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Medical cannabis could mitigate dystonic muscle activity and related pain: Study

Dec 30, 2021 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Nine of the 12 patients reported sleep improvements in addition to pain reduction.

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New research suggests medical cannabis could mitigate dystonic muscle activity and related pain.

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Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that can cause involuntary and painful muscle contractions and repetitive movements. The condition affects about 50,000 people in Canada .

The Israel-based research was presented at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Society (MDS) Virtual Congress.

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Twelve patients with dystonia of all types (primary and secondary, focal, segmental, generalized) took part in the research. Each patient — the average age was 54 — had a medical cannabis license and was interviewed in regards to the treatment efficacy and side effects.

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The duration of medical cannabis use among the patients was just under three years, with an average dose of 34 grams a month. There was an even split between those that smoked or used a vaporizer and those who relied on cannabis oil, while 16 per cent consumed cannabis each way. On average, the medical cannabis was a 1:1 cultivar, with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) score of 11.63 per cent and 9.44 per cent cannabidiol (CBD).

Using the Likert scale of 1-5 to judge efficacy, patients reported a total global impression efficacy score of 3.16 out of a total of 5 possible points.

Efficacy for pain was 3.67 out of 5 while nine of the 12 patients reported sleep improvements. Five patients suffered from psychiatric side effects: three suffered from anxiety (one with hallucinations) and two suffered from mood worsening (one with suicidal thinking). After modifications to the treatment plan, the side effects resolved in four patients. One patient stopped treatment due to inefficacy.

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Researchers concluded that medical cannabis seems to mitigate dystonic muscle activity and related pain. They noted that psychiatric side effects of medical cannabis need to be monitored and called for a larger study to further investigate and determine the efficacy of medical cannabis treatment, the mechanism of action, optimal doses and the best THC/CBD ratio for the treatment of dystonia.

A previous study published in Neurology focused on a 38-year-old musician with dystonia who began treatment with 5mg doses of THC oil.

Prior to treatment the professional pianist had stopped playing and was unresponsive to standard medications. Within two hours of consuming THC, however, the patient was “able to play technically demanding literature, which had not been possible before treatment,” researchers wrote, per NORML.

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