Cannabis helps dystonia patients

Dystonia is a movement disorder that causes unintended, or involuntary muscle contractions. This study examined a small group of dystonia patients using medical cannabis. It was published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology in June 2023.

Participants were patients at the Movement Disorders Unit at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center sometime between January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2021. 23 patients with an average age of 53 were included. 11 were women. Patients had been using medical cannabis for an average of 2.5 years.

Almost half of the patients either smoked or vaporized their cannabis, and on average did so 3.3 times per day. The rest used cannabis oil extracts. The average daily dose was 101.4mg THC and 51.4mg CBD. Those that inhaled took about 7 puffs at a time.

The average improvement in dystonia symptoms was just over 47%, but those with generalized and multifocal (more than 1 part of their body) dystonia reported improvements over 60%. 100% improvement means a complete elimination of symptoms. 

About three quarters reported they were satisfied or very satisfied with the effects of their medical cannabis on dystonia pain specifically.

In the authors' words:

those with widespread dystonia (generalized, hemi and multifocal, n = 11) self-reported on a numeric rating scale an average 63% (range 0%–100%) reduction in symptoms of dystonia

those with more focal dystonia patterns reported a significantly lower treatment effect of 32%.

Participants reported a positive impact in related pain and quality of life

Most common side effects were dry mouth (65%), sedation (43%), dizziness (39%) and psychiatric disorders (26%). Three patients (13%) discontinued therapy


The full text article is here at



A single-center real-life study on the use of medical cannabis in patients with dystonia

Anis Saar, Faust-Socher Achinoam, Sverdlov Diana, Lassman Simon, Hezi Neomi, Anis Omer, Leor Gil, Korczyn Amos D., Giladi Nir, Gurevich Tanya

Frontiers in Neurology, VOLUME 14, 2023