Cannabis does not cure Motor Neurone Disease, but it alleviates discomfort, relieves symptoms, appears to slow progression – sometimes dramatically – and can allow sufferers to regain some motor function.
- Cannabis is proven to be an effective treatment for some of the symptoms of Motor Neurone Disease (MND), namely spasticity, loss of appetite, weight loss, insomnia, pain, anxiety and depression.
- Cannabis is calming and therapeutic and has no side effects other than mild intoxication.
- The proven beneficial effects of cannabis include: analgesic, lowers blood pressure, increases brochodilation, reduces saliva, anti-inflammatory, appetite stimulant, muscle relaxant, anti-spasm, anti-spasticity, neuroprotectant and promotes brain growth.
- Because of anti-cannabis legislation and prejudice there is a dearth of research into its effects on MND and other disorders.
- However, pre-clinical findings, together with strong anecdotal evidence, suggest that cannabis slows progression of MND.
- There is currently no other treatment for MND which is a) as effective or b) as safe and risk free.
- In fact, although a number of recent clinical trials offer hope that new drugs to slow progression will become available in the next few years, Riluzole is the only other drug currently licensed for the treatment of MND, with limited benefits (extends life by 2 or 3 months) and no symptomatic relief.
- However, in the UK, medicinal cannabis is illegal except for the GW Pharma product Sativex, which is difficult to obtain and prohibitively expensive.
- Meanwhile street cannabis is cheap, is generally of reliable quality and is freely and readily available.
- The best method for using Cannabis for the treatment of MND appears to be cannabis oil, either taken orally as a tincture or inhaled using a vaporiser.