Spasticity is a feature of altered skeletal muscle performance with a combination of paralysis, increased tendon reflex activity and hypertonia. It is also colloquially referred to as an unusual “tightness”, stiffness, or “pull” of muscles.
Clinically, spasticity results from the loss of inhibition of motor neurons, causing excessive velocity-dependent muscle contraction. This ultimately leads to hyperreflexia, an exaggerated deep tendon reflex. Spasticity is often treated with the drug baclofen, which acts as an agonist at GABA receptors, which are inhibitory.
Medical Marijuana Efficacy
A review by Shaheen Lakhan, PhD, and Marie Rowland, PhD, of the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation in Los Angeles, found that five of six published studies they analyzed reported a reduction in spasticity and an improvement in mobility in MS patients treated with marijuana extracts.
“We found evidence that combined THC and CBD extracts may provide therapeutic benefit for MS spasticity symptoms,” Lakhan said in a news release.
Related Clinical Information to Spasicity and Medical Cannabis
- Cannabis derivatives therapy for a seronegative stiff-person syndrome: a case report.
- Low dose treatment with the synthetic cannabinoid Nabilone significantly reduces spasticity-related pain: A double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over trial.
- Cannabis-based medicinal extract (Sativex) produced significant improvements in a subjective measure of spasticity which were maintained on long-term treatment with no evidence of tolerance.
- A casuistic rationale for the treatment of spastic and myocloni in a childhood neurodegenerative disease: neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis of the type Jansky-Bielschowsky.
- The effect of orally and rectally administered delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on spasticity: a pilot study with 2 patients.
- Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol shows antispastic and analgesic effects in a single case double-blind trial.
- Treatment of human spasticity with delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
- Marihuana as a therapeutic agent for muscle spasm or spasticity.