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Does Cannabis Help Treat Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) Disease?

Scranton, PA: Patients suffering from Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, a genetic nerve pain disorder, frequently report that cannabis use mitigates their pain and decreases their need for prescription medications, according to data published in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

A team of investigators affiliated with the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Pennsylvania surveyed 56 patients with CMT.

Over 90 percent of respondents said that cannabis use reduced their average pain by at least half. Eighty percent of respondents reported using fewer opioids following the initiation of cannabis therapy. Sixty-nine percent of study participants reported reducing their use of sleep aids, and 50 percent reported using fewer anxiety/anti-depressants.

“The findings from this survey indicate that patients with CMT report substantial relief of pain symptoms from the use of cannabis,” the authors concluded. “These data support the need for prospective, randomized, controlled trials using standardized dosing protocols to further delineate and optimize the potential use of cannabis to treat pain related to CMT.”

The survey’s findings are consistent with those of numerous other studies documenting that patients frequently use cannabis for pain mitigation and that many patients either reduce or eliminate their consumption of opioids and other medications following the initiation of cannabis therapy.

Several placebo-controlled trials document the ability of either inhaled or vaporized herbal cannabis to significantly mitigate pain in various patient populations, including those suffering from HIVdiabetesspinal cord injury, or severe treatment-resistant neuropathy (nerve pain). These positive results have been replicated in clinical trials utilizing relatively low doses of cannabis as well as in trials using plant-derived cannabis extracts.

Full text of the study, “Patient reported outcomes using medical cannabis for managing pain in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease,” appears in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative MedicineInformation on cannabis and pain management is available from NORML’s publication, Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Additional information is available from the NORML Fact Sheet, ‘Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.’

Source: NORMLmake a donation