MS-disease is associated with various nervous symptoms, which can differ a lot compared to other diagnosed patients. The different symptoms of MS are united by their systematic progression and the fact that the symptoms strongly dominate life and affect the body’s mobility. Over the years, CBD oil has been found to have many positive effects on inflammation, mood, muscle flexibility, etc. and in this article we consider whether it could CBD oil can also help alleviate the symptoms associated with MS.
Hemp has been known for thousands of years
The hemp plant has been used in human history for a long time. In addition to the fact that it has been a useful crop in cultivation for approx. 10,000 years old, its medicinal properties have been known for thousands of years. The various compounds in hemp, such as cannabinoids (e.g. CBD ), have versatile effects but are very gentle, effective and safe to use. Today, hemp and the active ingredients it contains have been studied and their benefits have also been scientifically proven. MS is the only neurological disease for which the possibility of treatment with cannabinoids has been studied so intensively and extensively.
MS affects mobility
Multiple sclerosis, more commonly known as MS, is a neurodegenerative disorder that has a debilitating effect on the ability to exercise and function. MS is the most common disease related to the central nervous system in young adults, and its fundamental cause has not been clarified despite numerous studies. It is thought that multiple sclerosis is the sum of many factors. It has been suggested that the background of its outbreak would be not only hereditary factors but also environmental factors. Herpes viruses, epstein-barr virus and toxins spread in the environment such as plant protection agents may play a significant role in the development of MS (1). Likewise, disruption of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid deficiency (5).
The key factors in multiple sclerosis are the inflammatory reaction and demyelination of the brain and spinal cord. Basically, it is a malfunction of the immune system. (1)
Myelin is a soft, fatty substance whose purpose is to form an electrically insulating membrane around the neuron’s efferent branch. Electrical impulses sent by nerve cells travel faster when the myelin membrane is intact, and this is a basic requirement for normal nervous system function. The myelin membrane controls the flow of information between different parts of the brain, and in its absence, nerve impulses are exposed to disturbances. This situation, where the myelin membrane is damaged, or even completely absent, is called demyelination.
The endocannabinoid system in immune defense
The endocannabinoid system normal functioning is a significant part of the functioning of the immune defense. It has been found that the activity of the endocannabinoid system and the prevalence of CB1 and CB2 receptors are directly related to the functioning of the immune system and the inflammatory response. (2).
The endocannabinoid system affects the immune response in many different ways
The purpose of the system itself is to balance all bodily functions, but with the endocannabinoid system and endocannabinoids have other roles as well. Cannabinoids have been found in e.g. affecting the function and number of different cells. They have been found to regulate the cell cycle and regulate the function of immune cells (3). Cannabinoids inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines and they inhibit the presentation and transport of antigens to inflamed tissues (2, 6).
Evidence has also been obtained that cannabinoids protect the nervous system by reducing the amount of stimulating amino acids, and therefore cannabinoids, or actually their lack, could be a significant factor in the development and development of inflammatory diseases (2, 3).
Medical treatment of MS is supported by drug-free treatment
In the treatment of multiple sclerosis, drug-free treatment is considered equally important alongside drug therapy. Drug-free treatment includes nutrition, sleep, exercise, rest and supporting mental well-being. Most of the time, the symptoms associated with MS are experienced as strongly dominating life. Drug treatment in combination with drug-free treatment usually slows down the progression of the disease and relieves the symptoms, but despite that, many need more nurturing elements in life. (4)
Just like the symptoms of MS, the functioning of the endocannabinoid system is also balanced and normalized with drug-free treatment methods!
CBD oil could be part of a drug-free treatment
CBD oil does not cause strong side effects or addiction and it has been found to work just as effectively even if it has been used for a long time. Most drugs that affect the central nervous system are highly addictive or cause life-threatening side effects. This was a big reason why the use of cannabis in the treatment of MS has been studied so extensively; is the desire and need to find light, natural remedies for people suffering from severe symptoms. CBD has also been found to improve appetite and relieve nausea, which could be helpful in alleviating the side effects caused by medications.
