Drug made of cannabis could treat motor neuron disease, study finds

$45 million worth of cannabis uncovered in Australia

A new study published in the Lancet Neurology Journal has revealed that a drug made of cannabis is capable of treating motor neuron disease. A clinical trial conducted by scientists revealed that this cannabis-based drug helps to ease muscle movements of patients suffering from this disease.

During the study, researchers found that delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol THC and cannabidiol (THC-CBD), derived from the cannabis plant will help ease symptoms of spasticity that is characterized by tight and stiff muscles.

In the study, researchers gave the cannabis-based drug and placebo to two sections of people comprised of 60 adults aged between 18 to 80. People with motor neuron disease who took a combination of anti-spasticity drugs and cannabidiol experienced a reduction in pain and less spasticity, while participants who took placebo showed no to less improvement.

It should be noted that spasticity is such a problem that is rapidly progressive, and it usually negatively impacts the victim's quality of life.

"There is no cure for motor neuron disease so improved symptom control and quality of life are important for patients. Our trial showed a beneficial effect of THC-CBD spray in people on treatment-resistant spasticity and pain," said Nilo Riva, a researcher at the San Raffaele Institute, Italy, Science Daily reports.

However, researchers added that more study is needed to determine the long-term effects of taking this cannabis-based drug. The team made it clear that the safety and efficacy of the drug should be assured by conducting long-term phase 3 trials.

"Our proof-of-concept trial showed a beneficial effect of THC-CBD spray in people on treatment-resistant spasticity and pain. Despite these encouraging findings, we must first confirm that THC-CBD spray is effective and safe in larger, longer-term phase 3 trials," added Riva.

People believe that the new study report will compel government authorities in many countries to legalize Cannabinoids which may help to treat people with motor neuron disease.