Can You Treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with Medical Marijuana?

Ruby McKenzie
6 Min Read

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a disease with no cure, but its symptoms can be managed with the right treatment. Medical marijuana is increasingly accessible to patients suffering from symptoms that no other standard treatment can improve.

In Orem, medical marijuana is legal for registered patients with a medical marijuana card. Orem residents must suffer from a qualifying medical condition and receive a written recommendation for medical marijuana from a state-licensed physician.

ALS is a condition that legally qualifies for receiving medical marijuana treatment in Orem. Doctors are finding it beneficial in reducing stiffness in muscles, alleviating pain, and improving appetite. Medical marijuana can treat the symptoms of ALS, but it cannot cure it or stop its development.

What Is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that gradually affects the brain and spinal cord cells. Motor neurons are responsible for sending signals from the brain to the spine, allowing us to move and coordinate ourselves. In time, motor neurons deteriorate, leaving the brain unable to send signals to the muscles.

ALS can be familial or sporadic, which accounts for approximately 90% of the cases. Only 9-10% are caused by a genetic mutation. Research has not yet concluded what can cause ALS, but a genetic pattern was discovered in 5% of the cases.

What Are The Symptoms of ALS?

People with ALS will have difficulty walking, talking, and writing when the condition begins to manifest itself. In time, it can generate muscle weakness, abnormal weariness of the legs and arms, and other issues including difficulty in controlling the muscles.

Lou Gehrig’s disease symptoms will manifest uniquely in each individual, but eventually, those who suffer from the condition will become increasingly weak and eventually become immobile. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Losing balance
  • Weakness in your hands, legs, and feet
  • Difficulty with speech and swallowing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Changes in behavior
  • Eating problems

ALS patients will also experience breathing difficulties and a loss of appetite.

How Does Medical Marijuana Help Patients With ALS?

ALS patients will experience difficulty in controlling movement and muscles. Muscle spasticity is a primary symptom of ALS and it can heavily influence the quality of life. Chronic pain is also very common and while it can be temporarily treated with painkillers and common medication, this is not a long-term solution. Patients may also reject the standard treatment, or simply show no improvement after undertaking it.

Although medical marijuana research is not yet conclusive, more and more studies are showing positive results in the patients undergoing trial. Many have experienced relief from several symptoms and their intensity, which is why doctors can now legally recommend medical marijuana to their patients for various conditions. Some of the conditions that were found to improve in patients who consumed CBD include muscle spasms, nausea, pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, anorexia, and epilepsy.

Doctors are recommending medical marijuana for ALS for a number of reasons.

Medical Marijuana Is a Safer Alternative

As opposed to standard medication, medical marijuana can very rarely cause any side effects. There is also a very low risk of ever developing an addiction to it. Patients experiencing severe symptoms can use medical marijuana as a long-term treatment that won’t affect their health as other medication would.

Registered patients are able to purchase medical marijuana products from state-licensed dispensaries where products have to meet strict requirements before being approved and put on the market.

It Improves Appetite

Patients with ALS may also experience a loss of appetite. Marijuana is known to stimulate the appetite in patients undergoing recovery. Being able to get back to a normal diet will help with speeding recovery and the overall well-being of the patient.

It Relieves Pain

Patients undergoing medical marijuana trials have reported positive results in reducing pain. As pain killers are not a long-term solution for treating chronic pain, doctors are more and more supportive of the natural effects of medical marijuana.

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Orem

Medical marijuana can only be purchased by registered patients. To become certified, you will first have to be evaluated by a state-licensed physician. If your medical condition is determined qualifiable, you can proceed to apply for an Orem medical marijuana card. When you become a registered patient you will be able to purchase medical marijuana from any licensed dispensary in the state.

Bottom Line

The medical benefits of medical marijuana are still under question, but research is moving forward and is showing increasingly good results. ALS patients are eligible to apply for a medical card and become certified to purchase medical marijuana.

If you believe that your medical condition qualifies, book an evaluation with a doctor to get your recommendation first. You won’t be able to apply for a card otherwise and legally consume medical marijuana in Orem, Utah.

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