95% of MS Patients Open to Marijuana Treatment, 73% Have Tried It

95% of MS Patients Open to Marijuana Treatment, 73% Have Tried It

Ninety-five percent of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients believe medical marijuana should be a treatment option, according to a GeneFo online survey.

The survey also showed that almost 73 percent had tried it, even though about half said they hadn’t received information from a doctor about its benefits and risks.

A National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report issued before the survey concluded that certain cannabinoids can decrease spasticity and pain in MS patients. The report was based on the most recent research weighing the risks and benefits of medical marijuana.

The sponsor of the survey, GeneFo, is an online MS community that connects patients with MS experts and clinical trials in their area.

Although 95 percent of the patients in the survey said they would consider medical marijuana as a treatment option, 60 percent said they would use it only if a physician recommended it. Of the 60 percent, 81 percent said they had never discussed the option with a doctor.

Fifty percent said they knew little about marijuana’s effects on MS symptoms, and 50 percent also said they had asked their doctor for more information about it.

The survey results suggest there is a gap between patients’ willingness to learn more about and try medical marijuana and their ability to obtain information about it, starting at the physician’s office.

In fact, when patients listed the reasons they were not taking medical cannabis, lack of knowledge  was the second biggest concern, trailing only concern about its legality. Other concerns, such as negative opinions of family and friends, fear of addition or other risks did not weigh on patient motivation.

Graph provided by GeneFo to MS News Today.

When asked whether they had used medical marijuana, and it they had, whether it had alleviated their symptoms, 72.5 percent reported using it, and about half reported positive results.

Graph provided by GeneFo to MS News Today.

Based on the information the survey generated, the authors recommended that doctors revise their care protocols to inform patients about medical marijuana, to ensure its safe use.

Those wanting to join GeneFo’s medical-marijuana advocacy effort can watch a free webinar Feb. 16 titled “Treating MS Symptoms with Medical Cannabis.” An expert in cannabinoid therapy, Eloise Theisen, will discuss the neurological benefits and risks of its use.




  1. William Clark says:

    No one should promote the canard that marijuana is dangerous,
    like pharmaceutical drugs. Or even that it is a ‘drug’, except in Merriam-Webster’s third and broadest definition, as something which affects the mind. By that definition, religion and television (‘the plug-in drug’) should also be included. In truth marijuana is a medicinal herb, cultivated, bred, and evolved in service to human beings over thousands of years.

    “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting people to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, break up their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” –John Ehrlichman

    Prohibition of marijuana is a premise built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. In November of 2011, a study at the University of Colorado found that in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities have dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan—more than the national average, while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too.

    In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote revealed that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as “the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating a motor vehicle is slower driving”, which “is arguably a positive thing”. Despite occasional accidents, eagerly reported by police-blotter ‘journalists’ as ‘marijuana-related’, a mix of substances was often involved. Alcohol, most likely, and/or prescription drugs, nicotine, caffeine, meth, cocaine, heroin, and a trace of the marijuana passed at a party ten days ago. However, on the whole, as revealed in big-time, insurance-industry stats, within the broad swath of mature, experienced consumers, slower and more cautious driving shows up in significant numbers. A recent Federal study has reached the same conclusion. And legalization should improve those numbers further.

    No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It’s the most benign ‘substance’ in history. Most people—and particularly patients who medicate with marijuana–use it in place of prescription drugs or alcohol.

    Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana is a neuroprotectant that actually encourages brain-cell growth. Researchers in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries have discovered that it also has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

    Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. Often useful, but typically burdened with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one’s arm. ‘The works of Man are flawed.’

    Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. In 1936 Sula Benet, a Polish anthropologist, traced the history of the word “marijuana”. It was “cannabis” in Latin, and “kanah bosm” in the old Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. Why despair? Consider the current medical term for cannabis sativa: a “mood elevator”. . . as opposed to antidepressants, which ‘flatten out’ emotions, leaving patients numb to both depression and joy.

    The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came into wide use in the Middle Ages. In Biblical times, it was used by a few tribes of Greek pagans. And Christ was neither Greek nor pagan.

    Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kanah bosom, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors.

    I am appalled at the number of ‘Christian’ politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but cannot or will not face the scientific or the historical truths about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated as sacraments by most of the world’s major religions.

  2. Olivier says:

    I have PPMS, I’m using CBD oil 2 to 3 times a day.
    It helps me to have a better bladder control and I feel like my energy level is better.
    I just take a drop of the oil, the size of a grain of rice each time, no more.

    I don’t feel like I am a drug addict and it is perfectly safe (no side effects).
    First of all you can not overdose and the CBD doesn’t give you any psychedelic effect (no high) meaning you can functioned very well.

  3. David Beard says:

    Why are you referring to it as marijuana? That is as stigmatized as calling alcohol booze. Why not use the scientific term Cannabis?

  4. Robert McKay says:

    I believe cannabis, and CBD-rich strains and preparations in particular, is close to a universal heal-all and I’m glad so many people are coming to recognize it’s potential.
    However, I’m concerned about the reporting in this article, especially the pie charts and the sentence directly above them, near the end. There is a significant difference between someone who ‘had used’ — with no definition of how often, for how long, and how long ago — and someone who is ‘using it’. But there’s a more important difference between the pie chart showing 72.5% of respondents saying “No”, they aren’t using mm, and the statement above that “72.5 percent reported using it, “.

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