Psychedelics as New Answer for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Psychedelics have been in the spotlight of late, with study after study into different compounds showing that there are different, more efficient, and physically healthier ways to treat issues like depression, other psychological issues, and pain. So is it that surprising that psychedelics have also shown promise as a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases?

As psychedelics gain prominence for help with psychological issues, they are also being looked at as an answer for neurodegenerative diseases. As there is currently no real answer to these problems, compounds like LSD, and psilocybin provide answers not currently seen in Western medicine. We’re here to cover everything interesting in this new and emerging medical field, and you can follow along by signing up for The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter. Get the latest on what’s going on, and when new deals on psychedelic products and paraphernalia become active, be the first to have access.

What are neurodegenerative diseases?

Think of that grandparent, or great uncle, who seemed to forget your name over the years. The one (or maybe several) that started to lose their keys, started mixing new events with old memories, or started telling stories like they were living 50 years ago. These are some of the most noticeable symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, which we often see as Alzheimer’s disease.

Neurodegenerative diseases are the accumulation of neurodegeneration, a process in which “nerve cells in the brain or peripheral nervous system lose function over time and ultimately die.” Though symptoms of these problems can be treated, “there is currently no way to slow disease progression and no known cures.” The instance of these diseases rises greatly in the elderly, with a 2021 report by the Alzheimer’s Disease Association estimating that approximately 6.2 million Americans have the affliction, while another 1.2 million will have Parkinson’s by 2030.

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are the two most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders, but the class of diseases also includes several other well-known entries, as well as some lesser-known issues. Huntington’s Disease is on the list, which is generally inherited by way of a mutation in the huntingtin gene, and which results in the gradual worsening of physical abilities and coordinated movement, including the ability to speak. Multiple sclerosis, a demyelinating disease where the covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged, results in physical, mental, and psychiatric issues.

Multiple system atrophy, a product of degeneration of neurons in different parts of the brain, results in slower movement, tremors, rigid muscles, autonomic dysfunction, ataxia, and a general feeling of unsteadiness. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease), causes the loss of voluntary muscle control due to the loss of motor neurons. And brain issues caused by prions are included too, which involve misfolded proteins that act like cancer in the brain, spreading their dysfunction. Prion diseases are not well understood, and stand out as a variance to the general understanding of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

It is expected that somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 million people in the world currently live with some neurodegenerative disease. This number is estimated to rise to about 152 million by 2050. This makes sense as life expectancy rises, leading to more and more people in the general age range to get dementia, with those in poorer countries where there are fewer medical and nutritional options, showing the highest numbers. Global costs of these diseases run about US$1 trillion per year. As these diseases can’t be cured, and while there are things that can decrease likelihood of getting one, (like drinking less alcohol, or not having diabetes), there is nothing in the currently accepted repertoire of Western medicine to keep them from happening.

Psychedelics and neurodegenerative diseases

Psychedelics are drugs that fit under the heading of hallucinogens, which are themselves part of the grouping of psychoactive substances. They are primarily known for their ability to induce hallucinations, which are sensory experiences that though experienced, don’t actually exist. Beyond this, they are known for causing users to feel euphoric, spiritual, connected to others and the universe, mystical, and to promote life-changing experiences. Recently, they have repeatedly shown to help with psychological disorders and pain issues.

The idea that they can help change a person’s affect, makes it unsurprising that psychedelics have also been eyed for their ability to help with neurodegenerative diseases. And one such study pointing this way comes out of Yale, called Psilocybin induces rapid and persistent growth of dendritic spines in frontal cortex in vivo, which was published in July 2021, in Neuron. In this study, the scientists used imaging of mice brains to show that psilocybin allowed for increases in spinal size and density, changes which were still in effect a month after administration. The study also showed that psilocybin helped improve behaviors related to stress, and helped deal with increased neurotransmissions due to excitation. Overall, the study showed how psilocybin can help to rewire the cortex of the brain with long-term results.

This is backed up by a September 2021 clinical review entitled: From psychiatry to neurology: Psychedelics as prospective therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders, which investigated research into how “psychedelics may act therapeutically on cells within the central nervous system (CNS) during brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases.” The final assessment of the review? That “Psychedelics stimulate neuro- and gliogenesis, reduce inflammation, and ameliorate oxidative stress. Therefore, they are promising candidates for future therapeutics for psychiatric, neurodegenerative, and movement disorders.”

