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5 min | Nick T
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Nick is a trained Osteapath with +15 years in the natural health field.
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CBD Oil For Multiple Sclerosis: Everything You Need To Know

Advice
|
5 min

In recent years, CBD has grown in popularity, with many users claiming it helps to relieve the symptoms from a number of medical conditions. 

But can you use CBD oil for Multiple Sclerosis?

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is an extract of the hemp plant (cannabis sativa). It is a cannabinoid compound. One of the remarkable properties of hemp is the number of cannabinoids contained within it. 

There are known to be about 100 different cannabinoids each of which has its own properties which, when combined with everything else in the hemp plant, make it an amazing food.

Cannabinoids influence the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a system of receptors spread throughout our brain, peripheral nervous system and many tissues and organs of our body. 

The ECS appears to have a role in balancing our health through a mechanism called homeostasis which ensures we can function effectively regardless of the demands we place on our body through activity and environment.

In effect, hemp is one of the great balancers of the human body! 

We also know that cannabinoids appear to exert a balancing effect on our immune systems too, moderating and dampening down an overactive immune system which is possibly why people with autoimmune disorders report benefits when taking cannabis.

They also have a role in the inflammatory process and pain pathways as well as influencing higher brain centres too.

Of course it is also known for its ability to get us high or stoned with the cannabinoid THC which is currently illegal to sell in the UK and can only be contained in our product at either 1mg or 0.05% in a bottle.

When the hemp plant is grown carefully by specialist farmers, which is the case with all CBD One products, the CBD content and other cannabinoids can be maximised to make the resultant product far more effective than many. This is because much CBD is not grown by specialists who understand how to get the best out of the plant. 

This means that all the compounds in our legal cannabis are at their optimum which creates a synergy known as the Entourage Effect. This synergy combines cannabinoids (like CBD) with terpenes which give cannabis its unique taste and smell but also have positive effects on our well being and flavonoids.

Too many CBD products on the market today do not have this vital synergy and, therefore, are lacking in their effect. Fortunately, here at CBD One every single one of our products is made to deliver the entourage effect in all its glory!

Is CBD Oil Legal?

CBD is legal in the UK provided it is sold with no medical claims attached to it. It must also contain less than 1mg of THC or 0.05% in a bottle.

At the moment there is enormous debate about how to classify CBD by the authorities. This is important for regulation to be brought in to ensure the public are protected from poor quality products that may make claims that are simply wrong.

One simple example is a well known brand from Ireland which has zero CBD in it, despite them claiming otherwise. I have had their reps come to my clinic making all manner of bizarre claims that are simply lies. Sadly, the reps often do not know any better.

These types of companies are preying on vulnerable people and are giving CBD a bad name. Their days are numbered.

Another restriction is that CBD cannot be used as an isolate in a food product. This simply means a process can be used to extract pure CBD from the cannabis plant. This pure CBD is known as an isolate because it has quite literally been isolated from everything else contained in the plant. It can be used in body products and patches but not for oral ingestion.

Whilst CBD isolate may have some value for helping people it is not nearly as effective as having a full spectrum plant extract which harnesses the synergy of nature.

Can CBD Oil Help With MS Symptoms?

Can CBD Oil Help With MS Symptoms?

MS is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body’s immune system turns in on itself and begins to cause damage to ourselves. To sum it up, the immune system starts to attack our nervous system, damaging the myelin sheath that covers our nerves.

The myelin sheath helps to quickly transmit messages up and down the nerve. In a bid to keep us functioning well our body repairs the damaged area but this creates scar tissue which is not as good at transmitting signals as a healthy myelin sheath. In time this damage means we begin to get all manner of symptoms such as inability to move a limb as well as we would like, balance issues and even problems with our speech. It entirely depends on where the damage has occurred in our body as to the kind of symptoms we shall get.

In this respect it means MS is an unusual disease in that the symptom picture can be very different in different people.

One common symptom that many people experience is extreme fatigue, another can be very painful muscle spasms.

There is no one specific cause for MS but things that do appear to contribute are: a diet of highly refined and processed foods, a digestive system that is dysfunctional, possibly some viral influence (there can be clusters of MS in an area), some evidence points to amalgam fillings that contain mercury and even root canal procedures.

It is a complex picture and the key to helping yourself is to follow good health behaviour with exercise, nutritious wholefoods, reduce dairy products to a minimum or zero and take some high quality supplements. There are a whole group of supplements that have been recommended for MS sufferers as follows:

  • Vitamin D - which has a powerful role on our immune system.
  • Calcium - which has a synergistic effect with Vitamin D.
  • Vitamin C - which can aid repair processes.
  • Vitamin B6 may improve energy levels but do take a few days break from it every month to prevent a toxic build up of it in your body which can show up as numbness or pins and needles in your hands and feet.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause neurological problems so check if you have this via your doctor or a private test if they will not and supplement accordingly.
  • Selenium has been shown to be low in some MS sufferers so this is another mineral worth taking.
  • The same is true for zinc so ensure if you take a multivitamin it has this in it.

