3 min read

Medical CBD Oil and MS: A Radical New Treatment for 2020

Janet Miller

Janet Miller

Last updated: December 13, 2019

Shutterstock / Ralwel

Multiple Sclerosis affects 2.3 million individuals worldwide and one million in the United States over the age of 18. The effects of this illness are lack of mobility, pain, and emotional trauma caused by the stress of having the disease. Men and women with this illness can choose only to use traditional pharmaceuticals, or they can supplement them with CBD oil, a compound from hemp that has shown itself to be useful for easing MS-related symptoms.

CBD Oil and MS: Its Symptoms and Causes

Multiple sclerosis affects the brain and spinal cord; it is caused by the immune system attacking the myelin that covers the nerve fibers, thus making it harder for the brain to send signals throughout the body.

There are four types of multiple sclerosis:

  • Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS): 85 percent of individuals with MS are diagnosed with this variant. People with this type of MS have relapses and flare-ups.
  • Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS): With this form of MS, the symptoms worsen over time with or without relapses. RRMS eventually develops into SPMS.
  • Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS): This form of MS is rare; it is characterized by gradually worsening symptoms from the onset of the disease.
  • Progressive-Relapsing MS (PRMS): This is the rarest form of MS. The conditions steadily worsen with acute relapses and no remissions.

The signs and symptoms of MS are different depending on the patient, the progression of the disease, and the location of the degraded nerve fibers. MS-related symptoms include:

  • Numbness or weakness in the limbs, legs, or trunk
  • Electric shock sensations when bending the neck forward
  • Tremors
  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Lack of coordination and unsteady gait
  • Partial or complete blindness
  • Pain when moving the eyes
  • Blurred Vision
  • Slurred Speech
  • Dizziness and Fatigue
  • Pain and Tingling

What Are the Causes of MS?

Shutterstock / Prokopenko Oleg

The causes of MS are unknown, but several risk factors increase someone’s chances of developing the disease:

  • Women are more likely than men to have relapsing-remitting MS
  • Those with a family history of MS are more likely to develop the disease
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Obesity
  • Being between the ages of 16 and 55
  • Being diagnosed with Epstein-Barr syndrome, thyroid disease, type one diabetes, or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Being of Northern European descent
  • Living in temperate climates
  • Smoking

Complications can arise from having MS, including muscle spasticity, mental health problems, and epilepsy. Because of these awful symptoms and complications, people are googling “CBD oil and MS” hoping to find better treatment options.

Medical Research on CBD Oil and MS

CBD oil for MS has been found to have several positive effects on those with this disease:

  • Researchers discovered that CBD significantly reduced clinical signs of a condition similar to multiple sclerosis in mice. CBD increased the amount of myeloid-derived cells that reduce inflammation.
  • Clinical research shows that cannabis with a one to one ratio of CBD to THC reduces muscle spasticity and pain in those with MS.
  • Anxiety and sleep issues are major health complications caused by multiple sclerosis. One clinical research piece states that CBD has a calming effect on the central nervous system. This same study found that CBD decreased anxiety in 79.2 percent of participants. Sleep scores also improved in 66.7 percent of participants.
  • Brazilian scientists doing clinical research on cannabidiol learned that CBD has anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective properties. These properties make cannabis a useful treatment for depression.

Medical CBD Oil and MS: User Experiences

Users on Reddit have commented on MS and CBD oil, saying how it has helped them and those they know. One user commented that he started using CBD to help with muscle spasticity he had been experiencing in the mornings and evenings. After trying cannabis products for a few weeks, he was satisfied with the results. Another Reddit user wrote that CBD reduced his multiple sclerosis-related fatigues significantly. A third person on the forum said his mother uses cannabis for the treatment of flare-ups and that it works for her.
Reddit / r/Drugs

CBD Oil and MS: Tips on Taking Medical Cannabis

The best thing about CBD oil is that it comes in many forms, and it can be taken in different ways:

