Multiple sclerosis (M.S.) is a severe disorder that impacts the brain and spinal cord. Worldwide, over 2.3 million people have M.S., and there are about 200 new cases each week in the U.S. To put it simply, M.S. is a common condition that’s becoming more and more prevalent.
Anyone can develop multiple sclerosis, but it’s most common in women between the ages of 20-50. Researchers still don’t know what exactly causes M.S., but it occurs when the immune system starts to attack vital parts of the body. M.S. symptoms differ and can range in severity. Some people end up losing mobility altogether, while some never experience a single sign. Unfortunately, there’s no known cure. But, evidence suggests CBD might help alleviate symptoms brought on by M.S.
What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic condition that attacks the central nervous system. It’s an autoimmune disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves and causes miscommunication between the brain and body. The symptoms can be unpredictable and vary in severity and duration, depending on the individual. Some people experience minor fatigue, while some go symptom-free.
Common symptoms of MS include:
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Vision changes.
- Numbness and muscle spasms.
- Bowel and bladder issues.
- Memory problems.
- A decrease in sexual drive.
- Hearing loss.
- Breathing problems and slurred speech.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 1 million adults live with MS in the U.S., and although the disease is more common with women, men can also be diagnosed.
Multiple sclerosis isn’t contagious. Some believe genetics play a role, as well as environmental factors. But those are only theories. Right now, there’s no exact cause or cure for MS. However, there are medications and treatments that limit new areas of damage and work to ease symptoms. For example, some MS patients have found relief with cannabidiol (CBD).
What is CBD?
Chances are, you’ve heard of CBD. It’s been a major buzzword in the health and wellness industry for a while now. But, what exactly is CBD? And how does it provide relief?
CBD is a chemical compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It’s a pure, naturally occurring substance that provides benefits similar to marijuana. But unlike marijuana, CBD comes from hemp varieties and doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what gives the high sensation. Thus, pure, organically sourced CBD tincture would never alter your state of mind. However, it does make positive changes in the body, which can benefit overall health.
Typical benefits of CBD include:
- It helps maintain brain health.
- Might help reduce the risk of cancer, obesity, and other severe conditions.
- Can heal skin from acne.
- It can Work as an anti-seizure relief.
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling.
- It can help alleviate anxiety from stress disorders.
- It can help improve sleep function.
- It can help reduce nausea and vomiting.
How does CBD work?
The body naturally produces cannabinoids, which are chemicals known to reduce anxiety, relieve pain, kill cancer, etc. Humans have two receptors for cannabinoids; CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mainly in the nervous system. CB2 receptors are primarily in the immune system. CBD works by binding to these receptors, which helps the body use more of its cannabinoids.One can also visit industry leader industrial hemp farms to procure high quality CBD and learn more about CBD extraction and cultivation.
How does CBD treat multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a complex condition that, unfortunately, remains much of a mystery. What’s not a mystery? The benefits of CBD.
CBD can help treat muscle spasms
Numbness and muscle spasms are two of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis. And research suggests CBD can help manage these symptoms. Studies have shown that CBD can ease muscle stiffness brought on by MS. This is why the topic of treating multiple sclerosis with CBD is so popular right now.
CBD can help manage epileptic seizures
CBD is also a useful option for managing epileptic seizures, which impacts people with multiple sclerosis. While the exact cause is unknown, it’s believed that M.S. lesions in the brain trigger the seizures. A study conducted by the University of North Carolina Health Care stated that CBD “has already shown to have anti-epileptic, anti-anxiety, and antipsychotic effects.” The FDA approved CBD for the treatment of seizures related to two rare forms of epilepsy in 2018. Even though there’s still more to learn, researchers see positive results using CBD to combat seizures. This is good news for M.S. patients because, in some cases, seizures are the only sign of M.S. or an M.S. flare-up. Having a way to manage seizures can hopefully prevent irreversible damage to the brain.
Anti-inflammatory and Anti-depressant
CBD also inhibits inflammation, which means it can help ease the pain brought on by MS. It can also act as an anti-depressant. CBD interacts positively with serotonin (aka the “happy hormone”) and plays a role in keeping serotonin levels balanced. Because of this, CBD is a solid option for helping MS patients cope with their diagnosis.
How to take CBD?
There are hundreds of CBD brands out there and several ways to take CBD.
Following are different ways to take CBD:
- Oils and tinctures – administered underneath the tongue.
- Creams and lotions- for topical use to bring relief to joint and muscle pain.
- Capsules and pills, useful to treat digestive issues.
- Edibles discreetly improve anxiety and overall mood.
- Vaping is the fastest way to experience the effects.
When shopping for CBD, you need to be cautious. You want to avoid products claiming to cure diseases, products without a batch number, and products with too many added ingredients. For example, when looking for CBD oil, you should make sure it’s an organically sourced CBD tincture. This will help you avoid sketchy brands, and better your chance of experiencing results.
Keep in mind, CBD isn’t legal everywhere. Most states allow the purchase of CBD as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC. However, some states have restrictions for buyers, even when the product is THC free.
What are the side effects?
The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) concluded that “in its pure state, cannabidiol does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm.” CBD is typically well-tolerated and doesn’t cause serious side effects.
Should you treat your multiple sclerosis with CBD?
CBD has the potential to ease muscle stiffness, enhance brain function, lift energy levels, and improve the digestive system. And several studies back up these claims. With that said, researchers and doctors still don’t know enough to prescribe CBD products to every patient with MS. But, that does not mean you shouldn’t consider CBD products.
CBD is safe, and if your doctor gives you the go-ahead, consider giving it a try. Hopefully, you’ll find relief and see why so many people opt for CBD to improve their pain and overall well-being.
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