Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological autoimmune disease which affects the central nervous system. This chronic and progressively debilitating disease is one of the most common of the autoimmune diseases, affecting young adults and middle-aged people.
The way in which this disease progressively attacks the body makes it really difficult for patients to live a normal life. It isn’t long before they are unable to work and need constant help and care. For many MS patients, spasticity further impairs their quality of life, with debilitating muscle spasms and rigidity of limbs.
Common Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
- restricted mobility
- sensory deficits
- bladder dysfunction
How can CBD Help Treat Multiple Sclerosis?
CBD and THC are the two biologically active chemicals in Cannabinoids. THC is the psychotropic chemical found in cannabis. CBD is not psychotropic, therefore does not make you feel “high”. It is (in most countries) a legal substance that has been helping patients with MS and other diseases.
CBD and THC are believed to have therapeutic properties, in regards to multiple sclerosis1 2. These properties can help improve mobility and pain reduction. CBD is shown to be anti-inflammatory and antipsychotic34. This can help with the pain as well as the depression brought on by MS. CBD treatment can also help with abdominal discomfort and muscle spasticity. MS patient and American TV personality Montel Williams uses medical cannabis to manage his MS symptoms. He is a prominent medical cannabis advocate and has been speaking about the legalization and acceptance of CBD for decades. It’s a movement that is gaining momentum in the MS community in recent years.
What are The Benefits of Using CBD for MS?
Using CBD to treat symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis can improve the quality of life of most patients. A study published in 2013 in the journal “Neurobiology of Disease” addresses this topic. It confirms cannabidiol (CBD) long-lasting protection against harmful effects of inflammation in a viral model of multiple sclerosis5. With regular use, spasms could be reduced by an antispasmodic effect of CBD.
The use of CBD in Multiple Sclerosis is growing in popularity due to how patients generally feel better by using it. Many countries around the world have made the use of medicinal CBD legal and controlled.
Are There any Side Effects with the use of CBD for Multiple Sclerosis?
CBD is a safe natural chemical substance with little side effects. However, like any treatment, some patients feel side effects6. Some of these include dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness.
Thankfully, drinking plenty of water can help with the dry mouth situation. At high doses, CBD can hinder the productivity of other medicines by affecting the liver enzymes. This is considered a side effect but can be avoided or easily reversed by adjusting dosages.
What is the usual dosage of CBD for Multiple Sclerosis?
Every person is unique and everyone’s reaction to CBD is different.
Based on the guide in the book by Leinow & Birnbaum “CBD: A patient’s guide to Medical Cannabis”7 we recommend the Step-Up method, where you gradually increase the dose until the desired results are achieved. Leinow & Birnbaum recommend to start with a standard dose for multiple sclerosis. Carefully the dosage can be increased to a macro dose. To learn more about the differen doses and how to correctly take your CBD oil, please read our CBD dosage guide.
How can CBD be administered?
There are quite a few ways that CBD can be administered. The most common is CBD oil with a dropper but there are also CBD extracts and pills. Some patients prefer to vape or inhale liquid CBD in electronic cigarettes. There are also creams and balms which contain CBD oil in them to help with muscular and joint pain.
What does Research say About Using CBD for MS?
A wealth of preclinical and clinical data shows that cannabinoid-based drugs reduce spasticity symptoms in MS and other neurodegenerative diseases8
Another study9 was conducted to investigate the effects of cannabis treatment on neuropathic pain. Patients in both groups received oral sprays as placebos or CBD for several weeks. Most patients who received CBD had less pain than the others.
CBD for MS- Customer Reviews*
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- ox, P., et al. „The effect of cannabis on tremor in patients with multiple sclerosis.“ Neurology 62.7 (2004): 1105-1109
- Consroe, Paul, et al. „The perceived effects of smoked cannabis on patients with multiple sclerosis.“ European neurology 38.1 (1997): 44-48
- Costa, Barbara, et al. „The non-psychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an orally effective therapeutic agent in rat chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain.“ European journal of pharmacology 556.1-3 (2007): 75-83.
- Nagarkatti, Prakash, et al. „Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.“ Future medicinal chemistry 1.7 (2009): 1333-1349
- Mecha, M., et al. „Cannabidiol provides long-lasting protection against the deleterious effects of inflammation in a viral model of multiple sclerosis: a role for A2A receptors.“ Neurobiology of disease 59 (2013): 141-150
- Iffland, Kerstin, and Franjo Grotenhermen. „An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: a review of clinical data and relevant animal studies.“ Cannabis and cannabinoid research2.1 (2017): 139-154.
- Leinow,, L. and Birnbaum, J. (2017). CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis. North Atlantic Books.
- Valerio Chiurchiù, Mario van der Stelt, Diego Centonze, Mauro Maccarrone, The endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic exploitation in multiple sclerosis: Clues for other neuroinflammatory diseases,
Progress in Neurobiology
- Langford, R. M., et al. „A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of THC/CBD oromucosal spray in combination with the existing treatment regimen, in the relief of central neuropathic pain in patients with multiple sclerosis.“ Journal of neurology 260.4 (2013): 984-997.