A multiple sclerosis prognosis is characterized by the body’s immune system instigating inflammation, which CBD helps regulate naturally via the body’s CBD receptors
Almost one million Americans are currently living with multiple sclerosis (MS), a number that is double the original estimate according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Following a multiple sclerosis prognosis, pain relief and an enhanced ability to relax become concerns for many patients.
A disease with no verifiable cause or known cure, a multiple sclerosis prognosis is characterized by the body’s immune system instigating inflammation in the central nervous system. When this occurs, messages are unable to travel the nerve fibers effectively, resulting in neurological symptoms such as muscle spasticity, dizziness, fatigue, and vision issues.
Patients with more severe or advanced cases of MS may also experience pain in their muscles, nerves, and joints. In cases such as this, topical CBD may provide some relief.
CBD’s analgesic effects
CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of more than 100 cannabinoids found within the hemp plant. Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system — a system that helps regulate processes related to immunity, metabolism, appetite, and pain — via CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Research has linked these extracts to a variety of health benefits based on this interaction, one of which is their ability to relieve pain. For instance, in 2008, Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management published a review of research on cannabinoids and their analgesic effects. This article explains that a clinical endocannabinoid deficiency has been linked to treatment-resistant health conditions such as fibromyalgia, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome.
This review further states that some studies have found that cannabinoids have been proven to be “10-fold more potent than morphine” in the mediation of pain.
Research on CBD for a multiple sclerosis prognosis
Other studies have looked specifically at CBD and its impact on people with MS.
One example of this was published in 2018 by Frontiers in Neurology. This research piece indicated that CBD offers many pharmacological benefits helpful to relieve symptoms commonly associated with MS. These include fatigue, spasticity, and pain.
This piece goes on to say that easing these symptoms can help improve patient mobility. It can also contribute to a decreased reliance on prescription painkillers, namely opioids, as well as reducing the need for anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications.
A 2013 study in Neurobiology of Disease adds that the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD provides “long-lasting protection” for individuals with MS.
Benefits of using CBD topicals for MS pain
CBD can be ingested using a variety of methods. It can be inhaled by smoking or vaping, by eating foods or drinks infused with CBD, and by taking a CBD oil sublingually by placing it under the tongue. Another option that can be beneficial for a patient with a multiple sclerosis prognosis is to use it topically.
Topical CBD products enable patients to apply the pain-relieving cannabinoids directly to the area or areas where they are experiencing the most pain. The National MS Society shares that acute neuropathic MS-related pain often occurs in the face or jaw, down the spine, and in the arms and legs. Conversely, chronic neuropathic MS pain is often felt in the legs, feet, and hands. This is in addition to the musculoskeletal pain typical with MS, whether due to changes in gait or because of injury due to a fall caused by muscle weakness.
Another benefit of using CBD topicals for MS pain is the avoidance of first pass metabolism. First pass metabolism involves losing a portion of the active substance during the digestive process, where it is destroyed or made inactive by digestive juices. According to most research CBD’s oral bioavailability is “very low,” somewhere around 13-19%. However hemp oil encapsulated in VESIsorb®’s patented naturally self-assembling colloidal delivery system optimizes absorption. The results of the first clinical trial on human subjects confirms oral bioavailability of cannabidoil improved 4X with VESIsorb technology.
Using CBD topicals safely
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that CBD can potentially interact with other medications. Therefore, patients with MS should consult with their primary care physician before using a CBD product.
Additionally, if the CBD is combined with alcohol or drugs known to reduce brain activity —which includes medications used to treat anxiety, stress, and sleep disorders — they may experience elevated levels of drowsiness. So, care should be exercised when engaging in behaviors that require attention, such as driving, or doing work that necessitates an attention to detail.
CBD can also sometimes cause diarrhea, decreased appetite, irritability, and agitation. Informing patients with a multiple sclerosis prognosis of these potential side effects can help them better recognize if they occur. If these effects become problematic, trying a lower dosage CBD topical may reduce their occurrence while still offering some level of pain relief.