Published in the International Journal of MS Care in December 2022, this study examined medical cannabis (MC) as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
This study retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 141 MS patients from a large outpatient neurologic practice in New York state who were receiving medical cannabis to treat their symptoms. 70% of the patients were female with an average age of 51. 80% of the patients used cannabis for chronic pain and 38% for spasticity.
The measurements included changes in other medications, adverse effects (AEs), patient-reported symptomatic improvements, cannabis products' THC:CBD ratio and formulation changes, and mobility and cognition changes.
Interestingly, 71% of patients changed their THC:CBD ratio or formulation over the course of several years to reach their optimal dose and active ingredient combinations. They also were able to reduce their opioid use over that time.
The quantitative results were positive:
Patients experienced extensive MS symptom improvement after initiation of MC, with alleviation of pain (72% of patients) and spasticity (48% of patients) and improvement in sleep (40% of patients) the most common.
There was a significant reduction in concomitant opioid use after initiating MC as evidenced by a significant decrease in daily morphine milligram equivalents among patients prescribed opioid analgesics.
The most common adverse effect was fatigue. It was reported by 11% of the patients.
The author's final conclusions:
In many patients with MS, MC was well-tolerated, eased pain and spasticity, improved sleep and other symptoms, and reduced use of concomitant opioid analgesics.
The study abstract with a link to the full text version in PDF form is here at Allenpress.com.