Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating medical condition that causes the progressive deterioration of the central nervous system. There are many different pharmaceutical solutions designed to treat multiple sclerosis, but many of them cause unwanted side effects. New research into the benefits of CBD for multiple sclerosis, however, reveals that cannabidiol could potentially hold the key to treating the condition.
Multiple sclerosis primarily targets the central nervous system that in many cases eventually leads to disablement. In individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the immune system “malfunctions” and mistakenly attacks the human body. This process results in the destruction of the myelin sheath that is responsible for insulating and protecting nerve fibers.
Myelin is primarily responsible for speeding up the transfer of nerve impulses between the brain and the rest of the body — when the myelin sheath that protects the nerves is destroyed, the signals passed between the brain and the body become disrupted, which significantly impacts motor skills.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis are chronic fatigue, shaking, difficulty walking, vision problems, bladder control issues, muscle spasm, convulsions, bowel problems, numbness, dizziness, and weakness. At advanced stages, multiple sclerosis can cause the total loss of motor control and overall independence.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, and the cause is currently unknown. The condition primarily affects individuals between the age of 15 and 60 years old. The primary method of treatment for multiple sclerosis consists of the administration of corticosteroids, which are known to cause adverse side effects. Some of the drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis cause mild flu-like symptoms, while others can potentially induce serious health conditions such as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.
Cannabidiol, a natural plant compound derived from the hemp plant, has shown a great deal of promise in clinical trials for treating multiple sclerosis. CBD appears to be able to slow down the rate at which multiple sclerosis progresses, and assist with the management of symptoms associated with the condition, which include chronic pain, nausea, and depression.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of CBD for MS and assess the way CBD interacts with the human immune system and nervous system. We’ll examine the science behind the use of CBD for multiple sclerosis and break down the clinical evidence for CBD and multiple sclerosis. Lastly, we’ll look at the best CBD dose for MS and the best CBD oils for multiple sclerosis.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a naturally-occurring compound that is found in the hemp plant. Classified as a cannabinoid, cannabidiol is extracted from hemp in order to create CBD health products. CBD is one of many different compounds derived from the cannabis plant that are able to provide the human body with a wide range of health benefits.
Cannabinoids such as CBD are able to interact with the endocannabinoid system of the human body. Endocannabinoid systems are found in all vertebrate organisms and are responsible for a wide range of biological functions. In the human body, the endocannabinoid system is closely linked to the immune system, the central nervous system, the brain, and the digestive system.
There is an important distinction between THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive compound found inside the cannabis plant that is responsible for the “high,” or recreational effects of cannabis. In contrast, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not cause any intoxication.
CBD can be found in all parts of the hemp plant, and has been the subject of clinical medical investigations since the early 1990’s. The recent relaxation of US cannabis law has catalyzed a new wave of medical research directed at the health benefits of CBD, which has revealed surprising results.
Cannabidiol has been demonstrated to interact with the human endocannabinoid system and provide a wide range of health benefits by mimicking the function of the cannabinoids that are produced by the human body.
Cannabidiol is able to lower inflammation levels, improve the function of the immune system, and has a powerful positive effect on the human brain and central nervous system. The way cannabidiol boosts the health of the brain and CNS makes it a powerful alternative therapeutic treatment for a range of mental health conditions and, importantly, neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.
There are many different products available on the market today that contain CBD. Products such as CBD oil drops for multiple sclerosis, CBD topical patches, CBD creams, and even more interesting products such as CBD bath bombs or CBD edibles have made cannabidiol health solutions available to millions of people around the world.
The fact that CBD is non-psychoactive has made it possible legislators to create a nuanced framework around cannabinoid health products. CBD health products and, specifically, CBD oil for multiple sclerosis, are now legal in almost every US state and many international countries.
There is a significant amount of clinical evidence that supports the use of CBD for MS, with several highly promising human trials demonstrating that it can dramatically improve the quality of life for individuals diagnosed with the condition.
CBD oil for multiple sclerosis health benefits include minimized nausea, minimized anxiety and depression, assistance with the management of chronic pain, and minimized inflammation. Cutting-edge research even indicates that CBD could potentially assist with the regeneration of damaged nerve cells and assist individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in regaining lost mobility and motor control.
How Does CBD Work?
Clinical research indicates that the primary way in which CBD helps with MS is by interacting with the human immune system. The endocannabinoid system of the human body consists of both endogenous cannabinoid compounds that are created by the body, and endocannabinoid receptors that interact with these endogenous endocannabinoids.
Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids are exogenous cannabinoids, which means they are created outside of the human body. There is an extensive body of clinical evidence proving that endogenous cannabinoids such as CBD are able to interact with the endocannabinoid receptors of the human body, which causes a wide range of positive health benefits.
When CBD enters the human body, it pairs with the endocannabinoid receptors and causes a massive amount of chemical messengers to communicate between the various cells of the body. One of the most important functions of this interaction is the reduction of inflammation.
