Sunday, June 16, 2024

Bell’s Palsy And Marijuana

It can be frightening when suddenly your face becomes paralyzed.   You freak out – but can medical marijuana help?

It is has been in the news and can be frightening, especially since it hits about 1 in 70 people. From a cure point of view, what is even more scary is the cause of it is unknown. It is thought to be due to swelling (inflammation) of the facial nerve in the area where it travels through the bones of the skull. Incidence peaks for people in the 40s, but is prevalent most in those under 10 and over 65. There isn’t a cure and recovery doesn’t start until about 2 weeks and can take up to 6 months to fully recover.  What about Bell’s palsy and marijuana – can it help, does it hurt?

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

The illness usually comes on quickly and a key indicators is a mild weakness to total paralysis on one side of the face — occurring within hours to days.  This includes a facial droop with trouble making facial expressions, such as closing an eye or smiling. Pain around the jaw or ear on the side affected, drooling, loss of taste and a headache are other symptoms.  Seeking medical help as quickly as possible is key. A key treatment is an oral steroid or an antiviral medicine. Taken quickly upon onset improves the chave of a full recovery.

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Photo by Julia Koblitz via Unsplash

Research has shown marijuana does not cause or lead to Bell’s palsy. Those with diabetes are more likely to have it.  Also, it seems there is a link to some viruses (shingles, mono, rubella, and mumps among them) which can induce the illness.

Research is still be done on the disease in general and very little has been done regarding if medical cannabis’s benefit’s can help with symptoms. Inflammation stands as the primary culprit behind Bell’s palsy symptoms and THC/CBD is anti-inflammatory. While this can be promising, studies need to be done regarding dosage and more. Additionally, cannabinoids and terpenes found in the cannabis plant promote improved nervous system health. So there are building blocks to help, but so far no hard data.

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Bell’s palsy is often marked by discomfort in various areas, such as the head, jaw, and behind the ear. Cannabis is well-suited for addressing this because it helps the body in pain management and timely reduction of pain signals. Always work with a health professional in regards to using medical marijuana for a treatment.

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