The review seeks to “discuss the current state of the art of how psychedelics influence neural tissue homeostasis and activity.” The study authors further clarify, that this is not just about dealing with symptoms either, but that psychedelics may be “disease-modifying therapeutics, and not simply just providing symptomatic relief”, with clinical trials that have “demonstrated both safety and efficacy for their therapeutic use in controlled clinical settings.” They sum it up with, “Therefore, the use of psychedelics as therapeutics is very promising and should be further developed, paying special attention in the future to prospect applications in neurodegenerative diseases.”


Another review from 2020 came to similar conclusions, but stated the need for much more research. Psychedelics as a Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia points out that “Animal models testing the neurobiological effects of psychedelic compounds have demonstrated hippocampal neurogenesis at lower doses and suppression at higher doses and potent neuroprotective properties.” It further states that neuroplasticity changes suggest “a potential role for both sub-perceptual “micro”- and psychedelic-doses as a strategy for neuroprotection and cognitive enhancement in prodromal AD (Alzheimer’s disease).”

Going back to 2019, and there’s further reason to look at psychedelics for the treatment of neurodegenetative diseases like Alzheimer’s. That year, New York-based biotech company Eleusis Therapeutics finished phase I of trials into how LSD can be used for the disorder, completing the phase with 48 healthy volunteers, with an average age of 63. “The trial compared three ‘microdoses’ of LSD – 5, 10 and 20 micrograms – to placebo and found no significant differences between the groups on cardiovascular measures like ECG reading and blood pressure as well as other clinical measures, other than a slight increase in headache.”

These amounts were not enough to induce a psychedelic response in participants. As of June 2021, the company was working on Phase II, with the examination of microdosing LSD on Alzheimer’s patients.

According to Eleusis CEO and founder Shlomi Raz in an interview with Forbes magazine in 2020, “LSD in particular seemed like an attractive candidate for such a therapeutic approach, as it is capable of potent and prolonged activation of the serotonin and dopamine neurotransmission receptors implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, and specifically the serotonin 2A receptor.”

Psychedelics legality

It’s important to remember that psychedelics were illegalized in the late 60’s and early 70’s, because this means that research into their capabilities was greatly stymied. Why exactly they were illegalized is a highly debatable subject, though the idea of danger which was so tightly tied to them during these times, seems to have been greatly proved wrong. Especially in consideration of the much more dangerous drug options, like opioids, which have been made widely available, despite psychedelic drugs providing the same benefits, with no real death count attached.

One of the biggest hits to the government line happened in 1994, when former Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs, John Ehrlichman, who worked under President Nixon, made this statement about anti-drug measures taken during that administration:


“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Psychedelics were very much tied to the anti-war movement, and their criminalization started in 1968 with the Staggers-Dodd Bill which made LSD and psilocybin illegal. This was followed by the 1970 Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, which enforced stricter measures on pharmaceutical companies and their reporting. Though this doesn’t sound like a bad thing, it worked to rule many drugs out. This was followed up in the US by the 1984 Comprehensive Crime Control Act under President Reagan, which served to allow the emergency banning of a drug by the government, which in turn was used the following year to outlaw MDMA.

On a wider scale, the UN enacted the Convention on Psychotropic Substances treaty in 1971, which placed psychedelic compounds in Schedule I, thereby making a statement that they are dangerous compounds, with no medical value.

In the recent past, however, things have changed, as more comes out about the beneficial properties of psychedelics. This subject was initially investigated in the mid-1900’s before being outlawed; with new researching popping up to supplement it now. Along with this research, a safety profile has developed for psychedelics which includes no real death count. Many locations in the US have subsequently decriminalized psychedelic use, or legalized them for medical use (Oregon), with three states currently working for statewide recreational legalizations: Washington, California, and Michigan.


No one wants to die, and this is probably why this particular topic gets so much attention. End of life diseases come with only one end, and the efforts to find cures for things like dementia attest to how much we don’t want to give up our lives. There are certainly realities related to many of these disorders that undermine the idea of trying to fix them, however, in cases where fixing a problem is applicable, possible, and within reason for someone to live their life, psychedelics could certainly provide a key measure.

Regardless of whether it’s for a child with a genetic condition, or an old person with Alzheimer’s, the growing body of research into psychedelics for neurodegenerative diseases, proposes an option not seen before in Western medicine.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Review Paper Examines Cannabis as a Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

The authors of this review paper are representatives of Saint James School of Medicine in Illinois and School of Natural Sciences at Kean University in New Jersey. Their review paper, “Neurological Benefits, Clinical Challenges, and Neuropathologic Promise of Medical Marijuana: A Systematic Review of Cannabinoid Effects in Multiple Sclerosis and Experimental Models of Demyelination,” was published in the journal Biomedicines on February 24 and analyzes 28 different studies in relation to multiple sclerosis. These final studies were chosen from a pool of 119 articles that were eligible for consideration in this review.

