Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that occurs when nerve cells no longer have insulation or protection. For some, this is a painful illness, while others may feel nothing at all because of paralysis. Research suggests that because of CBD’s neuroprotective effects, it can not only help with the symptoms but stop this disease’s progression.
Cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system helping reduce inflammation, pain, and damage done by diseases like MS. Unlike THC, this part of the cannabis plant doesn’t get you high because it doesn’t bind directly to the cannabinoid receptors. The way it works is it elevates chemicals in the brain and opens pathways which in turn stimulate the appropriate receptor in the brain.
Though the cause of MS is still unknown, it is still labeled as an autoimmune disease which means the immune system is attacking the body. Cannabidiol interacts with the CB2 receptors by elevating 2-AG endocannabinoids which help mediate the immune functions. This is also how CBD can help reduce the severity and frequency of muscle spasms that are so common in people with MS.
CBD can also reduce your body’s sensitivity to pain because of its interaction with the CB1 receptor. Cannabidiol enhances the endocannabinoid anandamide which binds to the CB1 receptor controlling the neurological system. Similar to how prescription painkillers work, anandamide binds to the CB1 receptor and changes the brain’s perception of pain.
Many people with Multiple Sclerosis suffer from depression. It is not uncommon for someone who suffers from chronic pain to also be diagnosed with depression. Often depression goes untreated because the main focus is the debilitating pain. CBD can help with the pain, inflammation, and your depression knocking out several birds with one stone.
If you suffer from gastrointestinal problems such as constipation or abdominal pain, hemp oil can help with these issues as well. Taking CBD as an edible can help target those areas in pain and help you get your digestive system working correctly.
One symptom that people with multiple sclerosis have is having a difficult time controlling their bladder. Researchers have been studying cannabinoid’s effects on the bladder for MS patients specifically. What they have found is that by interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the urinary tract may be a valid treatment for pelvic disorders.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis yet. However, people are finding ways to live with it to make their lives more enjoyable, one of those ways is using medical cannabis. Side effects of common prescriptions for MS can be mild such as flu-like symptoms, or severe like progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy which is a viral disease of the brain. While the challenge is weighing between the risks and benefits, Cannabidiol has shown to be beneficial in reducing symptoms without the harsh side-effects. Talk to your doctor today about taking a medication that does less harm and more good for your illness.