CannaMed Magazine Editorial Team
Some diseases do not have an effective treatment, in many of them prescription drugs are used without obtaining improvements or benefits. For some of these cases where traditional medicine does not offer relief to the patient; there are very effective alternatives. In one of the multiple pathologies where this happens, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), based on the evidence, specialists recommend the use of medicinal cannabis.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the nervous system that affects the brain and spinal cord, those who suffer from it have damage to the myelin sheath and the tissue that surrounds and protects nerve cells. Medical cannabis is used in the treatment of MS symptoms, primarily to relieve neuropathic pain and spasticity, as there is evidence showing it may be effective in helping to control these symptoms.
One of the drugs used to treat some of the symptoms is Nabiximols, whose trade name is Sativex®; this is a cannabinoid-based drug whose active ingredients are THC and CBD. It is the only product approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the use is approved in several countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom for the treatment of spasticity, for the management of symptoms in MS patients. Sativex® is only recommended when all traditional treatments have failed, however it’s not recommended for people with mental conditions such as mood disorders or psychotic events.
According to a survey published by the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, the majority of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who use medical cannabis report that it effectively counteracts the symptoms of the disease and also reduces the need for traditional prescription drugs. A group of researchers associated with the Griffin Prevention Research Center at Yale University conducted structured surveys with 115 MS patients about their cannabis use, respondents reported that cannabis was effective in reducing symptoms like pain, insomnia, cramps and muscle spasms, as well it helped improve their mood, and therefore, some reported that they had stopped or reduced the use of prescription drugs such as opioids, benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants and pain relievers after discovering that cannabis is more effective in managing symptoms. The medical use of cannabis is relatively common among people with MS, and it is estimated that one in five patients uses this alternative for their treatment.