The versatile effects of CBD in support of MS
The use of the CBD oil verification of the effect in humans mainly focuses on the good experiences of both the patients themselves and their caregivers and relatives. Although CBD oil is perceived to be helpful for various symptoms, the relief may not be visible in pictures or experiments. Instead, studies conducted on mice show such changes in the tissues that possibly explain the effect of CBD on the symptoms of MS. For example, a study published in 2015 clearly showed that CBD, the mice treated with CBD showed significantly fewer symptoms of T-cell-related autoimmune disease than the corresponding group of mice that did not receive CBD. CBD appeared to slow disease progression through axonal damage and immune cell activation and permeability (3).
CBD oil’s antioxidant, neuroprotective and immune cell effects are most important for the complex pathology of MS. CBG has also been found in studies to have pain-reducing effects.
CBD oil for inflammatory reaction
When studying MS, we have reached the inflammatory mediators that play a central role in the development and progression of MS. There are several of these and CBD has been found to affect each of them (3). CBDhas anti-inflammatory effects through A2AR activation and can be seen e.g. by activating intracellular anti-inflammatory pathways (4). CBD is also an effective inhibitor of various functions of microglial cells. By suppressing these cells, CBD is able to prevent inflammatory processes in the central nervous system (4).
Spasticity, muscle spasms, mobility and pain. What is the effect of CBD oil on them?
The effect of CBD oil on MS and spasticity in particular is interesting. Patients and their caregivers experience a clear relief of spasticity, mobility and mood, but the results are not visible by external standards. Studies have also reported a reduction and alleviation of pain associated with movement. (3, 4, 5). Bladder control has been eased, as well as the strength and number of muscle spasms (6).
You can find more information on the subject in the article pain and CBD oil .
CBD oil can ease other symptoms of MS
In addition to the aforementioned physical symptoms, there are a number of other symptoms associated with MS. Anxiety and depression, which are familiar to many and may also bother you at night. CBD has for anxiety related features that facilitate it. Anxiety itself is the body’s reaction to stress and is a natural feeling in itself, but when it becomes chronic, it does more harm than good. CBD relieves anxiety, e.g. by alleviating conditioned fear and long-term stress and by reducing the manifestation of the “fight-flight” reaction.
CBD oil has been found to stabilize sleep, improving the quality of sleep and making it easier to fall asleep and wake up. According to user experiences, it is one of the most significant benefits of CBD from the perspective of both patients and relatives.
MS is a worldwide disease that occurs in young adults, for which curative medical treatment has not yet been invented. While waiting for that, there are a number of drugs and drug-free treatments that can be used to control the progression of the disease and alleviate the symptoms caused by it. CBD has been surprisingly extensively studied in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, and although it is challenging to observe the results by external means in humans, clear benefits can be seen in studies conducted on mice. The user experiences speak for themselves, and cannabis has been a popular support form of treatment among MS patients since the 1990s.
- MS disease now – site. https://www.ms-nyt.fi/fi_FI/home/hyvinvointi.html. Cited 4/27/2002
- Clinical Use of Cannabinoids for Symptom Control in Multiple Sclerosis. 2015. Notcutt W.. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26289248/ . Referred on 27/04/2022.
- Cannabidiol inhibits pathogenic T cells, decreases spinal microglial activation and ameliorates multiple sclerosis-like disease in C57BL/6 mice. 2011. Kozela E., Lev N., Kaushansky N., Eilam R., Rimmerman N., Levy R., Ben-Nun A., Juknat A, Vogel Z.. https: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih .gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165959/#b52 . Referred on 27/04/2022.
- Molecular Targets of Cannabidiol in Experimental Models of Neurological Disease. 2020. Silvestro S., Schepici G., Bramanti P., Mazzon E.. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33171772/. Referred on 27/04/2022.
- Cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 Receptors and Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Are Specific Markers of Plaque Cell Subtypes in Human Multiple Sclerosis. 2007. Benito C, Romero J, Tolón R, Clemente D, Docagne F, Hillard CJ, Guaza C, Romero J.. https://www.jneurosci.org/content/27/9/2396. Referred on 27/04/2022
- Perspectives on Cannabis-Based Therapy of Multiple Sclerosis: A Mini-Review. 2020. Mecha M., Carrilo-Salinas F., Feliu A., Mestre L., Guaza C.. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncel.2020.00034/full. Referred on 27/04/2022