Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the potential of cannabinoid receptor stimulation in the treatment of dystonia

Mov Disord. 2002 Jan;17(1):145-9. doi: 10.1002/mds.1280.


Cannabis may have medicinal uses in a variety of diseases. The neural mechanisms underlying dystonia involve abnormalities within the basal ganglia-in particular, overactivity of the lateral globus pallidus (GPl). Cannabinoid receptors are located presynaptically on GABA terminals within the GPi, where their activation reduces GABA reuptake. Cannabinoid receptor stimulation may thus reduce overactivity of the GPl and thereby reduce dystonia. A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover study using the synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist nabilone in patients with generalised and segmental primary dystonia showed no significant reduction in dystonia following treatment with nabilone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dronabinol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology*
  • Dronabinol / therapeutic use*
  • Dystonia / physiopathology
  • Dystonia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Globus Pallidus / drug effects*
  • Globus Pallidus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, Drug / drug effects*


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, Drug
  • nabilone
  • Dronabinol