The illness known as Lou Gehrig’s disease afflicts people across the globe. Unfortunately, a cure is still not available. Yet, the increasing use of medical marijuana has provided a new possibility for those suffering from this disease. Many are now finding that medical marijuana is effective in decreasing the symptoms of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Here, we’ll look at the disease itself, and how marijuana can benefit affected individuals.
Explaining Lou Gehrig’s Disease
Lou Gehrig’s disease is named after the well-known baseball player who suffered from the disease in the late 1930‘s. In medical terms, the disease is an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It is a neurological condition that has a negative effect on nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. In outward appearance those who suffer from this disease demonstrate irregularities involving bodily movements. This is due to the disease’s effect on voluntary muscle. The disease is also progressive in the sense that symptoms only get worse with time.
Those who suffer from Lou Gehrig’s disease have common symptoms which occur at varying degrees. In fact, it can be hard to tell that someone has the disease in its early stages. Once the disease presents itself it causes an overall appearance of clumsiness. Individuals with the disease may also experience slurring of speech, uncontrollable outbursts, difficulty maintaining posture, limb fatigue and problems with breathing and swallowing. Many people also have problems walking and interacting with objects.
Modern Treatments for the Disease
As mentioned, there is no cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease. However, modern medicine does offer various treatments for patients. Usually, the disease is addressed using a multidisciplinary approach to cover each facet. Modern treatment includes providing nutritional assistance, physical and speech therapy, breathing support and psychological counseling. Some people may also receive occupational therapy to assist them in performing everyday tasks at home or work.
Aside from the various types of therapies some patients may need to be placed on medication. At the current time the only type of medication available is Riluzole. This medication is intended to slow down the progression of the illness. It does so by lowering the level of glutamate in the patient’s system. Although Riluzole can slow down the disease it cannot regenerate neurons that have been affected by the disease.
The Effectiveness of Medical Grade Marijuana
Recent studies have shown that medical marijuana may be the most effective treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease. Specifically, the THC found in marijuana helps to delay the progression of the disease. In some cases it may even allow patients to live several years longer compared to Riluzole’s ability to extend life by a few months. Overall, marijuana compounds provide anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant advantages. Some in the science community believe that the marijuana acts as a neuroprotectant.
Cannabis is becoming an acceptable treatment for those suffering from ALS due to its proven effects. Researchers have shown that medical marijuana can address problems with appetite loss, depression, drooling and muscle spasms. Marijuana also has the ability to reduce body pain and support the respiratory system. Research data has now proven that medical marijuana can be a safe and alternative treatment for ALS patients.
Not Every Strain is Beneficial
It’s likely that only specific strains of marijuana will be effective in treating Lou Gehrig’s disease. Anyone familiar with marijuana knows that different strains can have a different effect on a subject. One thing that all effective strains have in common is the presence of CBD. This is the compound that has neuro-protective, anti-oxidant properties. Researchers are attempting to determine which strains will be the most effective at treating ALS.
There are both indica and sativa strains that work well as ALS treatments. Strains such as “Animal Cookies” have potent amounts of CBD and THC. Other strains that are known to work well with ALS include White Fire OG, God Bud and Cali Dream. More strains are being added to the list as additional information becomes available.
Consuming Marijuana as Medication
Many people mistakenly believe that the only way to consume cannabis is by smoking. However, in today’s day and age there are numerous ways to to take advantage of the plant’s healing properties. For example, medical marijuana can be eaten in edible form, applied as an oil or used in creams or topical solutions. The variety of applications makes it easy for patients to receive treatment in a way they are comfortable with.
Those suffering from ALS should learn more about medical marijuana treatments to decide if it is the best choice for them. It is already proven to be an effective treatment for many people dealing with Lou Gehrig’s disease. In fact, ALS is already an approved illness for medical marijuana use. The first step in obtaining the treatment is to get qualified for medical cannabis. Contact our Medical Marijuana Clinic in Boca Raton today for more information about receiving authorization for medical marijuana use.