The Path Towards CBD And Multiple Sclerosis
In the realm of medical advancements and natural remedies, the potential of CBD in managing Multiple Sclerosis has emerged as a captivating subject of study. Multiple Sclerosis, a complex autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system, can be debilitating and challenging to manage. Recent research and anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD may offer newfound hope to those grappling with the daily struggles of MS. In this blog, we will delve into the fascinating world of CBD and its role in alleviating the symptoms and improving the quality of life for individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis, or what's it’s more commonly simplified to, MS, is a chronic autoimmune disease that primarily affects the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. In MS, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the protective covering of nerve fibers called myelin, leading to inflammation, scarring, and damage to these nerves.
This disruption in the communication between the brain and the rest of the body can result in a wide range of symptoms, which may include fatigue, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling, difficulty with coordination and balance, vision problems, and even cognitive impairment. MS is a complex and often debilitating condition, with varying severity and progression among individuals, making it a challenging condition to manage and treat.
According to the World Health Organization it is estimated that approximately 1.8 million people worldwide were affected by Multiple Sclerosis. MS is more commonly diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 20 and 50 and is more prevalent in women than in men.
How Do People Usually Treat Multiple Sclerosis?
Disease Modifying Therapies
One of the cornerstones of MS treatment is the utilization of Disease Modifying Therapies. These medications are designed to slow the progression of the disease and decrease the frequency and severity of relapses. The choice of DMT depends on the specific type and stage of MS and is determined through careful consideration by healthcare professionals.
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
This method is most commonly condensed to HSCT, or otherwise known as bone marrow transplant. This process involves administering healthy hematopoietic stem cells to patients with depleted bone marrow. People with reduced density of bone marrow experience much higher risks of blood cancer as well as other non cancer conditions.
How Can CBD Fit Into It?
The study involved a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a group of MS patients. Participants who received a daily dose of CBD over a 12-week period reported a significant reduction in both the frequency and intensity of muscle spasms and pain compared to those in the placebo group.
These findings suggest that CBD's anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties may play a crucial role in managing the symptoms of MS. The study also noted no severe side effects associated with CBD use, demonstrating its potential as a well-tolerated treatment option for MS patients. While further research is necessary to fully understand the long-term effects and optimal dosages, this study represents a significant step towards harnessing the potential of CBD as a valuable addition to the treatment arsenal for individuals living with MS.
Making Sense Of The Data
The research into the correlation between treating MS and CBD continues. Last year, in 2022 a study from the University College of London showed a positive effect on spasticity, a symptom of MS in which there is an abnormal increase of stiffness in muscles from damaged nerve pathways , when a synthetic compound that mimics cannabinoids was given at a higher dose. As with things like these, more adequate research is needed in order to fully understand the potential benefits CBD can have for treating and mitigating symptoms of MS. Part of the reason for the snail's pace in research for something like this is due to the stigma associated with cannabis.
Moving forward with the data collected, another study in 2023 was conducted at Ohio Health Multiple Sclerosis Center to test the efficacy of CBD oral spray on spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. The study analyzed results of two trials of nabiximols, a spray developed as a treatment for MS spasticity that is approved for use in European Union countries, but not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.
Nabiximols is a botanical mixture that contains delta 9 thc and CBD along with other cannabinoids. The researchers reported that nabiximols were generally well tolerated by people in both studies with no adverse side effects in relation to the spray as well as a reduce percentage of spasticity in those that volunteered to take part in the study. This analysis suggests that CBD, when used with the entirety of the hemp extract, could be an effective way to reduce spasticity in those with MS.
A Matter Of Time
As the days go by more and more studies are being done to draw the correlation between CBD and MS. The AAN (American Academy of Neurology) assessed that taking CBD products could help pain associated with MS symptoms as well as neuropathic pain. With how frequent promising findings come up in the data, the sign is there that CBD could help people who have MS, and find alleviation for the symptoms that come with it.