  • CBD oils and edibles are popular methods for oral consumption. Tinctures are consumed sublingually, while edibles are chewed and swallowed. Tinctures have high bioavailability, while edibles are a tasty and fun way to start using CBD.
  • Vape oil products are useful because the oil is inhaled, causing the CBD to go directly to the bloodstream. Vaping oils come in prefilled and refillable e-cigarettes.
  • Capsules and pills are useful for those who dislike vaping, the taste of tincture oil, or the high prices of edibles.
  • CBD creams are useful for maintaining healthy skin and reducing MS-related pain and discomfort in the body’s extremities. These items come in many forms, including balms, creams, and oils.

What Is the Right CBD Dosage for Multiple Sclerosis?

Determining the proper dosage is essential to achieving relief. The factors that should be taken into consideration when calculating how much to take are:

  • Body chemistry
  • Weight
  • Concentration in the pill, capsule, drop, etc.

Because there are many variables to consider when calculating the dosage for cannabis, talk to a doctor about how much CBD should be taken over the course of treatment. Stick to whatever dosage the doctor recommends, and never disobey his or her advice. Doing so is dangerous for one’s health. Following dosage instructions is especially important for those who have been prescribed Epidiolex for treating seizures.

People with multiple sclerosis taking CBD on their own should start with a small dosage and increase it over time. Start with between 20 and 40 mg a day and increase the amount by 5 mg after one week. Increase the dosage weekly until the symptoms dissipate.

Start with 40 mg to treat severe pain, or take 40 mg only on days when the pain is severe. Increase the dosage to 45 mg after one week, and then start using 50 mg after two weeks.

In cases with other severe diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or diabetes, the dosage can be more significant.

Track how much CBD you are taking by recording the dosage in a notebook, phone, or computer. If you think it is causing additional health problems, stop using it, and visit a doctor.

Does CBD Oil and MS Have Any Side Effects?

The side effects of CBD are nausea, fatigue, and irritability. Cannabis can increase the level of coumadin and blood-thinning medications. Mothers who are breastfeeding or are pregnant should not use CBD. Buyers should also be wary of where they get their CBD. A study of 84 CBD products showed that more than 25 percent of the products contained less CBD than advertised and that some of them contained THC. To avoid getting a bad batch of CBD, avoid companies that do not post lab results.

Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects. People using it do not have to worry that it will get them high.

Shutterstock / Vektorjunkie

The 2018 Farm Bill made the production and sale of hemp and CBD legal, but it cannot contain over 0.3 percent of THC. THC is an illegal schedule one substance. While CBD is legal, it has only been approved for use in Epidiolex despite its benefits for multiple sclerosis and other diseases and disorders. The Food and Drug Administration prohibits the sale of CBD in everything else. More research has to be done on CBD and MS for the FDA to grant its approval.

States also have their own laws about cannabis. Some states have legalized it for recreational use, while others only allow it for the treatment of severe diseases. Nebraska, Idaho, and South Dakota have banned it outright.

When buying CBD, know what the law says in your jurisdiction about cannabis to avoid legal trouble, and always get a prescription for it before purchasing so as not to be turned away at the store.

Final Thoughts about Medical CBD Oil and MS

Multiple sclerosis is a devastating illness that is painful and debilitating. Being diagnosed with it not only entails years of physical pain but emotional stress, as well. CBD lowers the severity symptoms like pain, muscle spasticity, anxiety, and the other effects of MS.

If you battling this illness, you need all the help you can get while undergoing treatment. CBD can be a useful tool in your arsenal for improving your health.

Do you or someone you know use cannabidiol to treat their MS? If so, we want to hear from you. Write to us and say how useful or not CBD is in treating MS. Informed comments from our readers will help others who query “CBD oil and MS.”


Janet Miller

Janet Miller

Janet is a medical specialist with 10 years of experience as a physician and writing passion. She aims to help people and expand humans mindset. Chat with Janet on Twitter @Janet_Miller_MD or via our contact page.


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