Benefits of Medical Cannabis for Multiple Sclerosis

Photo Credit: Lode Van de Velde/Public Domain http://bit.ly/2cNrj0L

Photo Credit: Lode Van de Velde/Public Domain http://bit.ly/2cNrj0L

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a painful diseases of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and communication from the brain to the rest of the body. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society describes the disease as immune-mediated, meaning the immune system produces an abnormal response against the central nervous system as the result of an unknown antigen. Patients with MS need better treatment options available to them, and some are beginning to consider medical marijuana. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society supports further research of medical marijuana for MS, and supports the rights of MS patients to work with care providers in legalized states so they can access medical marijuana.

There are still uncertainties as to how medical marijuana can help with MS, but here's what is known. Cannabis has analgesic properties, and one 2012 study from the University of California at San Diego involving 30 MS patients found the group that was given marijuana witnessed a reduction in pain and spasticity by half in comparison with the scores of the group given placebo. Cannabis can also be used in conjunction with conventional MS medications to reduce the side effects they produce, like stress, depression, fever, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. Cannabis also facilitates walking for MS patients, and one 1997 study published in the European Journal of Neurology found 70% of the 112 MS patients involved claimed improvements in leg weakness, leg pain, and spasticity when walking. Similarly, studies from the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation suggest cannabis improves mobility in MS patients. Lastly, cannabis increases survival, and in an animal study on rodents with MS published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology, 98% of the placebo group died, while 95% of the THC group survived during the disease's progression.

This information has been brought to you by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.