Exploring the Effectiveness of Cannabis Extract for Muscle Spasticity

Exploring the Effectiveness of Cannabis Extract for Muscle Spasticity

Exploring the Effectiveness of Cannabis Extract for Muscle Spasticity


As the medical community continues to explore the potential benefits of cannabis, one area of interest is its potential to treat muscle spasticity. Muscle spasticity, a condition characterized by stiff or rigid muscles and involuntary spasms, is a common symptom of various neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal cord injury, and stroke. Traditional treatments often involve medications with potential side effects and limited effectiveness. As such, there is a growing interest in alternative treatments, including cannabis extract.

The Science Behind Cannabis and Muscle Spasticity

Cannabis contains over 100 different compounds known as cannabinoids. The two most well-known are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive component that produces the ‘high’ associated with cannabis use, while CBD is non-psychoactive and has been linked to various therapeutic effects. Both THC and CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating various physiological processes, including pain, mood, appetite, and muscle control.

Research suggests that cannabinoids may help reduce muscle spasticity by acting on the endocannabinoid system. Specifically, they may work by blocking the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain and spinal cord that cause muscle spasticity. This action can help relax the muscles and reduce spasms.

Research Evidence on Cannabis Extract for Muscle Spasticity

Several studies have explored the effectiveness of cannabis extract in treating muscle spasticity. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry found that patients with MS who were given a cannabis-based medicine experienced a significant reduction in muscle stiffness and spasms compared to those given a placebo. Another study published in the European Journal of Neurology in 2014 found similar results, with patients reporting improved sleep quality in addition to reduced spasticity.

However, it’s important to note that not all studies have found positive results. Some research has suggested that while cannabis extract may help reduce patient-reported symptoms of spasticity, it may not have a significant effect on objective measures of spasticity, such as muscle tone or reflexes. More research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and limitations of cannabis extract for muscle spasticity.

Considerations and Potential Side Effects

While cannabis extract may offer potential benefits for muscle spasticity, it’s important to consider potential side effects and risks. These can include dizziness, dry mouth, and cognitive changes. Additionally, the long-term effects of cannabis use are not fully understood, and there may be potential risks associated with chronic use.

It’s also important to note that cannabis laws vary by location, and in some places, medical use of cannabis is not legal. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment, including cannabis extract.


In conclusion, while there is promising evidence to suggest that cannabis extract may help reduce muscle spasticity, more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits and limitations. As with any treatment, it’s important to weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks and side effects. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.

By C.N.W

Keywords: cannabis extract, muscle spasticity, cannabinoids, THC, CBD, endocannabinoid system, multiple sclerosis, alternative treatments


  • Zajicek, J. P., Hobart, J. C., Slade, A., Barnes, D., & Mattison, P. G. (2012). MUltiple Sclerosis and Extract of Cannabis: results of the MUSEC trial. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 83(11), 1125–1132.
  • Flachenecker, P., Henze, T., & Zettl, U. K. (2014). Nabiximols (THC/CBD oromucosal spray, Sativex®) in clinical practice–results of a multicenter, non-interventional study (MOVE 2) in patients with multiple sclerosis spasticity. European Journal of Neurology, 21(2), 271–279.
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