Multiple sclerosis symptoms often include fatigue, mobility impairment, speech impairments, chronic neuropathic pain, anxiety, depression, and a range of other effects. In their review, researchers state that patients are dissatisfied with current treatments available for their condition, which motivates researchers “to search for adjunctive remedies in the hope of preventing breakthrough relapses and worsening of disability.” 

Fourteen of the 28 studies involved using animal models while exploring the effects of cannabis. Overall, the authors of the study determined that “The experimental results combined adequately demonstrate that cannabinoid treatments are effective” with diminishing a variety of symptoms. The authors determined that the studies were promising but cannot replace tests conducted on human subjects. “While internal validity was very good in the preclinical studies because experiments were well designed and well controlled, the external validity of animal studies is less certain due to differences in the cannabinoid systems between species that may affect safety, dose responses, tolerability, and homeostasis.”

The researchers also evaluated 14 human-based studies, which utilized Sativex®, which is a cannabis-based oral spray approved for multiple sclerosis in the EU, UK, and Canada, but not yet in the US. “The growing body of moderate-quality evidence for the safety and efficacy of cannabinoid treatment using 1:1 THC/CBD mixtures has led to its approval in some countries for the management of spasticity, pain, and bladder dysfunction in MS,” the authors wrote. “Our assessments agree with others, finding that the magnitudes of effects on short-term neurological outcomes in MS patients are either small, limited, or moderate, and that the benefits are more easily detected by subjective rather than objective measures.”

Nine of the studies analyzed the efficacy of cannabis on muscle spasms, five evaluated cannabis and pain, three examined lower urinary tract function, and three explored sleep quality.

The authors of this review conclude that, similarly to most other research initiatives involving cannabis, while there is promising evidence that cannabis can help treat multiple sclerosis and a variety of symptoms, more studies are necessary. “Future studies are recommended to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cannabinoid effects on MS lesions and to evaluate whether medical marijuana can accelerate remyelination and retard the accrual of disability over the long term.”

The National MS Society states that there are 2.3 million people who suffer from multiple sclerosis worldwide, and that over one million people suffer from the condition in the US. The organization’s stance on medical cannabis is supportive, and also calls for more research to bolster evidence for cannabis as a multiple sclerosis treatment. “The [National MS] Society supports the rights of people with MS to work with their health care provider to access cannabis for medical purposes in accordance with legal regulations in those states where such use has been approved. In addition, the Society supports the need for more research to better understand the benefits and potential risks of cannabis and its derivatives as a treatment for MS and its symptoms.”

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The UK MS Society Launches #ApprovedButDenied Cannabis Campaign

A report released by the MS Society states that not nearly enough medical cannabis patients have been able to obtain medical cannabis through the National Health Service (NHS), despite research and firsthand accounts of its effectiveness as a medicine for MS patients.

The MS Society is taking a stand on the lack of progress and access to cannabis in the UK, especially since medical cannabis has been legal there for almost three years. The organization has created the #ApprovedButDenied campaign to bring attention to the lack of proper access, in addition to a 30-page report filled with data regarding MS patients in the UK.

“Sativex, a cannabis-based spray, was approved in England in 2019 for use in moderate to severe spasticity when other treatments haven’t worked,” the organization wrote on its website. “Despite this, many people with MS are still being denied access to Sativex, because their local health bodies, called Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), are not prescribing it. This has resulted in an unacceptable postcode lottery, with Sativex only funded in 49 out of 106 CCGs. This must change—everyone with MS deserves access to effective treatments.” 

The organization’s report states that Sativex is only supported by 49 out of 106 CCGs. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimates that 4,800 people are currently eligible for a four-week Sativex trial to see if the medicine works for them, but only 630 people had access to Sativex in May 2021 (which is the most current data that was available at the time the report was written).

MS Society’s Policy Manager Fredi Cavander-Attwood expressed her disappointment at the lack of progress for MS patients in England. “It’s completely unacceptable that two years after receiving NICE approval, Sativex is only available in 49 out of 106 health areas in England,” Cavander-Attwood stated. “MS can be relentless, painful and disabling, and getting the treatment you need shouldn’t be a game of chance.”


The #ApprovedButDenied campaign also puts a spotlight on the unfair status of the “postcode lottery” that determines which MS patients can gain access to medical cannabis. Some people are being forced to choose between living in pain or paying up to £500 per month for a prescription to Sativex (under the NHS, it costs £300). Cavander-Attwood says that often enough, patients are resorting to buying medicine on the black market.

