Treatment of human spasticity with delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol

J Clin Pharmacol. Aug-Sep 1981;21(S1):413S-416S. doi: 10.1002/j.1552-4604.1981.tb02621.x.

Abstract

Spasticity is a common neurologic condition in patients with multiple sclerosis, stroke, cerebral palsy or an injured spinal cord. Animal studies suggest that THC has an inhibitory effect on polysynaptic reflexes. Some spastic patients claim improvement after inhaling cannabis. We tested muscle tone, reflexes, strength and performed EMGs before and after double-blinded oral administration of either 10 or 5 mg THC or placebo. The blinded examiner correctly identified the trials in which the patients received THC in seven of nine cases. For the group, 10 mg THC significantly reduced spasticity by clinical measurement (P less than 0.01). Quadriceps EMG interference pattern was reduced in those four patients with primarily extensor spasticity. THC was administered to eight other patients with spasticity and other CNS lesions. Responses varied, but benefit was seen in three of three patients with "tonic spasms." No benefit was noted in patients with cerebellar disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dronabinol / adverse effects
  • Dronabinol / therapeutic use*
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Muscle Spasticity / drug therapy*
  • Reflex / drug effects
  • Time Factors

Substances

  • Dronabinol