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My Experience With CBD for MS

Posted on December 07, 2021
Article written by
Francie MacDougall

Five years ago, my 14-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a benign tumor in her spine. It’s an understatement to say that we were freaked out, but we got the news on a Thursday after a day of tests and scheduled surgery for the following Tuesday.

To keep things super intense, we’d sold our house and had to be out a week after her just-scheduled surgery — and we had nowhere to move (a sad story I’ll share eventually). The stress caused my multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms to go into overdrive, and my legs became a spastic mess.

The surgery was a success, and my daughter stayed in the hospital for a few days to recuperate.

During her recovery, a friend called and mentioned that he had an idea for something that could help with my MS symptoms. I had to run home for more supplies, so I agreed to meet him at my house. That’s when I discovered cannabidiol (CBD), a compound derived from the cannabis plant that doesn’t include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — and therefore it doesn’t cause the “high” that people can get from marijuana.

I listened to a quick spiel on its benefits, but I was anxious and took no time to deliberate dosages or conduct research. I needed to get back to my family, so I took one 25 milligram supplement and dashed out the door to return to the hospital.

Oddly enough, I got myself into the car with minimal lifting and heaving. I parked and managed to get to my daughter’s room kind of quickly (MS quick, anyway). I sat down and took a breath, describing to my family (with rolled eyes) my CBD meeting. Then it hit me — maybe the CBD had greased my wheels, so to speak? I called my friend to ask him to let me try a bottle.

I took 25 milligrams daily for a few months until I heard a radio story about how the most effective dose of CBD is probably much greater than 25 milligrams. So I upped it to 50 milligrams and ordered more, but it was expensive, and I found that different CBD brands were sometimes less effective. Also, I heard that to really curb MS symptoms, I’d need to take an even higher dosage, which would have been price prohibitive, since CBD is not covered by insurance.

So I backed off and now rely exclusively on my prescription spasticity medication, more for a decent night’s sleep. I haven’t heard much about CBD recently, though it seems to be available everywhere and a key ingredient in every natural remedy. But it’s still expensive and inconsistent among suppliers, and the milligram question lingers, so I haven’t ventured back to it.

MyMSTeam columnists discuss multiple sclerosis from a specific point of view. Columnists’ articles don’t reflect the opinions of MyMSTeam staff, medical experts, partners, advertisers, or sponsors. MyMSTeam content isn't intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Francie MacDougall is a freelance writer who lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She was diagnosed with MS in 1990. Learn more about her here.

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