How Can Cannabis Help Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease that affects the spinal cord and brain. Some of its symptoms include general weakness, blurred vision, numbness/tingling, and muscle stiffness. As the disease progresses, it can also cause brain function (thinking) problems. Cannabis can help treat several symptoms of MS. This short guide will explain what the benefits of using cannabis to treat MS are.
General, Muscle and Nerve Pain Relief
Nerve pain associated with MS can disrupt your sleep. Some indica strains of medical cannabis, like B.B. King or Bubba OG, can calm your nerves and help you sleep. For general and muscle pain, strains like Lemon Sativa, Head Trip and Raspberry Cough can help during the day and in the afternoon hours.
These strains work to reduce inflammation and calm irritated nerves. As your muscles and nerves relax, you’ll notice a decrease in your pain level. Pain is a symptom experienced by 50 to 70-percent of MS patients.
Muscle spasms are a common symptom of MS. Spasms can become persistent and painful. Some strains of medical cannabis can reduce severity, reduce frequency or completely stop spasms. An ideal nighttime strain to stop spasms is God Bud; it will also help you sleep. For daytime and afternoon use, ACDC is an ideal option as it is high in cannabidiol (CBD). Glass Slipper and Pineapple are also ideal strains to consider.
Sometimes the symptoms of MS can bring on feelings of depression. It is common with this disease since if affects so many systems of the body. You can combat those feelings with medical cannabis. Our endocannabinoid systems are big factors in mood regulation.
Strains for depression include:
- Jack Herer (a personal favorite)
- Pineapple Express
Harlequin can also help with reducing anxiety symptoms.
MS can wreak havoc on your gastrointestinal system. You may experience periods of bowel incontinence and/or constipation. You may also experience feelings of needing to make an urgent bowel movement. These are also symptoms of IBS and fibromyalgia. Medical cannabis is known to help regulate the dysfunction in your gastrointestinal system.
A few strains that can help reduce gastrointestinal issues are Bruce Banner #3, Chemdawg, Dirty Girl and Buddha’s Sister. Buddha’s Sister is an indica strain, so it is ideal for evening use or right before bed.
In some cases, the extreme gastrointestinal pain that you can experience can result in feeling nauseous too. A few strains that reduce nausea symptoms are 3 Kings, Strawberry Kush, G13 Haze and Grape Ape.
A Few Closing Thoughts
With MS, your body is attacked from multiple directions. If you choose to make medical cannabis part of your treatment plan, it is important to research the strains available in your area to ensure that they will help your symptoms. It is also ideal to have at least a strain available for all of your symptoms, which will likely require you to have several strains on-hand at all times. You can regain some quality of life, mobility and social time by adding medical cannabis to your treatment plan.
The results from treating MS with medical cannabis vary by patient and symptom severity. Cannabis therapy may not work at all for some patients; it all depends on your body and its reaction to medical cannabis.
Image Credit: MS Australia