Survey: Nearly One In Six MS Patients Use Cannabis Therapeutically

Photo: Dave H - "Cannabis II" - https://www.flickr.com/photos/drome/ - Flickr Creative Commons

 
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by Paul Armentano

on June 23, 2015

This story was first published by norml.org.

One-quarter of patients with multiple sclerosis report having used cannabis therapeutically and nearly one out of six (16 percent) currently use it to treat symptoms of the disease, according to survey data commissioned by the North American Research Committee on MS.

Over 5,600 MS patients participated in the survey. The results were presented last week at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Center 2015 Annual Meeting.

Most subjects who had experience with marijuana said that it mitigated at least some symptoms of the disease, such as spasticity or pain. Only five percent of patients surveyed said that cannabis did not provide some level of relief.

Those with more advanced symptoms of MS were more likely to report using cannabis therapeutically.

Of those surveyed, 82 percent said that they would consider cannabis therapy if it were a legal option in their state.

Clinical trials have previously reported that cannabis inhalation is superior to placebo in reducing pain and spasticity in patients with treatment-resistant MS. Other studies indicate that long-term use of cannabinoid therapy may potentially modify MS progression.

Previous survey data published in the journal Neurology reported that 14 percent of MS patients used cannabis for symptom management.

 

Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML, an organization that advocates for legalization and the responsible use of marijuana.