Medical Marijuana May Ease Pain in People With Multiple Sclerosis

Researchers continue to find new uses for medical marijuana, as more states begin to approve its use. A new study by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (yep) tested the effect of marijuana on people with multiple sclerosis.

The patients were being treated for spasticity, a side effect of MS that causes muscles to tighten and lose control. Current anti-spasticity medication carries unwelcome side effects — something a medical marijuana treatment would hope to avoid.

While previous medical marijuana trials have used oral administration of THC, this study actually gave the patients marijuana cigarettes to smoke. The amount of THC included was about the same as what you'd find in your average joint at UCSD.

The medical marijuana used in the study contained 4 per cent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which the researchers said resembled the strength of cigarettes most commonly available in the community at the time of the study.

Science is pretty cool, right?

Patients who smoked marijuana experienced about a one-third decrease in spasticity, with limited side effects. According to my favorite sentence from this article, "Although the marijuana was 'generally well-tolerated,' smoking it was accompanied by acute cognitive effects such as 'feeling too high.'" Presumably these participants were told to "just chill."

Researchers are currently working to find a different dose that would have the same ameliorative effects "with less cognitive impact." In other words, crafting a joint that doesn't make the user start to wax philosophical on the Beach Boys.

[Image via Shutterstock]