Medical Marijuana and Dystonia
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 01/26/2011 in Medical Marijuana Conditions
Medical marijuana is an effective medicine for countless conditions, including dystonia, which is a type of movement disorder in which sustained muscle contractions cause pain, twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. It is the third most common movement disorder after Parkinson’s disease and tremor, affecting more than 300,000 people in North America.
The disorder may be hereditary or caused by other factors such as birth-related or other physical trauma, infection, poisoning or reaction to pharmaceutical drugs, such as neuroleptics. Treatment is difficult and has been limited to minimizing the symptoms of the disorder, since the disease is incurable. Luckily, patients living in medical marijuana states can get safe, legal access to medical marijuana, which has been extremely effective in the treatment of dystonia.
There are a handful of studies that show medical marijuana can improve symptoms of dystonia and, in some cases, completely eliminate pain. For example, a 2002 Canadian study published in The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that smoking marijuana completely eliminated pain and improved symptoms of dystonia in a 42-year-old chronic pain patient. Also in 2002, a study that was published in the European Journal of Pharmacology indicates that both synthetic cannabinoids as well as high doses of the natural non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) could moderate the disease progression of dystonia in animals.
In 2004, researchers at the Hannover Medical School in Germany found that THC intake significantly improved symptoms of focal in a 38-year-old professional pianist. Prior to treatment with cannabis the musician could not play the piano, and after treatment he was able to play technically demanding literature. Also in 2004, a case study published in the journal Movement Disorders found significant clinical improvement following cannabis inhalation in an Argentinean 25-year-old patient with generalized dystonia due to Wilson’s disease.
Thousands of dystonia patinets have found relief by medicating with cannabis, and these studies surely indicate that medical marijuana is an effective treatment. But the bottom line is that we simply need more research before marijuana becomes the go-to drug for Dystonia patients. When marijuana is stripped of it’s Schedule 1 status by the federal government, researchers and scientist will be free to prove just how effective marijuana is.