Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease.

People living with the disease become progressively paralyzed due to degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Eighty per cent of people with ALS die within two to five years of diagnosis – unable to breathe or swallow. Ten per cent of those affected may live for 10 years or longer.

Marihuana in the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Am J Hosp Palliat Care.  2001; 18(4):264-70 (ISSN: 1049-9091)
Carter GT; Rosen BS

Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), Neuromuscular Disease Clinic, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Cannabis has been proposed as treatment for a widening spectrum of medical conditions. Cannabis is a substance with many properties that may be applicable to the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These include analgesia, muscle relaxation, bronchodilation, saliva reduction, appetite stimulation, and sleep induction. In addition,cannabis has now been shown to have strong antioxidative and neuroprotective effects, which may prolong neuronal cell survival. In areas where it is legal to do so, cannabis should be considered in the pharmacological management of ALS. Further investigation into the usefulness of marihuana in this setting is warranted.

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