MS is a demyelinating disease. This means that the myelin sheath that protects and nerve cells is damaged, impairing the conduction of signals across nerve cells. The cause of MS is not fully known, but it could have something to do with the destruction of the immune system, the body failing to produce myelin cells, genetics, viruses and environmental factors.
Symptoms of MS includes vision problems (occasionally even blindness), fatigue, numbness, tingling, muscle spasms, mobility problems, confusion and problems with thinking & planning, depression and anxiety and pain. Symptoms can build over time in a progressive manner as well as take the form of recurring, isolated attacks. MS is the most common autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system (CNS).
Though there is quite a bit of empirical and anecdotal research out there showing that CBD can prove to be helpful for MS, it is THC that has proven usefulness in battling MS, as it helps manage spasticity. There is already a medication in the UK developed for MS using THC, named Sativex. Sativex may also be of use for the neuropathic pain associated with MS.
- THC helps manage muscle spasms and stiffness
- Prevents swelling of the brain and optic nerve
- CBD may be neuroprotective, and may even counteract MS’s development thanks to the fact that it may prevent brain inflammation
- Help manage the pain of MS, as well as the side-effects of other medications, often causing nausea, fatigue and weight problems
- Cannabis may promote neurogenesis – the growth of new brain cells