CBD as a treatment for multiple sclerosis?

Updated: Apr 12, 2020

Could the supplementation of CBD Products such as CBD Oil, CBD Vapes and CBD Edibles improve the wellbeing of patients with multiple sclerosis? First we will look into the science of multiple sclerosis then we will explain how CBD can be a great supplement to treatment process.

Does CBD help multiple sclerosis

Introduction into MS

Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system affecting around 2.3 million people worldwide. MS presents a plethora of symptoms including pain, muscle spasticity, fatigue, inflammation and depression. As a result, these patients do less physical activity and are less mobile. They also tend to have a decreasing quality of life as they aren't able to carry out daily needs e,g. Going to work, enjoying hobbies, playing sport, socialising etc. There is scientific evidence correlating the use of CBD and its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, antipsychotic and neuroprotective effects. Most importantly psychomotor and psychological functionality isn't affected. Also, inflammation plays an important role in inducing MS related fatigue. 

Different types of Multiple Sclerosis

Women are more prone to getting MS than men. They are more affected by a ratio of 3:1. Two people may have the same type of MS, yet they may be expressing totally different symptoms. The 4 main types are:

Relapsing-Remitting (RRMS): Over 85% of people with MS are diagnosed with RRMS. There are a variety of symptoms and they appear at random and can persist over 24 hours. The symptoms can potentially fully go away only to come back again later. 

Primary- Progressive (PPMS): This type of MS affects around 10-15% of patients. They get an initial symptom and it gradually worsens with time. 

Progressive- Relapsing (PRMS):  This version of MS is a progressive version of MS but also the patients also relapse on top of this. 

Secondary-Progressive (SPMS): This usually follows the relapsing-remitting type and here symptoms that may have come and gone in the past now get steadily worse.

What does CBD help with?

CBD helps with a variety of symptoms such as spasticity, pain, inflammation, fatigue and depression. Data shows that even cannabis that has at least a 1:1. Ratio of CBD: THC ratio if not more weighted on the CBD side has shown to help with muscle spasticity and pain. There is some indirect evidence which correlates the symptoms of pain, spasticity and mobility in the patient. There are also studies showing the anti-depressive and the anti-anxiety effects of CBD and this will also cause a detrimental effect on the patient's quality of life which will be aggravated by the physical symptoms of MS.

How CBD reduces the use of prescription drugs

The orthodox clinical medication for patients with MS would be opioids, Benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Some of the consequent side effects of prescribing opioids are dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, tolerance, constipation and respiratory depression. The main side effect of this is physical dependence. This has proven to be an increasing problem across the world, particularly in the US. Physical dependence often leads to opioid addiction.

Another concern with long duration BDZs such as diazepam and flurazepam is drowsiness and “hangover effect.” Antidepressants can cause a large range of unpleasant side effects. This can delay or prevent the appropriate treatment with regards to physical rehabilitation. In patients that were shown to be dependent on opioids and benzodiazepines, 77% of people had reduced their opioid intake after they had started CBD treatment. Alongside this around two thirds of patients decreased their anti-anxiety, migraine and sleep drugs after taking medical cannabis.

Disclaimer: We would always advise to consult a physician before taking CBD with any pre-existing medication.