The nerve cells that regulate muscular contraction are harmed by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The illness can quickly deteriorate a person’s health, cutting their lives short by decades. Treatments only delay the disease’s progression somewhat, if at all. This has shifted the focus of scientists to cannabis.
Cannabinoids: Are They Safe for ALS Sufferers?
The potential of cannabis to improve health is still being evaluated by researchers. But does this herb have any effect on ALS? You undoubtedly remember the Ice Bucket Challenge unless you’ve been living under a rock (we’re not judging, that’s a personal decision).
In an effort to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research, many people, from famous actors to your second cousin John, have participated in the recent viral challenge of pouring cold water over their heads. Despite widespread awareness, there is presently no treatment for Lou Gehrig’s illness.
Nonetheless, research into the therapeutic potential of cannabis and its components in treating the illness is ongoing. Read on to learn about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the existing therapies, and the research into the potential medical benefits of marijuana for those living with ALS.
The Mystery of ALS: What Is It?
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that causes slow nervous system degeneration. Furthermore, the disease has a devastating effect on the nerve cells that regulate muscle contractions.
Skeletal muscle (as opposed to smooth muscle, which makes up blood vessels and other organs) is the specialised tissue that allows humans to move. Most of us would guess that the skin is the largest human organ, however skeletal muscle really takes first place.
Muscle, though, is essential for a great deal more than just walking. Skeletal muscle is a secretory organ in our bodies. When we work out, our muscles release substances that have far-reaching effects on our bodies. A lower concentration of these compounds has been associated with a lower risk of chronic health problems, particularly metabolic illnesses.
The value of muscle in human health and well-being cannot be overstated. When ALS strikes, the body’s ability to control muscular movement is compromised. Skeletal muscles contract in response to electrical impulses sent from the brain via special nerve cells called motor neurones. These cell deaths are attributed to ALS.
The two classes of motor neurones are vulnerable to ALS. Upper motor neurones, which are in charge of relaying information between the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord, are negatively impacted, as are lower motor neurones, which are responsible for relaying information from the spinal cord to the muscles that receive them.
The outlook for ALS is not good. The typical survival time for a patient after a diagnosis is between two and five years. However, there are exceptions, and people like prominent physicist Stephen Hawking go on to live much beyond the typical lifespan of someone with their diagnosis.
Why does it happen?
The precise reason why ALS occurs is yet unknown. Extensive studies are still being conducted to determine what variables, both genetic and environmental, lead to the death of motor neurones. Free radical damage, mitochondrial malfunction, genetic abnormalities, programmed cell death (apoptosis), viral infections, autoimmunity and inflammation, and protein clump accumulation are all thought to have a role in the development of this illness, according to current research.
When Does ALS Show Up?
Not every person with ALS has the same set of symptoms, and not everyone with ALS progresses through the same stages of the disease. Yet, there are several symptoms that are shared by many people with ALS. Tingling and cramping in the muscles; Weakness in the muscle that governs speech and swallowing; Slow or slurred speech; Decreased function of the arms and legs; Decreased hand, arm, and leg strength
To What Extent Is ALS Currently Treated?
Although there is presently no cure for ALS, several therapies have been shown to decrease the disease’s development. Drugs like riluzole, which has been authorised by the FDA, may slow down the disease’s progression by preventing the release of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter that may be harmful if it’s created in excess and reaches nerve cells.
Proper body alignment, Braces and splints, Feeding tubes, Breathing devices, Customized wheelchairs, and Nutritional programmes are just some of the therapies and interventions available to assist ALS patients lead better lives.
How Might Marijuana Help People with ALS?
What can the little cannabis plant do about an illness for which there is no known cure and no effective therapies other than delaying its progression?
The fact is that scientists just don’t know. Although research is still in its infancy, preliminary results have shown some encouraging signs. About 500 different compounds of interest, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, are produced by cannabis. Due to the vast variety of health issues that these components address, the plant has received a great deal of attention. Many people ask from where to buy CBD oil.
Cannabinoids are found in many different kinds of plants and fungi, but cannabis has more than 100 of them. These compounds were given their moniker because of their affinity for endocannabinoid system cannabinoid receptors (ECS).
The ECS has been called the body’s “universal regulator” because to its importance in both the central nervous system and the immune system. The ECS may be divided into two major subsystems. The traditional ECS includes cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2, the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-AG, and the enzymes that synthesise and degrade these signalling molecules.
There are numerous more signalling molecules, enzymes, and receptors that make up the endocannabinoid system, or “endocannabinoidome,” according to recent studies. These include PPARs, which play a role in gene expression, and TRP channels, which play a role in pain perception.
The Current State of Research on Marijuana and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
The potential significance of this extensive system in the development of ALS is presently the subject of research. Increased CB2 receptor-containing immune cells were detected in regions with motor neurone injury in human studies, implicating the ECS in the disease.
The probable relevance of the ECS in the pathophysiology has also been illuminated by research in animals. Researchers showed that the spinal cords of mice had greater amounts of anandamide and 2-AG, suggesting a defensive mechanism.
Several compounds in cannabis have been shown to act on the ECS, raising the possibility that this plant may be used to treat ALS at its source while alleviating its symptoms.
Effects of CBD and THC Ratios
It is possible that as time goes on, we will learn about the specific advantages of certain cannabinoids, terpenes, etc. Pairing cannabinoids is a fascinating possibility, though.
Given that THC and CBD are the key actors, it won’t be long until we have extensive human trials investigating their individual and combined effects. THC acts by attaching directly to CB1 and CB2 receptors, whereas CBD acts through an indirect process. This means that while THC can have psychoactive effects, CBD has a more muted impact.
CBD has a modest affinity for cannabinoid receptors, but it modifies the CB1 receptor’s response to THC by acting as an allosteric modulator. In addition to blocking the breakdown of anandamide by the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), CBD binds directly to TRPV1 and PPAR receptors, two endocannabinoid receptors.
Is There Any Evidence That Cannabis Is Safe for ALS Sufferers?
When used in moderation, cannabis is typically well tolerated and has a low risk of adverse effects. Anxiety, disorientation, and diminished mental capacity are the most common negative reactions to medicinal marijuana. Also, CBD and other cannabinoids interact with many other types of pharmaceuticals.
Overall, studies on the effects of medical cannabis on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are still in their infancy. Some research suggests that it may be possible to alleviate some symptoms and increase the effectiveness of pain medicines. More clinical trials are required to verify cannabis’ efficacy and, more critically, its safety as a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
We know you might be curios to find out more information and discuss medicinal cannabis uses, or where to get legal medicinal cannabis products in Australia, who is authorised to prescribe medicinal cannabis products to you, and we know lots of people are also worried about the use of medicinal cannabis.
For all these inquiries; including most medicinal cannabis products available on the market, prescribing medicinal cannabis, information about smoked cannabis, how to bring medicinal cannabis product on a travel, medical conditions that can be cured by medical cannabis products, recreational cannabis, other general use of cannabis, you should schedule a consultation session today with our experts at Chronic Therapy to get medical professionals advice about any of the above mentions.