Patients with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease caused by inflammation and neurodegeneration, know too well the encroaching threats of physical limitations as the condition takes hold. Driving, for example, is one of the activities that can become impaired, which leaves many MS patients struggling to manage their daily to-dos and interactions.
But a new study entitled Brain and Behavior, published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. shows that the use of medical cannabis mouth spray might improve the way they drive, which would mean a significant life improvement for some afflicted with this condition.
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A Look at the Methodology
Researchers evaluated the available data from observational studies and driving tests with THC: CBD oromucosal spray. They based their search strategy on an analysis of articles on PubMed from January 1, 2000, to June 30, 2017. Using a specific list of search terms (the terms “cannabinoids,” They combined the terms “Sativex,” and “tetrahydrocannabinol”; “cannabidiol,” “multiple sclerosis,” and “spasticity” with the terms “driving ability,” “blood levels,” and “traffic accidents”), and they were able to identify articles. These articles were then “augmented with concept‐related references known to the authors and others identified in the introduction/discussion sections from all identified papers,” the study summary explains.
One of the first thing researchers noticed was that “the results from THC:CBD oromucosal spray driving studies and real‐world registries did not show any evidence of an increase in motor vehicle accidents associated with THC:CBD oromucosal spray.”
Furthermore, the majority of patients reported an improvement in driving ability after starting THC:CBD oromucosal spray, which they surmised could be related to less spasticity and/or improved cognitive function. The authors also note that “THC blood levels are significantly lower than the levels associated with recreational use of herbal cannabis.”
However, the authors do recommend that periodic assessment of the MS patient’s driving ability is done, especially after relapses and alterations in treatment. “Blood THC measurements might record levels above the authorized thresholds for some countries at different time points after intake,” they write. “Recommendations regarding driving after administration of THC:CBD oromucosal spray need to be considered on a country‐by‐country basis, to adapt to specific laws.”
“I have seen the effects of CBD first hand when it comes to muscle spasms,” says Casey Cooper, CEO and founder of Botanika Life. “The quick calming effect that CBD has on cramping, tense or twitching muscles is undeniable.”
Medical Cannabis on the Rise Across the Board
And it’s not just patients of MS who are feeling results of medical cannabis. Patients with Parkinson’s, too, are finding their symptoms quelled by the plant. Another study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine suggests that more than 40 percent of patients with these diseases are using medical cannabis — with great success — to alleviate some of their grueling symptoms. They are treating tremors, stiff and sore muscles, balance issues, and even problems with speech and sex that can severely alter a regular day.
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