients receive a card that allows them to purchase medical marijuana from designated dispensaries.
You’ve had multiple sclerosis for a while now and tried a bunch of things to ease your pain or control those muscle spasms. But you’re just not getting the relief you need. Is it time, you wonder, to pay attention to all the talk about medical marijuana? Could it be an option for you?
Medical marijuana may help calm your spasms and let you move your arms and legs more freely.
Overactive bladder. Does MS make you feel like you need to go the bathroom a lot? marijuana can ease the spasms that cause your frequent urge to pee.
Nerve pain. It could make you hurt less, which can help you sleep better, too.
Cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of pain and spasticity in people with MS. There is scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of cannabinoids with a 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC, as noted during a recent meeting sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Marijuana and Cannabinoids: A Neuroscience Research Summit, in 2016. People with MS are currently self-medicating with cannabis. There are no specific guidelines, so patients must figure out which cannabis product is best for them.
American TV personality Montel Williams, who uses medical cannabis to manage his multiple sclerosis symptoms, spoke at the 5th annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition in New York City, May 30 to June 2. A prominent medical cannabis advocate, Williams discussed its legalization and acceptance, a movement that has gained increasing attention in the MS community in recent years. Williams started a medical cannabis-related company, LenitivLabs, in September 2016. He said he created it to develop a line of high-quality products, fund research, work closely with regulators, and provide proper education on medical cannabis to the public.
In November 2016, LenitivLabs teamed up with BAS Research, California’s first licensed medicinal marijuana manufacturing and research company, to develop, produce and market medical-grade cannabis products.
In February, a study reported that medical cannabis could safely and significantly reduce chronic pain in older people with MS and a wide range of other conditions.
Most patients reported improvements in their condition, with 93.7 percent reporting a significant decrease in pain six months after starting treatment. About 60 percent of respondents reported an improved quality of life. Researchers have been interested in the links between vitamin D and MS for many years. Now, some are exploring it as a possible way to ease MS symptoms. Vitamin D helps bones, nerves, muscles, and the immune system stay healthy. It also reduces inflammation.