The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the leading non-profit organization for MS, has provided millions of dollars to study the effects of marijuana on MS patients. However, the NMSS has acknowledged the difficulty with properly assessing marijuana-related research as the studies become "unblinded" once a patient becomes aware of being "high."
Montel Williams, a leading MS advocate, has openly championed the use of medical marijuana for MS symptoms.
A 2011 survey conducted by CBS News found that 77 percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana on a prescription basis for serious medical conditions.
Bad: Cannabis can be harmful to health
A recent report from the British Lung Foundation warned that the "public dangerously underestimates the health risks linked to smoking cannabis." One-third of 1,000 surveyed adults did not believe that marijuana had a negative health effect; 88 percent also incorrectly thought that cigarettes were more harmful to health than marijuana. In fact, smoking one marijuana cigarette per day carries a 20 times higher risk of developing lung cancer as opposed to one tobacco cigarette per day. Marijuana users take in nearly five times as much carbon monoxide and nearly four times as much tar as compared to tobacco smokers.
A different report from the British Lung Foundation linked smoking cannabis to tuberculosis, bronchitis and lung cancer.
Do you use marijuana for MS? Is it effective?
Do you support its availability as a means to treat MS symptoms?
Update: A new study released from Plymoth University (UK) has indicated that the active ingredient in marijuana - tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC - has no effect on halting the progression of MS. Researchers had once though that THC could provide "neuroprotective" effects, stopping or even reversing the demyelination process. Unfortunately, those theories were found to be untrue, as THC has no effect on the progression of the disease.
American Academy of Neurology. (2008, February 13). "Smoking Marijuana Impairs Cognitive Function in MS Patients." American Academy of Neurology. Retrieved from http://www.aan.com/press/index.cfm?fuseaction=release.view&release=578.
BBC News. (2012, June 5). "Health risks of cannabis 'underestimated,' experts warn." BBC News: Health. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18283689.
Shepherd, Rupert. (2012, May 15). "Marijuana May Relieve Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms." Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/245424.php.