Views From The Leaf

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ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)

January 13, 2020

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Cannabis is effective in relieving many symptoms that patients with neurodegenerative disorders endure, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, it is unknown whether cannabis will alter the course of ALS and there are no studies at this time that would suggest a neuroprotective effect of cannabinoids with ALS. ALS is not a disease, but a highly variable syndrome that encompasses different genetically distinct disorders. Some 90 to 95 percent of ALS cases are not inherited. The diseases grouped together as ALS have in common a progressive loss of muscle strength that begins with twitching and spasms, and often leads to death from respiratory failure and weight loss.

ALS is a degenerative neurological disorder that causes muscle weakness, wasting, and paralysis of the limbs, as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing, and breathing. It is often the deterioration of these crucial muscles that leads to respiratory failure; even with breathing aids or a tracheotomy, the risk of respiratory failure persists. The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years. Nerve damage in ALS is caused by two significant factors: oxidative stress and excitotoxicity. Cannabis shows promise as an aid in managing some of the nerve damage, as it has been shown to generally address both factors, though specific studies on ALS and cannabis have yet to be done. Cannabis is a known antioxidant and helps to decrease the nerve tissue damage that free radicals can cause. CBD and THC both decrease the release of glutamate, thus sparing the neurons from excitotoxicity and cell death.

At present, there is an absence of clinical trials investigating the use of cannabinoids as a disease-modifying therapy for ALS. However, preclinical models indicate that cannabinoids may hold the potential to delay ALS progression, lending support to anecdotal reports by patients that cannabinoids may be efficacious in moderating the disease’s development and in alleviating certain ALS-related symptoms such as pain, appetite loss, spasticity, depression and drooling. Presently, there is no cure for ALS. The management of the condition focuses on treating symptoms and providing supportive care. The ultimate goal in the management of ALS is improving quality of life and prolonging survival.

ALS is a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Ohio and patients that suffer from this diagnosis can come to Summit Releaf for a consultation to obtain their Ohio marijuana card. At Summit Releaf we make it as easy as possible to obtain your Ohio marijuana card, by offering discounts to those members of our community who receive social security or are US veterans that served honorably. Some of the more effective marijuana strains that help with the symptoms of ALS are Stephen Hawking Kush (Indica), Ringo’s Gift (Sativa), Jack Herer (Sativa), One To One (Hybrid), Jamaican Lion (Sativa/Hybrid). Sedative indica-dominant cannabis varieties are the best solution for ALS sufferers.

The following information is presented for educational purposes only. Summit Releaf provides this information to provide an understanding of the potential benefits of medical marijuana for patients living with one of the approved Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program qualifying conditions. Links to third party websites do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations by Summit Releaf and none should be inferred.

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