The cannabis plant contains up to 110 cannabinoids, though Δ9tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have been the primary focus of medical investigation. THC has psychoactive effects, such as cognitive impairments, psychosis, dysphoria, and anxiety, whereas cannabidiol (CBD) is non-intoxicating and has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipsychotic properties, and can counter several unwanted side effects of THC.
A significant number of people with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) are using or considering using cannabis for a range of symptoms. Recent studies have indicated that there is a wide acceptance of cannabis within the MS community, with 20-60% of PwMS currently using cannabis, and 50-90% would consider usage if it were legal and more scientific evidence was available (1-3). Twenty-eight states and Washington, D.C currently have laws legalizing cannabis use for a variety of medical conditions. An additional 16 states have passed laws that specifically permit the medical use of (CBD). Cannabis advocates believe there is a chance at least eleven more states will legalize cannabis for medical use in the near term. Therefore, the number of PwMS using cannabis to treat their symptoms is expected to rise.
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