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Beth: Multiple Sclerosis

RxLeaf

I started cannabis on my own, after my doctor would not prescribe it to me. I’m not using pharma for MS again.

Editor’s Note: Any testimonials or endorsements found on this site are for anecdotal purposes only. The information in Rxleaf testimonials is not intended as direct medical advice, nor should it be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified healthcare professionals who are intimately knowledgeable about your individual medical needs.

My cannabis journey started when I had to wait for months to see a neurologist for my MS symptoms…and my GP wouldn’t prescribe medical cannabis. When I finally saw the neuro, he said he would never prescribe cannabis, not even Sativex.

I had already done my own research and started CBD oil once a day, THC oil three times a day, plus I regularly smoke cannabis (high in THC) throughout the day. In that 9 month wait for health care, taking no pharma drugs, one of my MS lesions healed itself and ALL of my MS symptoms were under control.

MS Ribbon

Why My Neuro Doc Dropped Me

Neuro put me on Tecfidera…it’s a mould poison like the little packets that you find in shoe boxes. I was so, so sick after taking that. I stopped taking it. And after that experience, I refused all other MS pharma drugs and went back to my self care.

As a result, my neuro dropped me as a patient and now I wait for another. If he/she prescribes pharmaceuticals again, I’m walking.

I usually pick a high THC sativa because I can feel the rush of relief to my calf muscles. I prefer Teslin, high CBD for just before bed because it helps me sleep.

ptsd and chronic pain can't match this cannabis joing being smoked

From RxLeaf: Cannabis For MS Symptoms

Did you know that cannabis is already an approved prescription in Canada and across Europe for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)? It’s approved under the trade name Sativex. Sativex is a pharmaceutical preparation of cannabis sativa.

This pharmaceutical drug is already “used for the adjunctive treatment for the symptomatic relief of neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis in adults.” Each dose contains 2.7 mg THC and 2.5 mg CBD.

With the global approval of this pharmaceutical drug, it might not be surprising to find stories like Beth’s. Patients are seeking effective treatment for their diagnosis of MS, and finding cannabis an effective option. Beth’s case is particularly interesting because she has naturally landed on a combination of THC and CBD to get the most relief. Her perfect dose is remarkably similar to the pharmaceutical preparation, which combines the two cannabinoids.

Reviewing the Cannabis Reviews

There is a recent review titled The Use of Cannabis and Cannabinoids in Treating Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis: a Systematic Review of Reviews. The authors conclude that “Recent high quality reviews find cannabinoids may have modest effects in MS for pain or spasticity.” The aim of the study was to determine the impact of cannabis on MS. To do so, the authors looked at how the plant affected disability progression. This wasn’t all, however. They also looked at pain, spasticity, tremors, quality of life, adverse effects, and bladder function.

Importantly, they did identify a gap in the research.

Turns out, there are no high-quality studies using a side by side comparison model, looking at cannabis and standard drugs. If side-by-side research is done in the future, it could detail patient preference due to adverse effects. Anecdotally, we know that many people with MS prefer cannabis because of the mild side effect profile. It would be interesting to find out patient preference in a well-controlled study.

MS Diagnosis sheet

Finding the Right Dose of Cannabis for MS

As with much of the medical research into cannabinoids, details on dose size and cannabinoid make up are vague. In the story above, Beth discussed how she dosed multiple times a day, using one dose of CBD and three of THC. For her, this was an ideal dose. It kept her symptoms manageable.

How can you determine a perfect dose? It’s worth taking a little inspiration from the pharmaceutical preparation Sativex. This drug contains 2.7 mg THC and 2.5 mg CBD per each oral spray — roughly a 50/50 ratio. Combining CBD with THC is known to reduce the length and strength of the intoxicating effects, and make it a more manageable experience for day-time use. Anyone who experiences stronger pain and spasticity at night, may want to up the dose of THC just before bed.

Another literature review suggested most studies done so far on cannabis for the symptoms of MS used daily doses between 20 to 40 mg of THC. Typically, study participants would divide this medium to large dose up into more manageable sizes, spread throughout the day.

How do you settle on the perfect sized dose of cannabis for MS?

Always remember to go slow and start low. Starting low keeps you in control of the experience and saves you money along the way. Take your journey slow, and make sure to take notes on symptom reduction as you self-experiment.

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