Cannabis Extract Now Believed to Ease MS Stiffness

The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry has published new findings that cannabis extract helps ease painful muscle stiffness for those suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS).

Multiple sclerosis affects the brain and spinal cord, and occurs when the immune system attacks the fatty myelin sheaths that insulate the nerve cells.

According to the NY DAILY NEWS, a test, the “Phase III Test” was held in Britain over 12 weeks, and 144 patients were given tablets of the active ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol.

An additional 135 patients were given a placebo with no active ingredients.

The patients received gradual increases in doses and at the end of the study, 29.4 percent of people in the cannabis group said they had experienced relief from muscle spasms.  In the placebo group only 15.7 percent reported improvement in an 11-point rating system.

The group who received cannabis tablets also reported an improvement in sleep quality.  The group also reported minor side effects involving nervous system disorders and gut problems.

Painful stiffness in the muscles occurs among up to 90 percent of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.   This often leads to poor sleep and impaired mobility.

Trial leader John Peter Zajicek of Britain’s Clinical Neurology Research Group said standardized doses of cannabis extract is useful in easing pain and spasms.

It seems like every day there is a new study supporting the clear medical benefits of cannabis. In the United States, 17 states now have a medical marijuana available, with 2 more (Massachusetts and Arkansas) possible with voter initiatives on the ballot this November.