It’s not unusual for humans to desire pain or illness relief. The same is particularly true for those suffering from multiple sclerosis, also known as MS. Unfortunately, over-the-counter products or prescribed medications don’t always do the trick. When that happens, some turn to unconventional treatment options. But if you’re thinking about trying CBD oil for MS, know what the experts have to say first.
The National MS Society defines multiple sclerosis as, “an unpredictable disease of the nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.” Typically, those with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. Women seem to be more susceptible to the disease than men. Currently, approximately one million people in the United States are living with MS.
CBD Oil for MS
In 2017, results from a web-based survey by the National MS Society showed that about 66 percent of the MS respondents were using cannabis to relieve their symptoms. However, the FDA has not approved any cannabis or cannabis products for the treatment of MS. As a matter of fact, the FDA has only approved three CBD related products – one to treat epilepsy and two others to treat symptoms for AIDS.
A 2014 guideline created by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) was released based on all published research studies relative to cannabis and its derivatives. This panel of medical experts found that oral cannabis extract is “probably effective” in reducing MS symptoms such as spasticity and pain.
Additionally, Sativex, a marijuana-based drug manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals, is also thought to be effective as an oral spray according to the AAN. This drug is still pending approval by the FDA in the US, but it is legal in the UK. It has been shown to likely improve MS symptoms like spasticity, pain and urinary frequency.
Note that neither Sativex or any other cannabis extract has shown to improve MS-related bladder incontinence or tremors. Moreover, research studies centralized around smoked cannabis have not produced sufficient evidence in the treatment of any type of MS symptoms.
The Problem with CBD Oil
Issues surrounding CBD oil are related to its legality. Since there are not federal regulations surrounding the product, there is no way to be certain of what you’re buying. Not only can you not be sure of what ingredients are in CBD products, you can’t know for sure the true amount of CBD contained within. That said, nor can you know the possible levels of THC or other more harmful ingredients.
On top of that, even if you did know the purity levels of the product, it’s difficult to discern the proper dosage. Is it technically a medication? Well, no. But everyone still needs to understand the amount they should be taking as it relates to their illness or condition.
Side Effects of CBD
No matter the reason people choose to take CBD, it can have its own direct side effects. Such side effects could be:
- Dry mouth
- Lack of appetite
CBD could also interact negatively with medications. Be sure to discuss this route with your doctor before proceeding.
To summarize, while it’s hopeful that CBD oil for MS will be researched fully and approved in some form, we just aren’t there yet. The good news is that strides are being made in the right direction. Our hope is that MS patients will see much more relief in the near future.
If you’d like to learn more about CBD oil for other illnesses, we invite you to read our article, “The Facts About CBD Oil and Lung Cancer or “How Effective is CBD Oil for Rheumatoid Arthritis?”