Cannabis for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: What is the patient perspective?
Cannabis is a medicine, whether some prohibitionist politicians like it or not, in many countries around the world. For centuries man has used cannabis for medicinal purposes, while prohibition is a recent policy created by a new political management and therefore by men.
History has clearly demonstrated that human beings will use cannabis for medical purposes whether it is legal to do so or not. After all, they suffer from one or more illnesses, and if cannabis helps treat those illnesses, many humans will take the risk.
In France, the medical cannabis policy is limited, but patients continue to use cannabis despite these restrictions. A recent study examined rates of cannabis use, specifically, among patients with ALS.
Marseille, France, according to data from a national survey published in the Revue Neurologique, approximately 22% of patients followed for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ( ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease ) reported using cannabis in the form of flower or cannabis oil. CBD to alleviate the symptoms of their disease.
Survey participants said that cannabinoids improved their motor skills, reduced pain, increased their mood, and improved their overall quality of life. Reported side effects were not serious (drowsiness, dry mouth, etc.).
To our knowledge, this is the first study presenting a large questionnaire survey on the "real" situation of the use of cannabis in the medical context among patients with ALS in France", report the authors of the study. “Our data demonstrates that a significant proportion of ALS patients use cannabis to relieve the symptoms of the disease. … This study underscores the need for further research into the potential benefits of cannabis use for the management of motor and non-motor symptoms of ALS.”
Preclinical models suggest that cannabinoids may delay the progression of ALS and alleviate some of its symptoms. A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial is currently underway in Australia to investigate whether cannabis extracts can slow the progression of ALS.
Despite these few limitations, the results support the need for further research into the potential benefits of cannabis use for the management of motor and non-motor symptoms of ALS. Cannabinoids could be an important addition to the array of treatment options for ALS symptoms. Thus, there is an urgent need to interview more ALS patients, listen to their needs and initiate well-conducted clinical trials on this topic. Patients demand it.