Can CBD Oil Help with Multiple Sclerosis? A Comprehensive Guide

gloved doctors hands preparing medication

The Key Points:

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease where the body's immune system attacks nerve fiber layers, causing various symptoms.
  • Common symptoms of MS include vision problems, eating disorders, inflammations, coordination problems, and balance issues.
  • Conventional treatments for MS often come with severe side effects, leading many to explore natural alternatives like CBD.
  • CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body's endocannabinoid system, potentially helping to alleviate MS symptoms by reducing inflammation and improving chronic pain.
  • While CBD is legal and generally well-tolerated, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting a CBD regimen, especially for those on other medications.

Are you wondering if CBD can help with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)? Are there natural remedies that can complement or even replace conventional medications? We've asked ourselves the same questions!

In this article, we've summarized the symptoms of the disease and explained how Cannabidiol can help, based on studies. You can find the relevant scientific works at the end of the article.

In the following three sections, we'll explain what Multiple Sclerosis is and what conventional treatment methods exist. If you're interested in how Cannabidiol can help with MS, you can jump directly to the corresponding chapter.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Research on the causes of Multiple Sclerosis is still ongoing. Currently, doctors believe that the body's cells are perceived as intruders and attacked by the immune system.

This phenomenon occurs in various diseases. In the case of MS, the nerve fiber layers are primarily affected, leading to lasting damage. This includes:

  • Inflammation in the brain and
  • Irritation and inflammation in the spinal cord

When two such fundamental and interconnected systems of the body are affected, it manifests in various interacting organs. The resulting symptoms are the subject of the next section.

Symptoms of MS

The digestive system, eyes, and balance interact with the brain. Our spinal cord is our body's own information transmitter and is accordingly interconnected. Damage to the brain or spinal cord affects the entire body.

The classic symptoms associated with MS include:

  • Vision problems
  • Eating disorders
  • Inflammations
  • Coordination problems
  • and balance issues (dizziness)

Causes of Multiple Sclerosis

Despite some unsolved mysteries, misguided T-cells seem to be the main culprits.

T-cells normally act as "police" of our body, but their performance can cause damage when misdirected. When nerve cells are attacked and damaged, it can lead to disrupted impulse transmission, resulting in some of the aforementioned symptoms.

As part of the disease, additional manifestations occur that are not clearly attributed to damaged nerve cells. These include:

  • Depression
  • Spasticity
  • Anxiety

These symptoms vary significantly from patient to patient, and the cause for them is also not definitively established.

Treatment Methods

To improve the quality of life during the lengthy course of the disease, various pharmaceutical products are prescribed. These include:

  • Teriflunomide
  • Dimethyl fumarate
  • Glatiramer acetate
  • Methylprednisolone

None of the mentioned medications address the root cause, but especially the last one has an anti-inflammatory and decongestant effect.

As a result, there can be a significant improvement in quality of life in some cases. Unfortunately, many of these medications are administered in high doses, leading to various side effects.

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Headaches and migraines

The often severe side effects associated with these medications prompt patients to explore natural medicine alternatives.

One of the best-known substances is CBD, a compound derived from the cannabis plant. We've delved into why and how CBD can offer hope.

How can CBD help with MS?

Based on the brief overview of the disease, it's easier to explain the direct connection with the CBD compound. CBD acts as a stimulator and exogenous cannabinoid in the body's endocannabinoid system. Here, CBD interacts mainly with

  • CB1 receptors and
  • CB2 receptors.

These receptors are typically activated by endogenous cannabinoids already present in the body. By taking CBD, the receptors can be additionally activated, enhancing the overall system's performance. This is especially important due to the receptors' areas of effect:

  • CB1 receptors act in the brain and the central nervous system
  • CB2 receptors act in the immune system

Both the nervous system and the immune system are of great importance in the context of MS, as also supported by studies. Chronic pain can be significantly improved through CBD use [1]. At the same time, Cannabidiol can help better supply inflammation through its effect on CB2 receptors, enabling reduction of inflammation.

