A new study conducted by researcher at Colorado State University suggests cannabis may be able to help manage some of the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, including symptoms pertaining to mood, memory, fatigue, and obesity. The study, which was published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, involved 595 participants, of which 76% were Parkinson’s disease patients and 24% were multiple sclerosis patients. Over 40% of users were currently treating their symptoms with cannabis, and reported cannabis symptom management efficacy around 6.4 on a scale from 0 to 7. Users reported lower levels of neurological dysfunction and lower levels of disability, specifically in relation to mood, memory, and fatigue. Additionally, 59% said they could reduce their use of prescription medications. Participants were overall younger and less likely to be obese. On the downside, patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis may experience negative impacts on balance.
The researchers used anonymous web-based surveys collecting demographic and cannabis consumption behavioral data, along with information regarding participants’ neurological function, fatigue, balance, and physical activation participation. to compare self-reported assessments of neurological disability among current cannabis users and non-users. They concluded, “Cannabis may have positive impacts on mood, memory, fatigue, and obesity status in people with [Parkinson’s disease] and [multiple sclerosis.” This study supports previously findings that suggest cannabis and cannabinoids help improve symptoms and inhibit progression of both neurological disorders. Still, researchers would like to see more in depth research surrounding the use of cannabis for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.