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Cannabis effective against spasticity in MS patients, study confirms


Cannabis can reduce spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, a study has found

A systematic review, published in the open access journal BMC Neurology, found that five out six randomised controlled trials reported a reduction in spasticity and an improvement in mobility.

Shaheen Lakhan and Marie Rowland from the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation, Los Angeles, USA, searched for trials evaluating the cannabis extracts deltatetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). According to Lakhan, “We found evidence that combined THC and CBD extracts may provide therapeutic benefit for MS spasticity symptoms”.

Spasticity, involuntary muscle tension or contraction, is a common symptom of MS. Many existing therapies for this symptom are ineffective, difficult to obtain, or associated with intolerable side effects. In this study, reported incidence of side effects from cannabis, such as intoxication, varied greatly depending on the amount of cannabis needed to effectively limit spasticity, but the researchers note that side effects were also seen in the placebo groups. They add, “Considering the distress and limitations spasticity brings to individuals with MS, it is important to carefully weigh the potential for side effects with the potential for symptom relief “.

Lakhan concludes, “The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in MS is comprehensive and should be given considerable attention”.


Readers' comments (3)

  • but will anybody take notice?

    A sufferer

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  • Cannabis is not only effective in the treatment of MS, but also for a wide variety of illnesses and symptom management. Within the past decade researchers have discovered the endocannabinoid system and it is vital to life and involved in numerous physiological processes. Nurses can learn more through the website of Patients Out of Time, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating healthcare professionals and the public about the efficacy of cannabis as medicine:

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  • Rather than scan all the medical journals for articles on the medical uses of cannabis, please run a search on "Granny Storm Crow's list- July 2009" for links to hundreds of medical studies and articles about cannabis.

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