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THC:CBD Spray and MS Spasticity Symptoms

Over in Europe and the UK, more than 30% of the population with multiple sclerosis use medicinal cannabis to help soothe symptoms. One of their options is a spray known as Sativex, which has been approved throughout the globe. However, in the US, Sativex is not yet available. Some recent studies have given some insight into how CBD and THC combinations—using the entourage effect—may benefit those with MS.

Let’s review a piece of research titled “THC: CBD Spray and MS Spasticity Symptoms: Date From the Latest Studies,” so you can better decide if CBD is right for you [1].

 

What is Sativex?

Also known as nabiximols, Sativex is a cannabis-based medicine that has been licensed for use in the UK and many other countries. Jazz Pharmaceuticals is currently testing the effectiveness of Sativex for the American population [2]. Sativex is prescribed for the treatment of multiple sclerosis spasticity, particularly when the individual has not responded to other treatments or had off-putting side effects.

Sativex is an oromucosal spray that contains both delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

 

How Long Has Sativex Been Studied?

Some of the earliest studies of nabiximols were in the early 2000s. A study from 2005, reviewed five randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to see the benefits of the oromucosal spray, which totaled 368 participants [3]. Some of the trials showed that THC: CBD spray had the potential to significantly reduce neuropathic pain, spasticity, sleep disturbances, and muscle spasms. Other RCTs had less outstanding results.

A study from 2010 used a 15-week double-blind, randomized, and controlled group study to look at the improvement of MS spasticity using Sativex [4]. The results were “significantly superior for Sativex, compared with placebo.” In other words, the participants felt that Sativex had some or significant benefit.

 

About  the THC:CBD Spray and MS Spasticity Symptoms Study

The two aforementioned studies are important to remember because the review titled “THC: CBD Spray and MS Spasticity Symptoms: Data from Latest Studies” incorporates some of those results within the hypotheses and conclusions made by the researchers [1]. Being that this review was conducted in 2014, it is important to keep in mind that many other studies on nabiximols have taken place since then.

One point the researchers discuss is the results of an observational study that explored whether THC: CBD spray may impair driving ability in those with multiple sclerosis. The evaluations conducted on the 33 participants included assessing orientation, concentration, reaction speed, and stress. The THC: CBD spray was used in conjunction with other medications, as well. The end result of the study found that, when the participants used the THC.CBD oromucosal spray, their driving ability improved.

The group also reviewed the effectiveness of THC: CBD spray for cognitive function and mood. After analyzing data from studies, the reviewers stated that long-term use of THC: CBD spray has a low risk of depression and cognitive decline. For instance, the data showed that after 12 months of use, there was a mean change of +6.8 in the test groups. This means that the participants’ conditions improved during that time. Furthermore, “the spray was well-tolerated with no new tolerability issues and few withdrawals.”

 

What You Can Take Away From the Studies

So what can you glean from studies like this? First, there is a lot of research going on in various parts of the world. Some of the results suggest significant improvements in those with various forms of MS when taking a THC:CBD oromucosal spray. Second, for many individuals with MS, the side effects of some of the medications are unfavorable. While THC and CBD are both known to cause some drowsiness or dizziness, particularly with higher dosages, most individuals who tried Sativex in the clinical trials did not experience any disruptive side effects.

Plus, these results have been replicated to some degree since 2014. Take a recent study from 2021 that was conducted in Belgium [5]. Two groups of patients (514 combined), were given Sativex for either 6 or 12 months. Some patients dropped out of the trial due to ineffectiveness within the first 8 weeks. Those who stayed on, however, reported effects by week 12. Additionally, more than 60% of the study group who added the THC:CBD oromucosal spray to their medication routine reported “a clinically relevant symptomatic effect and continued treatment after 12 weeks.”

As such, while the degrees of relief provided by cannabinoid sprays like Sativex do vary between MS patients, the evidence does seem to support some benefits from taking it.

 

Ready to Try CBD For MS Spasticity?

There may be some time before THC: CBD oromucosal sprays for MS spasticity are available in the US. However, with results showing more positive results throughout the years than not, you may want to see what CBD can do for you sooner than later.

Sugar Bottom Hemp has a wide variety of CBD products, including tinctures and topical creams. Our hemp is farm grown, and our CBD is minimally processed, ensuring superior quality. Interested in our lineup? Get in touch with us today to learn more or start perusing our shop.

 

 

Bibliography

  1. Rekand, T. (2014). THC:CBD Spray and MS Spasticity Symptoms: Data from Latest Studies. European Neurology, 71(Suppl. 1), 4–9. https://doi.org/10.1159/000357742
  2. Plc, J. P. (2022, June 28). Jazz Pharmaceuticals Announces Top-line Results from Phase 3 Trial Evaluating Nabiximols Oromucosal Spray in Adult Participants with Multiple Sclerosis Spasticity. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jazz-pharmaceuticals-announces-top-line-results-from-phase-3-trial-evaluating-nabiximols-oromucosal-spray-in-adult-participants-with-multiple-sclerosis-spasticity-301576738.html
  3. Perras C. Sativex for the management of multiple sclerosis symptoms. Issues Emerg Health Technol. 2005 Sep;(72):1-4. PMID: 16317825.
  4. Collin C, Ehler E, Waberzinek G, Alsindi Z, Davies P, Powell K, Notcutt W, O’Leary C, Ratcliffe S, Nováková I, Zapletalova O, Piková J, Ambler Z. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of Sativex, in subjects with symptoms of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. Neurol Res. 2010 Jun;32(5):451-9. doi: 10.1179/016164109X12590518685660. Epub 2010 Mar 19. PMID: 20307378.
  5. D’hooghe, M., Willekens, B., Delvaux, V. et al. Sativex® (nabiximols) cannabinoid oromucosal spray in patients with resistant multiple sclerosis spasticity: the Belgian experience. BMC Neurol 21, 227 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12883-021-02246-0