Muscular Dystrophy is a rare condition which affects 1 in every 5000 males. It’s a group of genetic diseases that causes progressive weakness as well as loss of muscle mass. People suffering from Muscular Dystrophy often have abnormal genes or mutations which interfere with the production of proteins that are needed to build as well as maintain healthy muscles. It should be noted that the cause of Muscular Dystrophy is genetic and that explains why a family history of Muscular Dystrophy will increase the chances of it affecting an individual. This condition can occur in both sexes and in all ages and races, even though symptoms of the most common type of Muscular Dystrophy begin in childhood and mostly in boys. Some individuals never experience any symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy until adulthood.
The most common sign of Muscular Dystrophy is progressive muscle weakness, with specific signs and symptoms beginning at different ages and in different muscle groups depending on the type of Muscular Dystrophy. Other signs and symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy include frequent falls, troubles walking and jumping, walking on toes, difficulties rising from a lying or sitting up position, large calf muscles, waddling gait, as well as learning disabilities.
Muscle Dystrophy could also result in complications such as heart problems, swallowing problems, breathing problems, troubles walking, a curved spine as well as shortening of muscles or tendons around joints (contractures). Of course, contractures can further limit mobility. It’s also imperative to note that the cure to Muscle Dystrophy is yet to be found even though there exist medications (like opiates, corticosteroids and heart medications) and physical therapies that can help manage the symptoms as well as slow down the disease. The side effects associated with the medications used in treating Muscular Dystrophy could be severe and damaging. For instance, aside from the risk of addiction, opiates based pain medication can equally cause dizziness, severe constipation, drowsiness, respiratory depression, difficulty urinating, nausea, and vomiting.
Medical marijuana has been reported to be a more effective and safe alternative treatment of Muscular Dystrophy. It should be noted that medical marijuana can effectively relieve chronic pain, including the nerve pain that opiates are used for. It is apparent that in most cases, marijuana is a better option when it comes to pain relief than opioids since the formal can be used long term for chronic pain. This assertion can be explained by the fact that the brain adapts to cannabis at a slower rate than opioids, implying that the dose does not have to rapidly increase to get the same results.
Studies have shown that medical marijuana is effective in alleviating pain that is caused by Muscular Dystrophy. A recent study was carried out to look at the effect of adding medical marijuana to the daily regime of patients who consume opiate based pain medication for chronic pain. The findings from this study revealed that the participants experienced an average drop in pain level of 27 percent, while not significantly affecting the blood-levels of the prescription drugs. It should be noted that excessive levels of opiates in the blood of people suffering from Muscular Dystrophy can be extremely dangerous, given that respiratory problems are quite common among sufferers. Thus, the fact that the study found out that medical marijuana could reduce pain levels without increasing opiate blood levels is important.
It has also been revealed that smoking medical marijuana is the most effective and rapid mechanism for relaying the active compounds to the brain, thereby allowing the sufferer to feel immediate relief from pain as well as offering better control over medication levels. It is imperative to recall that smoking anything else is not good for the lungs. Vaporization is a more effective and healthier mechanism for smoking marijuana.
In addition, medical marijuana is equally effective in reducing both the length and severity of muscle spasms and cramps. Even though patients with Muscular Dystrophy are prone to very painful muscle cramps, a regular regime of cannabis treatment could reduce or possibly eliminate these incidents.
Medical cannabis can also help people with Muscular Dystrophy on a cellular level. Findings from researchers have it that the active compounds CBD, cannabidivarin (CBDV), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) have a positive effect on mice bred with a mild form of Muscular Dystrophy. According to a 2018 study on cannabis for Muscular Dystrophy, CBD, THCV and CBDV can all reduce inflammation, prevent loss of mobility, and promote the formation of myotubes, a type of muscle fiber.
Even though there are just a few studies on cannabis and Muscular Dystrophy, there are suggestions that it has great therapeutic benefits that warrants further investigations.
Marijuana strains reported to help with Muscular Dystrophy:
How To Get Medical Marijuana
If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat Muscular Dystrophy 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.