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Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by weakness and rapid fatigue of voluntary muscles. The condition occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the communication between nerves and muscles, resulting in impaired muscle function. MG can affect various muscle groups, including those responsible for eye movement, facial expressions, swallowing, and limb movement. Symptoms typically worsen with activity and improve with rest. The severity and progression of MG can vary greatly among individuals. Treatment options may include medications, immunosuppressive therapy, or surgery to manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for those affected by this disorder.

What is Myasthenia Gravis?

Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that causes weakness and rapid fatigue in voluntary muscles due to impaired communication between nerves and muscles.


Symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis can vary among individuals and may include:

  1. Muscle weakness, particularly in the eyes, face, throat, and limbs
  2. Drooping eyelids (ptosis)
  3. Double vision (diplopia)
  4. Difficulty in speaking (dysarthria)
  5. Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  6. Problems with chewing
  7. Facial muscle weakness, resulting in an expressionless appearance
  8. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
  9. Fatigue after physical activity


Myasthenia Gravis is caused by an autoimmune response in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the communication between nerves and muscles. Specifically, the immune system produces antibodies that block or destroy acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction, leading to impaired muscle function. Factors that may contribute to the development of MG include:

  1. Genetic predisposition: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing autoimmune disorders like MG.
  2. Thymus gland abnormalities: The thymus gland, which plays a role in the immune system, may be abnormal in some people with MG, contributing to the production of antibodies against acetylcholine receptors.
  3. Other autoimmune conditions: Individuals with other autoimmune disorders may have an increased risk of developing MG.


There is currently no known way to prevent Myasthenia Gravis, as the exact cause of the autoimmune response is not fully understood. However, individuals diagnosed with MG can take steps to manage their symptoms and reduce complications by:

  1. Adhering to prescribed treatments and medications
  2. Avoiding triggers that may exacerbate symptoms, such as excessive heat, stress, or infection
  3. Engaging in regular, low-intensity exercise to maintain muscle strength
  4. Practicing good nutrition and staying hydrated to promote overall health
  5. Communicating with healthcare providers about any changes in symptoms or concerns

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial for managing Myasthenia Gravis and improving the quality of life for those affected by this disorder.

Medical Marijuana as a Treatment for Myasthenia Gravis

While research on medical marijuana for Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is limited, some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that it may help alleviate certain symptoms associated with the condition.

How does medical marijuana help?

Medical marijuana may aid in managing Myasthenia Gravis through the following mechanisms:

  1. Muscle relaxation: Some cannabinoids have been shown to relax muscles, potentially reducing muscle stiffness or spasms in MG patients.
  2. Pain relief: Medical marijuana may help manage any pain or discomfort associated with MG, particularly when conventional treatments are not effective.
  3. Anti-inflammatory properties: Medical marijuana has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects, which could potentially help reduce the autoimmune response contributing to MG.

Cannabinoids and Terpenes for Myasthenia Gravis

Certain cannabinoids may be effective in addressing MG symptoms:

  1. CBD (cannabidiol): CBD has demonstrated potential benefits in reducing inflammation, providing pain relief, and relaxing muscles. It may also help alleviate anxiety or depression that can accompany chronic illnesses like MG.
  2. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol): THC can provide muscle relaxation and pain relief. However, it is essential to use low doses, as high doses might exacerbate anxiety or other side effects.

There is currently insufficient evidence to recommend specific terpenes for the treatment of Myasthenia Gravis.

It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional experienced in cannabinoid medicine when considering medical marijuana as a treatment for managing MG-related symptoms. They can help determine the appropriate strains, ratios of cannabinoids, and dosages tailored to an individual’s specific needs and circumstances. Further research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects and efficacy of medical marijuana in managing MG symptoms and side effects. It is also important to note that medical marijuana should not be considered a substitute for conventional treatments prescribed by a healthcare provider.

Dosage and Consumption Methods

Recommended dosage:

Figuring out the right dose of medical marijuana can be hard because people’s reactions to cannabinoids and terpenes can be very different. Factors such as the specific condition being treated, the patient’s weight, metabolism, and prior experience with cannabis all play a role in determining the right dosage.
Most of the time, it is best to start with a low dose and slowly increase it until you get the effects you want while minimising any possible side effects. For patients who are new to medical marijuana, starting with 2.5–5 mg of THC or CBD and slowly titrating upwards is often advised.

However, consulting a healthcare professional experienced in medical marijuana is essential to developing a personalised dosing plan tailored to the patient’s needs.

Consumption methods:

There are several methods of consuming medical marijuana, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Some common consumption methods include:

  1. Inhalation (smoking or vaping): Inhalation provides rapid onset of effects, usually within minutes, making it suitable for patients requiring immediate relief. However, smoking may pose respiratory risks, while vaping has been associated with lung injuries in some cases.
  2. Oral ingestion (edibles, capsules, tinctures): Ingesting medical marijuana provides longer-lasting effects compared to inhalation but has a slower onset, typically taking 30 minutes to 2 hours for effects to be felt. This method is suitable for patients requiring sustained relief but may require careful dosing to avoid overconsumption.
  3. Topical application (creams, balms, patches): Topicals can provide localised relief for conditions such as arthritis or skin disorders without producing psychoactive effects. The onset of action and duration of effects can vary depending on the product formulation and individual absorption rates.
  4. Sublingual administration (tinctures, dissolvable strips): Sublingual products are absorbed through the mucous membranes under the tongue, providing rapid onset of effects without the need for inhalation or ingestion. This method offers discreet consumption and precise dosing.

Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card

Why get a medical marijuana card?

Getting a medical marijuana card is helpful for patients who are looking for other ways to treat their conditions.

  1. Legal protection: A medical marijuana card allows patients to possess, use, and in some cases, cultivate cannabis for medical purposes, within their state’s legal limits.
  2. Access to quality products: Medical marijuana dispensaries offer a wide range of tested and regulated cannabis products, ensuring patients receive safe and effective medication.
  3. Tax savings: In some states, medical marijuana patients are exempt from certain taxes applied to recreational cannabis sales.
  4. Professional guidance: Medical marijuana cardholders have access to healthcare professionals who can provide personalised recommendations, dosing advice, and ongoing support.

How to apply:

The process of obtaining a medical marijuana card varies by state but generally involves the following steps:

  1. Consult with Medical marijuana physicians to determine if medical marijuana is appropriate for your condition and obtain a written recommendation.
  2. Complete an application with the required documentation, including proof of residency, identification, and the healthcare professional’s recommendation.
  3. Submit the application to the appropriate state agency, along with any required fees.
  4. Await approval and issuance of the medical marijuana card.

Risks and Side Effects

Potential risks:

While medical marijuana can offer relief and improve the quality of life for many patients, it also carries certain risks and side effects. Some potential risks associated with medical marijuana use include:

  1. Dependency and addiction: Although the risk of addiction is considered lower than that of opioids or alcohol, some individuals may develop a dependency on cannabis.
  2. Impaired cognitive function: THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, can impair memory, attention, and reaction times, particularly with prolonged or heavy use.
  3. Respiratory issues: Smoking cannabis can cause respiratory problems, including bronchitis and lung irritation. Vaping has also been linked to lung injuries in some cases.
  4. Mental health concerns: High doses of THC or predisposition to mental health disorders can lead to increased anxiety, paranoia, or exacerbate existing mental health conditions.
  5. Drug interactions: Medical marijuana may interact with other medications, either enhancing or diminishing their effects. It is essential to discuss potential drug interactions with a healthcare professional before starting medical marijuana therapy.


Medical marijuana might not be right for every patient, especially those who already have certain health problems or risk factors. Contraindications to medical marijuana use may include:

  1. Personal or family history of substance abuse or addiction
  2. Severe liver or kidney disease
  3. Severe cardiovascular disease
  4. Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  5. History of psychosis or other severe mental health disorders
  6. Allergies or hypersensitivity to cannabis or its components

Legal Status

Where is it legal?

In the United States, the laws about medical marijuana are always changing. Currently, over 30 states and the District of Columbia allow its use under certain conditions. Each state has its own rules and a list of medical conditions that are allowed to use medical marijuana.

Even though some states have made medical marijuana legal, it is still illegal at the federal level because it is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

This difference between state and federal laws can make it harder for medical marijuana patients to get jobs, find housing, or travel across state lines, among other things. Patients should research their state’s guidelines and remain aware of potential legal risks.


Medical marijuana could help relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for many people with long-term or debilitating illnesses.

When thinking about this treatment option, it’s important to know the right dose, how to use it, how to get a medical marijuana card, possible risks, side effects, and legal status.

Work closely with a doctor or nurse who knows a lot about medical marijuana to find out if it is a good and safe choice for your needs.

As the legal landscape surrounding medical marijuana continues to evolve, staying informed about changing regulations and guidelines is essential to ensuring responsible and compliant use.

As the field of medical marijuana continues to evolve, it’s crucial for patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers to stay informed about the latest research and developments. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current landscape, but it’s always important to consult with healthcare providers for personalized advice.

Note: This article’s content is provided for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional legal or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or queries regarding laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult a lawyer, physician, or other licensed practitioner.