Survey: More Than One in Four ALS Patients Report Using Cannabinoid Products

Marseille, France: An estimated 22 percent of French patients with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a/k/a Lou Gehrig’s disease) report using either plant cannabis or CBD oil to mitigate symptoms of the disease, according to national survey data published in the journal Revue Neurologique.

Survey participants reported that cannabinoids improved their motor skills, reduced pain, elevated mood, and enhanced their overall quality of life. Reported side effects were non-serious (e.g., drowsiness, dry mouth).

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study which presents a large questionnaire-based survey about the ‘real-life’ situation regarding cannabis use in the medical context in ALS patients in France,” the study’s authors reported. “Our data demonstrate that … a non-negligible proportion of ALS patients use cannabis to relieve symptoms of the disease. … This study highlights the need for further research on the potential benefits of cannabis use for the management of ALS motor and non-motor symptoms.”

Preclinical models suggest that cannabinoids may delay ALS progression in addition to mitigating certain ALS symptoms. A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial is currently ongoing in Australia to identify whether cannabis extracts can slow ALS disease progression.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: What is the patients’ view?” appears inRevue Neurologique. Additional information on cannabis and ALS is available from NORML’s publication, Clinical Applications for Cannabis & Cannabinoids.