Patients With ALS Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Ohio
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is currently a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Ohio, and individuals experiencing symptoms related to ALS can schedule their appointment now. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an umbrella term for 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 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.
Medical Marijuana Can Alleviate Symptoms of ALS
Treatment is typically multidisciplinary, involving a combination of medications, physical and occupational therapy, nutritional counseling, and more. While there is no cure for ALS, Ohio residents can also include medical marijuana in their ALS treatment plan.
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 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 the 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 your symptoms, schedule an evaluation with an Ohio Marijuana Card doctor today!