You must have already heard about CBD, especially if you know someone—or you, yourself—who has a chronic condition. Recently, this substance has created a buzz in the wellness market for its potential health benefits. It is claimed to be effective in treating chronic pain in adults and other serious diseases like cancer.
One of the known benefits of CBD is being a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS), particularly its spasticity. According to several studies, this compound can be a cure for this illness’ symptoms. That is why many patients suffering from this are hopeful that this is the solution to their problem.
What is Multiple Sclerosis
Before we talk about how CBD may help MS patients, let us first find out what is multiple sclerosis. Is this disease curable? What are its symptoms and effects?
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system, particularly the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. It results in numerous symptoms, which could be unbearable for patients in the worst cases. Some of its symptoms are pain, bladder dysfunction, and spasticity—which results in stiff muscles and difficult speech and movement.
Currently, there is no permanent cure for MS, but there are treatments that can slow down its progression. Available treatments can only relieve the symptoms and decrease the chance of relapse. Cannabinoids, including CBD, are among the drug compounds that are used and being studied to treat MS.
Cannabinoids are known to influence the cannabinoid receptors, which are involved in immune responses. For this reason, they are believed to be effective in decreasing or preventing the autoimmune problems caused by MS.
Facts About CBD
So, what is really CBD? Is this safe and effective? Why are some drug manufacturers considering this as one of its important ingredients?
If you want to find out more about CBD but you are not sure what to look for, keep on reading below. This article is meant to help you decide whether this substance can really be trusted by people with multiple sclerosis or other chronic condition.
CBD actually means Cannabidiol. This cannabinoid is one of the main ingredients of cannabis plants or marijuana. However, the CBD extract or cannabis oil that is usually used for drugs and health products comes directly from the industrial hemp—just a cousin of marijuana.
There are people who are hesitant in using CBD, thinking it could make them “high” like when taking marijuana. However, taking CBD alone, without the other marijuana components, will not give you that mind-altering effect. This is for the reason that it is not psychoactive.
Can It Treat MS?
In 2018, one published article in the Frontiers in Neurology talked about the pharmacological benefits of CBD. Generally, it stated that this substance is anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anti-emetic, anti-oxidative, and anti-psychotic. Also, it was described to be a safe treatment since it does not change the blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Plus, it has no negative effect on the person’s psychological and psychomotor functions.
When it comes to the effectiveness of CBD on treating MS symptoms, the article highlighted its partnership with THC. Existing studies focused on how the combination of CBD and THC can benefit MS patients. The conclusion was that this treatment can decrease the pain and spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. (1)
Many studies conducted on humans involved Sativex, the oral spray that combines the power of THC and CBD. This drug is legally accepted as an MS treatment in several countries.
One study involving 47 people with MS showed that those who took Sativex for a month experienced improvement in muscle spasms, walking, and pain. The result was more significant than those in the placebo group. (1)
At present, there are no studies yet on how CBD may directly affect mobility in people with MS. However, there are studies suggesting that cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties have an impact on MS spasticity. According to them, reduced pain and inflammation may lessen fatigue and improve a patient’s mobility.
In conclusion, CBD can be considered an effective and low-risk treatment for MS symptoms when combined with THC. As of now, more research is needed to show that using CBD alone as treatment can be effective in reducing spasticity in MS patients.
Other Health Benefits
Aside from being a potential multiple sclerosis spasticity treatment, there are other health benefits that are associated with CBD. They are the following:
- Chronic pain relief- Being anti-inflammatory, CBD is considered by many to be a cure for chronic pain caused by other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and many others. (1, 2, 3)
- Cure for psychological conditions- CBD is also a potential treatment for depression, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and other related mental conditions. (1, 2)
- Heart health care- This substance may also be good for the heart and cardiovascular health. It is believed to lower blood pressure and other heart-related risks. (1, 2)
- Cancer-related symptoms treatment- CBD is also considered an effective cure for nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms caused by chemotherapy or cancer itself. (1, 2, 3)
Side Effects and Risks
Most of the CBD users do not experience any negative effects when taking CBD. However, just like with other drugs, there are possible side effects that you consumers should be aware of.
Among the potential side effects are:
Moreover, CBD may interact with prescribed medications. For this reason, it is important that MS patients check with their doctor first before trying any products with CBD content. Cannabidiol is known to interact with enzymes that are responsible for metabolising some drugs. This may result in side effects.
CBD products are also not recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers.
In spite of the potential benefits of taking CBD, it is not advised that you use this as an alternative medication to the prescribed drugs for any condition. It may be helpful as a health supplement, but it has no therapeutic claims from the FDA at the moment yet.
For more information about CBD, ask your trusted health workers about it.