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What are the Effects of Marijuana on Multiple Sclerosis?

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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2016
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Multiple sclerosis, or MS, causes a variety of symptoms that often respond positively to treatment with medical marijuana. Patients who have used marijuana, or cannabis, as a form of treatment often report a decrease in physically debilitating issues such as muscle spasms and tremors. It has also been known to help manage the chronic pain and sleep problems that can occur with MS. Some patients also say it has helped them gain better mobility and balance which may have been lost due to the disease. Another potential effect of marijuana on multiple sclerosis is to actually slow its progression.

One of the effects of marijuana on multiple sclerosis is a reduction in spasticity and tremors. Patients with MS often have uncontrollable muscle spasms, with the muscles also becoming very stiff and rigid. Many have reported that the use of marijuana helps decrease these spasms and make the muscles more flexible. MS may also cause the muscles to tremble; medical use of marijuana has also shown to decrease this symptom in some cases, leading to an improved quality of life for the patients.

Reduction in pain is another possible effect of marijuana on multiple sclerosis. MS is often accompanied by chronic pain which can be very debilitating for patients. Many of those who have used cannabis medicinally to treat the disease report that it is very effective in reducing and managing their pain.

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Patients who have used medical marijuana for their MS report that it can help improve the quality of their sleep. Poor, restless sleep is a common experience for people with multiple sclerosis. For some, the use of marijuana can help them achieve a good night's rest.

Another reported effect of marijuana on multiple sclerosis is improved mobility. Many patients have trouble moving and walking due to the effects of MS on their nervous systems. Some of those who have used cannabis as a treatment have experienced improved motor control and ability to walk with better stability and balance.

There is some evidence that medicinal use of marijuana to treat multiple sclerosis can slow the progression of the disease. MS often becomes increasingly more debilitating as it progresses, with patients becoming more and more incapacitated as time goes on. Some studies have shown indications that cannabis may offer some protection against the neurological damage that MS does and could therefore slow down its effects on patients.

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