(Another) report says cannabis is a beneficial treatment for multiple sclerosis symptoms


A new report published in the medical journal Neurology proves what thousands of multiple sclerosis patients already know: cannabis can help considerably alleviate some of the symptoms of MS. And actually, that’s exactly what Dr. Pushpa Narayanaswami, lead researcher on the report, says got him interested in the plant in the first place. The report is meant to be a guideline for physicians with patients seeking alternative treatments.

“We wanted to review the literature well and see where we went with it, to guide patients and physicians as well,” Narayanaswami, an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, told FoxNews.com this week. “There’s nothing out there that looks at all of these to see how effective and safe they are.”
Narayanaswami’s study also looked into the effectiveness of ginko biloba treatments, magnet therapy, bee sting treatments and forms of physical therapy. In total, they looked at 2,608 case studies to find out which were the most successful. Their findings showed that cannabis applied as an oral spray or eaten in edibles were among the top treatments. The report actually says there’s little evidence that smoked cannabis has any therapeutic benefits for MS patients.
“The reason there’s no evidence on inhaled cannabis is because it’s very difficult to study,” Dr. Donald Abrams, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of California San Francisco told the LA Times. “The government really restricts studies of the plant.”
In addition to the known side-effects such as pain relief and easing of muscle stiffness, it apparently helps MS patients pee easier as well.
Despite the findings being mostly positive about cannabis, Narayanaswami did note that some patients didn’t like the dizziness that comes with ingesting THC. He also distanced himself from being an outright medical marijuana supporter, noting that none of the treatments they studied are actually controlled by the FDA.
“We don’t have good information on if they interact with prescription MS drugs, we don’t have good information about safety, so patients should talk to their doctors if they are using them,” he said.
Studies have shown that up to 80 percent of MS patients seek out some alternative form of treatment. Dr. Timoth Coetzee of the National MS Scociety called the guidelines a “significant step forward”.
“Currently 20 states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes,” he pointed out. “There is significant unmet need for therapies that can address complex and painful symptoms often experienced by people with MS.”