My husband and I recently saw a headline in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that read, “Smoking medical marijuana could help relieve some symptoms of multiple sclerosis”. I instantly began dreaming of buying a new house in California next to Montel’s medical marijuana dispensary.
The study found that people with M.S. who smoked cannabis have experienced decreased pain and spasticity. While, thank God, I don’t suffer from any pain, I do endure unbelievable spasticity and clonus in my legs. Sometimes they are stiff like planks of wood. While other times they shake uncontrollably. I currently treat this with muscle relaxers, so I began thinking, “Weed effects can’t be any worse on my body than prescription pills? Lets do this!”
Then reality (i.e. my husband) spoke up as he continued reading and revealed some bad news. People who smoked the study’s cannabis had decreased cognitive functioning and scored low on tests that measured their focus. This result was supported by an earlier study in the journal, Neurology, which also showed Multiple Sclerosis patients who smoked medical marijuana have a doubled risk of developing cognitive impairments. While I would love to improve my spasticity, I can’t afford for my cognition to get any worse. Some of my main issues have been with my inability to track conversations, general confusion and memory.
I suppose I should be happy because this may pave the way for continued studies. Hopefully they will examine whether different doses can result in similar beneficial effects with decreased impact to cognition.
But for now my cannabis cure-all dreams have gone up in smoke.