For years now the two main cannabis chemicals, CBD and THC, have been the focus of many studies. While THC has proved to be the psychoactive element in the plant, CBD offered therapeutic properties that helped with inflammation, neuro-disorders, and psychotic problems. Its healing effect on chronic pain has been known for thousands of years. This probably was what motivated MS experts to try the substance on patients who exhbitied the usual symptoms associated with the disease such as fatigue, pain, spasticity, and impaired mobility. And while it might seem like the logical thing to try, many MS patients are reluctant to try cannabinoids due to the social stigma surrounding the plant. This prevented many of those patients from asking their doctors about this alternative treatment that offered better results and less side effects than pharmaceutical medications. The panel on the Consortium of MS Centers alluded to this point in their report and they hoped that social acceptance of the herb would encourage more patients to try it.
Despite that stigma, it seems the MS patients have already gone ahead and tried cannabis on their own. A recent survey found that 66% of people with MS were currently using cannabis products to deal with the symptoms. In another study, many of the patients said they were ready to try cannabis. That latter study conducted by the University of Rochester MS Center in New York asked the patients to fill a questionaire about the types of medications they were currently using and whether cannabinoid was one of them. Half the patients admitted to be using marijuana at the moment. Of those 77 percent said that the herb helped with various symptoms such as pain and spasticity while they didn’t get any side effects from it. In addition, 70 percent of the patients said that they experienced an improvement in the quality of life after using marijuana.
With all these positive cases, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that marijuana is the silver bullet for MS symptoms. Unfortunately that is not the case. Cannabis is relatively new to the scientific community. There just aren’t enough studies on the effects of long-term use of the plant. Another problem comes from the individual health conditions which might create adverse effects in certain patients. Add to that the lack of reliable dosage information when it comes to medical cannabis products as opposed to pharmaceutical medication. It’s true, these conventional drugs have their own side effects and some even don’t work for certain MS patients, yet dismissing them altogether is just as dangerous as encourage all patients to go ahead and use cannabis without discussing it with a physician in advance. As many MS centers have recommended, further studies on the effects of cannabis are well in order.
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