Medical Cannabis Hope For Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Cannabis for ALS

The medical cannabis industry is rapidly growing. The industry has grown from a doctor’s recommendation to an actual cash crop. Cannabis plants help in medicines based on healing cancer cells and other diseases. Besides showing its potential in managing ANS and PTSD, medical cannabis can also help with neurodegenerative diseases like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Advocating for medicinal cannabis as a therapy option for ALS can lead to new treatment choices for individuals with other diseases.

Therefore, Medical Cannabis usage is recommended for treating persons with neurodegenerative disorders since, in addition to being employed in cancer therapies, the medical cannabis aid to the ANS and reduction of PTSD rates make it promising in assisting ALS patients.

The Basics of ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that gradually destroys nerve cells, eventually leading to total paralysis. The life expectancy of people diagnosed with this disease is three to five years from its time of initial onset.

Simply put, ALS is an incurable neurological disorder that attacks and destroys neuromuscular connections between the brain, muscles, and nerve cells. Recently, epidemiological evidence has shown a strong correlation between ALS clinical phenotypes and the location of disease with those from more northerly latitudes generally being more “robust” with a higher prevalence of bulbar-onset ALS (e.g., American cases) as compared to European counterparts (e.g., French patients), who show much lower incidence rates but of more rapid disease progression.[1]

ALS is not a generic term for immobile muscles as once thought; it’s actually 12 different diseases. Every individual diagnosed has an expiration date, which arrives far sooner than a diagnosis in the family history was ever feared to be.

Signs and Symptoms of ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an upper Motoneuron disease that causes paralysis of voluntary muscles, usually not those controlling eyesight.

  • ALS starts with people expressing progressive muscle weakness or slurred speech and other distinctive observable neurological signs.
  • It can eventually lead to paralysis, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, debilitating pneumonia that causes respiratory failure, and death within 3-5 years in most cases. Those with the condition have a fatality rate of 50%-80%.
  • ALS usually only affects adults aged 55 years old or older.[2]
  • Males have roughly a 2X risk of being diagnosed as females. And seem to be at higher risk than others for developing the disease at an earlier age as well as having more rapid progression.[3]

Common Signs of ALS

One of the most common signs of ALS is fasciculation. Fasciculations are muscles that always twitch and can be very difficult to control. There are other signs and symptoms of ALS, but none that outweigh the twitching of a muscle that typically grabs a setting within seconds. Another symptom to watch out for is Fatigue.

In many cases, it is first noticeable when arms or legs become stiff or if people find they stop being able to write legibly or tie shoelaces.

Individuals with this condition should see a doctor right away. The doctor will ask the individual to talk or move limbs or other parts of their body. It can help identify when and how fast ALS will advance and worsen. The optic nerve is not affected by this type of impairment and continues to function, so muscle loss can go on for some time before the individual realizes that they are losing sight.

Individuals who have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) may experience difficulty seeing out of one eye, difficulty believing directions, balance issues, changes in handwriting ability, slurred speech, and pain in the neck and extremities due to weakness.

Risk Factors for ALS – Red Alert?

A risk factor is any part of a person that can make that person more likely to get the disease.

A risk factor might be a family history of ALS, belonging to certain racial groups with higher rates of ALS, or living in certain areas where people have generally eaten fewer vegetables. The role of genes in the likelihood of developing ALS is uncertain because most cases are not inherited but rather occur by chance alone.

The main risk factors for ALS are associated with accidents, injuries, or physical trauma. Illnesses that cause inflammation of the CNS, such as Horner’s syndrome, can also increase a person’s risk. Finally, some medications, ids diseases like Sjorgren syndrome or primary lateral sclerosis, can increase a person’s risk as well.

Other factors that may put one at a higher likelihood of developing ALS include:

  1. Exposure to certain substances such as pesticides and car exhaust;
  2. Having certain medical conditions like amyotrophic laterals sclerosis
  3. LARGE syndromes or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy;
  4. Strong addiction to cigarettes or heavy marijuana usage
  5. Exposure to atmospheric contaminants such as pesticides and arsenic
  6. Being sexually assaulted and living in environments without clean air and atmosphere.

Can Cannabis Help People Suffering From ALS?

For decades, scientists have been looking for a cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This debilitating condition can leave people who have it paralyzed or unable to speak or breathe without assistance. Scientists are now enlisting the help of marijuana to relieve muscle spasms and pain associated with the disease.

Cannabis has long been used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and glaucoma, but research into its effects on Lou Gehrig’s disease is relatively new.[4]

As of 2010, there is an ongoing legal debate about the medicinal use of cannabis that may hold the key to relieving symptoms and even halting the progress of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), ultimately lengthening a person’s life expectancy. [5]

One in 20 individuals in the United States has ALS, which manifests as a gradual loss in muscle control, causing difficulty speaking, swallowing, and writing.

One study found that participants dealing with ALS who were given THC saw an improvement in their symptoms while smoking marijuana. Cannabis helped them sleep better and improved their muscle cramps while they were under the influence of cannabis treatment.

Is Cannabis Really Helpful?

People are exploring the potential use of medical marijuana to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is now uniformly fatal, but cannabis may make all the difference for those who suffer from it!

One of the ways that cannabis can help people suffering from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is by reducing the muscle spasticity caused by this disease. It helps with mobility, speech, and breathing difficulties. Cannabis can also help people with ALS to have a better appetite and improve their mood, which is important because it reduces depression and anxiety.

ALS and Cannabis Research: What You Need To Know

The potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids have been studied as a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in small studies, but the effects of marijuana are unclear. Close relationships here and there suggest a correlation to anecdotal results. As a result, doctors recommend searching for data that is more conclusive.

  • One study concluded that marijuana use is not harmful and can alleviate symptoms of ALS.
  • In another study, the cannabinoid compound THC slows motor neuron deterioration while it helped to preserve cognitive abilities by blocking the progression of these diseases in mice methods.[6]
  • A recent study done by the advocacy organization Neurodiversity Working Group found evidence that marijuana helped mice with ALS [7] amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Similarly, scientists at the University of New Mexico found that cannabis was able to prevent neuronal loss by acting on a receptor called CB1.[8]

Beyond test studies on animals, CBD has shown promise in patients with ALS through sponsored clinical trials observing preliminary parameters of disease stabilization or regression with less toxicity than currently available therapies, along with other few promising concrete results on body pain and spasticity related to availability and affordability.

Final Thoughts:

This article discusses the potential medical benefits of cannabis for those suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. Cannabis has been shown to help manage the symptoms of ALS, and it may even slow the progression of the disease. If you or a loved one is suffering from ALS, discuss the potential benefits of cannabis with your doctor.



Legal Disclaimer : Medical Cannabis Doctors does not provide medical services or medical advice. This information is for awareness purposes only and is NOT medical advice. Do not self diagnose or prescribe any forms of treatments based on this information or the information on this site. Always consult with a licensed physician in your state for any medical advice, treatments, prescriptions and medical services.

Like it ?

Share with your friends

Get insight to all things about cannabis

Whether you’ve got a question about our services, basic information about cannabis or something else entirely, please contact us and we are here to help. We will help you discover the benefits of cannabis and guide your cannabis journey.