Studies Show Medical Cannabis Benefits MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and Symptoms of Spasticity
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 11/18/2016 in Medical Marijuana Studies
For multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who deal with spasticity and who don’t respond well to traditional treatment options, medical marijuana offers another option that has proven to be beneficial for many patients. While studies within the United States are somewhat limited, since marijuana is listed as a Schedule 1 drug within the U.S. and the ability to get a medical marijuana card is limited to specific states, many studies have been done outside of the United States showing medical cannabis to be an effective treatment for individuals with MS.
Recent studies done in both the UK and Israel offer promising results for patients suffering from spasticity and MS, providing hope for patients who have not seen results with other traditional treatments. Here’s a closer look at these promising studies and some of the medical marijuana benefits that MS patients may enjoy if they have not had success with other treatments.
Medical Cannabis as a Treatment for Spasticity in MS Patients
One of the promising medical marijuana uses for patients with MS is marijuana’s promising success at treating spasticity in MS patients. A study that looked at the therapeutic potential of cannabis for treating spasticity found that the biology of the cannabis plant, as well as the endocannabinoid system, found that cannabis may control and limit spasticity in MS patients. Another study done at the Oxford Centre for Enablement found that a cannabis-based medicinal extract helped to significantly reduce spasticity in patients with no significant adverse side effects.
Yet another UK study tested the overall long term safety and effectiveness of cannabinoids in MS patients, finding that patients reported a reduction in spasticity. This study provided data that shows the need for better studies on MS and medical marijuana to learn more about whether it can offer more than just symptom relief for MS patients. An oral spray derived from cannabis was also proven to be helpful in MS patients in a well-controlled trial, treating MS-related spasticity, according to research published in the European Journal of Neurology.
Medical Marijuana May Reduce MS Disability and Progression
Beyond providing a reduction in spasticity for MS patients, medical marijuana may also help to reduce MS disability and progression as well. One Israeli study took a closer look at cannabinoids, the anti-inflammatory activities of cannabinoids, and their ability to help alleviate neurodegeneration and neuro-inflammation. An experimental approach was used, and the researchers concluded that cannabinoids may be effective and safe for treating the neurodegeneration that comes with MS, potentially slowing the progression of the disease for patients.
The Clinical Neurology Research Group in the UK wrote a review looking at cannabinoids for the management of MS, noting that an increasing amount of research confirms anecdotal evidence showing that medical marijuana can be effective at reducing the symptoms of MS in patients. The report also noted that the safety profile of cannabinoids is acceptable, and most patients report few if any negative side effects. It also noted that further trials and studies are needed to confirm marijuana’s ability to help reduce disability and progression of the disease.
The Need for More Studies and How You Can Help
Israeli and UK studies are indeed helpful to patients considering a medical cannabis card and using marijuana to treat MS, since they back up anecdotal evidence that has shown marijuana to be an effective treatment for spasticity and other symptoms. However, there’s a need for more studies to help both patients and physicians learn more about how medical marijuana works in patients in MS. To provide patients and physicians with helpful information, a new cannabis peer review study, the first of its kind, has recently been launched to allow patients and physicians to review and monitor progress while taking marijuana to treat MS.
If you’re a patient with MS who is taking medical marijuana, you can help others by signing up to get involved in this cannabis peer review study. The study recently launched its BETA mobile app, which allows you to keep track of your results, helping other patients and the physicians treating MS. Get involved in a way that can help others today and sign up to be a part of this groundbreaking, peer review study.