Is Weed the Miracle Cure for Myasthenia Gravis?

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With public perceptions changing regarding the use  of medical marijuana (cannabis) in the United States, studies are being conducted to determine the possible disease states that could be treated with the regulated and controlled drug. One of the diseases being studied is myasthenia gravis (MG).

Pot RX
Image source: http://spacecoastdaily.comMyasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder that mostly affects women under 40 and men over 60. It is a chronic autoimmune disease where the body’s nerves don’t communicate properly with its muscles and, as a result, the person gets tired very quickly and suffers from muscle weakness.

Common features of MG include:

  • Drooping eyelids
  • Difficulties with chewing, speaking, and swallowing
  • Respiratory problems (in severe cases)

Exactly why does this happen? With MG, the body’s immune system makes antibodies, called acetylcholinesterase, that block or destroy the receptor sites for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

Research suggests that medical marijuana may inhibit production of acetylcholinesterase, and provide relief in certain cases. But, the fact that marijuana is a muscle relaxant should give MG patients a good reason to question whether this treatment would be an asset to their treatment plan, or another obstacle in daily living.

snake oil advert
Is marijuana just another bogus treatment a la snake oil? Image source: https://zaichina.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/snake-oil-ad.jpg

Keep in mind, there is big money in making medical marijuana appealing to the widest audience possible, and for-profit corporations are going to try to prove that it can treat almost anything. And maybe (and that’s a GREAT BIG MAYBE) it can… but, it pays to be informed about the pros and cons of any treatment.

To read more about weed and MG from a for-profit corporation’s perspective click here.


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