With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the cultivation and sale of CBD in the United States became a booming industry. Across the country, people with chronic illnesses have been turning to this cannabinoid in the hopes that it will help to reduce their symptoms.
While there is still more research to be done regarding the therapeutic benefits of CBD, there have been promising findings that point towards the potential of CBD being used to help alleviate chronic pain and other conditions.
Scientists are still working to understand how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system and how that might benefit people who have MS. However, there have been some encouraging findings so far.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about the existing research about using CBD for MS.
What Is MS?
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic condition in which the immune system attacks the protective layer around nerve fibers known as myelin. This disease involves the central nervous system (CNS) and causes temporary lesions and inflammation.
MS can make it more difficult for an individual’s brain to communicate with the rest of the body due to lasting lesions caused by scar tissue. It is possible to manage the symptoms of MS but there is no known cure at this point.
There are a wide range of symptoms associated with MS. The type of symptoms as well as the severity can vary between people and over time. Some of the most common symptoms that are linked with this condition include:
- Vision problems
- Difficulty walking
- Speech Issues
- Acute or chronic pain
- Sleep issues
- Cognitive issues with memory, concentration, and finding words
The process for diagnosing MS includes a neurological exam, examination of your clinical history, and diagnostic testing. It also requires that other conditions with similar symptoms are ruled out, including lupus and Lyme disease. You can learn more about managing MS here.
What Are the Available Treatments for MS?
While there isn’t a known cure for MS, there are a number of different treatment options that exist in order to help patients improve their quality of life and manage their symptoms. Some of the available treatments include:
- Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs)
- Medications including corticosteroids
- Stem cells
- Lifestyle changes in diet and exercise
A person who suffers from MS might receive treatment both for the condition itself as well as to manage symptoms. Doctors might prescribe medications for pain, muscle problems, fatigue, and bowel and bladder problems.
CBD for Multiple Sclerosis: What the Research Says
The field of CBD research is still quite young, but researchers believe that CBD can be helpful in managing a number of symptoms associated with MS. There is quite a bit of optimism surrounding the research that has been conducted so far.
The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD have been studied by scientists in the form of animal studies. One of these studies from 2015 found that swelling and pain were reduced in arthritic rats with the use of CBD.
Everyone has a system in their body known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a cell-signaling system that plays a role in regulating a long list of processes and functions, including memory, mood, sleep, appetite, and pain.
Some experts believe that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in your immune system and brain in order to create pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
One 2018 review suggested that CBD could help manage pain resulting from different conditions, including neuropathy, cancer, and fibromyalgia.
There have been a few studies that have also looked at the potential of CBD specifically for the management of MS symptoms. Many of these studies, though, have to do with the effects of both THC and CBD in combination in the form of Sativex, an oromucosal spray.
Sativex has been found to be a potentially effective treatment for symptoms including urinary infrequency, pain, and spasticity. In 2018, a study suggested that pain and muscle spasticity can be reduced in patients with MS through the use of a 1-to-1 CBD-to-THC ratio product.
How Does the Endocannabinoid System Interact With MS?
The endocannabinoid system wasn’t identified until the early 1990s, and there is a lot more for us to learn about this complex system. It is understood that the ECS is the main homeostatic regulatory system in your body, meaning that it is constantly working to keep a wide variety of functions in a state of equilibrium.
There are a number of functions impacted by the ECS, including the digestive system, stress, mood, appetite, metabolism, and immune function, and inflammatory responses. It is also known to impact the central nervous system (CNS).
Basically, researchers understand that the ECS plays a role in the CNS in the form of:
- Learning and memory formation
- Regulating neuronal excitability
- Promoting neurogenesis in the hippocampus
On top of that, ECS is also known to play a part in the brain’s response to inflammation and trauma.
Since MS is defined as a condition of the central nervous system, and the ECS can impact the CNS, it’s understandable why researchers would be driven to find out whether CBD and other cannabinoids can help manage MS symptoms. When a person has MS, parts of the CNS become inflamed, and the ECS is known to impact the CNS as well as potential benefits in combating inflammation.
CBD for MS: Is It Right for You?
At CBD ReThink, we offer THC free CBD for people who want to benefit from cannabinoids but aren’t interested in the mind-altering potentials of THC. All of our raw materials and final products are double-tested to ensure that our products are of the highest quality and maximally effective. Our hemp is grown in the USA and our products ship for free.Whether you’re thinking about taking CBD for MS or for another reason entirely, check out our shop for high-quality CBD products today.