Use of Cannabis as a Medication for ALS Patients in Florida
The use of cannabis as a medication for ALS patients is being explored.
A study done by Raman et al. published in 2004 showed in the testing of mice with a cannabinoid treatment that the cannabinoid receptor system has the potential to reduce both excitotoxic and oxidative cell damage.
Two of the primary hypotheses underlying motor neuron vulnerability are susceptibility to this kind of cell damage. Cannabinoids were shown to delay motor impairment and prolong survival in this animal study.
Along with THC being an anti-inflammatory, it can also provide neuroprotection, which can help treat the symptoms of ALS. Researchers Yiangou et al. conducted a study in 2006 and found that "Spinal cord from ALS patients demonstrate motor neurons damages marked by CB2-positive microglia/macrophages.
Cannabis treatments can help patients with muscle spasticity, chronic pain, having an appetite, and sleep. Even with the emotional and mental toll that this disease can take on an individual, cannabis can help elevate mood problems and depression.
One of the most commonly prescribed medications for ALS is riluzole, and while it protects brain cells and lessens some symptoms, it can produce a whole other list of side effects. This can include fatigue, muscle weakness, appetite loss, headaches, depression, and breathing problems.
With more trials and research with medical cannabis as a treatment, it could provide an alternative option for patients without the side effects of prescription drugs.