Study Reviews Evidence Supporting Use of Cannabinoids to Treat ALS

Study Reviews Evidence Supporting Use of Cannabinoids to Treat ALS

The journal Neural Regeneration Research has published a review detailing the latest findings in the use of cannabis-derived compounds to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The review, “Can cannabinoids be a potential therapeutic tool in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?,” notes that to date, the only available therapy for ALS patients is riluzole, which controls neuronal signaling. However, this drug has limited therapeutic value and only moderately increases survival — meaning novel and more effective therapeutic options for ALS patients are still needed.

Cannabinoids, the bioactive compounds of Cannabis sativa, exert their activity by binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

The cannabinoid system seems to be involved in the pathology of ALS. Indeed, the spinal cord of ALS patients has been shown to present motor neuron damage triggered by immune system’s cells (microglia and macrophages) that express increased levels of the CB2 cannabinoid receptor.

“So all these data show how editing CB2-mediated processes could change ALS progression and how much the endocannabinoid system is potentially involved in reducing neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity and oxidative cell damage,” researchers wrote.

Previous studies have shown that cannabinoids have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions in animal models of ALS. Indeed, cannabinoids can delay disease progression and prolong survival in these animals. However, only a few studies have investigated the effect of cannabinoids in human patients, which makes it difficult to interpret the results.

“According to a single observational study of patients with ALS, only the 10 percent who admitted consuming cannabis revealed moderate relief of several symptoms, including appetite loss, depression, pain and drooling,” researchers wrote. “In addition, spasticity is also a major problem for ALS patients, which reported that cannabis can subjectively improve spasticity.”

They added: “There is a valid rationale to propose the use of cannabinoid compounds in the pharmacological management of ALS patients. Cannabinoids indeed are able to delay ALS progression and prolong survival. However, most of the studies that investigated the neuroprotective potential of these compounds in ALS were performed in animal models, whereas the few clinical trials that investigated cannabinoids-based medicines were focused only on the alleviation of ALS-related symptoms, not on the control of disease progression.”

The researchers said they hope scientists will keep studying how cannabinoids may be of therapeutic use for ALS patients.

Joana brings more than 8 years of academic research and experience as well as Scientific writing and editing to her role as a Science and Research writer. She also served as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology in Coimbra, Portugal, where she also received her PhD in Health Science and Technologies, with a specialty in Molecular and Cellular Biology.
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Joana brings more than 8 years of academic research and experience as well as Scientific writing and editing to her role as a Science and Research writer. She also served as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology in Coimbra, Portugal, where she also received her PhD in Health Science and Technologies, with a specialty in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

32 comments

  1. Barocsi says:

    I was eager to see such “finding” because ultimately cannabis is good for everything. I was wondering who and why would put such lobbyist effort in a study like this. There are even videos on youtube that cannabis totally eliminates Parkinsons syndromes during being under the effect of the herb. Where are the real scientists? What are they working on, really?

    • Tim Bossie says:

      What you say is true. Cannabis has been shown to help with a great many illnesses and diseases. In fact, there are studies today across many different health sectors in which cannabis has helped many with great relief from pain and other complications from a certain illness. It is our hope at ALSNews that researchers continue to look into this more and provide viable treatments and medications that can help people live better quality lives.

  2. Andrew says:

    We are currently attempting to use this(CBD oil) with my father who most likely has very advanced ALS. The medicinal application is for inflammation/pain, but in researching CBD oil, I am very interested in seeing whether more of a positive impact can be made. First off, his appetite and mood has improved, and he has become more interested in life, whereas it appears the disease (in him at least) can cause minimal movement and interest. I’m concerned about his short term memory, but what I am mostly looking for is a change in physical reactivation. If it can alleviate his mood throughout all of this – as he also is bipolar – that would be huge, because he has naturally, found this to be a very depressing experience.

    • James says:

      You don’t need to be concerned about his memory or any cognitive harm. None of that is true with regards to cannabis. All propaganda. The only time it impairs memory is for a few hours if you use way too much. Otherwise, it’s a neuroprotectant and a cognitive enhancer with the correct dose.