Inflammation is one of the primary contributing factors to the progression of multiple sclerosis in the human body. CBD has been proven in clinical investigations to lower the total amount of cytokines in the body, which are responsible for inflammation.
The health benefits of CBD for MS aren’t limited to inflammation, however. New clinical research indicates that CBD can even promote neurogenesis, resulting in the growth of new cells in the human brain that could potentially result in the recovery of lost motor control.
CBD has been proven to help individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in managing the pain caused by the condition. Regular doses of CBD have been shown to interact with the neural pathways that transmit pain, providing powerful analgesic benefits.
Importantly, cannabidiol is able to minimize chronic pain without causing any side effects. Many of the pharmaceutical medications used by individuals diagnosed with MS to manage the pain caused by the condition can cause dependency and a wide range of unwanted side effects. CBD is a powerful and fast-acting anti-pain solution that actually increases overall health instead of damaging it.
Another important benefit delivered by CBD to individuals diagnosed with MS is improved cognitive function. Multiple sclerosis is known to impact cognitive function and is linked to neurodegeneration, which is a process that causes the progressive death of brain cells.
Individual clinical trials assessing the health benefits of CBD for MS have demonstrated that CBD can reverse the process of neurodegeneration, resulting in the minimization of motor control problems and improving memory functions.
CBD is also a potent anticonvulsant. Several clinical investigations into the effectiveness of CBD in treating epilepsy and other seizure disorders have revealed that CBD can completely stop seizures before they happen due to the powerful anticonvulsant properties of cannabinoids.
Overall, CBD can be considered a highly effective therapeutic treatment for multiple sclerosis that dramatically improves the quality of life in individuals diagnosed with the condition without causing any harmful side effects.
Can CBD Help With Multiple Sclerosis?
The way in which cannabidiol interacts with the human endocannabinoid system makes it an ideal treatment for many of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the human body, and are densely distributed in the brain and both the peripheral and central nervous system.
One of the most interesting properties of cannabidiol is the way in which it actually interacts with nervous system cannabinoid receptors. Many clinical trials have demonstrated that exogenous cannabinoids such as CBD bind to cannabinoid receptors more strongly than endogenous cannabinoids. This makes them more effective, and can even lengthen the time in which endogenous cannabinoids are effective within the body.
CBD health benefits for multiple sclerosis include:
- Significantly decreased inflammation
- Improved motor control
- Significantly decreased chronic pain
- Minimized anxiety and depression
- Decreased nausea
- Improved brain and central nervous system health
Cannabidiol is able to interact with the cannabinoid receptors of the immune system, which modulates the inflammatory response of the human body. Lowering the overall amount of inflammation in the human body lowers oxidative stress which, in turn, slows down the rate at which the myelin sheath is stripped from nerve endings by multiple sclerosis.
Other studies have demonstrated that CBD is able to provide other neuroprotective benefits that also slow down the rate of myelin destruction. In addition to slowing down the progress of multiple sclerosis, CBD has also been shown to help with the management of healthy sleeping patterns, reducing the impact of multiple sclerosis-induced insomnia.
Individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis often experience chronic fatigue. CBD is able to dramatically increase energy levels by modulating a number of factors that include the rate at which the digestive system converts nutritional intake into ATP, which is the energy currency of the body.
Lastly, CBD is able to mitigate the mental health impact of multiple sclerosis, assisting with the management of conditions such as anxiety, stress, and depression.
Overall, CBD has been demonstrated in scientific studies to function as a highly beneficial therapeutic treatment for the management of multiple sclerosis.
The Science Behind CBD and Multiple Sclerosis
The use of CBD for multiple sclerosis is backed up by extensive scientific evidence. The primary way in which CBD assists with the management of MS is by minimizing inflammation, which reduces neuroinflammation in both the brain and the central nervous system. This is the primary mechanism through which CBD slows the progress of MS.
This unique property of CBD is caused by the ability of the compound to inhibit the production of cytokines in the human body. “Cytokines” is a general term that is used to refer to a variety of different proteins that include lymphocytes and monocytes. These proteins have been linked to the propagation of the inflammatory immune system response throughout the human body.
In addition to causing inflammation in the body, cytokines are also known to exacerbate the physiological symptoms associated with the inflammatory response, such as pathological pain.
The true power of CBD is its ability to interact with two receptors found in nervous system cells — the CBD-1 receptor and the CB-2 receptor. By binding with these two receptors, cannabidiol is able to modulate a broad spectrum of bodily functions that includes genetic transcription, brain health, the creation and healing of cells, and the inflammatory response of the immune system.
Put simply, CBD is able to modulate the way the human body creates and distributes the proteins that cause inflammatory. Concrete evidence supporting the link between cytokines and cannabidiol can be found in a 2015 clinical trial assessing the efficacy of CBD as a treatment for asthma.
The clinical trial found that the blood serum levels of cytokines in participants administered with CBD dropped significantly directly after CBD dosing, proving the anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol has also been demonstrated in a number of clinical investigations to alter the function of T cells, which are a fundamental element of the human immune system. T cells are lymphocytes that are closely linked to cell-mediated immunity functions — by altering these cells, CBD is able to significantly improve the health of the body.
