Medical Marijuana For ALS In Tennessee
Does ALS Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Tennessee?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) is a neurological condition that involves voluntary muscle movement. ALS is part of a group of conditions known as motor neuron diseases. Motor neuron diseases are related to the gradual deterioration and death of motor neurons, which are responsible for connecting the brain with voluntary muscles. According to the Tennessee Chapter of the ALS Association, there are around 16,000 people living with ALS at any given time.
Researchers have yet to find a cure or even a successful treatment for ALS, but there are things that can make life more comfortable for people with ALS. One alternative medication ALS is treated with is medical marijuana, which is approved as a qualifying condition for those suffering from ALS in Tennessee.
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What is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?
ALS interferes with voluntary muscle movement, which can include daily actions like chewing, walking, and even talking. It is a progressive disease and symptoms of ALS are expected to worsen over time. Symptoms of ALS can include muscle twitches, cramps or stiffness, and difficulty chewing or swallowing. Because these symptoms are often overlooked, the condition is often not diagnosed until symptoms have progressed to advanced stages.
Some people first notice ALS in their arms and legs, which is referred to as “limb onset” ALS.
Others notice trouble with speech or swallowing, which is classified as “bulbar onset.” ALS.
Regardless of where ALS originates, it progressively spreads to other areas of the body.
Unfortunately, there is no way to stop the progression of ALS. There is also no way to prevent the disease from occurring, as the cause is unknown. Experts assume that a combination of genetic and environmental factors play a part in the development of ALS, but research is still needed to understand the condition.
Treating ALS with Medical Marijuana
Currently there is no cure for ALS, and people living with ALS are often left to figure out for themselves how to best manage the condition as it advances. Treatment plans are typically multidisciplinary, involving a combination of medications, physical and occupational therapy, and nutritional counseling. Tennessee residents can also include medical marijuana in their ALS treatment plan.
Cannabis is known to provide effects such as muscle relaxation, analgesia, and improved sleep quality, all things that are important for the management of ALS.
Marijuana is also considered to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, and studies suggest that cannabis itself may accomplish many of the same effects as a multi-drug treatment plan for ALS patients.
Cannabinoids have an anti-salivary effect, which may reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia, a complication that can seriously impact ALS patients.
Further research supports the use of cannabis for treating a variety of symptoms that ALS can cause. Cannabis as a medicine for ALS also shows promise by increasing appetite, improving mood, and decreasing pain, important factors in the quality of life for those suffering from ALS.
Become a Tennessee Cannabis Patient
Qualifying Tennessee patients will soon be able to meet with one of our certified physicians and get approved for medical cannabis treatment.
Reserve your appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at 844-249-8714, and we can answer your questions about getting medical cannabis in Tennessee.