Does Cannabis Help With the Symptoms and Treatment of ALS?
In fact, in that half of the states across our country and the district of Columbia where cannabis is legal at least for medical purposes, ALS always makes the list for treatable conditions. It’s a rare disease affecting just five to seven out of 100,000 adults resulting in rapidly progressive neuronal destruction across the body and eventual trouble with respiratory problems that can lead to the demise of the patient.
There is no obvious environmental cause. There’s no obvious genetic association. These episodes of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease just occur sporadically, not really with any indicator for why they happened. However, so many of the symptoms that patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease are dealing with would respond very well to the addition of medical cannabis.
There is a lot of muscle pain and spasticity because the patient is lying so still that sometimes the muscles can spasm in locations, and that muscle spasticity responds very well to cannabis. Also, there’s issues with appetite loss, and of course, we have data extending into the 1980’s and 1990’s that’s excellent surrounding use of cannabis in that situation, but there’s other things that are less obvious in the ALS sufferer that will benefit from the addition of cannabis. Of course, pain and mood, but also, secretions.
The famous dry mouth that you experience with using cannabis is very helpful to a person who’s having trouble managing their oral secretions as their swallow gets weaker and weaker. Also, cannabis has a very mild bronchodilator effect with certain preparations. Meaning that it will open up the tubes going to the lungs and perhaps help in the setting of respiratory failure, but cannabis may also have a neuroprotective effect as we talked before maybe helping to stave off the death of neurons and help maintain healthy myelin sheaths around neurons that are degenerating. In that way, it may help an ALS sufferer tremendously.
Dr. Mary Clifton
Dr. Mary Clifton is an Internal Medicine doctor in New York City, with 20 years of experience in both the hospital and private practice and is also a licensed by the New York State Department of Health to provide medical marijuana and is a recognized expert in CBD, Cannabis, and Medical Marijuana.
She is a published researcher, national speaker on women’s health and osteoporosis, and author of four books, and two new soon-to-be-released books on CBD and Cannabis – what you need to know, how to use them and a COOKBOOK to support ease of use.