The MS Society also interviewed a few MS patients and published their responses in the report. One patient, cited as Neil, found relief in obtaining proper sleep with Sativex.

“After starting on the Sativex, I had the first good night’s sleep in 10 years. I didn’t suffer with MS fatigue, but I hadn’t realized how much I was running on fumes due to a lack of sleep until I had some sleep. I didn’t realize how tough it was until it stopped.”

Likewise, another patient named Sheila’s symptoms lightened thanks to medical cannabis. “After Sativex, I can exercise my arms and legs with no problems,” she said. “There hasn’t been any deterioration of my MS symptoms. I no longer get any spasms. After Sativex, I can move my limbs without fear that it will set off painful spasms. I can do more, as there isn’t the fear that it will set spasms off. And I had such a lot of pain with the spasms.”

The MS Society’s report includes list of action which calls for CCGs/prescribers, the UK government, the NHS and the manufacturer of Sativex all to take positive steps forward to help the current situation for MS patients.

“Sativex is not a ‘wonder drug’—it doesn’t work for everyone with spasticity,” the organization stated. “But when it does work, the impact can be life changing. People with MS—like Neil and Sheila, who share their stories in this report—tell us their spasms and related pain have disappeared, meaning they and their families are able to live their lives, not just exist.”

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MS Patients Continually Choose Cannabis for Treatment

When looking at the literature, there’s a big back-and-forth when it comes to the medical benefits (and detractions) of cannabis. Sometimes this is a result of a general learning curve, and the differences – and issues – with study methodology. And sometimes this is because there are different forces at work with their own agendas. Two articles have recently been brought up about MS patients who use cannabis as treatment for their symptoms. And while the author might paint cannabis in a strange light, the actual studies point toward cannabis as a major benefit for MS patients.

There’s a reason MS, cancer, AIDS, and epileptic patients continually choose cannabis as a treatment option. Whether you’re a medical patient, or recreational user, cannabis has tons of benefits, plus, these days, you’ve got major options. Like delta-8 THC, an alternate form of cannabis, which doesn’t cause as strong a psychoactive effect, and which leaves users more clear-headed and less couch locked. We’ve got great deals for THCV, THC-O, delta 10, delta-8 THC & even HHC as well as many other compounds. Check ’em out, whether you’re an MS patient looking for a treatment, or just want to kick back and relax.

What is MS?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS), also referred to as encephalomyelitis disseminata, is what is considered a demyelinating disease. It’s defined by the insulating covers of nerve cells being damaged in the brain and spinal cord. This damage inhibits the transmission of signals in the nervous system, and leads to many different kinds of symptoms as a result. Some of the more common symptoms associated with the disease have to do with vision, manifesting as double vision, or loss of vision in one eye, problems with coordination, issues with sensation, and muscle weakness.

Symptoms can be consistent with MS, but they can also come in phases, and then disappear for the most part, though as the disease progresses, patients will often experience residual neurological symptoms, even during these ‘off’ periods. There is no known cure for MS, and most treatments are a means of controlling symptoms, and helping patients be more comfortable. There are no great pharmaceutical answers, and those that have been known to help with symptoms, are generally associated with negative side effects, or simply not being tolerated well by the body. Many MS patients use cannabis – whether prescribed or not – to deal with their symptoms.

Neither the cause, nor the underlying mechanisms of the disease, are actually known. The expected underlying mechanism is thought to be related to MS either an autoimmune disorder – a disorder where the immune system attacks the body, or a failure of myelin-producing cells. In terms of what causes it, many in the medical community believe it has to do with genetics, or environmental factors, possibly in conjunction with a virus. In this way, MS is diagnosed only by symptoms.

MS patients cannabis treatment

According to the National MS Society, more than 2.3 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with MS. A study funded by the organization put the estimate for US cases at just under one million living with the diagnosis. This means one of the following: nearly half of the world’s MS population live in the US, global statistics are lacking, or that there are major issues with diagnostic statistics on this disorder. As a disorder without a true medical diagnosis (a way to define it exclusively and separately from other possible issues), the last might be the biggest reason.

MS patients and cannabis treatment

An article recently came out that highlighted two different studies that have recently been done on MS patients. The article was put out by Multiple Sclerosis News Today, and cautions MS patients who use cannabis for treatment of symptoms. The author doesn’t actually seem to take this tack in the end, but does highlight two different studies in the argument of why MS patients who use cannabis for treatment of their symptoms, should be careful.

