Can Cannabis Treat Multiple Sclerosis?

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Many sufferers of MS wonder — can cannabis treat MS? The National Multiple Sclerosis Society supports the use of cannabis to alleviate the disease’s symptoms. 

Multiple sclerosis (MS) attacks the brain and spinal cord. A debilitating disease with no cure, MS causes a multitude of symptoms such as loss of vision, the inability to walk, tremors, fatigue, incontinence, mental changes, slurred speech, pain and electric shock-like sensations of the extremities. 

The National Institutes of Health reports that in 2013 Dr. Zajicek headed the MUSEC study on the effectiveness of using cannabis to treat muscle tremors and stiffness in MS sufferers. The findings showed that the use of marijuana improved muscle stiffness twofold in MS suffers. The study further showed that cannabis significantly improved body pain and spasms. MS sufferers using marijuana in the study also experienced improved sleep quality.

Alena Novotna, MD and the Sativex Spasticity Study Group are currently doing clinical trials on nabiximol, an oral spray derived from cannabis, that has significantly improved muscle spasms in MS sufferers according to the European Journal of Neurology. As of 2015, nabiximol is available in 11 countries and approved in 13 countries under the pharmaceutical brand name of Sativex for the treatment of MS symptoms.

As more and more studies are conducted around the world, there remains very little doubt that cannabis does successfully treat many of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and can improve a sufferer’s overall quality of life.

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