Multiple Sclerosis and Medical Cannabis

Multiple Sclerosis and Medical Cannabis | Kalapa Clinic


  • Decreases muscle spasms
  • Neuroprotector
  • Analgesic
  • Treatment for neuropathic pain
  • No alteration of cognitive state

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that progressively degenerates the central nervous system, affecting the brain and spinal cord. This degeneration of the nervous system results in the loss of motor skills, vision loss, weakening of the muscular system, generation problems in the urinary system, chronic pain, sleep disturbances, spasticity, and various others problems. 

Adjuvant treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

The use of CBD (cannabidiol) as part of an adjunctive therapy is essential in reducing the muscular spasms that develop in patients suffering from this disease. Likewise, it has been proven that cannabinoids have medicinal properties that can help people with MS; they reduce pain, improve sleep quality, and can help fight urinary incontinence problems and discomforts, among other symptoms that may present themselves.

How cannabinoids interact with multiple sclerosis

Although this disease has been considered to be primarily an inflammatory disorder, the importance of neurodegenerative events has also been revealed. It has opened up the possibility that cannabinoids, due to their cytoprotective properties, may be useful in reducing the death of oligodendrocytes and could work to minimize axonal damage during the progression of this disease.

Endocannabinoids have immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, they promote the progression of T cells of the immune system to its phenotype TH2, which helps to reduce the amount of immune destruction in affected patients [1].

A study conducted at the University of Catania, Italy, analyzed data from 1,534 patients, from different center’s dedicated to the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The investigation concluded that, after the first month of treatment with medicinal cannabis, administered in spray, 61.9% of the patients felt a decrease in symptoms such as cramps or nocturnal spasms, among others [2].

Another side of this disease develops after the original diagnosis. Cognitive decline and experiencing an altered state of alertness can be a consequence of the strong antidepressants and antispasmodics that are used as a treatment for the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

According to the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and its study, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Controversial and unconventional therapies, the impact on cognitive capacities from medicinal cannabis is notoriously less than the use of any other conventional therapy. In this sense, reports are emerging about symptomatic improvement for stiffness, muscle spasms, neuropathic pain, sleep and bladder distention in patients with multiple sclerosis who are treating their disease with cannabinoids [3].

Bibliography on Multiple Sclerosis and the use of Cannabinoids

[1]Matsuda LA, Lolait SJ, Brownstein MJ, et al. Structure of a cannabinoid receptor and functional expression of the cloned cDNA. Nature. 1990;346:561–4. [PubMed]

[2] Patti, F. Health Authorities Data Collection of THC:CBD Oromucosal Spray (L’Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco Web Registry): Figures after 1.5 Years. Eur Neurol. 2016 [PubMed]

[3] John P. Zajicek, Vicentiu I. Apostu. Role of Cannabinoids in Multiple Sclerosis. CNS Drugs, 2011, Volume 25, Number 3, Page 187

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Do you want to know more about the use of cannabis and multiple sclerosis?

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