ALS is a particularly nasty and debilitating degenerative neurological disorder. Muscle weakness & wasting, paralysis of the limbs and the deterioration of speech, swallowing and breathing.
The condition is named after the baseball legend, Lou Gehrig, and many are perhaps familiar with this condition as it’s what Stephen Hawking suffers from. Most of those who suffer from ALS only survive for around 2 – 5 years after diagnosis. Only about 5% of those with ALS live longer than 20 years after diagnosis.
There isn’t enough evidence to say whether or not cannabis helps with ALS. However, some preliminary studies in mice have shown that cannabis may help slow the onset of ALS and increase life expectancy. There are also two very interesting case studies – those of Cathy Jordan and Bob Strider – both of whom used cannabis to help control ALS.
- Will help battle pain and inflammation
- Muscle relaxant
- Appetite stimulant
- Saliva reduction & dry mouth, thought to be caused by the terpenoid Delta-3-Carene – usually a negative, but can help prevent drooling in ALS
- Dilation of blood vessels and decrease of blood pressure – vasodilation
- THC may slow the disease process, help increase life expectancy and improve quality of life.
- Strong antioxidative and neuroprotective effects
- Dearth of any major studies – mostly anecdotal evidence and research on mice
- As with other neurological problems, THC may be a “double-edged sword” – helps prevent cell degeneration, but also may cause sensory distortion.