Cannabis-based pill can improve muscle stiffness in MS

Published date: 11 Oct 2012 at 11:59AM

Yesterday researchers announced that a pill containing the cannabis extract, tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), improved muscle stiffness in people with MS. 

The phase 3 clinical trial tested a pill containing THC in 144 people with MS, against a placebo in 135 people with MS, for up to 12 weeks.

Relief from muscle stiffness was nearly twice as high in people taking THC than in people taking a placebo. The drug was also associated with improvements in body pain, spasms and sleep quality.

Most commonly reported side effects associated with the drug included nervous system disorders and gut problems – though these side effects were not considered severe.

Ed Holloway, Head of Care & Services Research at the MS Society said: “Muscle spasms and extreme stiffness can be a major problem for people with MS and more treatment options are urgently needed. It’s great to see such promising clinical trial results, and we hope this leads to an effective treatment for people with MS.”

The Cannabis extract (THC) used in this trial is not the same as using street cannabis – which can expose people to uncontrolled doses, toxic chemicals and highly variable formulations.

The study was led by Professor John Zajicek at the University of Plymouth. The findings were published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Page last updated: 11 Oct 2012
It’s great to see such promising clinical trial results, and we hope this leads to an effective treatment for people with MS.
Ed Holloway, Head of Care & Services Research

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