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CBD From Hemp and How It’s Helped My MS

Over my time battling Multiple Sclerosis, there have been a few moments where I could point to something and say, wow, that’s been extremely helpful and life-changing for me. Starting my current disease modifying therapy (DMT) has been certainly been one, in that it has slowed my progression when other DMTs couldn’t. We don’t take DMTs for our everyday symptoms though, so it’s hard to realize their importance when we are still falling down, fatigued, or in pain. When it comes to my everyday symptoms, I’ve mentioned before how medical marijuana has been a game changer for me. Today, I want to discuss something related, but more accessible, to medical marijuana that has made a major impact on my life: CBD (cannabidiol) derived from Hemp.

Cannabinoids

As I explained in my medical marijuana article, the compounds that are most helpful for our symptoms are called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids mimic naturally occurring compounds in our body called endocannabinoids. The most basic description of how all this works is that these compounds can change and improve the way our cells communicate with each other. When we take in cannabinoids, they interact with the already existing endocannabinoid system of our bodies and the cannabinoid receptors found in all human cells. It’s important to realize that these compounds are already part of us, and although these cannabinoids are coming from plants, they are still similar to the ones in our bodies.

Hemp and CBD

When we talk about marijuana, the two cannabinoids we get the most of are CBD and THC. THC is the compound associated with the more psychoactive effects of marijuana. These effects can be very helpful to those with MS, however, they are also the reason marijuana is constantly fighting a legal battle. THC is what we associate with people getting “high”. Most folks using medical marijuana will actually choose a strain that is higher in CBD than THC because it’s the CBD cannabinoid that is often most effective in helping our symptoms like pain and spasms. Here is where hemp comes in! The hemp plant contains a good percentage of the CBD cannabinoid and a very low percentage of THC. So people can’t really use it to get “high”, but they can use it to extract CBD for its medicinal properties. Because of this, it is much easier to obtain CBD oil produced from hemp than from the cannabis plant.

Quality issues

This sounds great, right? It does, but the problem is that it isn’t regulated. Producing and selling CBD oil has become a big business, but it can be extremely hard to find consistent and effective product. There are various extraction methods for getting CBD oil from the hemp plant, some more effective than others, and you rarely know which method a company has used. That can making finding a consistent and effective CBD product difficult. It can also mean that many will try CBD oil and not have a positive experience and think it simply won’t work for them, when in reality, they just acquired a batch that was poorly extracted.

My experience

I’m most certainly not an expert on all things CBD, but I did do some research and found a place online that seemed well-reviewed and looked like they knew what they were doing. I was still very skeptical, more so than I was with medical marijuana. I purchased a bottle of CBD tincture that contained 500 mg of CBD into a 2 ounce bottle. I then began using this tincture each day by placing a few drops under my tongue. I found that the key for me was doing this every day regardless of how bad my symptoms were. For me, it is not an instant helper, in fact, if I know I will be extra busy on a Tuesday, I’ll take extra on that Monday. Consistency has been the important factor to me. When I take it every day, or even close to every day, my body is much better off. Less pain, less spasticity, and less fatigue. Hard to believe, even for me. This is one of the few things I’ve taken where I’ve had multiple people come up and asked me if anything changed, because they can see that I am out more and I am more active. I’ve been using this for close to eight months now and I can honestly say it’s made a huge difference in my life.

I know not everyone will have the same experience as me (remember, we’re all a little different), but I wanted to share what it’s done for me. I stress that consistency and quality are important aspects of CBD usage for me. Quality CBD products can be expensive, though in my experience, less expensive than medical marijuana and much more easily obtainable (you do not need a special medical marijuana card or prescription). If you have the means and desire, go ahead and try it. As always, do some research on your own as well, there is a wealth of resources and groups related to CBD use for chronic illness.

Thanks for reading!

