Undoubtedly, there are many benefits that cannabis can provide for a wide range of medical conditions. One of the areas which has not been well researched is how cannabis can be used to help aid the symptoms of paraplegic patients. So, we thought we’d take a look at four of the most recent studies into this area, so we can better understand how medicinal marijuana can help.
As we know, injuries to an individual’s spinal cord can result in terrible side effects, which substantially affect the sufferer’s quality of life, and those around them.When an injury is inflicted on the spinal cord, changes take place to the movement of the individual, which can be temporary or permanent, and affect the body’s sensory functionality.
A complex collection of nerves are wrapped around the spinal cord, and each nerve is vitally important to the body functioning correctly.When an injury occurs, often these nerves become damaged which can result in:
- Pain, which can be rather severe
- Depression, due to the injuries that the person has which affect their quality of life.
There are often many more symptoms, which depend on the person, that requires the individual to have medical care for the rest of their lives.
What studies have taken place?
Many people do believe that cannabis benefits paraplegic patients, often reducing the severity of the symptoms these patients experience. So let’s take a look at some of the studies.
- In a research campaign undertaken in 2010, a Canadian University studied twelve patients who had spinal injuries, by testing a drug called “Nabilone”, which contained a cannabinoid in order to see if the drug reduced the amount of spasticity the patient experienced. Of the twelve, eleven found that they experienced an improvement in their level of spasticity.
- In 2007, a Swiss based study looked at 25 patients with spinal cord injuries. Each of the 25 subjects under study were provided with THC, administered orally. When the results were analysed, there was a trend which showed that there was a dramatic decrease in the spasticity experienced by patients.
3.A Georgian University looked at a number of quadriplegic patients, and provided each of them with Dronabinol. Once the results were collected, the researchers found that there was an improvement in two of the five patients, while two of the subjects experienced a slight improvement. Aswell as this,all of the subject’s studies experienced a reduction in erratic mood states.
4.At the start of the century, a Swiss based University looked at patients with an overactive bladder, which was a side effect of their spinal injury. 15 patients were looked at during the study, and each was given THC for a period of one and a half months. When the THC was administered rectally, there was a marked decrease in bladder activity, which wasn’t shown in the subjects who used THC orally.
It certainly appears cannabis does have a role to play in the treatment of paraplegic patients, although more studies need to be undertaken before we see this treatment option more widely available.