The medicinal properties of cannabis have demonstrated remarkable abilities to both slow and stop the progression of the neurodegenerative disease known as ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In fact, CBD has been shown to have beneficial effects on most major neurodegenerative diseases involving the mitochondrial and basal ganglia portions of the brain as well as diseases of the central nervous system, and much more.
You can read our detailed article about CBD HERE
Let us examine ALS and the beneficial influences of cannabis on this deadly disease.
What is ALS?
Patients with ALS face a situation where the motor neurons of their brains, spines, and central nervous system progressively die because of the lack of production of an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, or SOD1. SOD1 is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from damage caused by toxic free radicals, and it is generated in the mitochondria portion of the brain.
Free radicals have the ability to damage DNA and proteins within our cells. Of over 110 individual genetic mutations associated with ALS, destruction to the genes that produce SOD1 have most often been linked to the disease.
As the production of SOD1 decreases, the motor neurons of ALS patients are left increasing vulnerable to being ravaged by free radicals. As time passes, these patients quickly lose control over their voluntary movements, and eventually involuntary movement processes of the liver, kidney, and digestive functions become increasingly impaired. ALS does not generally appear to affect the patient’s ability to see, hear, or think, though are some cases where dementia does come into play.
How does it affect the body?
Patients with ALS have stated that as they lose control of their limbs and slip into paralysis, the “dead” portions of their bodies feel as if they were continuously immersed in ice. Most often, ALS patients die from breathing diseases and breathing complications because the nerves associated with breathing no longer function. Thus, ALS patients must train themselves to consciously breathe deeply.
Apoptosis is the cell’s natural process of dying. It is part of the body’s natural process of continual regeneration and renewal. When cells are left unprotected against free radicals, apoptosis accelerates.
In the case of ALS, it is the DNA mutations caused by free radical damage that cause superoxide dismutase (SOD1) excretions to diminish and eventually cease, which leaves the motor neurons vulnerable to free-radical damage and eventual death.
Patients with ALS are generally expected to live two to four years from the time of the onset of their symptoms, and it is rare that they live beyond ten years. Physicist Stephen Hawking is a true anomaly of these statistics, having lived over 30 years with a neurological disease associated with ALS.
The Protective Influence of Cannabis
Cannabis has proved to be a more powerful antioxidant than Vitamin C and Vitamin E, and both CBD and THC components of cannabis have demonstrated the ability to protect cells from free-radical damage. In cases of ALS, ingestion of cannabis has both slowed and stopped the progression of the disease.
CBD and THC were tested independently and together with positive results in all tests, however, the most impressive results were produced when CBD and THC were administered together. The neuro-protective qualities of CBD and THC are also attributed to their inherent anti-inflammatory and anti-excitotoxic properties as well.
Our bodies have cannabinoid I and II receptors (CB1 and CB2) located within the cells of the brain, internal organs, and throughout our muscular and central nervous systems. CB1 receptors are mainly located within the brain, central nervous system, liver, lungs, and kidneys; and CB2 receptors are mainly located in our immune system and smooth muscle tissue.
When activated by the presence of cannabis or endocannabinoids naturally produced by all mammals, these receptors release powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other neuro-protective qualities that neutralize free radicals and inhibit the damage they cause to the nervous system.
Since CB1 and CB2 receptors are also associated with muscle relaxation along with pain and appetite regulation, ingestion of cannabis has demonstrated the ability to reduce and in some cases completely eliminate muscle spasms and acute or chronic pain. Cannabis has increased the appetite in ALS patients who have lost interest in eating while easing their stress and anxiety levels; and its sedative properties encourage insomniacs to relax and rest.
Availability of CBD and THC
Most ALS patients who have tried cannabis heartily confirm these scientific conclusions of researchers, and heartily endorse the use of cannabis for their ongoing treatment. They express gratitude for relief from previous unrelenting symptoms, and they are thankful for a good meal and a good night’s sleep.
The main issue for many is the availability of CBD and THC. CBD from marijuana with THC in the oil is hard to find and even impossible for those in states with tough marijuana laws or no legalization. Also, some have negative reactions to THC because of the “high” feeling they get when taking it.
There is a solution for people with these challenges and it’s the next best thing… CBD legally available from the hemp plant. This form of CBD is just as effective CBD from medical marijuana and can be shipped legally to your front door in all 50 states. Many ALS sufferers are also proclaiming massive relief from Hemp CBD and you can read more about the best companies offering this legal CBD HERE.