      • Henry Long says:

        Thank you all for your testimonies as I had a older gentleman and his son in my store today to inquire about CBD and ALS and through your testimonies they now considering CBD as part of their therapeutic regiment.
        “neuroprotectant and a cognitive enhancer” those are the words I need to describe a small part of CBD and its incredible therapeutic benefits. Thank You

    • David Cast says:

      Having ALS is a very depressing thing to have. Walk to the fridge and get out a beer and drink it after sitting down to relax… did you even think about any of the things you just did or did your body just do it automatically? The human body is awesome until it gets sick. Best put having ALS is like being stuck in Groundhog day over and over again until you die.

  3. Lady says:

    My husband has ALS and I could see how CBD is helping him. His condition seemed to be improving after 3 weeks of having this water soluble BioCBDplus. – Lady

  4. Marcus Hardin says:

    Research indicates that using supositories to despense cannabis is 40% more effective than taking it orally with the additionional benefit that it does not need to be processed by the liver.

  5. Claire Eissler says:

    I recently was approved for medical marijuana to treat my ALS. My major problem is speaking and tight jaw which is very bothersome. I recently went to a local dispensary and they had no idea on how to treat someone with this issue. I ended up purchasing a pen with oil to smoke but it makes me cough when I smoke it. Does anyone know what would help me?
    Claire

    • Tim says:

      Use high potency CBD OIL or Rick Simpson oil. I have been using the CBD Oil for over a month now and and it helps control anxiety, muscle twitches, depression, etc. I am just starting the RSO Oil.

      I buy my CBD oil online at lazarus naturals.

      • Terri S. Mieyal says:

        Do you make your own RSO? If so would you share how if not would you share where you found it! Much appreciated!!! God Bless!

    • Jud Billing says:

      It is important to start slow, the your endocannibiniod system needs sometime to wake up. Start with with one or two drop 2-3 times a day for the first week, and slow increase dosage as the weeks go on until you find your sweet spot. Everybody is different so you have to play with it. I would recommend at least a 750mg bottle to start.

  6. judy says:

    i was just diagnosed with als my speech is awful people can,t understand me and i have trouble swallowing what kind of oil should i use and will it bring somewhat of my speech back does anybody know

  7. Chris says:

    I’ve been diagnosed with Als at age 39.. I take 1.5ml of 1000mg cbd half in morning half night.. I also take rso .1ml before bed … I have noticed less twitching and better overall .. iv also changed diet completely cutting out sugar and eating organic meats n vegetables… bless all u dealing with this awful condition. Stay strong

    • Terri S. Mieyal says:

      Hi. Do you make your RSO? If so would you please share how if not would you please share where it’s sold? Much appreciated and God Bless!

  8. Margaret says:

    I have ALS diagnosed in Feb 2019. Can still walk short distance but have no strength in arms and when I fall I can’t get up. Last few days have stiff neck and sore shoulder. This disease is absolutely horrible. Last year able to do anything this year can’t do anything just sit and wait to die I guess. Daughter suggested me trying CBD oil. Presently on riluzole and considering the pi oxide study. Is CBD an option for me?

  9. maria says:

    My dad has ALS , he was diagnosed six months ago, he is not able to talk and move his legs and hands. My question is what dosis should I give him of cbd. I bought a cbd 9.5 mg with thc 0.5mg . There are too many with diferents mg. please if you know please let me know

    • KP says:

      Just diagnosed this Thursday 7-12-2019. Has anyone had success with acupuncture? I’ve ready some amazing results. F-ALS!

    • Hemp CBD should be taken sublingually ( under the tongue and hol it for 1-2 min). It doesn’t like heat or stomach acid. You should never vape hemp cbd. Also Hemp CBD and THC have no psychoactive properties. You don’t get high but you can get well, but it takes time. We didn’t get where we are over night. I do know of some who smoke marijuana CBD for MS and they have had very good results! As far as mg’s And dosages, we recommend starting low and slow with whatever disease or issues your having. We have 500mg and 750mg with or with out THC. With THC it’s called Full Spectrum. Start with 5 drops in the morning and 5 at night for a week. (Be sure you shake the bottle and squeeze the dropper a couple of times) You don’t want to overwhelm your body’s systems. Then increase weekly by 5mg day an night. Some people experience fatigue so if you do just increase the night dose to 15-20 drops and and eliminate the morning dose and keep track of how his body reacts to it. Have a journal 📓 so you can track it.
      God bless,
      Marcia

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