Multiple sclerosis, seizures, muscle spasms

Published study suggest cannabis helps ease multiple sclerosis, seizures, and muscle spasms

There is a shortage of formal research on whole marijuana for treatment of MS, but a number of studies have been conducted with various marijuana extracts, which have reported relief of both pain and spasticity. In this patient survey, of 28 epileptic patients who actively used marijuana, 68% reported that it improved severity of seizures and 54% reported improvement of seizure frequency. None reported that it worsened these symptoms.

Considerable data from animal models as well as some human clinical evidence suggest a role for marijuana in the treatment of seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

Multiple Sclerosis References

(1) J. Zajicek et al., “Cannabinoids for Treatment of Spasticity and Other Symptoms Related to Multiple Sclerosis (CAMS Study): Multicentre Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trial,” The Lancet 362 (2003): 1517-26.
This trial, using an oral cannabis extract, reported “evidence of a treatment effect on patient-reported spasticity and pain (p=0·003), with improvement in spasticity reported in 61% (n=121, 95% CI 54·6–68·2), 60% (n=108, 52·5–66·8), and 46% (n=91, 39·0–52·9) of participants on cannabis extract, 9-THC, and placebo, respectively.”
(2) D.T. Wade et al., “Long-Term Use of a Cannabis-Based Medicine in the Treatment of Spasticity and Other Symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis” Multiple Sclerosis 12 (2006): 639-45.
In this long-term follow-up of a clinical trial of a marijuana-based oral spray, patients were followed for as much as 82 weeks. The marijuana spray demonstrated long-term relief of spasticity, pain, and bladder issues related to MS, “without unacceptable adverse effects.”
Epilepsy and Other References
(1) Alsasua del Valle, “Implication of Cannabinoids in Neurological Diseases,” Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology 26, no. 4-6 (2006): 579-91
This wide-ranging review of the neurobiology of marijuana and its constituents in relation to neuroprotection and neurological disease noted, “It has been known for centuries that exogenous cannabinoids have anti-convulsant activity.”
(2) K. Mortati, B. Dworetzky, and O. Devinsky, “Marijuana: an Effective Antiepileptic Treatment in Partial Epilepsy? A Case Report and Review of the Literature,” Reviews in Neurological Diseases 4, no. 2 (2007): 103-6.
Mortati and colleagues reported the case of a 45-year-old male with cerebral palsy and epilepsy “who showed marked improvement with the use of marijuana.” The authors reviewed the current literature and concluded, “Although more data are needed, animal studies and clinical experience suggest that marijuana or its active constituents may have a place in the treatment of partial epilepsy.”
(3) D.W. Gross et al., “Marijuana Use and Epilepsy: Prevalence in Patients of a Tertiary Care Epilepsy Center,” Neurology 62, no. 11 (2004): 2095-7.

by the Marijuana Policy Project