Devin

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Supercindy
    2 months ago

    Hello All, I am new here. I’ve had MS for 30 years. I’ve learned how to live with the symptoms but not the worst exasperation ever
    It came and knocked me down for 7 months. Doctor said, It had been around about the last 3 years. I didn’t know it would come back and devour me. I had a horrible UI. Didn’t even feel it. I had gotten used to the pain. The doctor told me when I was in my 40s, the MS would stay about the same. I’m here to tell the MS population that, this is not true. It can return at any time or age. I’ve been to the neurologist. Went on a huge regiment of steroids. Went right to sleep after taking an ungodly dose of them. I was so sick they did not affect me at all. I’m on the A pill now. It’s helping. I’m also back on my own regiment of vitamin’s. It’s been 2 months since, I got out of bed and I am still not 100%. The fatigue just won’t let go. I’ve started on probiotics. They are amazing. My gut is feeling OK, for the first time in years. I take b complex. D3, calcium, evening primrose oil, Vit C. Fish oil, zinc, multi vitamin. Vit.E. B12. Then the MS pill . I still have the numbness pins and needles in my legs but That’s OK. I’m getting my strength back and refuse to worry about it. I share my body with MS but I’m still the boss.

  • Lucylucylucy
    6 months ago

    How long did it take you to figure out the best dosage and how long after starting CBD oil did you notice a difference?

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    6 months ago

    Hi Lucylucylucy, it took me a while of consistent use, a few months really. I also had friends tell me they noticed a change before I even really noticed myself. It was all so slow and incremental.

  • Lucylucylucy
    6 months ago

    Hi Devin,
    That makes sense.I am an impatient sort so I will try to keep my expectations under control. (yeah,right-lol)
    I have changed the times when I take it and have noticed some good changes in my sleep.
    Thanks for your response.:)

  • TerryLSwindle
    8 months ago

    Can you please advise which company you purchased the CBD oil from?

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    8 months ago

    Thank you TerryLSwindle, I currently use Lazarus Naturals, but I encourage everyone to experiment and find one that works well for you. You can find a good list of companies that are independently tested here: https://www.cbdoilusers.com/

  • DSMedicalHoldings
    9 months ago

    The top reason for this, is poor bioavailability of drug molecules or the supplement is not water soluble. So a person needs to consume 10 times the therapeutic recommended dose to get any therapeutic effect. If your body takes in 10%, what happens to the other 90%? Our bodies absorb UltraCell™ because its 100% bio-available. If 90% is NOT water soluble, its wasted. 60-90% of something that IS water soluble is being absorbed. You need far less to get the milligrams that are recommended and receive the desired result. This product will server you very well and results, immediately.
    http://www.cbdusa.com

  • Jaycee
    11 months ago

    we will ask our doctor, but I’m wondering if there are any contraindications for cbd oil and ocrevus? I’ve read that the oil can affect metabolism of certain drugs.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    11 months ago

    Hi Jaycee, I’m not aware of any problems with ocrevus, but definitely check with your doctor (or even the pharma company) to be sure.

  • Beginner
    1 year ago

    Devin, almost as if I somehow sensed would be needing it even more a year later, my wife and I began using HempMeds products (the RSHO line) a year ago for other things. Now all of a sudden, I’m awaiting final word on which label they’re going to put on my newly confirmed demyelination process, with MS being a very real possibility. In any case, I’d like to zero in on that now and maximize the possible benefits of the CBD I’m already using. I’m presuming from your comments that you’re using HempMeds’ RSHO product(s), but you don’t specify which one. My frustration has been that I have not been able to find any indication in the many articles I’ve read as to whether the “raw” form (RSHO’s “green”) or the decarboxylated form (RSHO’s “blue” “gold” or “special blend”) seems to have the best results for neuroprotective outcomes. Nothing that I’ve read specifies whether even the more formal studies are using the acid form (raw, as it comes from the plant) or the non-acid form (decarboxylated i.e. heated). Which one of their products are you finding to be the most helpful for you? And while everyone will respond differently, would you be willing to share how much you found to be your optimum intake and how often?

    Also, have you had any problems with interference with the Cytochrome P450 enzymes while using CBD?

