Benefits of CBD oil for Multiple Sclerosis
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There are more than 2 million people around the world diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a disease with unpredictable side effects that impacts a person for the rest of their lives after diagnosis. With no cure for MS and the multitude of symptoms and side effects that can vary from person to person, research into treatment and therapies are constantly evolving, including the potential benefits of CBD oil for Multiple Sclerosis.
MS is described as an episodic disability. For those with MS, symptoms can sometimes be progressive or experienced in relapses, making treatment— and sometimes life – unpredictable. MS can affect a person’s memory, vision, balance, and mobility, the duration and severity of the illness will differ from person to person and can last for varying periods of time. According to the MS Society of Canada, most people are diagnosed with the disease between the ages of 20 – 49. An estimated 90,000 Canadians have MS and an estimated 1 million Americans over the age 18 also have the disease. Women are also three times more likely to be diagnosed with the disease than men.
What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
MS is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve), for which there is no cure at present. With MS, the immune system attacks myelin, which is the protective, fatty layer that insulates nerve fibers. Myelin allows the nerve to transmit impulses that allow the body to conduct quick and smooth, coordinated movements. With MS, demyelination (loss of myelin), the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain, is disrupted and they can also become damaged. In areas of the brain and spinal cord where myelin is low or lost, scars appear, giving the disease its name, Multiple Sclerosis, meaning “many scars”.
MS was first identified in the 1870s by a Parisian neurologist, but unfortunately, more than 100 years later, the causes of MS have not been identified. Experts say environmental, genetic, lifestyle, and biological factors may all contribute to a diagnosis.
Everyone experiences MS in different ways, there are also different types of MS that depend on the pattern of a diagnosed person’s disease.
Treatments for MS
While MS appears differently from person to person, the severity of the disease, its progression, and some symptoms, cannot be predicted at the time of diagnosis. That’s why treatment or disease management is ongoing and will usually include different pharmacological and physical therapies.
Common medication used to treat MS will depend again on the person’s symptoms, but typically include disease-modifying therapies (DMT) or immunomodulatory therapies, relapse management therapies (typically steroid medication), and symptom management therapies, which include medications that help with common MS-related symptoms such as fatigue, mobility impairment, spasticity, and chronic pain.
Physio and rehabilitation therapy are also common in managing MS symptoms as well as balanced nutrition, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle.
As research into treatments continues, one area of interest is cannabis and specifically, CBD for MS. A study in the National Library of Medicine also found that more than 90% of the study’s respondents have considered using cannabis to manage their MS, have used it for MS, or have spoken to their healthcare provider about its uses and/or benefits.
Research into the benefits and effects of CBD use is also an ongoing, growing area of research and there is already strong evidence suggesting its efficacy in combating sleep disorders, anxiety, and muscle and joint pain.
Cannabis produces more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids, two of the most well known cannabinoids are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This distinguishing factor between CBD and THC causes each to interact with the body in different ways – THC is known to have psychoactive effects whereas CBD does not, and instead has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it is growing in interest and popularity as a method to help treat MS symptoms.
Early research suggests CBD oil for MS has seen great promise in helping to treat spasticity.
Spasticity in MS is related to feelings of stiffness and a range of involuntary muscle spasms, which can make everyday movements like walking or even sitting challenging. It is one of the more common symptoms of MS that affects almost 85% of people with MS. One study found that the use of CBD had positive effects on muscle spasticity and pain, and researchers have highlighted these early findings to encourage more exploration into how CBD oil and other CBD treatments can help those with MS spasticity.
CBD cream for MS-related pain and inflammation
While early studies looked at how ingesting CBD products such as CBD oil would affect symptoms, using other CBD treatments such as CBD cream is also promising for those diagnosed with MS. As mentioned, muscular and joint pain, stiffness, and also chronic inflammation are common MS symptoms. CBD can be used as an alternative to traditional treatment for chronic inflammation, or it can supplement other treatments. Not only can CBD be used for pain relief but is also a non-inflammatory agent. Once an immune response is initiated, immune cells cluster in specific locations and cause inflammation. CBD can migrate the immune cells to help combat that inflammation. CBD creams, gels, or salves can target specific areas of muscle or joint pain. The skin has many cannabinoid receptors that absorb CBD directly in the area it’s applied, and topical CBD applied directly to an area in pain may direct a larger amount of CBD to the desired area. Another study of 64 participants found that cannabis-based medicine was effective in reducing pain and sleep issues in patients with MS-related central neuropathic pain.
CBD oil for sleep has proven to be effective thanks to its ability to naturally interact with our body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The body’s ECS is a group of receptors in the central nervous system that specifically interact with cannabinoids like CBD to maintain homeostasis. This natural interaction within the body may also help those with MS achieve better sleep or reduce stress through the use of CBD oil.
Disease and treatment management should always be discussed with your doctor or health professional. Whenever introducing a new treatment, even a natural one like CBD, seek professional advice.
While CBD is safe for most people, there are certain prescription medications that may alter an individual’s experience with CBD oil. CBD may also interact with prescription medications and dietary supplements.
How much CBD to use for MS symptoms you want to treat
There is no universally recommended dosage for CBD oil and any health treatment. It is always best to start off with a low dose and to increase the dosage gradually until you find the best dose for you. If taking resolveCBD oil, we recommend dropping 0.5-1mL under your tongue and letting it dissolve over a minute or two. The dropper that comes with your resolveCBD Oil is clearly marked in 0.25mL increments so you can measure out the exact dosage you need.
The resolveCBD dosage chart is also a good place to start to help you determine the right dose for you based on your weight and the severity of the condition being treated.
It’s also important to note the different types of CBD Oil; full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate.Full spectrum CBD oil is an extract that contains other cannabinoids found in the plant in addition to CBD. The compound is not extracted or isolated further. The cannabinoids work together to increase the benefits of CBD and the accompanying benefits that come along with it, including THC (0.3% or less from hemp-derived CBD and 5% or more from marijuana-derived CBD.) This is known as the “entourage effect.”
Broad spectrum CBD also contains all the cannabinoids found in the plant, except the THC has been removed. CBD Isolate is 99% pure CBD, in which all cannabinoids except CBD have been removed in the refining process. Studies have shown that taking full spectrum CBD is more beneficial than isolate, as each cannabinoid works together to amplify benefits. resolveCBD oil is made of full spectrum CBD.
What’s next for CBD and MS treatments?
The benefits and effects of CBD oil for MS are still in their early stages of being fully uncovered, but research is showing promise and experts have called for further exploration into this natural treatment for MS symptoms and pain. Studies that have explored CBD’s positive and natural impacts on other ailments such as sleep disorders, anxiety, inflammation, and muscle, and joint pain also show steps in the right direction in helping those with MS live more comfortably.
Written by Rosalyn Solomon