THC and CBD, the active ingredients in medical marijuana, have been found by studies to slow the damage to nerve cells caused by ALS. In some cases, it may be able to stop further damage. ALS patients using medical marijuana report a higher quality of life due to alleviation in symptoms such as muscle spasms, seizures, and involuntary movements. Use of medical marijuana is also linked to patients having more regular sleep, less salivation, and relief from pain and discomfort as well as improved mood.
What is ALS?
Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a progressive, neurodegenerative condition that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The atrophy of associated muscles causes symptoms such as muscle spasms, cramps, stiffness, pain, inflammation, and paralysis.
Affecting an estimated 30,000 Americans at any given time. ALS often appears without warning in otherwise healthy adults between the ages of 40 and 70.
While there are doctors and scientists searching, there is no cure for ALS. Treatments for ALS patients work to give a higher quality of life and prolong survival while alleviating symptoms.
ALS symptoms typically begin in the hands or legs, with loss of skill and problems with balance and walking. Slurred speech and problems swallowing and chewing as well as excessive choking may also occur.
Common symptoms include:
Tripping, dropping things, clumsiness
BENEFITS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR ALS PATIENTS
There is mounting evidence that suggests that the anti-inflammatory properties of marijuana may slow disease progression as well as alleviate symptoms. There is even research to suggest that treatments using marijuana maybe more effective than some FDA-approved mediation that is currently prescribed.
Cannabis has also been used to treat these ALS symptoms:
According to a 2010 study published by Rehabilitation Medicine and Palliative Care:
“Cannabis also has properties applicable to symptom management of ALS, including analgesia, muscle relaxation, bronchodilation, saliva reduction, appetite stimulation, and sleep induction. With respect to the treatment of ALS, from both a disease modifying and symptom management viewpoint, clinical trials with cannabis are the next logical step. Based on the currently available scientific data, it is reasonable to think that cannabis might significantly slow the progression of ALS, potentially extending life expectancy and substantially reducing the overall burden of the disease.”
Before purchasing cannabis from a medical marijuana treatment center, Florida patients must first qualify for a medical marijuana certification; Mary J MD provides qualified patients with the state-required recommendation to complete this process.