Worlds Biggest MS Trial Shows Benefits of Cannabis

Worlds Biggest MS Trial Shows Benefits of Cannabis
Posted by CN Staff on November 06, 2003 at 15:11:16 PT
By Maxine Frith, Social Affairs Correspondent
Source: Independent UK
Results from the world's largest study into the medical effects of cannabis have shown that the drug can reduce pain and improve the lives of people with multiple sclerosis. Scientists concluded that patients for whom other treatments have failed should be given tablets made from cannabis derivatives.The three-year study, published in the medical journal The Lancet today, is the first clinical appraisal of whether cannabis-derived drugs can help treat MS.
Mike O'Donovan, chief executive of the Multiple Sclerosis Society said: "These improvements to quality of life can make a significant difference to people with MS. On the evidence now available, the MS Society believes those who might benefit should be able to have treatment prescribed on the NHS."Patients say that smoking the drug reduces symptoms such as muscle stiffness and tremors, and gives them greater mobility. Pharmaceutical companies are working urgently to develop drugs using cannabinoids, the natural chemicals found in cannabis which appear to soothe pain and alleviate muscle stiffness.About 85,000 people suffer from MS in Britain, and it is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in the Western world.Researchers from the University of Plymouth tested more than 600 patients with MS, giving some of them cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the others a placebo. The groups were not told whether they were taking THC or the placebo.When the researchers used standard clinical tests, they found little evidence that THC reduced muscle stiffness. But in interviews, 60 per cent of the THC patients said they had less muscle stiffness, compared with 46 per cent of the placebo group. Fifty-four per cent of the THC group said their pain was reduced, compared with 37 per cent of those taking the placebo. Twelve per cent of those on THC found it easier to walk a short distance, compared with 4 per cent of the other group.Dr John Zajicek, the lead researcher, said: "Our findings provide some evidence that cannabinoids could be clinically useful in treatment of symptoms related to multiple sclerosis, but more work is necessary."Professor Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council which funded the study, said: "This work underlines the importance of funding large-scale clinical trials of possible treatments so the evidence can be weighed up."A Department of Health spokeswoman said:"It is important to try to evaluate the claims on a proper scientific basis ... If the benefits of a cannabis-based medicine were to be scientifically demonstrated, the Government would be willing to amend the misuse of drugs controls to allow the prescribing of such a medicine." Source: Independent (UK)Author:  Maxine Frith, Social Affairs CorrespondentPublished: November 07, 2003Copyright: 2003 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.Contact: letters CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #7 posted by FoM on November 06, 2003 at 21:22:34 PT
Related Article from The New Scientist
Cannabis Can Help MS Sufferers:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Patrick on November 06, 2003 at 20:20:19 PT
unauthorized human experimentation…
…upon children. I assume that in Terry's LTE he is referring to Docs that prescribe Ritalin to minors among the other "manmade toxic substances" manufactured by the pharmaceutical industries??? Or perhaps he means missing children? Anyway...Prohibition is insanity PiiI too have no tolerance for zeros in favor of zero tolerance. How can you have zero tolerance in a free society?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by The GCW on November 06, 2003 at 19:09:23 PT
Zero tolerance
for cannabis prohibitionists.Zero tolerance for the zero tolerant.Zero tolerance for the zero's.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by Virgil on November 06, 2003 at 16:25:11 PT
100% Intolerance meets/beats Zero Tolerance
Screw Zero tolerance. I have 100% intolerance for the continued stupidity. Intolerance is going to bite back. It really is murder. It really is corruption. It really is terrible policy. Tell me you are for fining people for using marijuana much less for arresting them or taking their property. I will go off on you in no short order and could care less if you are the Pope. I have 100% Intolerance for this insanity and have plenty to share and I am not the only one. There is only one solution and it is past time for it now. Now some people might not remember when Nixon declared War on Cancer in 1971 to build his legacy like Johnson did with the War on Poverty. Now we are told that the government secreted anything to do with cannabis and cancer since 1974. It's a Wonderful Life should be themed to what would have happened if the research would have been followed. It is a huge tragedy and we should let everyone know the cruelty of these idiots that spout "Zero tolerance" as an introduction to silence and end of debate. Screw zero tolerance. Get real.Canada passed a big law for poor countries and patent medicine- should know who Terry Parker is and he has written another LTE. Marc Paquette said today there are only 619 or so approved MMJ patients in Canada- This highlights the concept that will go with the Pitt decision on Parker that challenged the MMAR not on supply but on access. There is no access and 4 people epileptics a day die in Canada because of lack of medication. Here is his LTE from Parker Jr.
2209-55 Triller Ave.
Toronto, Ont.
416-533-7756Dear Editor,
I find it somewhat discriminatory, that the
police are encouraging our government to maintain prohibition of marijuana,
as a result of some recent shootings.I fail to comprehend how prohibition of marijuana will lower our fatality
rate. It is guns,
that kill people, not marijuana.More apppropiately, we should tighten our borders from the US, since they
are manufacturing guns, which threaten the people
of Canada.It is most disturbing, that our police and government, overlook the
fatality rate due to prohibition of marijuana. According to www.epilepsy
ca under Myths and Misconceptions, we learn that each and every year,
2400-4600 people die, due to epilepsy.Considering that marijuana is a # 1 anti-convulsant substance, it is not
difficult to concede
that prohibition of marijuana is equivalent to homocide. If our police
truly want to serve and protect, they should be encouraging the federal
government to legalize marijuana, in order to address greater criminal
issues, such as unauthorized human experimentation upon children.When prohibition is costing lives, our police
are derelict in their duty to protect the public, when encouraging
prohibition of a life saving substance.Yours,
Terry Parker Jr.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 06, 2003 at 16:10:04 PT
Yes a storm is brewing. I am a firm believer that it takes circumstances to make progress. Circumstances like Montel Williams getting caught with medical marijuana could make this issue one that will be hard to ignore. If it has medicinal properties which the studies are saying it will have to be rescheduled. How will they be able to ignore it much longer?One brick at a time!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on November 06, 2003 at 15:59:09 PT:
Are we watching a "tipping point" in action?
I believe we are.To have this study coming out so very close behind the Montel Williams revelation is another example of what happens when thrust for social change reaches 'escape velocity'. Many things, all related, are clicking together in ways that can't help but get the attention of the public-at-large, especially with regards to Mr. Williams, whose background is practically unassailable. Let many DrugWarriors, themselves devoid of DD-214's denoting military service to this great nation, question a former Marine's patriotism, or claim he supports terrorism by using cannabis medicinally. God help the fool anti who does; as I know from personal experience, there's no such thing as an ex-Marine, me Da being one. 'Rines stick together, and even if Mr. Williams is debilitated by his disease, I am sure his former comrades-in-arms are not...and would happily demonstrate what a a 'blanket party' is for the unwise individual who would make such a claim.A 'perfect storm' is brewing, and I can only imagine that Mr. Drudge is about to add some more force to it. Like FoM, I, too, cannot wait to see what he writes.Looks like an unseasonably warm Winter is approaching...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 06, 2003 at 15:22:43 PT
This Is Probably What Drudge Is Talking About!
This is good news for MS patients. 
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment