Patients With ALS Now Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Ohio
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an umbrella term used for a group of neurological disorders involving voluntary muscle movement. ALS is part of a larger group of conditions referred to as motor neuron diseases. All motor neuron diseases are related to the gradual deterioration, and eventual death, of motor neurons, which are responsible for connecting the brain with voluntary muscles.
ALS entered the public consciousness with the viral “ice bucket challenge.” According to the ALS Association, challenge videos uploaded to Facebook received billions of views, greatly increasing awareness for the condition. This is great news, as there tends to not be much awareness of this condition, as there are only about 20,000 individuals with ALS in the United States.
Despite a positive shift in general awareness of ALS, it is hard to grasp how heartbreaking the disease is unless you have personally known someone with the condition. Researchers have yet to find a cure, or even a successful treatment, for ALS. But, there are things that can make life more comfortable for people with ALS. One of those things is medical marijuana, which is now available in Ohio.
What is ALS?
ALS impedes voluntary muscle movement, which includes daily actions like chewing, walking, and even talking. It is a progressive disease, meaning symptoms become increasingly worse over time. Symptoms of ALS include muscle twitches, cramps, or stiffness, and difficulty chewing or swallowing. These are things that most people experience at some point in their lives, and in themselves are not cause for alarm. That is why early signs of ALS are easy to overlook, and the condition is oftentimes not diagnosed until symptoms have progressed to later stages.
Some people first notice ALS in their arms and legs, which is referred to as “limb onset” ALS. Others first experience difficulty with speech or swallowing, which is classified as “bulbar onset.” Regardless of where ALS originates, it progressively spreads to other areas of the body.
Unfortunately, there is no way to stop the progression of ALS. There is also no way to prevent the disease due to the fact that the cause is unknown. Experts suspect that a combination of genetics and environmental factors play a role in the development of ALS, but research is ongoing.
3 Easy Steps
Schedule an appointment with one of our friendly marijuana doctors at any location throughout the State!
Visit our office for your
in-person evaluation with a state-certified medical marijuana doctor.
With the doctor's approval, you'll receive your card via email from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
Medical Marijuana Can Alleviate Symptoms of ALS
There is no cure for ALS. Thus, people living with ALS are left to figure out how to best manage the condition as it progresses. Treatment is typically multidisciplinary, involving a combination of medications, physical and occupational therapy, nutritional counseling, and more. Ohio residents can now also include medical marijuana in their ALS treatment plan.
Marijuana is useful for someone with ALS for multiple reasons. Cannabis is known to induce effects including muscle relaxation, analgesia, and sleep induction- all things that are important for the management of ALS. Marijuana also has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and neurological protection factors. Studies point out that cannabis itself can accomplish many of the same effects as a multi-drug regimen.
Further research supports the use of cannabis as a method of symptom management for ALS. In addition to improving quality of life for ALS patients by increasing appetite, improving mood, and decreasing pain, cannabinoids have an anti-salivary effect, which reduces the risk of aspiration pneumonia.
Medical Marijuana Doctors Can Help
While marijuana is still not a cure for ALS, it can help make people with the condition much more comfortable. As with any medication, you should always discuss cannabis with a physician before initial use. If you are interested in using cannabis to help manage ALS symptoms, schedule an evaluation with an Ohio Marijuana Card doctor today!