While CBD from cannabis is not a panacea, or cure of everything, it certainly is an anomaly of nature that there would be such a voluminous trove of therapeutic value in one plant. In fact, CBD and other phytocannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system, which exists to maintain homeostasis throughout the body. The majority of conditions that CBD oil is efficacious against are derived from an imbalance of their respective system of the body.
For that reason, CBD seems to be a wonder drug because it strongly promotes homeostasis, and many common conditions are a result of a lack of this holistic balance. In particular, CBD is effective in chronic pain and neuropathic conditions, including multiple sclerosis and the more general condition of spasticity, which is a component of MS.
CBD is highly effective against the progression of MS
What is spasticity?
Spasticity is a condition of skeletal muscles in which a muscle fiber becomes tense for a prolonged duration. Sometimes this is accompanied by muscle spasms, and it can make everyday tasks like walking and brushing your teeth incredibly difficult if not impossible. Spasticity is prevalent in stroke victims, people with cerebral palsy, and those with multiple sclerosis. All three of these conditions cause spasticity through a different process, and this makes treating it very difficult. Essentially, spasticity occurs when motor neurons in your brain, which send strong impulses through your spinal cord and into muscle fibers to produce voluntary movement, develop a lesion. This can be caused by hemorrhage (stroke), prenatal thrombosis (cerebral palsy) [when a fetus develops a blood clot in the brain], or demyelination (multiple sclerosis).
Demyelination resulting in spasticity and multiple sclerosis
Demyelination is the degradation of the myelin sheath that covers the axons of neurons. The axon is like the cable that carries the signal from one synapse to the next. When the myelin sheath is gone, the nerve cell is exposed and becomes damaged. This occurs because people with MS, for reasons yet unknown, lose the cells that create the myelin sheath and provide physical structure to the brain matter: oligodendrocytes.
These cells are also crucial in developing the blood brain barrier (BBB), which is a complex filtration system that keeps the brain separate from the bloodstream and therefore the rest of the body. When oligodendrocytes are no longer there to maintain this defence mechanism, the BBB can become porous and let T-cells of the immune system enter. Because these cells have never entered the brain before, the myelin sheath covering the neurons is foreign to them. Thus, a cell-mediated assault on the already-diminishing myelin sheaths decimates the neuron, resulting in lesions that disrupt the flow of electrical impulses.
CBD as a multiple sclerosis treatment
CBD possesses strong anti-inflammatory capabilities, so it can reduce the effect of T-cells in the brain. It also is a strong neuroprotective agent along with several other phytocannabinoids. It has a powerful effect of arousal on oligodendrocytes, and it also is an antioxidant, so it removes dangerous oxygen species that further aggravate the unhealthy conditions of the brain during development of MS. These effects coupled with the anxiolytic and pain-relieving tendencies of CBD make it a strong contender for future research and therapeutic implementation.