Clinical Studies and Case Reports

On this site you will find clinical studies with cannabis or single cannabinoids in different diseases and case reports on the use of cannabis by patients.
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TitleSmoked cannabis for spasticity in multiple sclerosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
Author(s)Corey-Bloom J, Wolfson T, Gamst A, Jin S, Marcotte TD, Bentley H, Gouaux B.
Journal, Volume, IssueCMAJ. 2012 Jul 10;184(10):1143-50. Epub 2012 May 14.
Major outcome(s)Smoked cannabis was superior to placebo in reducing spasticity and pain.
IndicationMultiple sclerosis;Pain;SpasticityAbstract

BACKGROUND: Spasticity is a common and poorly controlled symptom of multiple
sclerosis. Our objective was to determine the short-term effect of smoked
cannabis on this symptom.
METHODS: We conducted a placebo-controlled, crossover trial involving adult
patients with multiple sclerosis and spasticity. We recruited participants from a
regional clinic or by referral from specialists. We randomly assigned
participants to either the intervention (smoked cannabis, once daily for three
days) or control (identical placebo cigarettes, once daily for three days). Each
participant was assessed daily before and after treatment. After a washout
interval of 11 days, participants crossed over to the opposite group. Our primary
outcome was change in spasticity as measured by patient score on the modified
Ashworth scale. Our secondary outcomes included patients' perception of pain (as
measured using a visual analogue scale), a timed walk and changes in cognitive
function (as measured by patient performance on the Paced Auditory Serial
Addition Test), in addition to ratings of fatigue.
RESULTS: Thirty-seven participants were randomized at the start of the study, 30
of whom completed the trial. Treatment with smoked cannabis resulted in a
reduction in patient scores on the modified Ashworth scale by an average of 2.74
points more than placebo (p < 0.0001). In addition, treatment reduced pain scores
on a visual analogue scale by an average of 5.28 points more than placebo (p =
0.008). Scores for the timed walk did not differ significantly between treatment
and placebo (p = 0.2). Scores on the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test
decreased by 8.67 points more with treatment than with placebo (p = 0.003). No
serious adverse events occurred during the trial.
INTERPRETATION: Smoked cannabis was superior to placebo in symptom and pain
reduction in participants with treatment-resistant spasticity. Future studies
should examine whether different doses can result in similar beneficial effects
with less cognitive impact.

Duration (days)3
Participants30 adult patients with multiple sclerosis
DesignControlled study
Type of publicationMedical journal
Address of author(s)University of California in San Diego
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