A frightening disease which affects 5,000 Americans every year goes by the name ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS destroys nerve cells that control muscles. Patients progressively experience weakness that hinders movement, speech, swallowing and breathing.
A group of cannabinoids to treat a group of neurological disorders, what works best for what, CBD or THC?
A patient wrote to Dr Scurr of the Daily Mail asking if medical marijuana in the form of cannabis oil could be of benefit to her condition. Her neurologist prescribed riluzole and gabapentin.
Dr Scurr’s reply was that riluzole will not reverse nerve cell damage but may slow the progression of the disease down, it lowers glutamate, a chemical that helps nerve cells communicate, but high levels are toxic.
Gabapentin is usually prescribed to epilepsy patients to relieve nerve pain caused by damaged nerve cells.
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Cannabis oil helps
Dr Scurr said many patients suffering from motor neurone diseases report cannabis oil helps improve their appetite, and helps lifts depression and pain, but it won’t help muscle weakness.
He says that there is interesting evidence emerging that shows cannabis might be neuroprotective and prolongs the survival of nerve cells. It has not been proven, and cannabis remains illegal, with potential side effects. He suggests Sativex, an oral spray licensed for MS patients to alleviate pain and spasms.
A legend of 30 years
Cathy Jordan’s legendary tale tells a very different story; she has been staying alive on cannabis for more than three decades. She was diagnosed with ALS in 1986 and given 3-5 years to live.
Now, Cathy says, “All my docs are retired or dead.” Science is finally catching up with this miracle patient. In studies on ALS mouse models mice were given THC, cannabidiol, or cannabidiol plus THC, or a placebo daily following the onset of signs of the disease. Results showed that among these options, CBD delayed the progression of the disease the most.
Scientists said the research from California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco showed that the FDA approved drug for ALS, riluzole, extends life on average by about two months, while evidence from their study suggests that a hemp-based therapy could have a much greater effect, perhaps extending life by three years or more.
Well, it seems Cathy Jordan has extended the three years to thirty.
THC and CBD
If we consider Cathy’s story, it seems a combination of THC and CBD is the best treatment of degenerative nerve diseases, be it ALS or MS. However, you should never self-medicate without discussing your intentions with your healthcare practitioner.
Or as Cathy says “I asked my docs if they would take a drug if it was neuroprotective, an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. They say ‘yes’ and ask me if I know of one. Cannabis, I tell them.”