Posted on

is cbd oil a miracle for multiple sclerosis

“Some patients do find relief with Low-THC, CBD lotions applied topically,” said Thrower.

Unlike the most popular cannabinoid, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychoactive and thus won’t get you high. This makes CBD legal in most countries across the world.

Researchers examined self-reported data from several hundred MS patients who were using the drug for one year. Results showed a 20% improvement in muscle spasticity for 70% of subjects and a 30% improvement in 28% of patients.

Different Ways to Take CBD Oil for Multiple Sclerosis

“I have found the side effect profile of these products to be less than some of the prescription medications,” he added. “CBD/THC products tend to be far less sedating than Baclofen or Tizanidine, which are [muscle relaxants] traditionally used for spasticity,” he added.

Still, you won’t buy marijuana products in your local head shop or health store as marijuana remains a controlled substance according to federal law. You can buy medical marijuana if you live in a state that runs a medical marijuana program.

The lack of psychoactive effects doesn’t make it an inferior cannabinoid. On the contrary, CBD has a long list of well-documented health benefits with only a few mild side effects. Cannabis advocates argue that CBD can help with virtually any condition deriving from a compromised endocannabinoid system (ECS) — the prime neurochemical network in our bodies.

But can CBD oil actually treat multiple sclerosis?

In November 2018, the Government legalised cannabis for medicinal use, but also put a strict criteria in place for who could access it. Only specialist doctors are allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis, and so far only a handful of people have benefited from the change in law.

Cannabis is made up of compounds called cannabinoids. The main ones studied for their therapeutic effect are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gets you ‘high’, and cannabidiol (CBD), which doesn’t.

There’s a medically approved cannabis-based treatment called Sativex, but it doesn’t work for everyone. In England and Wales you can get it on the NHS for ‘moderate’ to ‘severe’ spasticity (muscle spasms and stiffness). But you can have it only if other treatments haven’t worked. As of late 2019 it’s not yet available in Scotland or Northern Ireland but we hope it soon will be.

One in five people with MS we surveyed in 2014 told us they’d used cannabis to help with their symptoms. They said it can help with muscle spasms or stiffness (spasticity) and pain.

Some people with MS use cannabis in a variety of ways to help ease their symptoms.

While clinical studies show that patients receiving Sativex do report a better quality of life and lower spasticity than they did prior to starting CBD oil treatment, the exact method through which CBD interacts with the mechanisms that are thought to cause MS remains unclear.

New research from the Department of Pathology in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, published last week in Frontiers in Immunology studied the treatment of murine EAE with CBD oil in order to characterize the previously unknown biochemical mechanisms through which CBD inhibits MS-like symptoms.

CBD oil and MS

Taking into account both the differences in cytokine and transcription factors, the data indicates that CBD treatment leads to the suppression of cytokines and transcription factors that are known to display pro-inflammatory effects, while also promoting the production of IL10, a cytokine which is known to have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

The authors of the study conclude their research paper with the recommendation that “CBD may constitute an excellent candidate for the treatment of MS and other autoimmune diseases” as a novel non-psychoactive therapeutic. Further study of MDSC manipulation by cannabinoid-based drugs could lead to the development of novel drugs and other future advances in autoimmune disease treatment.

EAE-CBD mice were found to show dramatically higher counts of CD11b+Gr-1+ MDSCs than the EAE-VEH mice in the peritoneal cavity where the CBD was injected, but that these levels were not heightened in the central nervous system, spinal cord, or brain. Levels in the central nervous system were actually slightly reduced in comparison to EAE-VEH mice. It is theorized that this difference is due to the MDSCs in the periphery being unable to migrate to the central nervous system, but by inhibiting T cell induction in secondary lymphoid organs it was possible for the CBD-induced MDSCs to prevent the T cells from proliferating and causing the clinical disease. This was supported by the total viable cell number of the T cells, which showed that the MDSCs were not killing the T cells after they were triggered by the autoimmune disease, but that they were being suppressed and inhibited from proliferating.