The first study pointed to by the author is this one: Impaired awareness: Why people with multiple sclerosis continue using cannabis despite evidence to the contrary. The study used two different groups of MS patients who regularly smoked cannabis, and put them into two groups, with one group continuing as usual, and one group stopping cannabis use for 28 days. A baseline measurement was taken at the beginning, which measured processing speed, memory, and executive function, as well as the ‘modified fatigue impact scale’ (mFIS) to measure self-report of cognitive abilities. Baseline measurements were not significantly different in the beginning, but there were differences after 28 days.

After 28 days, the group that had stopped cannabis use had significant improvements in the cognitive functioning tests, though there was no difference in self-reported cognitive abilities. Those that had stopped smoking reported having a more difficult time being away from home, and all that had stopped cannabis for the study, resumed at the end.

So, let’s recap. We already know that cannabis use affects cognitive ability while being used. So it comes as no surprise that after 28 days of abstention, there would be a difference in comparison to active users. That’s literally comparing someone who is currently high, to someone who hasn’t smoked in a month. What it does help back up – probably inadvertently, is that cannabis doesn’t seem to cause long-term impairment. And that within 28 days (possibly considerably less), cognitive function is back to normal levels. And since we already expect this, it’s really not shocking.

What the study did show, were two important findings. One is that there was a statistical significance to the amount of cannabis abstainers who felt they couldn’t function as well away from home without the cannabis, indicating a medical need that cannabis had been actively helping with (or the perceived need – this is something that could use some more study). The other thing it showed, in the same vein, is that all users were more willing to deal with the minor cognitive impairment of using cannabis, if it meant helping their symptoms.

cannabis medicine

While some people like to talk about addiction to cannabis, this is debatable at best, and doesn’t even come close to comparing to the kind of addictions formed by drugs like opiates or nicotine. And certainly after 28 days, if there was an addiction issue, it would have been very much decreased. Yet all patients returned to using cannabis. I certainly can’t make the statement that they didn’t go back for other reasons, but the most likely reason (and perhaps there should have been a follow-up question about it) seems to do with MS patients wanting cannabis as a treatment for their symptoms…despite short-term cognitive impairments, which to them, weren’t even noticeable.

The article writer pointed out that depression issues were also decreased by stopping cannabis, but this seems to be a major error, and is a reference to another piece of research. The study in question doesn’t seem to have measured this, nor is it mentioned in their findings. However, it was mentioned that those who stopped, couldn’t function as well away from home, which points more in the other direction. This also could use follow-up study.

Another study on MS patients and cannabis for treatment

To be fair in my treatment of this article, I don’t believe the author was actually saying they believed cannabis shouldn’t be used for MS. In fact, while handing out a word of caution, the author went on to show this study: Cannabinoid use among Americans with MS: Current trends and gaps in knowledge. This study was to show trends of MS patients when it came to using cannabis for treatment of symptoms.

This study was done through data collection via nationwide surveys of MS patients regarding pain. The questionnaire included questions about cannabis use, like current and recent use, reasons for use, preferred type of cannabis (high CBD, high THC), and the perceived effects of the patients. There were 1,027 respondents. Symptom severity was measured through PROMIS. Type of pain was assessed through the painDETECT questionnaire and FMSurvey Criteria Questionnaires.

The study found that 42% of respondents had used cannabis recently, and that of them, 18% thought there should be healthcare guidance for this use. It was found that recent and current users generally had high pain scores, that sleep and pain were found to be the most common reasons of use for this population, and that there was a strong correlation for benefits with sleep and pain. CBD dominant formulations were preferred out of those who had preferences for one or the other. The study basically concluded that cannabis use is common among MS patients despite the lack of guidance from medical professionals.

The author of the article, despite starting out with a warning, seemed to break with their initial thought, saying that they expected the numbers for cannabis users reported in the study to be low, and that social media groups showed a much wider audience of MS cannabis users. In fact, one of the main concerns of the article writer, was not that people were using cannabis, but that they weren’t receiving any guidance, and this I completely agree on.

cannabis for MS

Back in the day, before cannabis was re-legalized for medical use anywhere, people who needed it medically would go to great lengths to obtain it, but this meant being lucky enough to grow a standard plant, or buy some flower off a dealer. These days, the medical cannabis world is massive and expanding, with tons of differentiated options based on tons of different cannabinoids and terpenes, and the ability for concentrated forms whereby the amount of CBD or THC present, far exceeds what is found in a standard plant. MS patients are choosing to use cannabis as their treatment, but they aren’t being shown how to do it best.

Why don’t MS patents receive guidance for cannabis treatments?

