Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients often suffer from spasticity. Unfortunately, many treatments available to these patients does not decrease spasticity symptoms or cause increased adverse effects. Other symptoms caused by MS include pain, motor and cognitive deficits, and progression in neurodegeneration. Most treatments implemented are only slightly effective or not effective at all in treating the symptoms.
Scientific studies have begun to focus on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the role of the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors. Research is showing that the ECS plays a significant role in the central nervous system and the processing of symptoms found in MS as well as other neurodegenerative ailments. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for communicating pain, stress, emotions, memory, and learning with the CNS and peripheral organs and tissue throughout the body.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.
The linked study about looks at other studies where MS patients received cannabis treatment or a placebo in pain modification and spasticity. Cannabis sativa contains cannabinoids, the most famous being THC and CBD (cannabidiol). When these cannabinoids attach to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, an alteration in synapses takes place in the ECS and corresponding CNS and peripheral receptors.
The results showed a significant decrease in spasticity as well as pain found in patients who received the smoked cannabis treatment compared to those who smoked the placebo. “Using an objective measure, we saw a beneficial effect of inhaled cannabis on spasticity among patients receiving insufficient relief from traditional treatments”. Some small cognitive effects were reported, but these were not reported as severe enough to reconsider cannabis as a potentially positive and beneficial form of treatment for MS.