Medical Marijuana For Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that between 12,000 - 15,000 Americans have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) every year. Having ALC can be a difficult disease to cope and manage, but early studies show that the use of medical marijuana in your treatment of ALC can have its health benefits Dr. Paul Saladino and Christian Plaza, FNP understand that your comfort comes first, so they have the experience to issue you a medical marijuana certification as long as you medically qualify. By scheduling an in-person or virtual telemedicine visit with Cross Valley Health & Medicine, your New York State medical marijuana certification process can begin today. *
What is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?
The ALS Foundation defined Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) as "a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord." There are two types of ALS, sporadic and familial. Sporadic ALS means the disease was not inherited and familial ALS was inheriteded.
ALS targets the motor neurons that zip back and forth from your brain to the spinal cord, then out to the muscles inside your body. These motor neurons eventually begin to degenerate, which causes the brain to not fire off correctly. When the brain cannot move these motor neurons around, the person may lose the ability to speak, move, or breathe on their own. Your muscles require nourishment to continue working and ALS halts this process that causes the further breakdown of your body.
What is the typical treatment for ALS?
Currently, there is no treatment to turn back the damage caused to motor neurons. Medical professionals design care plans for those diagnosed with ALS that keep the patient both mobile and comfortable.
Some medications can be prescribed, such as Riluzole (Rilutek) or Edaravone (Radicava), in an effort to reduce damage dealt to the motor neurons and slow the decline of a person with ALS' daily functions. Some treatment plans also include occupational therapy, communication support, breathing support, and nutritional support.
How can medical marijuana help my ALS?
Medical marijuana takes the marijuana plant's chemicals and then the plant is grown and cultivated specifically to treat a variety of medical conditions. WebMD explained that "the marijuana plant contains more than 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids. Each one has a different effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main chemicals used in medicine. THC also produces the same "high" people feel when they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing it." Medical marijuana comes in many different forms such as dried leaves, edibles, oils, sprays, and creams.
There is growing evidence that the use of medical marijuana can help treat the symptoms brought on by having ALS. Medical marijuana has the potential to relieve pain, seizures, muscle spasms, and involuntary movements. Currently, medical marijuana has not been proven to cure ALS.
*Any information listed on this page is provided for medical educational purposes only, and shall not be taken as medical advice provided by Cross Valley Health & Medicine. Any medications listed on this page are also provided for medical educational purposes only, and the use of any of these mentioned medications should stem from consulting with your provider.