ALS also referred to as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease that affects your spinal cord motor neurons, causing progressive muscle weakness and atrophy. Approximately 450,000 people around the world have ALS and about 30,000 in the United States.
What Happens in ALS?
Motor neurons reach the muscles of the entire body from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord. The motor neurons ‘ progressive degeneration in ALS ultimately leads to their death. The brain’s capacity to initiate and regulate muscle motion is lost when the motor neurons die. Progressively influenced by voluntary muscle action, individuals may lose the ability to talk, eat, move, and breathe. The motor nerves impacted by ALS are the motor neurons that provide voluntary movement and control of the muscle. Examples of voluntary movements make an effort to reach a smartphone or step away from a curb.
Types of ALS
The types of ALS are two, the first one is Sporadic and the second one is familial. Sporadic, the most prevalent type of illness in the United States, accounts for 90 to 95% of all instances. It can impact anybody anywhere. Familial ALS (FALS) accounts for 5-10% of all U.S. instances. Familial ALS means the inherited disease. There is a 50 percent possibility that each offspring inherits the gene mutation in those households and can develop the disease.
CBD & ALS
Cannabinoids, Cannabis Sativa’s bioactive compounds, regulate their activity by binding to the receptors of CB1 and CB2. It appears that the cannabinoid system is engaged in ALS pathology. Indeed, ALS patients ‘ spinal cord has been shown to have motor neuron harm caused by cells (microglia and macrophages) of the immune system that expresses enhanced concentrations of the cannabinoid receptor CB2.
Neural Regeneration Research has published a review detailing the latest findings regarding the use of cannabis-derived compounds for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The evaluation, “Can cannabinoids in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis be a prospective therapeutic tool?” states that riluzole, which regulates neuronal signals, is the only available treatment for ALS patients to date. This medication, however, has restricted therapeutic significance and only slightly improves survival — meaning that new and more efficient therapeutic alternatives are still required for ALS patients.
Can CBD Cure ALS?
Two crucial factors are causing nerve damage in ALS: oxidative stress and excitotoxicity. Cannabis shows promise to help manage some of the nerve harm, as it has been shown to tackle both factors in general, although particular studies on ALS and cannabis have yet to be carried out.
Oxidative stress happens when an imbalance exists within the body between free radicals and antioxidants. If antioxidant production cannot keep up with free radicals production, we cannot detoxify from the damaging impacts of free radicals in the body. Cannabis is a recognized antioxidant and helps to reduce the harm caused by free radicals to the nerve tissue.
Excitotoxicity destroys already damaged nerve tissue. When nerve tissue is wounded, excessive, uncontrolled quantities of amino acid glutamate are released. This excess contributes to cell death, called excitotoxicity, a damaging process. Both CBD and THC reduce glutamate release, thereby avoiding excitotoxicity and cell death in the neurons.
Two critical variables are causing nerve damage in ALS: oxidative stress and excitotoxicity. It has been shown that cannabis addresses both.
The Bottom Line
Taking into account the neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids and the anti-spastic impact of cannabinoids in patients with multiple sclerosis, considering their use in ALS only makes sense. There are promising preclinical work and some patient reports.
THC and CBD for ALS patients are regarded to be the most useful phytocannabinoids. Any clinical feedback from ALS patients will encourage further research and the publishing of well-designed clinical studies on the use and efficacy of cannabinoid medicine.