The way in which CBD can improve the motor control of individuals diagnosed with CBD is caused by the neurogenerative properties of the compound. Other scientific investigations have shown that CBD is able to promote the growth of new neurons in the brain, potentially helping MS patients recover lost cognitive ability and nervous system functions.
There is a significant body of clinical evidence that supports the use of CBD oil for multiple sclerosis. Importantly, multiple sclerosis is one of the few medical conditions for which intensive human trials assessing the effectiveness of CBD have been conducted.
A clinical trial published in a 2018 edition of the Frontiers in Neurology medical journal identified cannabidiol as a powerful new method of increasing mobility in individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The trial revealed a number of surprising facts — not only can cannabidiol minimize the impact of inflammation on the human nervous system, but it also significantly reduces pain, , fatigue, and depression in MS patients.
The investigation also found that CBD is able to reduce the use of prescription drugs by individuals that have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, lowering the frequency of pharmaceutical opioid, benzodiazepine, and antidepressant usage. The investigation concluded that CBD is a useful method of increasing mobility in MS patients.
Another clinical investigation found that CBD sprays for MS are highly effective. Published in 2018, the investigation found that all patients in a clinical trial that provided MS patients with CBD nasal spray benefited from a 20% improvement in muscle spasticity, delivering greater levels of motor control, as well as improved walking ability.
Another clinical investigation published in 2018 provides compelling evidence for the use of CBD to improve myelin health. The trial, which assessed the use of CBD in animal models, used a 20mg/kg dose of CBD over a course of nine days, revealing that CBD has a powerful effect on the production of cytokines that impact the inflammatory processes that contribute to myelin destruction.
The clinical evidence that supports the use of CBD to treat MS is highly compelling, indicating that further research into the health benefits of CBD for MS may reveal more effective targeted solutions in the future.
CBD Dosage for Multiple Sclerosis
Determining the correct dosage of CBD to treat multiple sclerosis is a highly subjective process. Before beginning any CBD regime, it’s essential to first consult with your doctor, as there are a number of drugs that are commonly used by individuals diagnosed with MS that CBD may interact with.
Clinical investigations in animal models have demonstrated that CBD dosed at a rate of 20mg per kilogram of body weight has a profound positive impact on the rate at which myelin is stripped from nerve cells, but this is an extremely high dose in the world of CBD.
Many individuals using CBD to treat health conditions use far lower doses. The use of CBD for treating epilepsy, for example, commonly consists of a dose of 200mg-300mg of CBD per day. CBD for chronic pain doses is far lower, with many users dosing at a rate of 20mg to 100mg per day.
Clinical trials assessing the brain health benefits of CBD that induce neurogenesis typically use very high doses. Using CBD to manage MS pain and other symptoms, however, can be performed at far lower dosages.
Many individuals that suffer from systemic health conditions choose to begin CBD dosing at a rate of 25mg per day, keeping a detailed journal of health benefits and adjusting dosage accordingly until the optimum balance between dose and benefits is achieved.
Best CBD Products for Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a systemic health condition, which makes choosing the right CBD product for the condition relatively simple. There are many different ways to administer CBD, from transdermal patches to CBD oil drops that are placed beneath the tongue.
In the case of MS, CBD nasal sprays have been proven in clinical trials to be highly effective in increasing mobility. Similar products that deliver CBD to the bloodstream without passing through the digestive tract are likely to be similarly effective.
Best CBD treatments for multiple sclerosis:
- CBD drops
- CBD oil
- CBD nasal spray
- CBD gummies
- CBD chewing gum
- CBD MCT oil
The first step when investigating CBD as a potential therapeutic treatment for MS is always an in-depth consultation with your doctor or a professional medical expert.
There are a number of mild side effects that can manifest in some individuals when using CBD oil.
CBD oil side effects include:
- Mild low blood pressure
- Altered T cell function
- Dry mouth
- Sedation or sleepiness
- Decreased fertility
There are also a number of pharmaceutical drugs that may be affected by CBD. This is because CBD alters the way the human body creates a specific enzyme that is used in the metabolism of these drugs, which include:
- NSAIDS (commonly used in the treatment of MS symptoms)
Q: What is CBD?
A: CBD is a cannabinoid that is extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system in order to deliver natural health benefits.
Q: Is CBD legal?
A: CBD products are legal in almost every state of the US. This is because CBD products typically do not contain THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant.
Q: Is CBD better than other MS treatments?
A: CBD cannot be considered “better” than other MS treatments, but has been shown in clinical trials to reduce reliance on pharmaceutical MS drugs and significantly reduce the symptoms of MS.
Q: Does CBD cure multiple sclerosis?
A: CBD has not been proven to cure MS, but has been observed to improve mobility and quality of life in MS patients.
Q: Is CBD safe?
A: CBD is a naturally occurring plant compound and has not toxic or negative side effects.
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