Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the world’s most commonly diagnosed debilitating neurological condition, and although it is most often diagnosed in young adults between the ages of 20 and 50, it can strike anyone, at any time. The National MS Society estimates that close to 1 million Americans are living with MS, with 200 new cases diagnosed each week.
There is no cure for MS, and treatments are generally aimed at dealing with the symptoms of the disease. However, like all chemical medications, these treatments carry side effects including depression, apathy, extreme fatigue and mood swings.
Happily, a growing body of evidence supports the use of medical marijuana – which has far fewer side effects than pharmaceutical medications – for the effective treatment of pain, spasticity and other MS symptoms.
What is multiple sclerosis?
Which symptoms will be caused by the disease, and the severity of those symptoms, is different for each person diagnosed with MS. However, for all patients, it is a long-term disease that to some extent attacks the spinal cord, brain and optic nerves of the eyes.
MS can affect balance, vision and muscle control, and can cause severe pain. Other symptoms can include fatigue, difficulty walking, sexual dysfunction, tingling or numbness of the extremities, poor bladder control, depression and trouble concentrating.
For some, the symptoms are mild and cause hardly any discomfort, while for others, they can be debilitating enough to interfere with daily life and make movement and everyday tasks extremely difficult.'
Read more: Research suggests cannabis can relieve symptoms, pain associated with MS
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