Review Paper Examines Cannabis as a Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

Review Paper Examines Cannabis as a Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
High Times

The authors of this review paper are representatives of Saint James School of Medicine in Illinois and School of Natural Sciences at Kean University in New Jersey. Their review paper, “Neurological Benefits, Clinical Challenges, and Neuropathologic Promise of Medical Marijuana: A Systematic Review of Cannabinoid Effects in Multiple Sclerosis and Experimental Models of Demyelination,” was published in the journal Biomedicines on February 24 and analyzes 28 different studies in relation to multiple sclerosis. These final studies were chosen from a pool of 119 articles that were eligible for consideration in this review. Multiple sclerosis symptoms often include fatigue, mobility impairment, speech impairments, chronic neuropathic pain, anxiety, depression, and a range of other effects. In their review, researchers state that patients are dissatisfied with current treatments available for their condition, which motivates researchers “to search for adjunctive remedies in the hope of preventing breakthrough relapses and worsening of disability.”  Fourteen of the 28 studies involved using animal models while exploring the effects of cannabis. Overall, the authors of the study determined that “The experimental results combined adequately demonstrate that cannabinoid treatments are effective” with diminishing a variety of symptoms. The authors determined that the studies were promising but cannot replace tests conducted on human subjects. “While internal validity was very good in the preclinical studies because experiments were well designed and well controlled, the external validity of animal studies is less certain due to differences in the cannabinoid systems between species that may affect safety, dose responses, tolerability, and homeostasis.” The researchers also evaluated 14 human-based studies, which utilized Sativex®, which is a cannabis-based oral spray approved for multiple sclerosis in the EU, UK, and Canada, but not yet in the US. “The growing body of moderate-quality evidence for the safety and efficacy of cannabinoid treatment using 1:1 THC/CBD mixtures has led…

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