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Many Canadians Use Medical Marijuana For Multiple Sclerosis.

By admin | November 17, 2004

By Helen Fields,
Nov 17,2004.

After other treatments fail to relieve a chronic condition, many patients turn to alternative medicineincluding, for some disorders, medical marijuana. Researchers in Canada, where it is much easier to use marijuana for medical purposes without breaking a law, asked multiple sclerosis patients about their patterns of cannabis use.

What the researchers wanted to know: How many patients are using marijuana for multiple sclerosis?

What they did: The researchers sent questionnaires to 220 people with multiple sclerosis in Halifax, Nova Scotia; 205 were returned. The patients answered questions about their symptoms and any marijuana use.

What they found: Thirty-four patients, or nearly 17 percent, reported ever having used marijuana for medical reasons. Most of them had also used it recreationally, and they were also significantly more likely to smoke tobacco and to be male. Most users said the drug helped alleviate stress, improve sleep, and lessen spasms and pain.

What the study means to you: A lot of people at this one multiple sclerosis clinic use marijuana for their disease, and most of them think it helps. But medical evidence on whether it works is mixed.

Caveats: This is a small survey in one area. And it’s Canadait’s unlikely that as many American patients smoke marijuana.

Find out more: The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has a page of medications used for MS.

The American Academy of Neurology publishes the journal this article appeared in.

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