Can CBD help with MS? Here we look at the possible benefits.
MS, is an auto-immune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord and occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own central nervous system (CNS). No one knows for sure why people get MS, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
The disease and its symptoms
More than 130,000 people in the UK have MS and every year over 5,000 people are diagnosed with the condition. People are most likely to find out they have MS in their thirties, forties and fifties, but the first symptoms often start earlier.
MS is an extremely debilitating disease which stays with a person for life. For some, the symptoms become progressively worse over time and for others they come and go.
With MS, the immune system starts to attack our nervous system, damaging the myelin sheath that covers our nerves. The body will repair the damaged area but this creates scar tissue. The kinds of symptoms a sufferer gets will depend on where the damage has occurred. These can be very different for each person, but frequently include vision problems, pain, shaking, fatigue, inflammation, difficulty moving or walking and depression.
Can CBD help with MS?
While there are currently no cures, there have been significant advances in drugs to slow down the disease. Many people with MS look for complementary therapies to manage their symptoms.
How CBD affects the body and how it interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors is still being researched. But evidence indicates that CBD has a range of properties that could make a difference for someone with MS.
The NHS and The World Health Organisation have both determined that CBD does not have the propensity for abuse or to cause harm and that even high doses will not cause the user to get high. It can be taken daily with little or no side effects.
Multiple studies and research have shown that CBD helps to reduce or even stop seizures associated with MS, as well to minimise pain and inflammation. CBD has also been shown to lessen depression and fatigue.
A review by America’s National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) in 2017 found that patients who took cannabis-based treatment by mouth said it helped with their spasticity.
While no clinical studies have been carried out to show whether or not the CBD oils commercially available in the UK have any benefits in MS, anecdotally some people with MS say they have found CBD oil to be beneficial.
More research is needed to determine whether readily available CBD products such as oils, sprays, and edibles can provide MS symptom relief, and to better understand if any harm exists in using them.
There are many different ways to manage MS and some will suit some people better than others. We always recommend speaking to your doctor before trying something new. You will want to consider how CBD could interact with any other medications you might be taking.
Take a look at our range of CBD Oils