    Your answers will be *greatly* appreciated. I’m still more at the beginning stages of understanding what’s going on with me, than the end-stage final diagnosis yet – I just know I’m in the same ballpark that includes MS, and since I’m already using a good quality CBD, I’d like to try to maximize it. Thus far I’ve been using mostly the “raw” form, but sometimes also supplement during the day with rather small amounts of the decarboxylated form. It’s frustrating that the feds and BigPharma are effectively blocking much decent research that could be going on with this group of chemicals.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    1 year ago

    Thank Beginner! For the longest time, I had been using the decarboxylated “Blue” from HempMeds, using about 3/4 of a eye dropper full under my tongue, once a day. I’ve recently switched over to Lazarus Naturals “High Potency CBD Tincture”. I wanted the higher concentration (but have been using less). I also like that Lazurus Naturals has all of their batches tested by a third party and you can even download the results of those tests.

    I still utilize CBD as something to help treat my symptoms and don’t rely on it to slow my disease progression. I still utilize Tysabri as my primary means of fighting the disease. However, CBD oil has been extremely help for issues like spasms and pain.

    There is a fantastic online CBD community at: https://www.cbdoilusers.com/ There is great discussion and they also offer some coupons to several CBD Oil producers.

  • Nicolehi
    1 year ago

    Hi Devin,
    I have MS nearly 20 years now, and surviving. Shortly I heard of CBD oil and startet some research of my own and finally 2 weeks ago I bought CBD oil in form of a paste 16%CBD.
    As I am taking it for the first time I do not know what to expect.
    How fast do you know will I start feeling something ?
    It is 2 weeks now, and I do not feel anything. Not relaxed, not more tired than usual, nor sleeping better (or worse) just the same. From Your posts I see you have some experience. Please if you have any comments or information you can share with me I would appreciate very much.
    Thanks in advance and have a nice weekend
    Nicole

  • Deezee
    1 year ago

    Hi Devin, I love your writing. Very real and down to earth thank you so much. I was dx 1992 rrms mid 2000 dx spms. I used a wheelchair fulltime over 7 yrs. Had went off DMT 2008. Started making and taking RSO oil. (Cannabis oil) in about 8 months I was walking! With help to start with. Within a year walked and drove on my own for over 3 years feeling better than the last 20yrs. Jan.2017 needed to have gall bladder out. Dr had me stop RSO oil before surgery. Within weeks (before the surgery) the pain, tremors and spasticity are back by May I was back in the wheelchair fulltime. Started making and taking RSO again (Dr.does not like it) 5 months I am walking 15 steps or so on my own! It’s a God send to me and my life. You’re awesome thank you! Deezee

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    1 year ago

    Thanks so much Deezee! That’s wonderful to hear! People have had some amazing outcomes with it!

  • Nicolehi
    1 year ago

    Hi Deezee.
    Very interesting your recovery experience. I started taking CBD oil 3 weeks ago hoping it will help me too. Please can you tell me how long did you take it, before you started feeling some improvement. Thanks. Nicole

  • robynz
    1 year ago

    Hi there,

    Two things: I watched a program on TV about a girl who had a ton of seizures every day. They lived in Florida where CBD Oil was illegal. It was so effective, they moved to Colorado and the girl is nearly normal now.

    Next: I’ve tried smoking marijuana for my MS. It makes my pain and spasticity much better, although it’s not great for my balance.

    My big problem is loss of bladder control and spasms. I found that the marijuana relaxed the spasms to the point where I was pretty much incontinent.

    Do you think that CBD oil would make a difference for my symptoms? I’m ready to give up. Between fighting for bladder control and healing broken bones from falling, life isn’t so much worth living any more.

    Can anyone out there help?

