Survey of cannabis use in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. Mar-Apr 2004;21(2):95-104. doi: 10.1177/104990910402100206.

Abstract

Cannabis (marijuana) has been proposed as treatment for a widening spectrum of medical conditions and has many properties that may be applicable to the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This study is the first, anonymous survey of persons with ALS regarding the use of cannabis. There were 131 respondents, 13 of whom reported using cannabis in the last 12 months. Although the small number of people with ALS that reported using cannabis limits the interpretation of the survey findings, the results indicate that cannabis may be moderately effective at reducing symptoms of appetite loss, depression, pain, spasticity, and drooling. Cannabis was reported ineffective in reducing difficulties with speech and swallowing, and sexual dysfunction. The longest relief was reported for depression (approximately two to three hours).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Cannabis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Plant Preparations