Researchers in San Diego have found that marijuana can relieve some of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
A new study - one of the first controlled studies - shows that smoking marijuana can relieve muscle spasms and pain associated with MS.
I think for patients this means that there is some actual science behind what they've noticing as anecdotes and will probably make the medical community more accepting of this as a treatment, said Dr. James Bowen.
Trevis uses it when muscle spasms flare up in his neck.
I was amazed that the symptom just went right away. I didn't expect that, he said.
However, the study also finds side effects--cognitive fogginess and increased fatigue - symptoms that can also happen with prescription drugs.
Trevis points out one advantage of marijuana is cost.
More than anything else, people can afford symptom management drugs, whereas the disease modifying therapies can be between three and eight thousand dollars monthly, he said.
Even though the study was small - only 30 patients - Trevis says it represents a watershed moment for patients.
Hopefully legislatures around the county will take a look at this as a medication and regulate it as a medication, he said.
Study abstract: http://bit.ly/JYGYAu
Dr. James Bowen: http://bit.ly/L1x1kg
MS Center at Swedish Hospital: http://bit.ly/JfH3ST
Trevis Gleason blog: http://www.everydayhealth.com/blog/trevis-life-with-multiple-sclerosis-ms/