Study: Dystonia Patients Saw “Significant Subjective Improvement” From Marijuana Use

In a new study “Dystonia patients who use medical cannabis under clinical observation reported significant subjective improvement during 30 months of use in average.”

The study is titled A single-center real-life study on the use of medical cannabis in patients with dystonia. It was published in the recent issue of the journal Frontiers in Neurology, and it was conducted by researchers from Tel Aviv University, the University of London, Chaim Sheba Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University, all in Israel.

“While cannabis-based medicine is being commonly used in patients with movement disorders, there is a scarcity of publications regarding the effect of cannabis on dystonia”, states the study’s abstract. “We aimed to describe medical cannabis use in patients with dystonia and related pain.”

For the study researchers “employed a structured interview to obtain data on the cannabis treatment regimen, perception of effectiveness and side effect profile. Eligible participants were patients diagnosed with dystonia from the movement disorders unit at the Tel-Aviv Medical Center who had used licensed medical cannabis between January 2019 and January 2021.”

23 subjects were interviewed (mean age 52.7). The most common way of administration was smoking.

“Following an average of 2.5 ± 2.9 years of use, those with widespread dystonia (generalized, hemi and multifocal, n = 11) self-reported on a numeric rating scale an average 63% (range 0%-100%) reduction in symptoms of dystonia, while those with more focal dystonia patterns reported a significantly lower treatment effect of 32%”, states the study. “Participants reported a positive impact in related pain and quality of life, with an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 (SD = 1.2, median = 4) and 3.6 out of 5 (SD = 1.15, median = 4), respectively. Most common side effects were dry mouth (65%), sedation (43%), dizziness (39%) and psychiatric disorders (26%). Three patients (13%) discontinued therapy.”

Researchers conclude:

A subset of dystonia patients who use medical cannabis under clinical observation reported significant subjective improvement during 30 months of use in average. Further prospective randomized controlled trials are required to examine the effectiveness of cannabis in dystonia.

Thank you for reading The Marijuana Herald! You can sign up for our newsletter at the form below, and you can find more news stories by clicking here.