Lawrence A. Schiffman, D.O., FAOCD - Board Certified Dermatologist

Lawrence A. Schiffman, D.O., FAOCD - Board Certified Dermatologist

Blog

Medical Cannabis for ALS Patients

Published July 20th, 2017 by Sahil

What is ALS?

ALS, also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that worsens with time. It impacts the brain and the spinal cord, and can have a devastating impact on patients and their families. ALS destroys motor neurons that reach from the brain to the spinal cord, as well as from the spinal cord to the rest of the body. Motor neurons are extremely important because they help transfer signals throughout the entire body. The slow degeneration of these integral components leads to death for many patients with ALS.

In patients with ALS, muscles become malnourished and waste away. Some early signs of the disease are tripping and falling, clumsiness, muscle weakness, slurred speech, and trouble swallowing. Eventually patients are unable to walk or carry out daily activities. Muscle movement deteriorates and eventually fails completely, and in later stages of the disease, patients lose the ability to speak, eat, and even breathe.

Although ALS is a devastating disease that causes great hardship for those who suffer from it, medical marijuana can help to alleviate symptoms. Medical cannabis can also increase the quality of life for many patients, and may even slow the progression of the disease according to some studies. Medical marijuana lacks many of the dangerous side effects of many prescription drugs, and can provide fast and lasting relief for sufferers of ALS.

How Can Medical Cannabis Help Patients with ALS?

Medical cannabis has been proven to alleviate many symptoms of ALS. It can act as a muscle relaxant, saliva reducer, bronchodilator and analgesic. Medical marijuana can also be used as an appetite stimulant, and even reduces symptoms of insomnia and depression. Furthermore, regular, controlled doses of cannabis oil have even been shown to slow progression of ALS in certain patients.

Many of the debilitating muscular symptoms of ALS can be relieved by medical marijuana. Talking to a doctor who can prescribe medical marijuana can greatly improve quality of life for ALS patients and possibly even prolong their lives in some cases. Since it can be difficult for ALS patients to eat, the appetite-stimulant qualities of medical cannabis can also be a huge benefit. Patients will find it much easier and more appealing to eat, and will not be at such high risk for malnutrition.

Since many ALS patients suffer from depression because of their short life expectancy, medical marijuana can also greatly improve their mood and alleviate symptoms of depression in many cases. Depression can be debilitating for ALS patients and can make them completely lose faith in their future. By working with a doctor who can prescribe medical marijuana, symptoms of depression can be managed and even eliminated.

Many ALS patients worry about the legality of medical marijuana. They may be concerned with getting in trouble with the law, or with not being able to access their medication because of restrictive legislation. However, laws have taken a progressive turn in recent years and it's much easier for ALS patients to obtain medical marijuana. In the state of Florida, it's legal to use medical marijuana to treat ALS. Doctors are allowed to prescribe medical cannabis for patients with ALS. Florida Amendment 2 defends this right, and sufferers of ALS don't have to worry about getting in legal trouble for treating their condition. Because of Amendment 2, there's no way patients can be targeted by the law for using medical cannabis.

Medical Marijuana Is Legal in Florida

Medical marijuana can be extremely helpful for people suffering from ALS, and is completely legal in the state of Florida thanks to Amendment 2. By talking with a doctor who can prescribe medical cannabis, ALS patients can greatly improve their future and effectively treat their symptoms.

For more information about medical marijuana in Stuart, FL click here or call us on 305.615.2440.

Comments ():

For Patients