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Pain Management located in Houston, TX

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes progressive degeneration of the nerves controlling your muscles. When medications don’t give you enough symptom relief, or you can’t tolerate medications due to their side effects, it’s time to talk with Uday Khosla, MD, and the team at Remix420 about medical cannabis (marijuana). Medical cannabis may improve pain and muscle symptoms and help you sleep. To learn how medical cannabis may help you, call the clinic in Houston, Texas, or use online booking to request an in-person or telemedicine appointment today.


What is ALS?

ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, occurs when nerves that control muscles deteriorate. As more of the cells degenerate, the muscles they control get progressively weaker, waste away, and eventually stop functioning.

The nerves affected by ALS carry messages from your brain to the voluntary muscles you control. For example, you use voluntary muscles when you decide to walk, write, throw a ball, or chew.


What symptoms occur due to ALS?

At first, the following symptoms are so subtle you’ll barely notice the signs — they get more pronounced as nerve deterioration worsens. 

  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle twitches
  • Spasticity (tight, stiff muscles)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Difficulty walking
  • Tripping and falling
  • Hand weakness and clumsiness
  • Uncontrollable or inappropriate crying or laughing

For many people, the first symptoms are muscle weakness and twitching in an arm or leg. Though not as common, your symptoms could begin with swallowing and speech problems.

As the disease progresses, muscle weakness spreads to other parts of your body. Eventually, the disease affects your ability to move, speak, eat, and breathe.


How is ALS treated?

The primary treatment for ALS involves medications that minimize your symptoms, slow symptom progression, prolong your life, and improve your quality of life. You may also need medications to relieve muscle cramps and other symptoms.


How does medical cannabis improve ALS symptoms?

Medical cannabis contains active ingredients called cannabinoids. Your body naturally produces cannabinoid-like substances called endocannabinoids. Your endocannabinoids attach to receptors in your brain, where they regulate functions such as pain, inflammation, sleep, mood, and memory.

When you take medical marijuana, the cannabinoids trigger the same activities as endocannabinoids. As a result, cannabis helps people with ALS get relief from pain and muscle spasticity. It may also improve your appetite and sleep cycles.

Though research is ongoing, some experts believe the cannabinoids in medical marijuana may have the potential to slow down nerve degeneration in ALS.


How can I get medical marijuana for ALS?

The team at Remix420 participates in the Texas Compassionate Use Program. They can evaluate your medical records, verify you have ALS (a condition that qualifies for cannabis), and register you in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). After registering and receiving your card, your provider writes a prescription for medical cannabis.

If you have ALS and you’re interested in medical marijuana, call Remix420 or book an appointment online today.