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Medical Marijuana and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

What Is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a serious neurological disease that causes muscle weakness, disability and eventually death. ALS is often called Lou Gehrig's disease, after the famous baseball player who died of it in 1941.

Medical Marijuana and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord that afflicts 5,000 Americans annually. Because ALS interferes with the brain’s ability to initiate and control muscle movement, the disease hinders all types of movement, including speech, swallowing and breathing. Patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed, and 100% of ALS cases result in death.

Currently, there is no cure for ALS and there is no treatment available to reverse the disease’s effects on the body. According to the ALS Association, the mean survival rate for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the US is three to five years. There is only one FDA approved drug for ALS called riluzole, which can extend life by about 2 months on average. However, research shows that medical marijuana can be an effective way to alleviate some ALS symptoms, slow the progress of the disease and extend the lives of ALS patients.

Research recently conducted by the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco shows that select marijuana compounds, including THC, significantly slow the disease process and could extend life by three years or more. This same research group found that THC can also alleviate some ALS symptoms, like muscle spasms, in patients.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ALS, medical marijuana can help. Book an appointment with a local, qualified physician through today. Let us help improve your quality of life!


This information is not provided by medical professionals and is intended only to complement, and not to replace or contradict, any health or medical advice or information provided by healthcare professionals.  If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or other healthcare professional.

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