Researchers Say Cannabis Can Benefit People with Multiple Sclerosis of medical marijuana in managing symptoms of multiple sclerosis and. Only specialist doctors are allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis. There's a medically approved cannabis-based treatment called Sativex, but it doesn't work . Medical marijuana may be an option to treat some MS symptoms if you live in a state where You've had multiple sclerosis for a while now and tried a bunch of things to ease your They're the same whether you use it for fun or as medicine.
(MS) – Cannabis Medicinal Multiple Sclerosis
In people with MS, the immune system is overactive and causes damage to cells in the brain, spinal cord, or optical nerves that make up the central nervous system. Marijuana, which is also known as cannabis, is now legal in many areas of the United States. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society support the use of medical marijuana for people with MS in some instances and where it is lawful. Tetrahydrocannabinol THC is one of the primary chemicals in marijuana, and it has psychoactive properties that cause the "high" of the drug.
Conversely, a compound called cannabidiol CBD does not have psychoactive effects. There are many other components of marijuana, but most research to date has focused on these two. THC may increase appetite, reduce nausea, and improve muscle control issues. CBD may be useful for controlling epileptic seizures and treating mental health conditions. Both chemicals can reduce pain and inflammation in the body. The researchers found that people in the marijuana group experienced almost twice as much relief from muscle stiffness.
A large study involved people with MS who took either oral marijuana extract or a placebo. The authors concluded that marijuana extract is an effective treatment for spasticity in people with MS.
Spasticity is the continuous contraction of certain muscles, and it is a common symptom of MS. In , a systematic review found strong evidence to support the use of marijuana-based treatments for MS-related muscle problems.
A trial looked at the effect of smoking marijuana on the symptoms of MS. The researchers found that smoking marijuana led to more pain reduction than a placebo. In another study , people with MS who took oral marijuana extract had a more significant reduction in pain than those who received a placebo. Scientists conducted a trial to investigate the use of oral marijuana extract for bladder dysfunction.
The results were not statistically significant, but they indicated that marijuana might improve the symptoms of bladder problems in people with MS.
A systematic review also found evidence to suggest that oral marijuana extract is likely to be effective for treating these issues. Marijuana may not be useful for other symptoms of MS. These include cognitive symptoms, such as difficulty thinking. A study in the journal Neurology found that people with MS who smoked marijuana achieved poor results on cognitive tests in comparison with those who did not use the drug. Marijuana is also unlikely to be beneficial for reducing tremors, another primary symptom of MS.
A systematic review found that the existing evidence did not support the use of marijuana to reduce tremors in people with MS. However, it is still possible that marijuana might be useful for the treatment of tremors in people with conditions other than MS.
Guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology for people with MS state that oral marijuana extracts, synthetic THC, and oral marijuana sprays are likely to be effective for treating some MS symptoms.
They note that it is unclear whether smoking marijuana may also be beneficial. However, the long-term safety of treatment with this drug needs more research. Any treatment containing THC may have some psychoactive effects. Scientific evidence suggests that it can lessen pain, muscle problems, and bladder issues.
Additional, larger-scale clinical studies are necessary to confirm these findings. It is important to note that taking marijuana for MS may not always be appropriate. The drug can also have side effects. People should speak with their doctor before deciding to use marijuana for MS. The doctor can help them weigh up the costs and benefits of the treatment and determine whether or not it is suitable for them.
Article last reviewed by Mon 10 December Visit our Multiple Sclerosis category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Multiple Sclerosis. All references are available in the References tab. Smoked cannabis for spasticity in multiple sclerosis: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Canadian Medical Association Journal , 10 , — Efficacy and safety of medical marijuana in selected neurologic disorders: What is medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana cannabis FAQs. Effects of cannabis on cognition in patients with MS. Neurology , 82 21 , — The majority of medicinal cannabis studies have researched spasticity in muscles where they involuntarily contract.
This causes tightness, stiffness and pain in muscles and can interfere with normal movement. However, it should be noted that spasticity also affects other internal organs including the bladder which have not been studied. It has been known since that cannabinoids can control spasticity in MS.
Studies have shown that patients have reported a In New Zealand the only pharmaceutical grade cannabis product, Sativex, has been approved by MedSafe for use in MS spasticity but not pain. Pain can be neuropathic arising from damage to the nervous system , related to muscle spasms, Nerve A bundle of nerve fibres axons. The fibres are either afferent - leading toward the brain and serving in the perception of sensory stimuli of the skin, joints, muscles, and inner organs; or efferent—leading away from the brain and mediating contractions of muscles or organs.
Studies have shown cannabis can reduce neuropathic Nerve A bundle of nerve fibres axons. In a study of Chronic Of long duration, not acute; a term often used to describe a disease showing gradual worsening over months or years. These include ingestion of the raw product, smoking, inhalation of vapour, and oral administration via tinctures extracts and cannabis oil. Side effects can include hypertension, increased pain, anxiety, disorientation, difficulty concentrating, headache, dry eyes, burning sensation, dizziness, numbness, increased appetite, dry mouth, constipation and diarrhoea.
In most trials these are described as mild and tolerance to the common known side effects of cannabis can be developed over time. Users can become substance dependant which is a brain-based disorder characterised by compulsive use, inability to desist in the face of negative consequences, and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation.
This may come from the THC compound which has been shown to stimulate dopamine release, a feature common to all addictive substances. Not all cannabis users will develop dependence and the rates are lower compared to other drugs at approximately 9. Those who start using cannabis younger than 18 years old also have times greater risk of developing dependence within 2 years of their first use.
Short-term memory, impaired motor coordination and altered judgement are all considered temporary side effects while the individual is intoxicated following use. These side effects may last for minutes following use and are cause by the THC compound. The CBD compound works to reduce these symptoms. A small study showed that users of cannabis perform significantly worse in these cognitive areas and are twice as likely to be considered cognitively impaired than non-users.
However while there is sparse evidence to draw a strong link between cannabis smoking and lung cancer specifically some studies do to suggest higher rates of respiratory issues. As cannabis is a crop there is a potential for contamination by microorganisms, fungi and pathogenic organisms which can cause possible infections.
There has been a case of a cannabis smoker with a compromised immune system contracting a pulmonary fungal infection. Cannabis plants are often treated with pesticides. Because of the way cannabis is smoked or heated to be vaped, this could change the availability of the pesticide and many medicinal cannabis patients could be more susceptible to the toxic effects of the compounds due to their illness. While cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of mental illness, no direct causal links have been found.
Several studies have shown a link between an increased risk of developing psychotic disorders including schizophrenia in cannabis users. However, it is difficult to predict who might develop a mental illness irrespective of cannabis use. For those with pre-existing schizophrenia and psychosis, studies have shown cannabis exacerbates symptoms, particularly delusion and hallucinatory activity. Studies have shown that there are poorer cognitive outcomes for early-onset cannabis users use by 15 years old which is in line with what is known about brain development in adolescents.
Early-onset users have shown to have, poorer verbal memory and fluency, sustained attention, impulse control and executive functioning coinciding with visible differences in brain scans. Much of the illegally grown cannabis has focussed on breeds that contain a high level of THC and almost negligible levels of CBH.
Benefits for MS
Read about GeneFo's guide to medical cannabis, which helps MS patients that medical cannabis can alleviate symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), MS or its symptoms for the medical use of cannabis is great news for. Medicinal cannabis is a drug made from any of the parts of the plants from the .. the use of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of multiple sclerosis in Australia. The Society supports the rights of people with MS to work with their MS health care providers to access marijuana for medical purposes in accordance with legal.