Muscular dystrophy is an inherited, genetic disease that leads to muscle weakness. There are more than 30 different types of diseases categorized within the muscular dystrophy family. These are conditions that affect the skeletal muscles. They are also a type of myopathy.

There is no cure for muscular dystrophy and the symptoms will increase with age and time. The muscles will shrink and will also become weaker and that can affect a person’s ability to walk and perform other basic tasks of everyday life. Over time, the disease can directly affect the heart and lungs.

Some people are diagnosed with muscular dystrophy from birth, but it can also develop during childhood and some forms may develop later in adulthood.

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What is Muscular Dystrophy?

As noted, it is a genetic disease. It is inherited, which means if somebody in your family has muscular dystrophy, you are at risk of developing it, too. If you have children, they will also have some risk factors of dealing with muscular dystrophy.

It is still considered a rare condition. What causes muscular dystrophy? If a person inherits a mutated gene (a gene that is altered in some way as it is passed on to a child), that altered gene can cause muscular dystrophy.

There are some people who have the mutated gene, but don’t develop muscular dystrophy. This type of person would be considered a carrier and it is possible to pass that mutated gene onto their children, who then may develop the disease.

While it is even rarer, it is possible for somebody to spontaneously develop muscular dystrophy, meaning there is no traceable genetic mutation in their family line.

How Does It Affect the Body?

When you or somebody you love is dealing with this condition, you will likely ask, ‘How does muscular dystrophy affect the body?’ That is a very good question.

Some of the more common muscular dystrophy symptoms can include difficulty walking, running, and performing other tasks like these, difficulty swallowing, learning disabilities, enlarged calf muscles, heart problems such as arrhythmia or even heart failure, stiff or loose joints, a curved spine (scoliosis), breathing trouble, and even muscle pain.

Can Medical Marijuana Treat Muscular Dystrophy?

Muscular pain might be something easy to overlook among the many symptoms of this disease. However, when a person is experiencing chronic pain as a result of muscular dystrophy, it can make the already difficult challenge of daily tasks even more trying, and it can lead to sleep deprivation, depression, anxiety, and other conditions.

Medical marijuana and muscular dystrophy have been studied and the results, so far, are quite promising. When a person is using marijuana, muscle pain is often reported to diminish. That is due to CBD or cannabinoids, that reduce inflammation and help encourage relaxation of the muscles.

Benefits of Marijuana for Muscles

There are a number of reasons why marijuana for muscle pain is a good idea to consult your doctor about. The marijuana effects on muscle include reducing tightness, (tightness, which can pull on the tendons and joints of the body), which would increase pain levels.

As a muscular dystrophy treatment, medical marijuana can help to reduce muscle spasms as well. In one particular study, researchers found that marijuana helped treat muscle spasms in laboratory rats. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of marijuana.

Marijuana Effects on Muscle Growth

Research studies have found that cannabis helps the body maintain testosterone levels. Testosterone is a vital hormone naturally produced in the body essential for muscle growth.

It is not fully clear how marijuana helps to maintain these testosterone levels, but it is not likely associated with THC, the hallucinogenic component of marijuana, but rather other aspects of hemp that are bringing these benefits.

Also, marijuana often increases appetite, especially for carbohydrate rich foods, which are vital for those working out and seeking to gain muscle.

Risks of Marijuana for Patients with Muscular Dystrophy

Does muscular dystrophy cause pain? It most certainly can and often does, especially as the symptoms progress. This is one of the key reasons why medical marijuana is something to consider if you or somebody you care about has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.

There are some risks associated with marijuana, though, and they include diminished reaction times, balance related challenges (which would likely be exacerbated because of the muscle weakness for somebody with muscular dystrophy), dry eyes, dry mouth, constipation or diarrhea, increased appetite, and some sleep challenges, among others.

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Best Strains for Muscles

When pursuing marijuana as a treatment for muscular dystrophy, there are two key strains to focus on: Indica and Sativa. Sativa strains offer more cerebral effects. This can increase alertness, and are more appropriate for daytime usage. Sativa can help with pain, but Indica helps to provide more relaxation and a reduction in inflammation in those muscles.

It may be best for you to pursue a hybrid, but CBD for muscle pain is often the primary focus for those dealing with muscular dystrophy.

Can I Get Medical Marijuana for Muscular Dystrophy?

If you are considering CBD oil for muscular dystrophy, most likely you would not need a prescription, but it is best to consult an experienced doctor who understands the benefits of CBD and medical marijuana for treating muscular dystrophy.

CBD oil can be applied to foods, beverages, or even directly to the affected part of the body for relief (in an ointment). However, if you are looking for more relief, more consistent benefits, medical marijuana may just be what you want.

How to Get a Medical Card

We can connect you with a highly trained and experienced doctor who understands the inherent benefits of medical marijuana for treating muscular dystrophy and pain. You can go over your family history, the doctor may require blood work to determine which strains might be best for you at this stage in your life and sit down and go over how best to use medical marijuana in treating muscular dystrophy.

If your doctor determines this is the best treatment option for you at this time, he or she will be able to prescribe you a medical marijuana card. Keep in mind, though, that this is only going to apply in states where medical marijuana has been made legal.