Medical marijuana for treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

iStock / whitehoune

Canada sadly has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world, with 1 in every 385 Canadians currently living with this disease.This illness most often strikes adults between the ages of 29, however, MS does not discriminate according to age, and it can affect anyone from younger children to more senior adults.

What is MS?

Currently, this disease falls in the category of an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system, and its effects include both the brain and spinal column.

How does it affect the system?

We have a protective covering for our nerves called myelin, and MS attacks that protective coating. Inflammation and any damaging of the myelin aren’t typically noticed until people present with MS symptoms. For the transmission of nerve impulses through the nerve fibers that trigger sensations like touch and pain, myelin is necessary.

If the damage to the myelin is small or slight the nerve transmissions will still be possible although there may be minor interruptions. However, substantial damage or scar tissue can result in the scar tissue replacing the myelin. The impulses then may be disrupted along with injury to the nerve fibers themselves. Currently, there is no known cure in the medical field for this disease. MS is not fatal for most people with this diagnosis and most MS patients can look forward to an almost average lifespan. As time passes, more research is being conducted with the hope of finding what causes MS, and the cure for this disease.

MS symptoms that medical marijuana can help to treat

iStock / sankalpmaya
  • Feeling tired
  • Trouble walking
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Poor bladder or bowel control
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Sexual problems
  • Problems with focusing or remembering

At this time there is no test to diagnose MS, but a few of the criteria used by medical professionals to diagnose this condition include:

  • Blood tests
  • Check your vision and coordination
  • MRI
  • Analysis of your cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Evoked potential test that will measure electrical activity within your brain.

Doctors are currently prescribing these pharmaceutical drugs to help to treat the symptoms of nerve damage that is associated with MS

  • Beta
  • Dalfampridine
  • Natalizumab
  • Steroids

Unfortunately many of these most commonly prescribed medications come with adverse side effects, especially after long term use which has patients seeking more natural and gentler alternatives.

Medical marijuana for MS studies and findings

Dr. Ben Thrower is a  member and physician at the Sheperd Center which specializes in rehabilitating those that are living with Muscular Sclerosis.  Dr. Thrower notes that most of his patients use a full spectrum CBD product to help with pain and spasticity associated with MS. Weed for MS is being considered more as an effective treatment, now that more people are choosing cannabis due to the many side effects of controversial pharmaceutical medications. Medical marijuana has few if any unwanted side-effects when administered correctly.

There is a growing amount of evidence to suggest that CBD and THC based medications can both be used effectively for muscle spasticity associated with Multiple Sclerosis. Through extensive trials and studies, the American Academy of  Neurology has concluded that medical marijuana for MS could be administered using a blend of THC/CBD oil spray. The study found that this method is "probably effective" to treat spasticity and pain associated with MS.


iStock / Aleksandr_Kravtsov

CBD vs THC is one of the most commonly asked questions when patients first seek medical marijuana dosing options, but each one comes with both benefits and side effects that should be considered before choosing a course of treatment.

THC, when taken in higher doses is incredibly effective at relieving pain instantly, but it comes with some psychoactive effects that can leave you impaired. To help prevent this strong of an effect, it is best to start with low doses of THC or to incorporate THC/CBD ratios in minimal amounts to produce more satisfying results rather than substantial increasing your THC consumption too quickly. Despite this side effect THC is a well-known pain reliever that helps numerous MS patients live healthier, and more productive lives.

CBD does not produce the same euphoric sensations but does help to treat the symptoms of MS by coating the exposed and damaged nerves which can reduce or even eliminate pain, spasticity, and more. It also works to reduce inflammation anywhere in the body leading to longer-term effects rather than immediate relief.

What does medical marijuana do for MS?

Medical marijuana can help to alleviate most of the commong symptoms of MS. Sufferers are using a variety of different CBD products to help in treating the symptoms of MS, including:

  • Capsules
  • Creams
  • Budflowers
  • Edibles
  • Tinctures
  • Concentrates

Best strains for treating MS symptoms

Medical marijuana for MS may include some of these best CBD strains.

  • Tower (Cannatonic)
  • CBD Shark
  • Jacky White
  • Harmony

How to get medical marijuana for MS

iStock / OlegMalyshev

Your health provider should always be informed if you choose to use the assistance of cannabis to self medicate as CBD has the potential of interacting with certain pharmaceutical medications. However, if you would like to get medical marijuana for MS specifically, then it may be a good idea to obtain a license, as it can provide you with access to products, and advice that is tailor to suit every need.

To get this process started you will need a proper medical diagnosis from either your family practitioner or closest cannabis clinic. As long as you reside in a legal region, the rest of the application should be little more than awaiting our official documentation.


The dosage regime of cannabis is based on each individuals body acceptance of the cannabis cannabinoid, as every person reacts differently to THC and CBD the prominent active compounds found in marijuana. The best and safest rule is to start low and increase slowly until you have found the optimum beneficial effects that help in the MS symptoms you are experiencing.

Study shows cannabis is more effective for pain relief than aspirin


Related posts