Multiple Sclerosis & Medical Marijuana

One of the complaints about medical marijuana is that so much “research” on mmj is anecdotal — peoples’ stories.  There’s a reason for this.  Up until very recently no research using cannabis was allowed.  Define “cheek:”  when the people who complain about there being no research turn out to be the same people who made sure there would be no research.  Also see; “balls.”  Things are changing.
A real, correctly conducted study, published Monday, found that for 30 MS patients with muscle “spasticity,” a few days of marijuana smoking brought some relief. Some people with MS are already using medical marijuana to treat certain symptoms, including spasticity — when the muscles in the legs or arms contract painfully, in something akin to a “charley horse.” There is some science behind the idea: The body naturally produces cannabinoids, the group of chemicals found in marijuana. And studies have suggested the cannabinoid receptors on our cells help regulate muscle spasticity.

But the evidence that pot smoking actually helps with spasticity has been anecdotal. “We’ve heard from patients that marijuana helps their spasticity, but I think a lot us thought, ‘Well, it’s probably just making you feel good,'” said Dr. Jody Corey-Bloom, the lead researcher on the new study. “I think this study shows that yes, (marijuana) may help with spasticity, but at a cost,” said Corey-Bloom, of the University of California, San Diego.

The big caveat, says the researcher, is that it’s not clear that the downsides of pot smoking are worth it. Downsides of pot smoking? What?

The cost? Smoking caused fatigue and dizziness in some users, and generally slowed down people’s mental skills soon after they used marijuana. Duh. That’s why you control set and setting, doctor.

But it’s not clear if that would have any long-term consequences, Corey-Bloom said.

It’s nice to see some legitimate research. Cannabis is finally going to be studied. The long dark night is coming to an end. Original story at Reuters. The original story has discussion of the test protocol for you science types.

[image: Google images medical marijuana]

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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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