Cannabis Relieves Muscle Stiffness in Multiple Sclerosis

Oral cannabis extract provides nearly twice the rate of relief of placebo; also beneficial for pain

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Cannabis extract (CE) is effective at treating muscle stiffness in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published online July 12 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

John Peter Zajicek, Ph.D., from the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomized patients with stable MS to receive oral CE (144 patients) or placebo (135 patients). This phase III trial consisted of a screening period; a two-week dose titration phase, from 5 mg daily to a maximum of 25 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol; and a 10-week maintenance phase.

The researchers found that, after 12 weeks, the rate of relief from muscle stiffness was almost twice as high with CE than with placebo (29.4 versus 15.7 percent; odds ratio, 2.26). After four and eight weeks, the results were similar for muscle stiffness and also for all further category rating scales of body pain, spasms, and sleep quality.

"Our findings suggest that standardized CE can be clinically useful in treating the highly complex phenomenon of spasticity in MS," the authors write. "Effective pain relief is also achieved by CE, especially in patients with a high baseline pain score."

The study was partially funded by Weleda. Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; one author is a named inventor on two patents regarding cannabinoid use in MS.

Full Text

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Debunking Three Rape Myths
Journal of Forensic Nursing, October/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2.5 $24.95

Drug updates and approvals: 2014 in review
The Nurse Practitioner, 13December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:3 $27.95

Can Food Processing Enhance Cancer Protection?
Nutrition Today, September/October 2014
Expires: 10/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events