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Cannabis for Multiple Sclerosis
  1. P. J. Fox1,
  2. J. P. Zajicek2
  1. 1N16, Tamar Science Park, 1 Davy Rd, Plymouth, UK; Email: p.fox{at}plymouth.ac.uk and
  2. 2Derriford Hospital, Derriford Rd, Plymouth, UK; Email: john.zajicek{at}phnt.swest.nhs.uk

    Abstract

    Cannabis has a long history of medicinal use going back over 2000 years. Although concerns about its abuse led to its fall from favour in the early years of the last century, there has recently been a resurgence in interest in its therapeutic effects. The pharmacology of the cannabinoid system is being unravelled, with the discovery of specific cannabinoid receptors and endogenous ligands. There are many anectodal reports of multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers using the drug and reporting beneficial effects on spasticity, pain, tremor and mood. A small number of scientific studies have been carried out in each of these areas. Finally, there is the intriguing possibility from animal research that cannabinoids may be neuroprotective and thus have the potential to modify the course of the disease itself.

    HISTORY

    The plant Cannabis Sativa (meaning literally ‘sown cannabis’) has been cultivated for a wide variety of uses throughout history. As the

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