CannaTrials adheres to evidence-based medicine – making statements based on medical evidence.

This page is excerpted and quoted from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.    A Committee of over 40 experts, researchers, and reviewers in The Health and Medicine Division published a 486 page report in 2017 entitled “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research.
If you would like to access the entire report you may do so by clicking this link.

Medical Marijuana and Spasticity Associated with Multiple Sclerosis or Spinal Cord Injury

“Spasticity is defined as disordered sensorimotor control resulting from an upper motor neuron lesion, presenting as intermittent or sustained involuntary activation of muscles (Pandyan et al., 2005). It occurs in some patients with chronic neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and paraplegia due to spinal cord injury. Recent studies have shown that some individuals with MS are seeking alternative therapies, including cannabis, to treat symptoms associated with MS (Zajicek et al., 2012).

Based on evidence from randomized controlled trials included in systematic reviews, an oral cannabis extract, nabiximols, and orally administered THC are probably effective for reducing patient-reported spasticity scores in patients with MS. The effect appears to be modest, as reflected by an average reduction of 0.76 units on a 0 to 10 scale. These agents have not consistently demonstrated a benefit on clinician-measured spasticity indices such as the modified Ashworth scale in patients with MS. Given the lack of published papers reporting the results of trials conducted in patients with spasticity due to spinal cord injury, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that cannabinoids are effective for treating spasticity in this population.

4-7(a) There is substantial evidence that oral cannabinoids are an effective treatment for improving patient-reported multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms, but limited evidence for an effect on clinician-measured spasticity.
4-7(b) There is insufficient evidence to support or refute the conclusion that cannabinoids are an effective treatment for spasticity in patients with paralysis due to spinal cord injury. [1]


[1] The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research | The National Academies Press. 2017. Pages 101-103. Download the complete 486 page report.

**Important Note:  On many of the health conditions studied by NAS, there was no conclusive evidence of cannabis effectiveness from the study results they reviewed.  The authors included a long section on “research gaps.

It is the Vision and Mission of CannaTrials to fill in some of these research gaps with cannabis clinical trials using specific medical marijuana formulations and testing them in a research protocol with local patients, physicians, processors and dispensaries.  If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, and helping improve scientific knowledge about health effects of cannabis, please click one of the buttons below on this page.

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