Did you know that multiple sclerosis (MS) affects around 2.5 million individuals globally? Approximately 400,000 of those people reside in the United States. Many readers have probably heard of the condition MS before. However, they may not fully understand what this serious medical ailment truly is.
Within the medical marijuana community, patients with MS are beginning to appear.
They discuss how cannabis has drastically helped their disease, bringing glimmers of hope to those who were in despair before. Certain conventional medical treatments can assist with specific forms of multiple sclerosis. However, pharmaceutical drugs don’t always help with the symptoms of this condition. This is where cannabis may play a role.
In this guide, we discuss multiple sclerosis and five of the best cannabis strains for it. Please note that these haven’t been proven to be the best cannabis strains for multiple sclerosis in any studies; they are merely our recommendations.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a complex medical condition that impacts each patient in a completely different manner. There is no official cure for MS. However; some conventional medical treatments can slow down its progression and help with several of the symptoms. We detail these specific treatments later in this article.
MS is an autoimmune condition that leads to the damage of myelin, which protects nerve cells. This makes it more difficult for signals to travel through the cells effectively. MS presents significant challenges in everyday life, including issues with basic tasks such as walking.
What are the Classifications of MS?
There are four widely recognized MS disease courses:
Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)
Symptoms of this type of MS are either long-lasting or temporary. The majority of patients fall into the latter. It involves overt attacks that seem to have frequent shifts. Patients often experience remissions between attacks and even make apparent full recoveries. However, another attack eventually follows. There are conventional treatments available to assist with the stabilization of the symptoms for this form of MS.
Clinically Isolated MS (CIS)
This is often called a preliminary stage to a possible MS diagnosis. To have CIS, one must experience symptoms for 24 hours. Then, they may either make a full recovery or end up with an official MS diagnosis. Not everyone who experiences CIS develops a formal diagnosis.
Primary Progressive MS (PPMS)
PPMS usually involves the worsening of symptoms, as well as a lack of regular relapse and recovery. The symptoms tend to appear gradually, intensifying with time.
Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS)
This is typically the result for patients diagnosed with RRMS as time progresses. With this form of MS, the symptoms tend to increase, and overall neurological function seems to decline further. This often results in shortened periods between relapse and remission.
Causes and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
The exact cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown. However, scientists believe environmental factors may be a possible culprit, causing the body’s immune system to attack the protective coating surrounding the nerve endings and internal wires.
The result is a disruption of signals attempting to move to and from the brain throughout the entire system. In addition, some individuals are genetically predisposed to have a severe reaction.
The symptoms of MS are unpredictable, and they include:
- Strange tingling
- Memory loss
- Mild to severe pain
- Odd or sudden mood changes
There are other symptoms, as well. However, the disorder is diverse and may not affect two people in the same manner. Therefore, medical practitioners can’t define a finite set of symptoms associated with MS.
Conventional Medical Treatments
Officially, there is no cure for any form of multiple sclerosis. Existing treatments primarily focus on slowing the progression of the disease, treating symptoms, and shortening attacks. Not every MS patient requires treatment because, for some, their symptoms are relatively mild. In this situation, it is possible to live with the condition relatively comfortably.
For the patients diagnosed with RRMS (relapsing-remitting MS), there are disease-modifying therapies. These could lessen the effects of MS on the body and mind. Many different treatments exist, but some have challenging side effects. Therefore, it is vital to discuss the right option with a doctor. Some options that help slow the progression of disease include but are not limited to:
- Beta interferons
The last option, Ocrevus, is an FDA-approved disease-modifying medicine for those with progressive MS (PPMS) as well. It does not cure the disease, but it may slow down the disabilities experienced by patients.
Medications that are used to treat the symptoms of MS focus on symptoms such as:
- Muscle spasms
Physical therapy is often a useful method of treatment when paired with another form of relief.
Medical Marijuana and Multiple Sclerosis
It is possible to manage some of the specific symptoms of multiple sclerosis with the aid of medical marijuana. Proponents of cannabis suggest that the plant helps with severe pain and fatigue. These are two of the most pertinent MS symptoms. There is a suggestion that marijuana can also assist with mood changes and stress.
5 of the Best Cannabis Strains for Multiple Sclerosis
Let’s take a look at five of the most commonly used cannabis strains for MS, noting that these are not recommendations, merely strains that have qualities that may aid in alleviating some of the symptoms of MS.
1. Sojay Haze
Users say this is an energizing and uplifting sativa. Reportedly, MS patients with fatigue as a primary symptom of their condition often turn to it.
Sojay Haze may increase energy levels. It could also send the body into a relaxed euphoria. As a result, it is a potentially useful daytime marijuana strain. Furthermore, it could keep the mind focused and creative.
2. Russian Assassin
Although the name may seem a little questionable, Russian Assassin is a useful nighttime marijuana strain. It is especially handy for someone handling the discomforts of multiple sclerosis.
Some patients say it is relaxing and sleep-inducing, and in theory, it can relieve pain and stress. In addition, it may lead to a reduction in anxiety levels, which could also help aid sleep.
3. Super Sour Diesel
Super Sour Diesel is a popular sativa-dominant marijuana strain. It offers the potential energy-inducing properties of a sativa strain and deep pain relief. This is a potentially beneficial combination for MS patients. Those with the condition need usable energy to function throughout their day. They also need to cut down some of the pain or other physical issues they experience.
With an incredibly high THC content, a little of this marijuana strain goes a long way. Indeed, even a single hit can provide the body and mind with possible benefits.
4. Critical Mass (Indica Marijuana Strain)
Critical Mass can make users sleepy and couch-locked, as most indicas tend to do. Some users say this strain helps to relax the mind and body and helps to alleviate stress, aches, and pains. This is, in part, why it is suitable for multiple sclerosis patients. Those who use Critical Mass do so to manage pain, stress, depression, or anxiety.
Critical Mass works full-force to leave its consumer with a smile on their face. This marijuana strain is perfect for the evening time or after work hours. By the end of the high, it could help users drift into a deep sleep.
THC: 19-22%; CBD: 5%
5. One to One (Hybrid Marijuana Strain)
One to One is a unique medicinal marijuana strain that presents a perfect 50/50 ratio of CBD to THC. The strain is also a balanced hybrid with 50% indica and 50% sativa. One to One’s hefty CBD content implies fewer psychoactive effects, with potentially more health benefits.
It is similar to Sativex, a THC derived prescription medication specifically used for MS symptoms, in that they both have 1:1 THC: CBD ratios. As a result, it may have similar capabilities to manage the unpleasant muscle spasms or cramps often experienced by those with MS.
THC: 14%; CBD: 14%
Final Thoughts about Multiple Sclerosis and Medical Marijuana
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this informative guide regarding what may be the 5 best cannabis strains for multiple sclerosis. Please remember, the consumption of cannabis is the sole responsibility of the user and that you should always check with your medical provider before making any changes to your medication regimen, including adding cannabis.