The problem with something like medical cannabis not being universally accepted, is that information and offered treatment options, will vary. In some places it won’t be legal to use it, some doctors might still be stuck on smear campaigns, some hospitals, clinics, or doctors might be pharmaceutically funded, and won’t push non-pharmaceutical products, and let’s be honest, it can be expensive to buy legally and insurance doesn’t cover it. Whatever the reason, much like cancer, AIDS, and epileptic patients that have broken laws for decades to get treatments, this is no different.

I don’t believe the author of the article is against using cannabis for MS, in fact, I think the author is all for it (though I cannot say for sure). But I don’t believe the publication supports it. If you take a look at Multiple Sclerosis News Today, it doesn’t even mention cannabis treatments, whether approved or experimental, under its treatment section. While the publication does mention news on cannabis treatments, it only mentions pharmaceuticals, with nearly every other article that mentions cannabis use by MS patients, being negative, especially when talking about non-pharma use.

What this article really shows, is how a publication can slant information based on who is funding it. In fact,, is really BioNews Services, LLC. BioNews Services, LLC received all of its $350 million in funding from the US government. While it’s not technically bad to get funding from the government, when those funded are responsible for getting out medical information, it becomes a massive conflict of interest.

This publication is NOT funded by a 3rd party, or a group of investors, or private donations, or other independent medical sources, but from the actual federal government. This is a massive conflict of interest considering the publication is then used to fuel fear about cannabis, while only pushing pharmaceutical treatments. And doing so as if its not 100% funded by the government. Let’s be honest, the publication is fine with cannabis, so long as its pharma-sponsored, which is usually the way it works with the federal government and medications. And if you thought the federal government wasn’t involved with big pharma, take a look at how many lawmakers accept money from these companies!


When a whole bunch of people with the same medical problem, gravitate toward a specific treatment, it’s usually worth noting. You can even see public figures speak about their use of cannabis to treat MS. In fact, there’s literally no other treatment written about that gives MS patients more relief than cannabis, yet even an article like the one I’m referencing, which does seem to off-handedly promote cannabis, still promotes confusion and general fear about it. Yeah, there should be more information given to MS patients…obviously. But let’s be honest, when suffering from a debilitating disease, those suffering are a much better judge of what works, and with MS patients, what works best seems to be cannabis treatments.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post MS Patients Continually Choose Cannabis for Treatment appeared first on CBD Testers.

3 Neurological Disorders CBD May Be Able to Help Treat

Early scientific research and clinical trials have shown promise in their ability to help supplement treatments for people with various neurological disorders with cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in cannabis, such as hemp.  While it is not fully clear how it is able to help with certain neurological disorders, it […]

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Decarboxylation: How Cannabis Becomes Psychoactive

Decarboxylation, which is an essential action in enjoying cannabis flowers and edibles, is a process in which carbon dioxide (CO2) leaves a stable molecule and floats off as a gas. Atoms in a molecule can be thought of like billiard balls, with each one having a size, weight, and exact position. As these atoms float away, the substance left behind will become lighter, like a dry towel being lighter than that same towel soaking wet. The idea is that as the CO2 leaves, the weight left behind is reduced.

Decarboxylation typically occurs by heating, but can also be caused by exposure to certain frequencies of light, and certain substances like molecular oxygen in the air.

If the weight of the molecule before and after its decarboxylation is known, then a percent of mass lost in decarboxylation can be calculated. If the CO2 contributes 10 percent of the weight of a molecule, than 90 percent of the mass remains after decarboxylation. This would mean that continuously heating 100 grams of this substance would eventually yield 90 grams of the decarboxylated substance, as the remaining 10 grams represent the weight of CO2 which gassed off.

How Does Decarboxylation Affect Cannabinoids?

Decarboxylation of cannabinoids and cannabis products is very crucial to understanding the power of cannabis as medicine. The cannabis plant only has the ability to produce cannabinoid acids, like THCA, and THC is only created by decarboxylation outside the plant. This decarboxylation is usually done by fire when smoking, or by baking in edibles. Most cannabinoids lose approximately 87.7 percent of their mass upon decarboxylation. This means that if you had 100 grams of crystalline isolate of a cannabinoid acid, such as THCA, after decarboxylation you would have 87.7 grams left of THC.

This is important for people decarboxylating their cannabinoids themselves, such as producers of cannabis-infused edible products and hash oil producer that wish to sell decarboxylated oil. This is also important for advertisers of raw cannabis products such as cured cannabis flower, who must either report the value of the cannabinoid acid directly observed by the testing lab, use the theoretical conversion, or display both.