When taking CBD, the primary goals are:

  • To alleviate symptoms and
  • To potentially reduce strong medications
  • NOT to cure the disease

In order to minimize the impact of MS and limit the dosages of medications to the necessary minimum, dietary changes can also be helpful. This includes:

  • Managing sugar intake
  • Using salt sparingly
  • Gently preparing vegetables (to retain vitamins)
  • Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods (Vitamins A, C, D, and E)

Conscious nutrition, supplementation with natural substances, and understanding the disease can be a great help in the course of the disease.

Is CBD Legal?

When the term cannabis is mentioned, most people immediately think of narcotics. The high is caused by THC, the psychoactive compound of the plant. In contrast, CBD works:

  • as an exogenous cannabinoid
  • non-psychotropic
  • non-mind-altering

The THC content in CBD products must be at most 0.2%, which ensures no THC-related alteration of consciousness.

Due to the low THC content, CBD products are

  • legal to purchase
  • can be discussed with a doctor without consequences
  • practical for everyday use

There are still many ongoing studies regarding CBD, and these are often not yet deep enough to provide valid results. However, due to the numerous reports and experiences, CBD is increasingly catching the interest of doctors as well.

When taking CBD, there are a few rules of thumb that we have summarized for you:

  • Gradually increase the dosage
  • Consult with your primary care physician
  • Be cautious of interactions (get them checked!)
  • If the body shows negative reactions: reduce the dosage or discontinue use

Are There Side Effects of CBD?

Despite the low incidence of side effects, the consumption of CBD should be done with caution. CBD is not suitable for:

  • Pregnant women
  • Nursing women
  • Minors

The risks for these specific groups are too unknown. Although side effects related to CBD are rare, there have been cases of intolerance and incorrect dosages.

Whether taken orally or in any other form, CBD use should be avoided if the following side effects occur excessively:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Consultation with your primary care physician before the first intake is also helpful in assessing the side effects. Since CBD products are legal, there should be no consequences.

In the conversation with your doctor, it's important to discuss the interactions of CBD with current medications, as there are some common medications that can interact with CBD. For example, the following two medications:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen

Additionally, there are, of course, other medications that may interact with CBD.

Once all uncertainties are cleared, there is nothing standing in the way of trying CBD, as the low THC content (<0.2%) ensures complete legality. As CBD doesn't produce a high or dependency, it is not classified as a narcotic.

How should I take CBD oil for Multiple Sclerosis?

The variety of CBD products raises the question of which method of intake is best for MS. Here's a brief overview for you.

The CBD product range includes:

  • Capsules
  • Creams
  • Food products
  • Oils
  • Pastes
  • Liquids

Although we don't have the exact sales figures, from CBD users' reviews, it's evident that oil is the favorite. Reasons for this include:

  • Quick intake
  • Easy dosing
  • Precise monitoring of CBD quantity
  • Can be used internally and externally

When taking the oil orally, you drop it under the tongue. Your mouth absorbs the CBD through the mucous membranes, making the compound quickly available to the body.

Alternatively, the oil can also be applied to the skin, allowing for local improvement.

Since CBD works in the existing system, there is no specific time for intake. The effect can occur through:

  • Acute intake
  • Short-term intake
  • Long-term intake
  • Preventive intake

and is generally independent of the time of day. Changing the time of intake does not negatively affect the effect.

During the research, we noticed something: There are frequent comparisons between CBD products and Cannabis mouth spray Sativex. We have inquired for you and call for caution! While it is also quickly absorbed through the oral mucosa, Sativex is more strictly prescription-only as it falls under narcotics legislation.

How much CBD can I take?

When taking CBD, there are a few important guidelines:

  • Maximum of two to three times daily
  • Gradually increase the dosage, starting with one drop per day
  • Consult with your doctor for significant side effects

Generally, according to the current state of knowledge, an overdose is almost impossible. However, excessively high doses of CBD are not necessarily beneficial; your personal tolerance to CBD is decisive here.


CBD can be a valuable supporter in alleviating symptoms of MS. According to current research, Multiple Sclerosis is not curable, and CBD will not change that. However, CBD can be an effective supplement with few side effects.

Have you had any experiences with it? How did you like the article? Feel free to share your opinion with us and other readers in the comments!


[1] Vučković S et al., Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules, 2018

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