Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that results in the death of neurons in the brain, spinal cord, and motor cortex that control voluntary muscle movement. Currently, those who suffer from ALS are prescribed prescription medications intended to slow the damage to motor neurons, combat fatigue, ease muscle cramps, minimize muscle spasms, and reduce excess saliva and phlegm, but the pharmaceuticals do not reverse the neuron damage that has already been done and the medications only prolong survival for a few months.
Now, research shows that cannabis may be able to stall the progression of the disease as well as help ALS patients manage their symptoms. Preclinical studies have shown the cannabinoid THC has antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. CBD has been shown to significantly slow the onset of ALS. These effects have been demonstrated in various animal models, in which the administration of cannabinoids delayed the onset of ALS, prolonged the survival of neurons, and slowed the progression of ALS. In addition, cannabis helps ALS patients manage their symptoms, which may include pain, appetite loss, depression, sleeping issues, spasticity, and drooling. Fourteen medical marijuana states have already recognized and legalized the therapeutic use of cannabis for ALS, and six other states require approval for the condition.
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