An autoimmune disorder, Multiple sclerosis manifests in several ways in people. Yet, one thing seems to be there in all of them. It’s the impact MS can have on one’s life. It causes pain and can interrupt the everyday activities of an individual. To manage the symptoms of MS, which we will come across soon, patients turn to natural substances like cannabidiol. So, is cannabidiol the ideal cure for Multiple Sclerosis? Is “CBD for MS” worth the hype? After reading this article, you will likely agree with the ones using CBD for MS. If you are wondering, Royal CBD oils, tinctures, and edibles available in the market will make the job easier for you.
What is Multiple sclerosis?
As we just saw, Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder. To put it simply, the immune system of people with Multiple Sclerosis tends to destroy healthy cells as if it is attacking pathogenic cells. MS, in particular, affects the myelin sheath that coats the neurons in the central nervous system. The action of the immune system results in the damage and inflammation of neurons. It affects the signaling between neurons that is essential for regular bodily functions like walking and thinking. The effects of MS in people can depend on factors, including the intensity of the attack on the myelin layer.
Physicians prescribe chemo and physiotherapy to help the symptoms and reduce progression in individuals. But, people find them painful and hard to take. Why? MS, by itself, causes several side effects, including pain, tiredness, and bodily dysfunctions. Prescription medicines make it even worse in people lacking endurance. So, there is a need for an adequate alternative with no adverse effects on the user. Cannabidiol can be that alternative. How? Let’s see.
Cannabidiol and its effects on MS
Cannabidiol, as we know, is a compound present in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD does not get the user high or have psychoactive effects. Over these years, there have been studies about CBD’s effects for several medicinal purposes. Of them, CBD’s effects on MS are probably the most intriguing.
The complex network of endocannabinoid receptors in our body constitutes the endocannabinoid system. The body’s ECS is accountable for processing the different cannabinoids and producing effects. The endocannabinoid receptors are present in various locations throughout our bodies. This way, they impact bodily functions like hormonal regulation and homeostasis.
How Can CBD Help Improve Multiple Sclerosis symptoms?
CBD for pain and inflammation
Neuropathic pain is probably the worst of the effects of MS. It happens because of the cutting off of signals due to damaged neurons. Reportedly, CBD has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. Sativex, an FDA-approved CBD-infused medicine, is in use for MS around the globe.
According to researchers, the number of endocannabinoid receptors in the peripheral nerves is large. CBD interacts with these receptors and reduces pain perception. CBD works by reducing inflammation and enhancing the body’s uptake of adenosine. Also, CBD possesses antioxidant properties. They help in relieving pain and preventing damage to nerves.
Apart from neuropathic pain, people with MS experience headaches and spasms. CBD’s muscle relaxant properties show effectiveness in relieving such pains.
CBD for relief from anxiety and depression
Apart from intense pain, MS can also cause anxiety and depression in patients. Most MS-affected individuals complain of mental health issues associated with pain and other distress.
MS can affect the quality of life in many ways. In some, MS attacks can even deprive them of mobility. Isolation and feeling left out can make them feel depressed on several occasions. Physicians prescribe tricyclic antidepressants to help cope with anxiety and depression associated with MS. But, they cause adverse effects on the health of the user. With that, CBD can be an effective solution for treating mental stress related to Multiple sclerosis.
Cannabidiol interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system and causes mind-altering effects. It alters specific signals and reduces pressure and stress.
Cannabidiol acts on the nerve endings and improves the levels of GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter responsible for reducing the excitability of neurons and calming the mind. Not just that, CBD interacts with 5-HT1A receptors and plays a role in enhancing dopamine production. In turn, this makes the user pleasureful and happy.
Apart from relieving pain and mental stress, CBD can help in the following ways.
- Relieves tiredness and boosts energy levels: People with MS tend to feel more tired. As muscles get exhausted quickly, their legs might start feeling unstable for performing everyday activities. Exercise can be a way to help manage it to an extent. CBD, in smaller amounts, can help improve energy levels and relieve tiredness.
- Helps promote sleep: Pain and other factors can disrupt sleep. Reportedly, CBD can help you sleep by working on the factors that trigger insomnia.
- Improves mobility: The ECS is responsible for several bodily functions. Loss of mobility is one of the effects of MS. And endocannabinoid receptors are present throughout the body in muscles and nerves. CBD can help improve balance and control by activating the endocannabinoid system.
What does science have to say?
Though CBD can be of great help, we still need more research in this area to legally use it for MS. Yet, there are a few facts regarding MS that science backs. A study conducted in 2018 found that using CBD supplements helped tiredness, inflammation, and mental distress in people with MS. Two medical research studies in 2021 found that CBD reduced the immune system’s response to autoimmune disorders like MS.
The bottom line
With all the good that CBD has to offer comes the downsides. If you are careful about your dosage and take appropriate amounts, you will likely experience no side effects of CBD. Worry not. CBD can react with other medications as well. One should be careful while using it to assist the treatment of a condition like MS. On the other hand, overdosing on the compound can cause severe ill-effects like sleepiness, dry mouth, liver damage, and increased blood pressure levels. Buy CBD from reputable sellers and consult your physician before consuming it to ensure a safe experience.