Multiple Sclerosis & CBD

What is MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance. 

It’s a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild. In many cases, it’s possible to treat symptoms. Average life expectancy is slightly reduced for people with MS. 

It’s most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s although it can develop at any age. It’s about 2 to 3 times more common in women than men. MS is one of the most common causes of disability in younger adults. 

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis 

The symptoms of MS vary widely from person to person and can affect any part of the body. 

The main symptoms include: 

  • fatigue 
  • difficulty walking 
  • vision problems, such as blurred vision 
  • problems controlling the bladder 
  • numbness or tingling in different parts of the body 
  • muscle stiffness and spasms 
  • problems with balance and co-ordination 
  • problems with thinking, learning, and planning 

To manage symptoms, some MS patients turn to cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. Scientists are still researching the benefits of CBD for people with MS, but early indications show that CBD might help control some MS symptoms, such as pain and muscle stiffness. 

Multiple Sclerosis and Immune System

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease. That means that the symptoms of the disease occur because the immune system is attacking healthy cells in the way that it’s supposed to attack viruses and other pathogens.  

In MS, the immune system targets the myelin sheath, a protective coating that wraps around nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. When the immune system attacks this barrier, it causes inflammation and damage, which can impair the nerve signaling that facilitates movement, breathing, thinking, and so much more. 

The severity of MS symptoms varies, depending on the location of the attack and the extent of the damage to the myelin sheath, but they most often include fatigue, muscle weakness or stiffness, and cognitive dysfunction. 

Cannabinoids and the Immune System

Cannabinoids are a group of compounds found in the cannabis plant. The two main cannabinoids are THC (the psychoactive ingredient in the plant) and CBD (which does not have a psychoactive component). 

The body processes cannabinoids via cannabinoid receptors, which are found in the brain and in immune cells. This is all part of the endocannabinoid system, which regulates inflammation, immune function, motor control, pain, and other bodily functions commonly affected by MS. 

This connection helps explain why CBD can be beneficial for MS.

Benefits of CBD for MS

Research suggests that CBD can aid the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, although more research is needed. Cannabis has anti-inflammatory antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. As such, cannabinoids like CBD and THC are instrumental in treating known autoimmune conditions like ulcerative colitis and Alzheimer’s disease. The active compounds influence the endocannabinoid system, this can result in therapeutic benefits for those suffering from different ailments. 

In a recent study, researchers concluded that cannabinoids, including CBD, are “probably effective” at alleviating certain symptoms of MS, including pain and abnormal muscle tightness.

Additional research supported using CBD for Multiple Sclerosis. Here are some key findings: 

  • A 2018 scientific review found that CBD supplementation reduced pain, fatigue, inflammation, depression, and spasticity in people with MS, while improving mobility. The authors concluded that recommending CBD supplementation for people with MS would be advisable.
  • A 2014 scientific review found that CBD can help reduce pain, spasticity, and frequent urination in patients with MS.
  • Two different 2021 medical reviews found that in animal models, CBD helps regulate the immune system, reducing the autoimmune response that causes MS symptoms. More research is needed, but in the future this may mean that cannabis-derived medications and CBD could be used to treat the progression of MS, not just the symptoms. 

Conclusion

Cannabinoids like CBD and THC have proven medical benefits. If you or someone you know suffers with Multiple Sclerosis, there are several pharmaceutical medications approved for treating the condition. However, these treatment options do not work for every patient. If traditional approaches fail to deliver any remedy, you can consider CBD products to help relieve some of the symptoms and manage the condition. CBD is also a healthy, nutritious organic compound that can improve different aspects of your health. 

If you would like any more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly team on 01333 278422

Email us on info@flora-fusion.com