Multiple sclerosis patients struggling with muscle stiffness may soon find relief.
According to a new British study, an extract from the active chemical in marijuana seems to ease pain associated with muscle stiffness, a symptom affecting up to 90 percent of patients during the duration of the disease which reduces mobility and disrupts every day routines.
The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry's Oct. 8 issue, consisted of about 300 adults with MS from 22 treatment centers within the United Kingdom. Participants were given either an extract of the active ingredient in marijuana or an active placebo every day for 12 weeks. Daily doses varied from 5 milligrams to 25 milligrams for two weeks, with maintenance doses were given for the last 10 weeks.
At the end of 12 weeks, 30 percent of patients taking the marijuana extract reported less muscle stiffness while less than 16 percentage of patients taking the placebo reported less muscle stiffness.
Despite side effects associated with taking the marijuana extract, which included dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, diarrhea and confusion, researchers believe marijuana extract can be a useful and effective treatment for MS patients suffering from muscle problems.
The potential treatment is sure to affect countless individuals. According to The National MS Society's website, approximately 400,000 individuals around the nation are diagnosed with the disease, with 2.1 million individuals with MS around the world.