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Spasticity and Medical Cannabis

Spasticity is a unique qualifying condition in the State of Texas. While it is not a disease or illness unto itself, it is a commonly occurring co-morbidity that accompanies many prevalent muscular and neurological conditions such as:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Stroke
  • Encephalitis
  • ALS
  • Meningitis

Spasticity is a condition where a person’s muscles stiffen and/or tighten involuntarily restricting and affecting a person’s ability for normal movement and speech.

Spasticity as a Qualifying Condition

Currently, the Texas medical cannabis program allows qualifying patients with spasticity to get a prescription to receive low-THC cannabis oil that’s rich in CBD from licensed providers.

Of all the current qualifying conditions listed on the Texas Compassionate Use Act, spasticity has shown the most promise with treatment from medical cannabis. There have been several studies that show a patient suffering from spasticity can find relief from the symptoms of spasticity with CBD and THC treatment. Here are some outtakes of 5 key studies on cannabis and spasticity:

  • Anecdotally, cannabis has built a reputation for relieving muscle spasms, even when it wasn’t widely available to patients for medical use. The 2001 reference book Marijuana as Medicine? The Science Beyond the Controversy noted the following: According to a 1982 survey of people with spinal cord injuries, 21 out of 43 respondents said that cannabis reduced their spasticity, and a 1997 survey of MS patients who use cannabis regularly found nearly all of the 112 respondents also said cannabis helped lessen pain and spasticity.
  • Outside of the United States, the cannabis-based drug Sativex, an oromucosal spray containing an approximate 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC, has been currently approved in 21 countries for treatment of spasticity related to MS. A 2012 report in Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics noted, “Results from randomized, controlled trials have reported a reduction in the severity of symptoms associated with spasticity. … These are highly encouraging findings.”
  • In a review published in 2014 by the American Academy of Neurology that looked at nearly three dozen studies exploring use of cannabinoids in the treatment of MS, epilepsy and movement disorders, researchers concluded that oral cannabis extracts were effective in reducing spasticity and spasticity-related pain.
  • Similarly, a 2015 research review published by the Journal of the American Medical Association that examined more than 20 randomized clinical trials of cannabinoids found “use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high-quality evidence.” In reviewing 24 trials that involved some 2,321 patients, researchers concluded: “Several of these trials had positive results, suggesting that marijuana or cannabinoids may be efficacious for these indications.”
  • Adding to this mounting evidence, a 2017 comprehensive review by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine looked at 10,000 scientific studies on cannabis conducted since 1999. Researchers said there was “substantial evidence” showing that adults suffering spasms due to MS were found to experience improvement in symptoms through the short-term use of oral cannabinoids.

Spasticity (Qualifying Condition) Resources

Multiple Sclerosis & Spasticity Symptoms Recommended Formulations

  • ANXIETY | High-CBD Formulation
  • PAIN Balanced Formulation
  • MUSCLE SPASM Balanced Formulation

Clinical Trial Results

  • Multiple Sclerosis and Extract of Cannabis: results of the MUSEC trial  |  Read More
  • Randomized Controlled Trials of Cannabis-Based Medicine in Spasticity Caused by Multiple Sclerosis  |  Read More
  • Randomized, controlled trial of cannabis-based medicine in central pain in multiple sclerosis  |  Read More
  • Do cannabis-based medicinal extracts have general or specific effects on symptoms in multiple sclerosis? A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study on 160 patients​.  |  Read More

Articles About Spasticity & Cannabidiol

The Texas Original blog regularly publishes new articles on spasticity and cannabis in the State of Texas. Check articles below for studies, customer success stories, research, and legislation on cannabis and its effect on spasticity as a qualifying condition in Texas.

Compassionate Use Program (CUP) Expansion FAQs

Q: Now that the bill has passed the Texas House and Senate and been signed by the Governor – what are the next steps? A: Effective immediately, certain patients with the following conditions may legally obtain non-smokable forms of low-THC [...]

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