Pot shows promise to reduce symptoms of MS patients

  • According to a review of recent studies, cannabis doses could help multiple sclerosis (MS) patients subdue their body spasms and move about more easily. The paper authors, however, noted that the apparent relief of patients could also be a matter of perception.

    The authors found “evidence that combined THC and CBD extracts may provide therapeutic benefit” after reviewing six trials that tested the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) extracts on muscle spasms in a total of 481 MS patients.

    The researchers analyzed cannabis-taking patients reported decreases in their spasms in five of the six double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials.
    “The subjective experience of symptom reduction was generally found to be significant,” wrote the authors, based at the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation in Los Angeles. However, the authors conceded, “participants of both active and placebo trials may not be entirely blind to their treatment status, and this may affect subjective analysis.”

    The authors concluded in the paper published online in the journal BMC Neurology that MS patients might not get a green light for this treatment just yet. “Objective measures of spasticity failed to provide significant changes.”

    The authors of the recent paper, however, noted that a mixture of THC and CBD could limit psychotropic effects. In any case, it was found that for the MS patients in the studies at least, “side effects from combined extracts of THC and CBD were generally well tolerated.”

    BMC Neurology

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