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Thursday, December 1, 2016
Marijuana Touted by Some as a Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
While the evidence is mixed, marijuana supporters say cannabis can ease symptoms for people with multiple sclerosis.
Will medical marijuana prove to be a miracle treatment for people with multiple sclerosis (MS)?
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society says there are uncertainties about how effective marijuana is in relieving MS symptoms. But the organization supports the right of patients to work with healthcare providers to access medical marijuana where legal.
Supporters of medicinal marijuana are more forceful in their advocacy.
On the website herb.com, supporters say medicinal marijuana has been “widely successful” in treating MS symptoms. They list seven ways they say cannabis eases MS symptoms.
Long history of treatment:Cannabis has been used sinceancient timesfor a variety of conditions. In 2011, a cannabis extract wasfirst approvedin Germany for the treatment of spasticity in people with MS.
Since then, only two synthetic drugs containing THC have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are Marinol and Cesamet, used for treating nausea in people undergoing chemotherapy and people with HIV.
The only naturally occurring THC-based drug — the oral spray Sativex — used for the treatment of spasticity in people with MS, is approved in several countries including France, Canada, and Sweden. However, it is currently not available in the United States.