  • rubiojax
    10 months ago

    I don’t have MS but did have incontinence and have been taking CBD oil since Sept 2017. 500 mg 5 drops 2 x a day and have noticed my incontinence is gone. Hope that helped

  • jan18
    1 year ago

    Hi Devin,

    Great writing. A few months ago, I got a prescription for medical marijuana from my MS neurologist and registered with New York for a medical marijuana ID. I received tablets from the dispensary and took them for 30 days. No help. No effect other than increased tiredness. So disappointed. Do you think CBD derived from Hemp would be helpful for me? Do you use both at the same time? Thank you so much for your help.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi jan18, when it comes to marijuana, I find the strain you are using is very important. Some strains cause more tiredness, some work better for spasms, some work better for pain. A good dispensary can help you choose which stains to use for which ever symptom you are trying to help, if they can’t, there is a wealth of information online about them. Using medical marijuana can involve some trial and error to find which strain and even delivery method works best for you. These days I am using CBD oil because I can’t obtain marijuana as easily as I once was. I do find it very beneficial though, if I stick to a set regiment with it. My best advice is to experiment, try a CBD oil, try different strains of marijuana. Some trial and error can be very worth it.

  • rubiojax
    10 months ago

    Hi Devin, Although I’m very familiar with CBD Oil, for my own relief from Migraines, Restless leg Syndrone, Sciatic pain. My neice started taking CBD oil 500 mg 3 to 5 drops 2 x a day for relief of her MS hadn’t noticed any difference so she increased it to 10 drops 2x a day and had a very bad relapse her drs tested her and of course she came up positive for THC our bottle of 500mg contains 0.03% of THC should she continue using, since her Drs told her to stop taking the oil? Thanks.

  • jan18
    1 year ago

    Devin, thank you so much for your example, your encouragement and your quick response.

    Feeling more hopeful,
    Janice

  • Mutton
    2 years ago

    Hey Devin, just discovered you and your writing, it’s so on point….with everything! Where do you get your oil from?

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi Mutton, thanks so much. Very sorry for the delayed response, I was going through a bit of a rough patch! I get my oil from HempMeds.

  • TracyShudo
    2 years ago

    Great article Devin, I have never tried these things but I have been taking a little yellow pill someone share their information with me and in only 8 weeks I am feeling so much better, Sleeping better felling more refreshed when I wake up. But its like the oil you use its not a cure, But after 23 years and the last 3 being the hardest any help I can get for myself I will. Thanks so much for sharing this is a new site for me and after reading somethings I think us MSers can share information in a positive way to help us all. Thanks for sharing

  • Diego
    2 years ago

    You are preaching to the choir here regarding the benefits of medicinal marijuana! Ive been using MM since i was diagnosed about 3 years ago and the benefits have been noticeable, I still get resistance from my neurologist because they don’t have the science to back up the benefits that MM can provide. So if I must be the guinea pig then so be it. It is by no means a cure, but it helps manage the crazy MS symptoms when other pharmaceuticals can’t. The stigmas regarding marijuana are starting to subside. Doctors have to jump on the bandwagon and help get full legalization for this medicine!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thanks so much @caya1430! Very happy to hear that!

  • MartinH
    2 years ago

    Hi all.. Great article. I’ve been poking around on a few Ms forums and i’m actually a little distressed that not that many people seem to know about CBD oil. My wife might potentially be diagnosed or in the beginning stages of MS. As soon as the MD suggested he needs to “rule out” MS I put her on CBD oil. Just some weak stuff I ‘ve had for a while. Waiting for the good stuff in the mail now. The key word for me is neuro-protectant.

    My personal testimony for CBD relates to my cat. When we got her, she was having seizures like it was the thing to do. We pumped her full of drugs to knock her out and break the cycle. Still after she slept for a day and was on meds regular, they always came back. I started giving her my own personal stash of CBD oil in a dropper. No more seizures. No other meds. Just cbd everyday. We have some specifically for animals now. My vet said CBD is the only thing that prevents him from having seizures related to a head injury.

    My wife symptoms have dissipated in the three days she has been taking it. I also put her on some high quality supplements from ONNIT to make sure she gets everything she needs. I spoke to a naturopatic doctor and he suggested 50mg per day would be a good dose to start with.

    Anyway.. I wrote this a little hurried but I wanted to get it off my chest.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    1 year ago

    Thank you MartinH! Sorry for the delayed response! I agree, it does seem to be under most people’s radar. Hopefully that begins to change. I hope your wife is doing well on it!

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