Medical marijuana may help MS patients, but studies don’t show it

FRIDAY, Oct. 12, 2018 — Medical products derived from marijuana might have a mild benefit in treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis, based on reports from patients.

Drugs containing the major chemical compounds in cannabis are associated with a limited and mild reduction in muscle contractions, bladder dysfunction and pain, based on patient self-assessments from clinical trials included in a major new evidence review.

“The bottom line is there is certainly something happening with cannabinoids in regard to symptoms,” said Nicholas LaRocca, vice president of healthcare delivery and policy research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

However, patients’ self-reports of benefits related to muscle contractions differed from results of objective scales used by doctors, LaRocca noted. The doctors observed no such benefit from marijuana medications.

“That’s something that’s obviously a concern,” LaRocca said.

The clinical trials also showed that cannabis-derived drugs come with few side effects and no serious ones, noted Dr. Marissa Slaven, an assistant

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