141 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients participated in this retrospective study. The goal was to determine the suitability of medical cannabis (MC) for MS symptom management, and determine if it could work as a comprehensive treatment plan. It was published in the May/June 2023 edition of the International Journal of MS Care.
Data was obtained from medical records from a large outpatient neurologic practice in New York state. Factors tracked were changes in other medications, adverse side effects, patient-reported symptom changes, THC to CBD ratio and formulation changes, and mobility and cognition changes.
Almost 10% of patients stopped using medical cannabis because of cost. This is unfortunately happening more often, especially for patients who need higher daily doses.
At baseline, most patients (65%) were certified for a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio, however by the fourth follow-up visit, most (56%) were certified for a 20:1 THC:CBD ratio. Approximately two-thirds of patients used a tincture, but some preferred vaporization (around 20%).
Results in the authors' words:
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
The most common adverse reaction to MC was fatigue (11%)
The present findings support the current literature findings that cannabis products have a positive impact in the treatment of several MS-related symptoms
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 full text article is here at allenpress.com.