More Than One-In-Five Patients with Inherited Form of Muscular Dystrophy Acknowledge Using Cannabis

Quebec City, Canada: More than one-in-five patients diagnosed with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), an inherited form of muscular dystrophy, report being current users of cannabis, according to data published in the journal Neuromuscular Disorders

A team of Canadian researchers surveyed 72 patients with the disease. Twenty-two percent of respondents acknowledged using cannabis, and nearly 60 percent of them reported doing so for symptomatic relief. Those who consumed cannabis therapeutically reported poorer overall health than non-medical users. 

The study’s authors concluded, “Our results support the potential role of cannabis and cannabinoids in the treatment of DM1-associated symptoms which will need to be thoroughly investigated.”

According to the US National Institutes of Health, DM1 is characterized by wasting, muscle weakness, and prolonged muscle tensing.

Full text of the study, “Characterization of cannabis use by patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1: A pilot study,” appears in Neuromuscular Disorders.