Medical cannabis is a promising treatment for brain disorders. However, we need to know what neurodegenerative disorders (ND) are and the most common types of these diseases.
At least 1 billion people across the globe are battling with one or more ND. It is worse than it sounds because many of these diseases can be fatal, leaving patients disabled, unable to think clearly or walk independently.
Over the years, scientists have been studying and researching ND to gain more understanding about them. These include its causes, how to prevent them, and the possible ways to relieve or treat them. Thus, the answer is Medical Cannabis that explains why there has also been an increase in medical cannabis seeds for sale in the market, leading to more cannabis supply.
What Are Neurodegenerative Diseases?
These are a group of conditions that have a progressive impact on the functions of the neurons or nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, which leads to the gradual degeneration and annihilation of the building blocks of the nervous system. As the neurons continue to weaken, the individual begins to experience movement, mental, and other forms of impairments.
Age, brain injury, genetic mutation, and environment have been branded as some of the factors that increase the risks of developing ND. Common symptoms of these diseases include weakness, paralysis, heart problems, movement difficulties, cognitive impairment, and breathing problems.
Most Common Neurological Disorders
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says that there are more than 600 neurological disorders. However, the most common types that affect the millions are Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a medical condition that gradually destroys the metal faculties of affected persons. This neurodegenerative disorder promises patients the terrible fate of slowly losing their memory and ability to function. AD has seven stages, with the first stage having no impairment or apparent symptoms. The 7th and final stage, however, is the most severe phase of the disease. The patient loses body control and the ability to speak or identify friends and family.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
Unlike AD, Parkinson’s disorder causes impaired coordination. It is a degenerative condition that progressively affects a patient’s ability to control their balance and movement. Many people affected by Parkinson’s disease suffer from uncontrollable trembling and loss of speech. It has five stages, with each becoming more severe as the disease progresses.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex condition that affects the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). Just like other ND, MS is progressive. However, it is immune mediated, meaning it is caused by a system designed to keep the body healthy, and no one knows why this happens. Although the disease is not life-threatening, severe cases of MS can lead to paralysis and impaired vision. There are four different types of Multiple Sclerosis, which are: relapsing.
- Relapsing-Remitting, MS (RRMS)
- Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS)
- Primary-Progressive, MS (PPMS)
- Progressive-Relapsing, MS (PRMS)
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a flowering plant with Sativa and Indica or 35% THC seeds strains. Although medical cannabis contains hundreds of natural chemical compounds, its primary compound, the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is mainly responsible for the psychoactive effect that causes highness when marijuana is consumed.
In the past, the government frowned against the use of medical cannabis. However, that is changing fast as the plant has seen increased legalization over the last few years because of its therapeutic properties that can be used to treat a growing list of medical conditions, including ND.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary compound in Cannabis Sativa. It contains psychoactive properties that give users a high feeling when they consume weed. THC can be used in many ways, depending on a user’s preference. A user can smoke it by using rolling papers or vape it with the use of portable vaporizers.
This psychoactive compound is useful for treating or preventing ailments like epileptic seizures, pains, Alzheimer’s, pains of multiple Sclerosis, and muscle spasms.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is another primary compound found in medical cannabis. However, unlike THC, cannabidiol does not contain psychoactive properties that can get one high when consumed. CBD is like the opposite of THC. Instead of getting you high, it counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC in the body. CBD is available in the form of oils, supplements, gels, extracts and concentrates.
CBD also offers tons of therapeutic benefits and can be used for conditions like seizures, nausea, migraines, inflammation, mental disorders, chronic pain, and depression.
How Medical Cannabis Help with ND
Medical cannabis products containing both THC and CBD could help in treating ND, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis in the following ways.
Inflammation of neurons is a common symptom among different neurological disorders like AD and PD. Anti-inflammatory properties can be found in THC and CBD, which makes medical cannabis a viable tool for combating these diseases. Such anti-inflammatory properties can help combat the neuroinflammatory processes that cause ND.
Medical cannabis could be used to improve and maintain the strength of the ECS, which in turn can prevent or reduce the progression of neurological disorders.
THC and CBD compounds in medical cannabis contain antioxidants properties that help to protect against ND. These chemicals can be used to counteract the degeneration of neuron and nerve cells in the brain.
One of the physiological systems behind medical cannabis is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).This body function consists of a vital neuromodulatory system, protects the body against poor lifestyle, environmental toxins, and other harmful stressors while helping us maintain homeostasis. However, once the integrity of the ECS starts to fail, it can face a high risk of developing ND.
Environmental factors such as food, water, lifestyle, metals, microorganisms, and pollutants have a direct and indirect impact on the brain. For instance, toxins like heavy metals can act as either electron acceptor or donor, which leads to the formation of reactive oxygen species that causes oxidative stress.