Updated on January 31, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity manifests because of a broad spectrum of conditions. Most of these conditions are incurable or difficult to reverse because they damage motor neurons.
Because we haven’t found a cure for spasticity’s underlying causes, patients with it often search for an alternative treatment. With increasing acknowledgment of marijuana as medicine in the United States, some of them are turning to it for relief.
However, marijuana patients must think about the nuances of cannabis treatment. One aspect is the type of medicine to take. While some states offer limited options, more marijuana-friendly states have numerous products to choose from.
As two of the most common kinds of cannabis medicine, marijuana edibles and topical treatments can provide muscular spasticity patients with the relief they need. Let’s discuss the factors to keep in mind when choosing a medication.
An important aspect of medicinal cannabis to consider is the time it takes for your medicine to kick in. Depending on the severity of your spasticity, you may need immediate or extended relief. Edibles and topicals take different amounts of time for you to feel their effects.
While edibles slowly and gradually take effect over a longer period, topicals tend to work more immediately for a shorter time. When you eat an edible, it takes about 30 minutes to an hour for you to feel the benefits, but you’ll feel it for a longer duration. Most topicals immediately kick in, except for patches, which serve as an extended-release medicine.
If you have additional health issues, you may not have the ability to take a certain kind of medicine. Taking cannabis that exacerbates your symptoms ruins the point of using it in the first place!
Patients interested in edible marijuana products should consider their diet and food allergies. Most edibles come in the form of sweet treats and drinks, making them unusable for patients with diabetes or dietary restrictions. And, of course, you should closely read the labels on an edible to look out for allergy warnings.
Topicals could worsen skin issues or trigger an allergic reaction. If you have an existing skin problem, you should take care when choosing and using a topical. Patients who have never used cannabis should do a spot test on their skin and wait 24 hours to determine if they experience an allergic reaction.
Marijuana tackles many symptoms at once and comes in different strains, making it a flexible medicine. For patients dealing with a variety of health problems, cannabis can replace or supplement multiple pharmaceutical medications. While topicals and edibles made from the same strain will have the same impact, they’ll affect different areas of the body.
Edibles enter your system when you eat them, benefitting your entire body. They can especially help full-body pain and prevent nausea in advance. When used for muscle spasms, they serve as a relaxant that reduces the severity of the spasms.
Most topicals affect the muscles and joints in the area you apply them to. Lotions and creams suit localized pain and spasms, working quickly to relieve the symptoms. Patches function like edibles, but they absorb into your system better due to directly entering your bloodstream.
We can help you find someone to give you tailored advice about your medical marijuana treatment. A medical marijuana-positive physician or a trained dispensary budtender can guide you on product choices for your spasticity.
For more information about how cannabis can be used to treat Intractable Skeletal Muscular Spasticity, check out our resources: