Medical Marijuana Efficacy

Clinical and anecdotal reports of cannabinoids’ ability to reduce MS-related symptoms such as pain, spasticity, depression, fatigue, and incontinence are bountiful in scientific literature. Specifically, investigators at the University of California reported in 2008 during placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial participants who inhaled cannabis significantly reduced objective measures of pain intensity and spasticity. They concluded that “smoked cannabis was superior to placebo in reducing spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis and provided some benefit beyond currently prescribed treatment.”

Inhaled cannabis yielded similar results in a 2012 randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving MS participants who were unresponsive to conventional therapy. That study, published in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, concluded, “Smoked cannabis was superior to placebo in symptom and pain reduction in patients with treatment-resistant spasticity.” Not surprisingly, patients with MS typically report using cannabis as a form of therapy, with one survey indicating that nearly one in two MS patients use the drug therapeutically.

Other studies conducted suggest that cannabinoids may also inhibit MS progression in addition to providing symptom management. Writing in the July 2003 issue of the journal Brain, investigators at the University College of London’s Institute of Neurology reported that administration of the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 provided “significant neuroprotection” in an animal model of multiple sclerosis.

Similar findings were reported from Spanish researchers in 2012, documenting that “the treatment of EAE mice with the cannabinoid agonist WIN55,512-2 reduced their neurological disability and the progression of the disease.”

Official Research Reports