This labeling issue with raw flower is not as easy as it seems at first glance. Let’s consider a typical example of THC-dominant cannabis. The lab will test the flower and find 26 percent THCA and 3 percent THC. This is because some of the cannabinoid acids produced by the plant are decarboxylated by air and sun before harvesting and curing. The smaller the amount of THC observed directly by the lab typically indicates that the cultivator has submitted fresh cannabis that has been protected from light and exposure. A very high THC content indicates that the cannabis flower is not as fresh and been more exposed.

Now the dispensary has to either advertise two numbers, 26 percent and 3 percent, or advertise one theoretically calculated number, 25.8 percent, or both. Both allow the patient to access the greatest amount of information and be the best informed, while also reducing liability on the cannabis business involved in label making.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a well-known cannabinoid for being the primary intoxicant and euphoriant of cannabis. THC is also one of the most practical and safe treatments for neuropathic, chronic, and other types of pain. THC is effective in addressing both the immunological and symptom component of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Despite the fact that THCA is not an intoxicant, it is a powerful medicine. THCA is one of the strongest anti-inflammatory agents in cannabis. Smokers receive very little to none of this cannabinoid, due to its decomposition in the smoking process. THCA is an anti-inflammatory agent, and according to one study, a more powerful neuroprotective agent than THC. THCA is a powerful COX-1 and COX-2 antagonist, similar to aspirin and ibuprofen, but with far less toxicity to the liver.

The effects of THCA and THC reflect the diversity of action on the human body a cannabinoid and its precursor acid can have. The other cannabinoids, CBD, CBG, CBC, and THCV all have acid forms which have distinct effects on human health.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to be an effective medicine for people suffering from anxiety. What CBD has also been shown to be effective at fighting is breast cancer cells. Many of these studies find that CBD promotes apoptosis, or cell suicide, in breast cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells unaffected.

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is CBD’s acid precursor from raw cannabis flower. CBDA has also been shown to fight human breast cancer, but in a different way. Whereas CBD causes apoptosis in breast cancer cells, CBDA has been shown to slow or stop metastasis of breast cancer cells by arresting their motility, or ability to move throughout the body. This evidence would indicate that a breast cancer patient may want to talk to their doctor about dual CBD/CBDA therapy, taking both decarboxylated CBD and raw CBDA together.

Cannabigerol (CBG) has been shown to have some potent anti-inflammatory properties that are particularly applicable in inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). Additionally, CBG has been shown to have some properties not known among many other cannabinoids, such as an ability to interact with human adrenal receptors and serotonin receptors. Currently, more studies need to be done on cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) in isolation from CBG to get an understanding what, if any, difference there are between the cannabinoid and its precursor acid on human health.

It is important to note that the mass loss is not a conversion rate. Mass loss assumes that all of a substance will decarboxylate and calculates how the mass will change. An accurate answer must account for how much of the cannabinoid will decarboxylate. Studies indicate that 30-70 percent of cannabinoids undergo decarboxylation under standard smoking conditions. This is why our calculations are only a theoretical maximum, and are not a result with the same standing as those directly observed in the plant. This is also why it can be very important to label your theoretical calculations as such, and provide all original values provided by lab results, as a means of reducing liability upon your business.

TELL US, have you ever heard of decarboxylation?

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How to Use CBD Oil for Pain?

CBD oil offers the pain-relieving results of marijuana minus its psychoactive effects. It lets people benefit from the great uses of the cannabis compound CBD without the herb’s high and its side effects. CBD is a popular abbreviation of cannabidiol, which is an essential cannabis component. As per several experts and the findings of many […]

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Cannabis And the Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis

Dealing with the physical and neurological effects of multiple sclerosis can be quite harrowing, new research shows how MS sufferers often turn to cannabis for relief.

While research is always ongoing, much has already been written about cannabis as an aid in helping with sleeping issues, depression, ADD, as having possibly potent anti-tumor properties, the ability to help regulate blood pressure, and as an immunological aid due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. The list goes on as far as research already done or ongoing that points to CBD (and cannabinoids in general) as being extremely useful in treating different medical ailments.

The idea of cannabis being useful for those suffering from multiple sclerosis is not new. There have been studies done on this subject over the years, and a growing body of medical research to support the theory.

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What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disease where the patient’s own immune system attacks the myelin that coats their nerve cells. The name of a disease that does this is a demyelinating disease. Myelin is important because it forms a cover over the nerve cells that allows for electrical impulses to efficiently transfer between nerve cells.

