Can CBD Help with Multiple Sclerosis?
Some people with chronic illnesses, like multiple sclerosis (MS), use CBD to help reduce their symptoms. While the research is still inconclusive, CBD shows some promise as a helpful tool for alleviating chronic pain and discomfort related to various conditions.
Below, we’ll look specifically at how CBD may help people manage their MS symptoms. We’ll also talk about how to take CBD, how to shop for it, and a few products for you to consider.
How CBD may help manage multiple sclerosis symptoms.
Some people use CBD to help manage chronic pain as an alternative to habit-forming drugs, such as opioids. Currently, there’s not enough research to verify CBD’s pain-relieving benefits. But what we know so far is encouraging.
Some symptoms of MS that CBD may help with are:
nerve-related pain or discomfort
pain and itching
A 2018 review suggested that CBD is an effective pain management tool with few side effects. The studies looked at pain resulting from:
Researchers have also looked at CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects. An 2015 animal studyTrusted Sourcesuggested that arthritic rats receiving 6.2 mg of CBD per day had less swelling and pain than those not receiving any CBD.
The results are interesting, but studies on humans are necessary to confirm the findings.
Some studies have also looked specifically at whether CBD might help people with MS manage their symptoms. However, most of the research examines the effects of THC and CBD together in the form of an oromucosal spray called Sativex.
According to a 2014 summary of literature, Sativex is likely an effective treatment option for MS-related symptoms, such as spasticity, urinary infrequency, and pain.
A 2018 studyTrusted Source that looked into the effect of Sativex on the driving ability of people with MS found that people taking the spray didn’t have an increase in vehicle accidents. People also reported having improved driving abilities, possibly because of reduced spasticity.
Another study from 2018Trusted Source explained that cannabis products with a 1-to-1 CBD-to-THC ratio may reduce muscle spasticity and pain in people with MS. Cannabis may also reduce inflammation related fatigue, which may, in turn, improve mobility in those with MS.
The National MS Society advocates for the legalization of cannabis at the state level and seeks to remove federal barriers to researching medical cannabis. However, they point out that there’s no research on the safety of cannabis use, specifically in people with MS.