Medical Marijuana for Arnold Chiari Malformation

  • Medical marijuana is being used successfully by some patients to relieve pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression associated with Arnold Chiari malformation. 
  • Compounds produced in cannabis flowers called cannabinoids help to protect the brain and possibly even help to promote neuron regeneration.
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries nationwide offer a wide array of cannabis strains, products, and formulas suitable for the treatment of Arnold Chiari Malformation.
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In this article:

  1. What is Arnold Chiari malformation?
  2. How does medical marijuana help Arnold Chiari malformation patients?
  3. How does medical marijuana help treat Arnold Chiari malformation?
  4. How is medical marijuana used to treat Arnold Chiari malformation?
  5. Conclusion
  6. Sources and additional reading

What is Arnold Chiari Malformation?

Arnold-Chiari Malformation is a condition often acquired during fetal development in which the indented bony space at the base of the skull is abnormally small or misshapen. This malformation presses on the brain and forces it into a downward position, causing pressure on the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. The pressure on the cerebellum also blocks the flow of cerebrospinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord.

The condition is usually caused by structural defects in the spinal cord and brain, due to either poor diet during gestation or genetic anomalies. Females are far more susceptible to all types of this malformation.

There are four types of Chiari Malformation. Type I usually develops during the development of the skull and brain. This explains why symptoms rarely make an appearance until late childhood or young adulthood. Types II and III, however, are present at birth. Type III is very rare and it involves the herniation or protrusion of the cerebellum into the spinal cord, causing severe neurological defects.

Type IV (extremely rare) is characterized by an underdeveloped or incomplete cerebellum. This iteration is often accompanied by exposed parts of the spinal cord and skull. 

Some patients with Chiari’s malformation exhibit no symptoms. However, the most common symptoms in patients with the condition are numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, severe headaches, insomnia, dizziness, neck pain, poor hand coordination, vision problems, speech problems, swallowing, and an unsteady gait.

How does medical marijuana help patients with Arnold Chiari Malformation?

Medical marijuana may play a key role in lessening some of the symptoms of Arnold Chiari malformation. The healing properties attributed to cannabis are bolstered by the growing body of anecdotal evidence,  animal studies, and research in this field.

In 2017, a PMB (Public Message Board) publication referenced a study on medical marijuana for the treatment of headaches associated with Arnold-Chiari Malformation.

Many patients experience relentless insomnia due to the condition, and certain cannabinoids are known to enable better sleep patterns. This subject was addressed in a study published in the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. The study revealed that 71 percent of the participants with Arnold Chiari malformation reported significant improvement in sleep after consuming medical marijuana.

Another study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology administered medical cannabis to patients with Crohn’s Disease. The participants experienced both improved sleep and appetite after the administration of marijuana, with no discernable side effects. Patients with Arnold-Chiari Malformation would in all probability, experience similar results in their sleep patterns and appetites.

How does medical marijuana treat the symptoms of Arnold Chiari Malformation?

Compounds called phytocannabinoids found in marijuana are reportedly highly effective in the treatment of chronic pain headaches and insomnia associated with Arnold Chiari Malformation. 

Both THC and CBD, the two most common phytocannabinoids found in medical marijuana are known to naturally interact with the body’s innate endocannabinoid system. The application of phytocannabinoids effectively balances multiple bodily functions, including pain and sleep cycles. The cannabinoids interact with receptors found throughout the body to attenuate the inflammatory response. By addressing inflammation, the associated pain is significantly reduced.

People living with Arnold Chiari malformation also deal with insomnia, which can lead to chronic depression and anxiety. Phytocannabinoids found in medical cannabis are believed to elicit a state of calm due to their interaction with neural receptors. Reducing anxiety and depression usually produces better sleep patterns. In turn, better sleep patterns will naturally reduce feelings of anxiety and episodes of depression.

How is medical marijuana use to treat Arnold Chiari Malformation?

