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
- Effect of dronabinol on progression in progressive multiple sclerosis (CUPID): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial.
- Smoked cannabis for spasticity in multiple sclerosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
- Multiple Sclerosis and Extract of Cannabis: results of the MUSEC trial.
- A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, enriched-design study of nabiximols*(Sativex), as add-on therapy, in subjects with refractory spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis.
- Randomized controlled trial of Sativex to treat detrusor overactivity in multiple sclerosis.
- Psychopathological and cognitive effects of therapeutic cannabinoids in multiple sclerosis: a double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover study.
- Cannabinoid-induced effects on the nociceptive system: a neurophysiological study in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
- Current status of cannabis treatment of multiple sclerosis with an illustrative case presentation of a patient with MS, complex vocal tics, paroxysmal dystonia, and marijuana dependence treated with dronabinol.
- Oromucosal ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol for neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis: an uncontrolled, open-label, 2-year extension trial.
- Randomized controlled trial of cannabis-based medicine in spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis
- Randomised controlled study of cannabis-based medicine (Sativex®) in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis associated detrusor overactivity
- Long-term use of a cannabis-based medicine in the treatment of spasticity and other symptoms in multiple sclerosis.
- Randomized, controlled trial of cannabis-based medicine in central pain in multiple sclerosis.
- Cannabinoid influence on cytokine profile in multiple sclerosis.
- An open-label pilot study of cannabis-based extracts for bladder dysfunction in advanced multiple sclerosis.
- Efficacy of tetrahydrocannabinol in patients refractory to standard antiemetic therapy.Efficacy, safety and tolerability of an orally administered cannabis extract in the treatment of spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.
- Does the cannabinoid dronabinol reduce central pain in multiple sclerosis? Randomised double blind placebo controlled crossover trial
- Cannabis use as described by people with multiple sclerosis.
- Cannabinoids for treatment of spasticity and other symptoms related to multiple sclerosis (CAMS study): multicentre randomised placebo-controlled trial.
- Randomised controlled trial of cannabis based medicine (CBM, Stativex) to treat detrusor overactivity in multiple sclerosis.
- Analgesic effect of the cannabinoid analogue nabilone is not mediated by opioid receptors.
- Nabilone in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
- Effect of cannabinoids on spasticity and ataxia in multiple sclerosis.
- Delta-9-THC in the treatment of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol for tremor in multiple sclerosis.