There are also a number of herbs that may be of use and I would suggest you use trial and error to see how you do with them to see if they help, give yourself a good three months with each to see how you feel. The great thing with herbs is that they are remarkably safe to use so it is unlikely they will cause you any harm and you may see some benefits for little risk. 

If you are particularly interested in the potential herbs may have then I would suggest you book an appointment with a medical herbalist.

Ginkgo Biloba may help combat fatigue and reduce the damaging effects of free radicals.

St John’s Wort (hypericum) is a mood lifter and so may help combat the depression that is a frequent companion to MS sufferers.

Valerian may aid sleep which can be a common problem.

Panax Ginseng, otherwise known as Asian Ginseng has been shown to help fatigue and improve strength.

And last but by no means least is cannabis which has been known about for a long time and used by many MS sufferers, especially to help painful muscle spasms though it may have other benefits too. Doctors can prescribe a medical cannabis called Sativex specifically for muscle spasms.

Does the part of cannabis known as CBD have a role to play? I suspect it does. Putting to one side for a moment what it may or not do for MS, I take my CBD much like one would take any health supplement, it is quite simply good for you! So I take it regularly just for that reason alone.

Will it help MS? If you are hoping for a miracle from taking one supplement then please think again. For all its wonderful properties CBD cannot eradicate all the factors that lead to disease such as a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, toxic environment and even your state of mind. These complex issues require lots of factors to be improved to give your body any chance of seeing positive, healthy changes. Do not expect a magic pill or oil to make you healthy on its own. Good health requires an investment from yourself as well as your physician.

CBD Oil vs Sativex

I mentioned Sativex above which is a medical form of cannabis that can be prescribed by your GP. How does it differ from our products here at CBD One?

Sativex is a mouth spray flavoured with peppermint that contains a 50/50 mix of both CBD and THC. THC is the cannabinoid that can get you high and is a controlled substance in many parts of the world including the UK. This means that Sativex may well have a psychoactive ‘high’ effect on you, something that not everyone likes or can tolerate.

It also contains a synthetic cannabinoid called marinol and another called cesamet.

It seems odd to me that, when we have the remarkable properties of cannabis and a myriad of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids in the plant, a drug company would want to use synthetic products to interact with the natural. There is a simple reason for this and it is cynical. It is all about protecting profits and controlling the market via patents. 

The whole cannabis plant cannot be patented so the drugs company pulls it apart, takes parts of it it deems useful and throws in its own ingredients for good measure. They then give it a name, patent it and lean on governments to allow it so they can sell it but nobody else can.

There is no doubt Sativex appears to help people but there are users who find it an unpleasant experience with lots of side effects. Such is the way with any pharmaceutical concoction: it can be effective but come with added complications.

When people use Sativex they are encouraged to start on a low dose and then slowly increase this until they get the optimum effect. That seems entirely sensible when you are taking a substance that may well get you high.

At CBD One we also ask people to play around with their dosage to see what works although we tend to suggest people start with a middle strength dose because it is easier to go up or down in dosage from there. With Sativex, which can cause psychosis and anxiety, it makes sense to start with extra caution on a low dose.

How Do You Take CBD For MS?

We have exciting developments at CBD One that mean that very shortly you will be able to take CBD in several different ways.

Firstly we have our range of oils that has been well established for a number of years now, from our raw (as close to nature as you can get) Life Edition oil to our three Signature Blend oils that go from 500mg to 1000mg and our big hitting and potent 2000mg Signature Blend No3.

These oils are taken under the tongue in one to three drops, allowed to stay there for a couple of minutes to absorb into the bloodstream, then swallowed. Our oils have a nice calming effect.

We then have our water soluble Absorb range that can be added to any hot or cold drinks or taken orally and swallowed without the need to go under the tongue. Because these enter your system fast they tend to be a little more energising than the oils as a general rule.

Coming soon is our wonderful Hatcha powder. This powder can be added to drinks, is delicious in smoothies and hot chocolate and can also be baked with, provided you do not bake at over 160°C. This lends itself to making delicious biscuits and brownies.

Also launching soon are our Release patches. These provide a steady stream of pure CBD over the course of 36 hours and are a wonderful way to supplement a full spectrum oil or Absorb product.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line when it comes to using CBD oil for multiple sclerosis is that there hasn’t been enough research to provide definitive answers.

What has been shown in numerous studies is that CBD is well tolerated by most people, and has very few, if any, side effects; and with so many users claiming it helps relieve their symptoms, it’s well worth testing to see if it helps with your MS symptoms.

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