Mar 28, 2014
Medical Marijuana May Improve MS Symptoms
Marijuana, hemp, and cannabis are common names for plants of the genus Cannabis. The term “hemp” is used for Cannabis plants that are grown for nondrug use, such as Cannabis sativa. Cannabis indica has poor fiber quality and is used to make drugs for recreation and medicine. The major differences between the two are appearance and the amount of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabino (THC), the active ingredient of marijuana. Marijuana has been studied for the relief of MS symptoms such as nerve pain, muscle spasms, and urinary disorders. The active ingredients have effects on the central nervous system and immune cells.
In a new study, researchers conducted a comprehensive search for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments with potential benefits in MS patients. The researchers found that most of the therapies reviewed provided little benefit. However, it was found that taking cannabis extract by mouth or through a spray might reduce spasms or pain. It is hypothesized that the THC may provide relief for these symptoms.
The authors noted that patients should be made aware that these treatments are likely ineffective in the short term, but may provide long-term relief. In addition to marijuana, there is also evidence that magnet therapy may relieve fatigue but not depression symptoms associated with the disease.
For more information about marijuana, please visit Natural Standard’s Foods, Herbs and Supplements database.
Deborah Wiancek, N.D. Deborah Wiancek