The two most common cannabinoids, THC (the cannabinoid found in marijuana that can be intoxicating at higher dosages) and CBD (a non-intoxicating cannabinoid) work together to protect the brain from damage. Both are also known to relieve pain, improve sleep cycles, and reduce anxiety and depression. 

However, it’s important to understand that these and other cannabinoids affect each patient differently. Fortunately, cannabis products can be purchased in a wide variety of strains and formulations with varying levels of different cannabinoids. 

New medical marijuana patients are advised to start with the lowest possible dosage. If the patient experiences no unwanted side effects, then the dosage can be slowly increased slowly. 

Patients that seek immediate relief from headache pain are best served with cannabis products that offer a fast onset time and high bioavailability. Inhalers, vape pens, dabs, and smoking marijuana or cannabis concentrates all offer fast onset time and high bioavailability. However, patients with respiratory or circulatory issues or high blood pressure are advised to avoid smoking and vaping. These patients might be better served by using an inhaler.

Patients suffering from ongoing anxiety or depression could consider daily supplemental use of oral cannabis products. Cannabis oils and tinctures can be used sublingually (absorbed into the tissues under the tongue) or orally or added to food and beverages. Many dispensaries nationwide also offer mc. marijuana edibles such as brownies and gummies. Although the onset time is much slower, oils, tinctures, and edibles offer ease of use and accurate dosing. 

Not all U.S. states with medical marijuana programs offer a medical marijuana card for Arnold Chiari malformation. However, eighteen U.S. states no longer require adults 21 and older to have a medical marijuana card to purchase marijuana and other cannabis-infused products. 

Many patients still live in states where marijuana is not an option. For these patients, CBD alone might offer substantial relief. Anyone can buy CBD online without a medical marijuana card and have it delivered to their doorstep as long as it’s produced from legal hemp. 

That being said, patients suffering from CTE should not be self-medicating. Treatment should be monitored by a qualified medical marijuana doctor.

How is medical marijuana use to treat Arnold Chiari Malformation?

The two most common cannabinoids, THC (the cannabinoid found in marijuana that can be intoxicating at higher dosages) and CBD (a non-intoxicating cannabinoid) work together to protect the brain from damage. Both are also known to relieve pain, improve sleep cycles, and reduce anxiety and depression. 

However, it’s important to understand that these and other cannabinoids affect each patient differently. Fortunately, cannabis products can be purchased in a wide variety of strains and formulations with varying levels of different cannabinoids. 

New medical marijuana patients are advised to start with the lowest possible dosage. If the patient experiences no unwanted side effects, then the dosage can be slowly increased slowly. 

Patients that seek immediate relief from headache pain are best served with cannabis products that offer a fast onset time and high bioavailability. Inhalers, vape pens, dabs, and smoking marijuana or cannabis concentrates all offer fast onset time and high bioavailability. However, patients with respiratory or circulatory issues or high blood pressure are advised to avoid smoking and vaping. These patients might be better served by using an inhaler.

Patients suffering from ongoing anxiety or depression could consider daily supplemental use of oral cannabis products. Cannabis oils and tinctures can be used sublingually (absorbed into the tissues under the tongue) or orally or added to food and beverages. Many dispensaries nationwide also offer mc. marijuana edibles such as brownies and gummies. Although the onset time is much slower, oils, tinctures, and edibles offer ease of use and accurate dosing. 

Not all U.S. states with medical marijuana programs offer a medical marijuana card for Arnold Chiari malformation. However, eighteen U.S. states no longer require adults 21 and older to have a medical marijuana card to purchase marijuana and other cannabis-infused products. 

Many patients still live in states where marijuana is not an option. For these patients, CBD alone might offer substantial relief. Anyone can buy CBD online without a medical marijuana card and have it delivered to their doorstep as long as it’s produced from legal hemp. 

That being said, patients suffering from CTE should not be self-medicating. Treatment should be monitored by a qualified medical marijuana doctor

Marijuana strains reported to help with Arnold-Chiari Malformation:

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