Damage to this myelin therefore can cause all kinds of transmission problems where impulses are slowed down, or not getting through correctly, or at all. This damage to the nerve cells causes different symptoms like tingling sensations, burning sensations, chronic pain, numbness, issues with balance and coordination, problems with bladder control, vision issues (often blindness in one eye), and fatigue.

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Where and how exactly multiple sclerosis comes about is still very much a mystery. As of yet there is no cure for multiple sclerosis and those that suffer from it are left to find the best ways to manage their symptoms. MS is way more commonly found in women, and generally comes on when a person is between the ages of 20-40 years old. About 2.5 million people suffer from it globally, some of whom experience what is called ‘relapsing remitting MS’ which is when a person’s symptoms come and go over time, essentially causing symptom relapses.

Because multiple sclerosis is a disease where the body is attacking itself, and damaging itself, it is known as an autoimmune disease. The cause for these diseases is unknown, but they all share the commonalities of a mis-functioning immune system that causes damage to the body. Other examples of autoimmune diseases are celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Grave’s disease, and type 1 diabetes, to name just a few.

Older Research

The idea of using cannabis for MS is not new at all. In fact, a 2004 randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study, was done to investigate just that. The investigators used a cannabis based medicinal extract (CBME) to test if it produced any benefit to multiple sclerosis sufferers over a placebo. Participants included 160 patients who all had substantial issues with spasticity, tremors, pain, bladder control issues, and spasms.

The results were interesting and showed outcomes through a Visual Analogue Scale (measures the frequency and intensity of a symptom), as well as looking at the patient’s level of fatigue, disability, their mood, cognitive abilities, and how they slept. Following the use of the cannabis extract, there was a reduction in primary symptom score from an average of 74.36 to an average of 48.89.

With the placebo it went down as well from 74.31 to 54.79. While the placebo group also did show a reduction in symptoms, the cannabis extract group showed a greater amount.

New Research

Earlier this month, a study was published called Cannabis use in people with multiple sclerosis and spasticity: A cross-sectional analysis. In this study, investigators took a look at cannabis use among people with multiple sclerosis who have spasticity issues. The study was done using self-reporting by patients. Several different key points of information are interesting when looking at this particular group of people. The study found the following:

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  • 36% use cannabis regularly
  • 54% have used cannabis in general
  • 58% of those who use cannabis, use it daily
  • 79% reported cannabis as being useful for helping with spasticity
  • 26% use prescribed cannabis
  • 85% of participants said cannabis was helpful with pain
  • 55% used topical cannabis applications, 52% reported administering with edibles
  • 26% use cannabis along with prescribed medications to deal with spasticity
  • 79% of those who use cannabis use multiple ways to administer it

Self-reporting studies like this are often interesting because they show what people with issues will naturally gravitate to. When people are sick, they generally go for the best option to feel better, and will stick with this, even if given other medical solutions.

It’s also interesting to see how they use cannabis, and how they see it effecting their symptoms. Self-reporting isn’t always the best way to gain information, and has its own pitfalls, but it can often show a pattern of behavior, and in this case it shows a pattern of MS sufferers with spasticity issues choosing to use cannabis to help with their symptoms.

Safety of Cannabis Use for Multiple Sclerosis

One of the questions that tends to come up when looking at cannabis use and multiple sclerosis is the safety of it. This question, of course, is prevalent when looking at any kind of treatment, but in this particular case, since cannabis has a certain reputation due to cannabinoid THC, the question does come up. In the first study I mentioned, which investigated using a CBME against a placebo, it was noted by the investigators that “There were no significant adverse effects on cognition or mood and intoxication was generally mild.”

This was investigated elsewhere as well. In 2018, investigators published a study which looked at the efficacy and tolerability of cannabis for multiple sclerosis patients. The idea was to see not just how well it worked for symptom maintenance, but how it effected the patient taking it. This study also used a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled setup. The symptoms they were interested in most were pain, spasticity, and bladder function.

The results showed significant findings for cannabinoids producing relief for all three symptoms. While there were no severe adverse effects noted, when it came to tolerability, cannabinoids showed a possibly higher risk. Overall the study investigators concluded that cannabinoids do offer a certain efficacy, and are safe to use.

Into the Future

While firm answers might not be possible just yet, research has been promising and offers a glimmer of light to those suffering from multiple sclerosis. CBD, and cannabis in general, still hold quite a bit of mystery in terms of what they’re actually capable of, but those who use it already to help with their MS spasticity and pain issues seem to choose it whether their doctor prescribes it or not. And that sure says something.

Here at CBDtesters, we are happy to keep you updated on all the recent CBD, cannabinoid, and cannabis news. Check back often to keep yourself in the loop and make sure to subscribe to the Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter.

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