Is Cannabis Use Beneficial For Multiple Sclerosis?

Some medical researchers have grouped together to look for tests that can evaluate some extracts of the cannabis such as the cannabidiol or CBD and the delta9-tetrahydrocanabinnol or the THC. According to their findings, a therapeutic advantage and benefit can be derived from the combination of the two aforementioned extracts, especially towards the relief of spasticity involved with multiple sclerosis.

What is spasticity?

Spasticity is a general term given to involuntary muscular contractions which are very common to multiple sclerosis. Many treatment modalities directed at this symptom of MS have rendered themselves somewhat ineffective and intolerable.

In this study by experts form the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation, namely Marie Rowland and Shaheen Lakhan, certain side effects from cannabis have the ability to limit spasticity. The intoxication from cannabis, otherwise termed as marijuana, is actually necessary for limiting spasticity. But of course, the effects vary depending on how much cannabis was taken to intoxicate. The study they conducted in Los Angeles indicates that cannabinoids have a therapeutic effect for multiple sclerosis.

The trial

People with MS who have significant leg muscle spasticity were called in from different places to take part in this experiment. There were sixteen respondents, six had primary – progressive while ten of the respondents had the secondary – progressive type. The average age was forty-six years old having MS for an average of fifteen years.

There were three groups, each of which has been allocated a certain treatment. One was set for cannabis oil, the second for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is a cannabis constituent. And lastly, the placebo capsules which only contained vegetable oil.
The multiple sclerotic people were instructed to take the drugs and reach a specific level of medication in the first five weeks of the trial, but before passing eight weeks of monitoring.

Those who took the treatment, including the physicians, have no idea which mode of treatment has been taken. Everything will only be found right after the results of the study has been determined. Physicians were tasked to assess the stiffness of the muscles and their mobility every couple of weeks. Aside from physical assessment, postal questionnaires were also utilized. All of the side effects were to be taken down.

Physicians measured the muscle tone by using a categorical scale that holds 0 as normal, 1 as mild elevation, 2 as more marked elevation, 3 as considerable increase, and 4 as rigid limb upon flexion or extension for both the arms and the legs. They had to have a score of two for inclusion.

The results

Most of what came out as results were initially anecdotal at best and somewhat difficult to interpret. But after some time of further analysis, the meaning of the results was finally determined.

The cannabinoids that were taken orally were most helpful. However, such result was not observed in all patients, only in those who smoked the cannabis. Actually, other tests in the previous years have shown their results regarding the effect of cannabinoids in controlling spasticity.

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