Survey: Patients With Parkinson’s Disease, MS Report Efficacy From Medical Cannabis

Fort Collins, CO: Patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis report that cannabis effectively mitigates many of their symptoms, according to survey data published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Five hundred and ninety-five subjects responded to an online questionnaire hosted on the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society webpages. Respondents reported that cannabis was highly effective (6.4 on a scale from zero to 7) at providing symptom management, and 59 percent of participants said that they had reduced their use of prescription drugs since initiating medical marijuana treatment. Those respondents who identified themselves as medical cannabis users reported lower overall levels of disability compared to non-users, specifically in the domains of memory, mood, and fatigue.

Placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing the use of both whole-plant cannabis and/or cannabis-derived extracts in patients with MS have consistently shown efficacy in the mitigation of spasticity and other symptoms. A plant cannabis-derived spray, Sativex, is available by prescription for the treatment of MS in Canada, the United Kingdom, and in several other countries.

Patients with PD consistently report subjective benefits from cannabis, particularly for the mitigation of tremors and bradykinsea (slowness of movement).

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: Full text of the study, “Cannabis use in people with Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis: A web-based investigation,” appears in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.