Marijuana

Multiple sclerosis sufferers may have a new weapon in treating painful muscle stiffness affecting nearly 90 percent of its victims: marijuana.

A recent study, conducted in the UK and published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, treated MS sufferers with muscle stiffness and pain for twelve weeks with either cannabis (the marijuana plant) or placebos. Nearly 30 percent of the cannabis group reported noticeable benefits, including improved muscle mobility and decreased pain versus the placebo group with a success rate only about half of that in the cannabis group.

The cannabis group received a maximum daily dose of 25 milligrams of concentrated cannabis, and the impressive results offer hope for MS sufferers. Conversely, many of the conventional pharmaceutical treatment drugs that have also undergone clinical trials are either consistently ineffective or actually have negative effects on patients—in some cases, like baclofen, the drug actually further weakened the muscles of MS sufferers it was supposed to treat.

This study, entitledMultiple Sclerosis and Extract of Cannabis: results of the MUSEC trial,” was considered a phase-III trial, and confirmed the efficacy of cannabis as a reliable treatment option for both pain relief and muscle stiffness.

Marijuana has been connected with successfully treating or relieving symptoms of a number of ailments from arthritis to glaucoma, and even providing relief for cancer patients undergoing painful chemotherapy treatments.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, leading to multiple symptoms including muscle fatigue and pain. While there are many treatment options, there is no known cure for the disease.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: JosephAdams