In April 2011, a 21-year-old New Hampshire college student sought medical treatment after experiencing a rash and a severe headache. Just 12 hours later, he died. The cause. Bacterial meningitis. The student’s case is just one of the numerous others in the US with the National Meningitis for Association estimating about 600-1000 infections each year. About 10-15 percent of the victims die.
Researchers and medical specialists in the country have been able to develop several treatment mechanisms for the deadly disease. In New York, medical marijuana is being advanced as a helpful drug in managing meningitis. How exactly does cannabis help to cure the disease?
Meningitis is fatal because it strikes quickly and leads to serious complications, ending in death, at times. Anyone can get infected by the meningococcal disease. However, you are at a higher risk of infection if you:
- Are a young adult or teenager
- Live in crowded areas, such as military barracks or college dormitories
- Travel to meningitis prone areas outside the United States, such as the African “meningitis belt”
- Have a sickle cell disease, a damaged or no spleen
- Are exposed during a meningitis outbreak
- Are taking Soliris® medication, or have a complement component deficiency
- Closely handle and work with meningococcal bacteria inside a laboratory
The symptoms of meningitis usually appear suddenly, after 3-4 days of infection. However, they could take up to 10 days at times. They include:
- Sudden intense fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stiff neck(meningitis)
- Red-purple rash on the skin
- Eye-sensitivity to light
- Weakness and a feeling of severe illness
Meningococcal disease spreads from one individual to the other through coughing or after prolonged close contact with an infected person. This can include hugging, kissing, and sharing living spaces. One in 10 individuals can live with meningococcal bacteria in their nose or throat without being actively infected.
Early diagnosis of meningococcal disease helps with ensuring effective treatment before its symptoms deteriorate. When serious, you could get excessive organ damage that antibiotics cannot reverse. At such times you will need regular hospice care and might even have to live with long-term problems when you survive. This can include brain damage, hearing loss, limb amputations, and kidney damage.
Medical Marijuana in the US
It is no surprise that marijuana, derived from the cannabis genus, has medicinal properties. For thousands of years, different cultures around the world have depended on the plant as a herbal cure. Recent studies have shown that the plant has more than 120 active ingredients, with some that are incredibly promising in treating a wide variety of diseases.
Even with marijuana use being illegal in numerous US states, some provisions legalize its medicinal use. Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the plant’s two main potent ingredients. THC causes a high feeling usually after smoking marijuana or consuming its edibles, capsules, or oils. CBD, on the other hand, has zero psychoactive properties and is consumed in the form of gels, gummies, supplements, and more.
Medical Marijuana Use in Meningitis Treatment
Endocannabinoids (ECS) offer neuroprotection, control inflammations, and enhance immunomodulation of your central nervous system. The activation of cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB2) ensures reduced release of pro-inflammatory factors and enhances the release of anti-inflammatory cytokine.
Endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) enhances eosinophil movement which is essentially the migration of white blood cells into the blood. Peripheral blood (platelets, white and red blood cells) can have CB2-receptor-dependent mechanisms when activating the most abundant white blood cells in mammals, neutrophils.
A recent study focused on studying cannabis effects on dogs with inflammatory nervous system infections and upregulated nervous systems. It showed how the endocannabinoid system is a potential treatment for inflammatory CNS-infection.
Another recent study proved the neuroprotective effects of marijuana, enhancing the health of the brain and spinal cord while also assisting to treat various CNS infections. Cannabinoids present in cannabis actively guard astrocytes and neurons, help in neuroregeneration, and regulate inflammations.
With little studies on the activity of marijuana on meningitis, past patients’ stories have offered relief to other meningitis victims. They have also helped to create more public awareness on the instant benefits of cannabis such as easing inflammation, pain, and swelling. This gives the antibiotics time to work and buys patients more time to live. The body, as such, heals without developing long-term complications.
In the overall, medical marijuana assists in alleviating the following specific symptoms of meningitis:
- Decreased appetite
MMJ Doctors can Help
The legality and requirements around accessing medical marijuana vary from one state and locality to the other. It is paramount to source it from professionals who are conversant with meningitis and its treatment. They can recommend a medical marijuana card for you to legally access the medicine from licensed pharmacists.
Medical Marijuana Doctors facility in New York is committed to offering you reliable health solutions at your time of need. Our licensed specialists can give you specialized advice and attention. Contact us today to know how best to deal with your meningitis symptoms.