The spinal cord makes a crucial part of your nervous system. It transmits messages between your body and the brain to initiate different responses. Anything that damages your vertebrae and the other parts of your spine will, in most cases, also affect the spinal cord. Spinal cord ailments are among the most debilitating and expensive to manage.
There might be different treatment approaches to address your spinal cord disease. Even so, some are ineffective or riddled with multiple side-effects. You can try a holistic approach to the treatment of spinal diseases with medical marijuana.
The following are the seven ways in which medical marijuana will transform the management of spinal ailments.
1. Regulation of Pain Perception
Pain is the most debilitating symptom in those dealing with spinal cord diseases. It is present as musculoskeletal, neuropathic, and visceral pain. Most people reach for strong analgesics or undergo extensive surgeries to combat it. You can now control pain using medical marijuana instead of these options riddled with side effects.
This natural analgesic works by regulating a patient’s perception of pain. According to a study in the Current Neuropharmacology journal, medical marijuana inhibits the activation of neurotransmitters that relay pain. These include acetylcholine, noradrenaline, GABA, serotonin, and acetylcholine. The inhibition is initiated by the activation of the cannabinoids in marijuana. This, in turn, decreases all levels of pain in patients dealing with spinal cord ailments.
2. Arousal of a Neuroprotective Response
Spinal cord diseases induce a cascade of events that might further damage the spinal cord. One study suggested that medical marijuana will arouse a neuroprotective response that averts secondary injuries from the ailments. The researchers concluded that the endocannabinoids in marijuana act on the CB1 and CB2 receptors. In so doing, they initiated a neuroprotective response that averted secondary injuries in patients with spinal cord diseases.
3. Muscle Relaxation
The movements of the spinal cord affect different muscles of the back. Ailments might cause exaggerated movements in different spine sections and cause excruciating muscle spasms. Muscle spasms are also a common issue in those with paralysis. Dr. J. Reynolds discovered the efficacy of cannabis in the management of muscle spasms in the late 1890s.
Another study considered the efficacy of sublingual Sativex in the control of muscle spasms. It concluded that the THC and CBD in Sativex helped reduce muscle spasms. Though this study primarily considered patients suffering multiple sclerosis, the results are promising for those with spinal cord ailments. Medical marijuana can make a significant difference in muscle relaxation in patients with spinal ailments.
4. Management of Sleep Disorders
Most people with spinal cord ailments also experience sleeping issues. Researchers found that most people with spinal cord injuries had sleep apnea. The lack of sleep lowers a patient’s immunity and makes him/her prone to secondary diseases. Cannabis has been proven to improve the quality and length of sleep in people with spinal cord issues.
A study in the Chemistry and Biodiversity journal linked THC and CBD to the alleviation of sleep issues. Thus, medical marijuana will be the best choice for improving sleep quality and immunity in those with spinal cord ailments.
5. Improved Mobility
In most cases, spinal cord diseases will affect a patient’s movement. A study conducted on rats nonetheless showed improved mobility in rats that had spinal cord issues when given marijuana. The researchers, in this case, concluded that the cannabidiol in marijuana improved functional recovery while reducing the extent of injury in spinal cord diseases.
While this study has not been repeated in humans yet, its findings prove the positive impact of CBD on the motor and sensory functions of patients with spinal cord diseases. The different cannabinoids in medical marijuana might also restore mobility while improving a patient’s quality of life.
6. Reduced Inflammation
Some spinal cord ailments are characterized by inflammation. This leads to redness, swelling, and pain that affect a patient’s quality of life. The THC and CBD in medical marijuana have been shown to reduce inflammation by 70% in a 2008 study conducted on mice with swollen paws. Other than reducing inflammation, these two compounds in marijuana decrease the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
7. Alleviated Anxiety
Most patients with spinal cord diseases battle with anxieties related to the uncertainty of their prognosis. Though understandable, this affects their healing since it reduces their immunity. A 2015 review on the effects of CBD in medical marijuana found that it is a potential treatment for anxiety. There is also evidence that in small amounts, the THC in this drug will also alleviate anxiety.
Medical marijuana is sure to be a game-changing option for those with spinal cord disorders with the above effects. With this realization, most states have legal, medical cannabis programs to meet patients’ needs. However, you have to get a medical marijuana recommendation for you to get a card that allows you to access the treatment.
You can contact our medical marijuana consultants after filling the application form here to get you a recommendation if you think this treatment will benefit you. Our doctors are on hand to help 24 hours.