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Survey of cannabis use in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Dagmar Amtmann, PhD
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
Patrick Weydt, MD
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Neurology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
Kurt L. Johnson, PhD
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
Mark P. Jensen, PhD
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
Gregory T. Carter, MD
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
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).


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