A large proportion of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have spasticity, which has a marked impact on their quality of life. Anecdotal evidence suggests a beneficial effect of cannabis on spasticity as well as pain. Recently, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have confirmed the clinical efficacy of cannabinoids for the treatment of spasticity in patients with MS. Based on these data, nabiximols (Sativex), a 1:1 mix of Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol extracted from cloned Cannabis sativachemovars, received approval for treating MS-related spasticity in various countries around the globe. In this article we review the current understanding of cannabinoid biology and the value of cannabinoids as a symptomatic treatment option addressing spasticity in patients with MS.
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