ALS awareness has become widespread thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge. Sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes eventual death if left unchecked.

The individual who has ALS eventually loses control over his motor skills, brain stem and spinal cord functions. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis strikes instantly, occurring more in people aged between 40 to 70 years old. More than 5,000 people are diagnosed with ALS per annum.

The exact cause of why ALS happens is still unknown, although there are indications that oxidative stress, inflammation and neurotoxicity in motor neurons play a large role in it. The patient will suddenly realize that he or she can’t control some of their muscle movements.

Can the consumption of CBD really help with the treatment of ALS and improve survival rate in those afflicted with the painful disease?

Let’s take a look at the benefits:

CBD Benefits in ALS

ALS patients have a life expectancy of somewhere between 2 to 5 years after being diagnosed with it. Because it’s such a complex condition, the cure for it has not been found yet. At first the patient experiences loss of control with their bodies. Then, weakness, muscle atrophy, spasticity and breathing difficulties develop. They get confined to their wheelchair and ventilation eventually becomes a necessity.

Medical science has yet to find a cure for this deadly disease. The current treatment for a patient suffering from ALS includes anti-inflammatory molecules, neutrophic growth factors, mitochondria-boosting agents, TNF alpha inhibitors and antioxidants, among others. The cocktail of drugs primarily suppress the oxidative stress and inflammation, which is also something that CBD has in plenty.

CBD may also replace all these drugs and could pose as a single drug administration treatment, which makes things easier. CBD is a well-known compound containing powerful anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and anti-oxidant properties. The potent combination works well in prolonging neuronic cell survival, which also means delaying the progression of ALS.

Cannabis provides a perfect fit in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by improving appetite and the quality of sleep, as an effective muscle relaxant and in promoting bronchodilation, which makes the ALS patient breathe easier. In one study involving CBD and ALS disease, patients reported feeling much better after taking in CBD medication.

Furthermore, the patients mentioned an improvement in mood and appetite. Drooling was supressed, and they weren’t feeling as depressed as before. A 2007 university study showed that CBD helped with other deadly health conditions such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and even cancer. It’s not just CBD that’s proven to be effective against inflammation and in easing pain.

Other phytocannabinoids such as THCc, CBC and THC helped promote brain cell regeneration, lessen neuro-inflammation and relax the muscle to reduce spasticity. CBD is a powerful antioxidative component that assists with inflammation and oxidative stress found in the ALS sufferer’s brain cells. With these results, experts have reason to believe that it’s not just CBD, but the whole cannabis plant to treat ALS symptoms. The synergistic ability that whole plant cannabinoids offer can treat ALS via an entourage effect.

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