According to new research marijuana is just as useful for treating the muscle spasms of multiple sclerosis as it is for the chronic pain of other conditions such as cancer and glaucoma.
“The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in MS appears to be comprehensive, and should be given considerable attention,” said lead researcher Dr. Shaheen Lakhan, executive director of the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation.”Spasticity, an involuntary increase in muscle tone or rapid muscle contractions, is one of the more common and distressing symptoms of MS. Medicinal treatment may reduce spasticity, but may also be ineffective, difficult to obtain or associated with intolerable side effects. We found evidence that cannabis plant extracts may provide therapeutic benefit for MS spasticity symptoms.”
Lakhan and his colleague Marie Rowland reviewed six studies where marijuana was used by MS patients, in five of those studies marijuana reduced spasms and improved mobility. These studies evaluated the cannabis extracts delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and found that both THC and CBD extracts may provide therapeutic benefit for MS spasticity symptoms. Careful monitoring of symptom relief and side effects is critical in reaching an individual’s optimal dose. The research does seem to prove that cannabinoids may provide neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits in MS however.
“Considering the distress and limitations spasticity brings to individuals with MS, it would be important to carefully weigh the potential for side effects with the potential for symptom relief, especially in view of the relief reported in subjective assessment.”
If drugs could be made without the intoxicating effects of marijuana, they could have a direct effect on these spasms without the high.