Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that smoking marijuana can help relieve pain, and muscle tightness "spasticity" in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). The study is published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
Even though there are drugs available to relieve spasticity, a disabling condition in which the muscles become tight and hard to control, they do not always improve the condition in patients and can have also have side effects.
In order to determine whether smoking cannabis can have an effect on spasticity in individuals who do not respond well the existing treatment, the researchers enrolled 30 individuals to participate in the study. 63% of study participants were female, over 50% needed walking aids, and 20% used wheelchairs. The average age of the research participants was 50 years.
The researchers rated the spasticity of each participant's joints on the modified Ashworth scale, a common objective tool to assess intensity of muscle tone.
Compared with the placebo group, participants who smoked marijuana experienced an almost one-third decrease on the Ashworth scale - 2.74 points from a baseline score of 9.3, meaning spasticity improved. In addition, pain scores among those in cannabis group decreased by around 50%.
Dr. Jody Corey-Bloom, Department of Neuroscience, University of California, San Diego, California, with co-authors explained:
"We saw a beneficial effect of smoked cannabis on treatment-resistant spasticity and pain associated with multiple sclerosis among our participants. Although generally well-tolerated by our participants, smoking cannabis was accompanied by acute cognitive effects."
The researchers found that although smoking cannabis negatively affected cognitive function, the effects were short term.
The researchers conclude:
"Using an objective measure, we saw a beneficial effect of inhaled cannabis on spasticity among patients receiving insufficient relief from traditional treatments.
Although generally well-tolerated, smoking cannabis had acute cognitive effects. Larger, long-term studies are needed to confirm our findings and determine whether lower doses can result in beneficial effects with less cognitive impact."
Written By Grace Rattue
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spasticity and MS
posted by steven on 17 Feb 2013 at 5:47 am
I tried everything for my leg spasms at night. It was torture for month's on end, every night. I take one puff of Indica weed now and like flipping a switch, my legs go quiet and then so do I. It works every single time with no exceptions. Life is better now.
Marijuana Should be legal, my own doctors even agree, I have chronic back pain that I have been told is never going away, so they give me morphine 9wow) But another case in point, when I first started dating my wife of almost 20 years know she had a eating disorder, she was pesribed all sorts of drugs, Lexapro, Prozac, Xanax, all made it worse and even has a suicide attempt. At this time I was able to talk my wife into trying Marijuana (it helps me allot) and guess what she no longer takes any of the other drugs with thier nasty side effect ( even death) now smokes Marijuana as needed and has no eating issues and side affects.
My wife has Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia & Osteoarthritis. • My wife has been upfront since before going & getting the prescription with the doctor. Also every time she has gone in the hospital at least 5 times since last August they are informed that she does use it on a occasion but only at night to help relax & comfort her so she can sleep better. No one has ever made any comments other than they can't recommend it.
• She even has a super pubic catheter & has had many urine tests for known normal infections with no mention of problems with marijuana.
• Her doctor called her in for an appointment just to tell her she will need to do random urine tests because the hospital informed her that she tested positive for marijuana. Now she knew that my wife has used it since June of last year. I also just spoke with the Infectious Disease Doctor who ran her case while in the hospital. He had no idea of any of this & was surprised someone would do that to my wife.
Do doctors have the right to require urine tests in these cases & threaten to stop all pain medications? This doctor even said to my wife she will never be pain free & there is nothing to substitute to help her with pain & reduced her medications at that visit.
posted by Jennifer Shaffer on 27 May 2012 at 6:18 pm
Montel Williams does it to calm his MS symptoms - he was even on Dr. Oz's daytime talk show discussing the benefits of marijuana for the relief of MS symptoms... Montel stated that "if it wasn't for the marijuana he couldn't lead the "normal" life that he is living..." He wouldn't be able to move because of the spasticity of his muscles... He would most likely be in a wheelchair... Yes, I would have to agree with Montel... I admit, I have tried it once because of what he said and it DID work... I did NOT have the cognitive function delays or impacts that the researchers were speaking of... Matter of a fact, I was studying for my bachelor's degree in Psychology at the time and writing research papers myself... Granted, I did my usage illegally, but hey we all have to do what we have to do... I am not one who likes to break the law as it goes against my grain as an individual, so I haven't "done it" since... I use my prescription medications and feel worse - cognitively and physically - than when I tried the marijuana... Isn't that a kick in the pants for the drug manufacturers??? A God given weed made me feel better than their medication does - less side effects both cognitively and physically... I most likely could have driven with that - I wouldn't even think of driving with my prescription medications... Isn't that interesting???
Also - the official multiple sclerosis drugs are VERY expensive - if marijuana helps at a fraction of the cost, it's worth looking into it. Otherwise, people will turn to their other favorite unofficial medicine: alcohol. And that's more dangerous for the body and people around you if you choose to drink and drive.
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