An autoimmune inflammatory disease that ruins lives of thousands of Americans and women, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that causes extreme neuropathic pain, which slowly weakens the sufferer. This disease affects over 2 million people worldwide. It is an incurable disease that progresses over a long period of time. MS affects the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves (eyes) which can lead to impaired balance, lack of control of muscles and a variety of other primary bodily control and functions such as sexual dysfunction and bladder problems. With the cause of multiple sclerosis being unknown, it makes treating the disease difficult.
To treat this disease, some researches show potential, with their use of oral sprays like Sativex, which are composed of cannabinoid receptor agonists. Results across these researches have varied, with two double-blind studies resulting in no promising findings, but several others showing positive results. A recent study conducted in 2013 showed that pain was significantly decreased by using a 10-wk regimen of Sativex with the additional improvement of equal to or above 30% (Langford et al., 2013).
With the use of CBD’s, such as smoked cannabis and edibles, older studies have shown positive results. When the use of dronabinol (synthetic THC) is compared to that of placebo, the former reports a reduction in the average intensity of spontaneous and radiating pain (Svendsen et al., 2004).
However, the use of CBD’s continues to be limited to only the second or third line of defense against MS induced neuropathic pain. This is because of the side effects of using CBD’s which outweigh all the positive findings from researches conducted on the subject. To increase the use of CBD’s for treatment of MS-related pain, more research needs to be carried out with larger groups used in its trials.