Since your central nervous system helps your brain communicate with your body, multiple sclerosis impacts coordination, sensation, cognitive function and issues in other areas of the body. It progresses over time, causing more problems the longer you have it.
- Indica: Indica strains provide the effects most people associate with marijuana. They make the user feel sleepy and relaxed all over their body. Since you experience an indica’s results all over instead of only in your head, they’re more suitable for patients with physical aches and pains.
- Sativa: Sativa strains mainly influence the mind, giving the user clarity and energy. Medical marijuana patients handling their mental health issues often use sativa as a natural antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication. If your pain comes from muscle tension associated with MS-induced anxiety, you might want to use a sativa strain.
- Hybrid: Hybrid strains originate from a crossbreed of any two strains, whether they’re the same or different types. Some patients use a hybrid of a sativa and an indica to get the benefits of both. For instance, you could get a hybrid that relieves full-body pain but doesn’t make you as tired as a 100% indica would.
Home / Resources / Ailment Resources / Best Cannabis Strains for Pain Relief in MS Patients
Over-the-counter analgesics include acetaminophen and ibuprofen. They can work for patients with mild to moderate pain. However, they can also damage the liver, kidneys and stomach, especially when used more often than directed.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder that damages the central nervous system. A healthy immune system can distinguish between healthy and unhealthy tissue. When someone has MS, their immune system can’t make the distinction and attacks the fatty tissue, or myelin, surrounding the nervous system, exposing it to damage.
When a patient has a condition like multiple sclerosis that causes pain, medical marijuana can be used as a treatment. The medications traditionally used for pain have dangers like addiction that aren’t worth the risk for some people. If a patient is new to medical marijuana, they need to find a strain cultivated to treat pain and their other MS symptoms for the best experience.
To get the most out of your cannabis medicine, you should be able to distinguish between indica and sativa strains. You have thousands of strains to choose from, but they all fall into one of three categories with distinct results:
Prescription painkillers like narcotics and opioids work better for patients dealing with severe pain, but they can be harsher on the body. The primary concern most folks have with these painkillers is how addictive they are. They often serve as a gateway drug to other types of narcotics and opioids, as well.
The world of medical marijuana can feel overwhelming to patients new to the drug. While some patients understand marijuana from recreational use, plenty of patients have never even seen cannabis in person. One aspect of medical marijuana that newbies might not understand is how to choose the right strain for their condition.
When a patient has a condition like multiple sclerosis that causes pain, medical marijuana can be used as a treatment. The medications traditionally used for pain have dangers like addiction that aren’t worth the risk for some people. Learn which cannabis strains are best for relieving pain from MS.
Additional treatments may address specific symptoms. For example, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat depression, pain or bladder control problems. Muscle relaxants are sometimes prescribed for muscle stiffness or spasms.
- Topical: Lotions and creams containing marijuana can treat specific areas when applied topically.
- Critical Mass
- Sour Tsunami
MS affects the brain and spinal cord, meaning that both the higher functioning and basic processes that keep the patient alive are affected. While there are different types of MS, the condition tends to deteriorate over time to the point that the patient can’t take care of themselves. MS is often a disabling disease. Some patients eventually lose the ability to speak and walk.
- Anti-inflammatory: MS causes inflammation related to the myelin damage. That inflammation and resulting damage cause the physical symptoms felt by MS patients, including motor control issues, weakness and spasms. Marijuana has an anti-inflammatory property that may reduce immune response and inflammation.
- Pain relief: Pain is often a symptom of MS. That pain can be debilitating. Weed helps relieve pain, which can benefit MS patients who suffer from discomfort.
- Antispasmodic: Another effect of cannabis beneficial to MS patients is the ability to reduce the frequency and severity of muscle spasticity.
- Antidepressant: MS patients suffering from depression may benefit from the antidepressant qualities of marijuana. Studies have shown that THC, CBD and CBC can help with depression.
- Abdominal issues: Cannabis may help with symptoms in the abdominal area, including pain, constipation and incontinence.
- Sleep disturbances: MS patients who deal with sleep issues may find help from cannabis.
Updated on April 13, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
While having a strong immune system is important to staying healthy, having an overactive immune system can be just as harmful as having a compromised immune system. Due to the variety of symptoms of this disease, many drugs are used to alleviate these symptoms, many with severe health risks.
Location may also play a role in developing the disease. There tend to be fewer incidents of MS in areas closer to the equator, suggesting vitamin D could play a role in the disease. People living in climates near the equator may have more naturally created vitamin D than those living in areas away from the equator. A person with a different autoimmune disorder, such as Type 1 diabetes or thyroid disease, may also have a slightly higher risk of developing MS.
Smoking of medical cannabis can assuage many of the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. The cannabinoid receptors have been scientifically proven to alleviate many of the symptoms that accompany multiple sclerosis. The cannabinoid 1 and cannabinoid 2 (CB1 and CB2) receptors are usually activated by the cannabinoids naturally created by the body, also known as endocannabinoids. However, in order to increase the effects of these receptors via activation, other chemicals (i.e. phytocannabinoids), can also activate these receptors. The CB2 receptors are located on the cells of the immune system.
See how medical marijuana can help ease many symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis including inflamation, pain, muscle spasms and more.