How Does Medical Marijuana Help With and Treat Cerebral Palsy?

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Over the years, studies have shown that medical cannabis could be an alternative effective treatment of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect the movement of muscles and coordination. Most people with cerebral palsy have impaired vision, hearing and sensation. The condition is equally said to be the most common cause of motor disabilities in childhood. According to Statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy affects an estimated 1.5 to 4 of every 1000 children the world over. The symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from one person to another and some people experience mild symptoms, whereas others experience severe symptoms. That said, some people suffering from cerebral palsy may experience difficulties in walking and seating, whereas others may have trouble grasping objects. Some other common symptoms of cerebral palsy include delays in reaching motor skill milestones such as crawling, rolling over or sitting up alone, variations in muscle tone (too floppy or too stiff), excessive drooling and difficulties with swallowing, delays in speech and difficulties talking, lack of muscle coordination as well as involuntary movements etc. Cerebral palsy has no cure even though there are some treatments to improve the symptoms as well as prevent complications. The treatment options for cerebral palsy include assistive aids such as eyeglasses, hearing and walking aids, wheelchair and body braces, surgery as well as medications like Dentrolene, Baclofen, Tizanidine, and Diazepa.

Findings from peer reviewed medical research has shown that medical marijuana is highly effective in relieving pain that is caused by cerebral palsy and associated with spasticity, or muscle tension. It should be noted that cerebral palsy muscle tension is often manifested in three ways, namely, Spastic Quadriplegia, Spastic Hemiplegia and Spastic Diplegia. Most of the treatments of cerebral palsy are partially effective and some even have risks of side effects that most patients are unable to bear or handle. This therefore explains why many patients have resorted to self-medicating with medical marijuana, which, according to anecdotal evidence is beneficial in relieving symptoms of cerebral palsy such as pain, bladder dysfunction, tremors, and spasticity.

A 2012 study that was published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation surveyed 83 adult cerebral palsy patients on their methods of pain relief. According to findings from the study, medical marijuana was rated as the treatment option that resulted in the most relief. After comparing the results of the patients surveyed, the researchers equally found out that medical cannabis as an analgesic outperformed other prescription treatments of cerebral palsy when it came to pain relief. It was also noted during the study that cerebral palsy patients use medical marijuana for pain management and find it to be as effective as other more standard treatments for pain.

Also, an earlier study that was published in 2008 in the Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, had focused on the relationship between medical marijuana and multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity. The study was also reported to have made very important observations regarding marijuana and pain relief. The findings in this study are relevant to the subject because cerebral palsy shares many similarities with multiple sclerosis, which is a nervous system disorder. It’s evident that multiple sclerosis, just like cerebral palsy can also cause pain, impaired coordination as well as rigidity.

Further findings from this study that was published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatric also brought more positive light in the fact that medical cannabis could be an alternative effective treatment of cerebral palsy. The scientists found out that medical marijuana does not only alleviate some of the symptoms of cerebral palsy, but that it has milder side effects than the conventional medications which are reported to be tough on the body. This assertion can be backed by the fact that the negative side effects of using marijuana are generally limited to, dry mouth, sore throat, cough and a temporal feeling of anxiety in some patients, whereas, the conventional medications of cerebral palsy bring about more serious side effects that include depression and suicidal ideation as well as a potentially life-threatening reaction known as Multiorgan hypersensitivity.

Another study that was carried out in 2014 revealed that medical marijuana is effective in reducing painful muscle spasm. It should be noted that although the study was carried out on people who experienced pains associated with multiple sclerosis, the results remain valid to a greater extent because spasms are also one of the most common symptoms in patients with cerebral palsy.

Even though the few studies that have been conducted on this subject indicate that medical marijuana has numerous therapeutic benefits on people with cerebral palsy, there is an absolute need for more research.

Sources:

Inhale MD
Mayo Clinic
Cerebral Palsy Guidance
Cannabis.net

Marijuana strains reported to help with Cerebral Palsy:

Charlotte’s Web
Blue Dream
Afghan Kush
Green Crack
Purple Kush

How To Get Medical Marijuana

If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat Cerebral Palsy or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.