How does Medical Marijuana help with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

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Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is one of the Qualifying Medical Conditions for which medical marijuana can be recommended in the state of Louisiana.

MS is theorized to be an auto-immune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

Symptoms can include blindness, muscle weakness, spasticity, muscle and nerve pain, bladder problems, and trouble walking.

Currently there is no cure for MS, although traditional treatments have been developed to help patients with symptoms and to slow disease progression.

However, many patients continue to have symptoms despite treatment with traditional therapies.


Medical Marijuana

The use of medical marijuana in Multiple Sclerosis has been well studied.  In particular, an oral-mucosa spray called Sativex is approved in Europe for treatment of neuropathic pain, spasticity, overactive bladder, and other multiple sclerosis symptoms.

Because Sativex is an isolate of THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio, you are not getting a full spectrum effect, meaning that there is no additional contribution from minor cannabinoids or terpenes.  In Sativex, these molecules are effectively stripped out.

Although Sativex is not available in the United States, the chemical composition of Sativex as a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD can be easily replicated by most patients participating in a medical marijuana program.

In addition, using full spectrum products could potentially give you an even better effect than Sativex, as you’ll get the added benefit of minor cannabinoids and terpenes to produce an even more individualized effect.

Also, Sativex is sold only as a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio.  Although their clinical trials showed this ratio to be the best for most patients, THC:CBD ratios are very individualized, and some patients may benefit from more THC which others may benefit from more CBD.



Medical Marijuana shows great promise for the treatment of MS symptoms.  While there is no conclusive evidence yet that medical marijuana is disease modifying in MS patients, there is good data to show that many MS symptoms can be improved with medical marijuana.


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Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana