Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) damages one of the most important parts of your brain — your cerebellum. The cerebellum controls coordination. This means that not only can SCA reduce mobility, but it can also make it harder to do actions like seeing, processing information and talking. When your muscle coordination is compromised, so are many of your essential functions.
As a progressive disease, SCA gradually degenerates your cerebellum. So, you want to prevent as much of that damage as possible. You can do that by taking in substances that reduce brain damaged called neuroprotectants. And it turns out that in addition to relieving some of SCA’s symptoms, it also acts as a neuroprotectant.
Find out how you can use medical marijuana as a neuroprotectant for your SCA.
Cannabis has many benefits that keep your brain cells healthy and protect them from damage. It works in multiple ways to maintain your cerebellum’s health, such as by:
By keeping your cerebellum in tip-top shape, you can preserve as much muscle coordination as possible.
On its own, SCA doesn’t always count as an approved condition for medical marijuana on its own. But, it acts as a symptom of underlying conditions many patients treat with cannabis medicine. Two common disorders that can cause ataxia include multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. You can also use cannabis medicine for your ataxia or neuroprotective purposes if your state allows recreational sales. Anyone over 21 can buy marijuana in these states.
If you have never used marijuana medication before, you might think you have to smoke a joint to take it. But, cannabis medicine actually comes in many forms that suit patients of any lifestyle. Depending on the state you live in, you can have access to traditional forms like pills or unconventional products like edibles.
You also don’t have to get high to use medical marijuana for your condition. Certain kinds of medicine that have only cannabidiol (CBD) in them can relieve symptoms without impairment. Look out for medications that don’t have any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), since that’s the compound that creates psychoactive effects.
In addition to protecting your brain cells, medical marijuana can relieve symptoms associated with SCA. It helps patients treat SCA-related issues like:
Different strains, or types of the marijuana plant, work better to reduce certain symptoms compared to others. For example, some strains provide energy, and others promote relaxation. These differences let you customize your medical marijuana treatment.
As you can see, medical marijuana has numerous benefits you can take advantage of to treat your SCA. Every good treatment plan starts with advice from the pros. Marijuana-friendly doctors can not only write you a recommendation, but they can also give you personalized guidance. Medical dispensaries also have budtenders who can help you purchase the perfect medication. Search our database to find experts near you today.