Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease wherein the immune system targets the central nervous system. It may cause deterioration and severe damage to the nerves. While this disease has no cure, its treatment involves reducing the frequency and severity of relapses. These days, many MS patients turn to cannabidiol (CBD) to manage symptoms. What are the benefits of CBD for MS? Does CBD help the immune system? To know more about CBD and multiple sclerosis, go through this article. It gives you information on the potential benefits of CBD products for multiple sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis: Nature of the disease
MS affects the central nervous system constituting the spinal cord, brain, and optic nerves. This autoimmune disease leads to many symptoms throughout the body. The signs vary depending on nerve damage and nerve type affected.
The most common MS symptoms are:
- Back pain
- Difficulty walking
- Blurry vision
- Muscle spasms
- Urinary retention
- Mood swings
- Slurred speech
- Sleep deprivation
These symptoms have a significant impact on quality of life. It affects the functional mobility and physical activity of patients. Some may even have problems with sexual, bowel, and bladder functions. To overcome them, people seek alternative and complementary therapies such as cannabis.
CBD and Multiple Sclerosis
CBD is an active substance isolated from the Cannabis species. It does not produce the high feeling associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD comes from hemp varieties, and it’s legal to use hemp-derived products in almost all nations.
According to a research study, cannabidiol can improve mobility in people with multiple sclerosis. The compound can reduce spasticity, pain, inflammation, fatigue, and depression. Researchers suggest using cannabis products with a 1:1 or greater CBD: THC ratio for better results. Though clinical trials on this perspective are limited, the role of CBD for MS is significant. The potential benefits of using CBD in this medical condition are:
Regulates immune cells
Does CBD help the immune system? Yes, CBD does appear to benefit those with autoimmune conditions, including MS. It is the primary, non-psychoactive cannabinoid naturally occurring from the leaves and flowers of cannabis plants. CBD effects on the immune system are evident in a 2020 study. According to this research, the compound has prominent immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps slow down the disease progression and reduce relapse rates. Moreover, it offers excellent tolerability even at high doses.
Improves sleep quality
Lack of sleep stimulates neural problems in MS. It can cause daytime drowsiness and make the symptoms get worse.
However, phytocannabinoids derived from cannabis can help bring significant improvements in sleep. A 2019 study focuses on using THC and CBD for treating chronic health conditions such as multiple sclerosis. The review suggests that cannabinoids could decrease sleep disturbances and sleep onset latency. Likewise, many early studies indicate that CBD alone helps relieve sleep disorders, including insomnia.
Relieves muscular cramps
Muscle spasticity is a common symptom of MS. The intensity ranges from mild stiffness to painful contractions. A study carried out in vivo models shows that cannabinoids have beneficial effects on relieving pain, tremors, and spasticity. Researchers observe that both exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids play a vital role. They interact with the cannabinoid receptors and alleviate the symptoms. That’s why using CBD for muscle spasms is worthwhile.
Alleviates anxiety and depressions
People having MS are more likely to experience anxiety and depression. The stress of living with the chronic disease may even increase with time. However, people can overcome their mental health challenges by using CBD. Research reveals that cannabidiol is a non-psychotomimetic cannabis compound with great psychiatric potential. It has antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like features. It exhibits anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects on animal models also. Experts believe that interaction between CBD and the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor is beneficial to de-stress.
How to use CBD for MS?
CBD products for MS are available in different forms, such as topicals, oils, tinctures, vape juices, nasal sprays, edibles, and beverages. These products may have pure isolate, full or broad CBD spectrum. Research suggests that multiple cannabinoids give the benefit of the entourage effect.
Eventually, full-spectrum or broad-spectrum are more effective than isolated CBD formulation. However, it is wise to consult your healthcare provider for guidance. The specialist will help you decide how to start with CBD supplementation. They can guide you toward a suitable dose of CBD according to your health condition.
Conclusion On CBD and Multiple Sclerosis
Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis seek the best way to suppress the immune system and slow disease progression. Cannabinoids tend to reduce inflammatory pain and regulate immune responses associated with the disease. Though many product variants are available today, CBD oil is the most commonly used form.
For oil formulation, manufacturers extract the compound from the flower, bud, stems, and leaves of the cannabis plant. They dilute it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. While you shop for hemp-derived derivatives, make sure to buy quality products extracted and grown organically.
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