Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the one of the main ingredients in marijuana (cannabis). It’s different from tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. That’s the part of marijuana that gets you “high.”
The FDA hasn’t approved CBD to treat multiple sclerosis, or MS. Studies are ongoing, but the evidence is mixed. Here’s what we know.
How It May Help
Experts think CBD affects your brain by attaching to certain receptors in the central nervous system. They change the way these receptors respond to stimulation. This may ease inflammation and help with your brain’s immune responses.
More research is needed, but scientists think CBD may help with these MS symptoms:
- Muscle stiffness
- Problems with mobility
How to Take CBD
It comes in many forms. You can find CBD in:
- Certain foods or drinks
- Supplements (oral capsules, oral sprays, nose sprays, oils)
- Personal care products you rub on your skin
CBD oil is a common way to take it. You can put it under your tongue or add it to your food or drinks. You can also put it on your skin. Some research found sprays you put under your tongue might be best for MS.
CBD is considered a dietary supplement. The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements, so there’s no way to know if what you’re getting is safe and effective. Studies show many CBD products aren’t as pure as the label says. Some have ore or less CBD. Others may have some THC in them.
Experts say taking 300 milligrams a day by mouth for up to 6 months might be safe. Taking 1,500 milligrams per day by mouth for up to 1 month may be OK, too. People have used 2.5-milligram sprays under their tongue for up to 2 weeks.
What to Watch For
Possible side effects may include:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Low blood pressure
- Liver damage
Eating foods that are high in fat can cause your body to absorb more CBD. This can lead to side effects. It could react with other medications you’re taking, such as blood thinners. Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying any form of CBD.