How medical cannabis can help the lesser-known symptoms of MS

How medical cannabis can help the lesser-known symptoms of MS
Cannabis Health News

To mark Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week (25 April – 1 May), Dr Mark Weatherall, a consultant neurologist at Sapphire Medical Clinics explores how medical cannabis can help with under-recognised symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating neurological disease that can cause problems with mobility, speech, co-ordination, and continence. Up to 50 per cent of those with the condition are affected by chronic pain – and this can prove difficult to treat. At Sapphire Medical Clinics, we have a novel medication in our arsenal for MS pain – medical cannabis. We have now prescribed medical cannabis to 168 patients with the condition, with encouraging results. MS affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). It is a major health problem in the UK. 130,000 people in the UK have the condition, and every week 100 more people are diagnosed. Most people are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s, but it can be diagnosed in younger and older people. It is nearly three times more common in women than in men. The idea of using medical cannabis in MS dates back more than two decades. Sativex, a cannabis-derived medication, is licenced to treat spasticity, a common problem that causes muscle stiffness and spasms.  Like most medicines, Sativex does not work in all patients. In addition, it is not licensed for pain, and there are barriers to accessing it on the NHS, despite it having been approved in England in 2019 for MS patients where other treatments have not helped. At Sapphire Medical Clinics, we are exploring new ways of prescribing medical cannabis. Different methods of administration exist, such as mouth sprays, and different extracts of the cannabis plant are used in various preparations. All patients are different, but medical cannabis is normally started at a low dose…

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