EXETER, England (Reuters) - Cannabis-based treatments may have longer-term benefits for multiple sclerosis patients, scientists said on Friday.
The findings of a short, 15-week trial of MS patients published last year were inconclusive because although patients reported relief in muscle stiffness, rigidity and mobility, the findings could not be confirmed by physiotherapists.
But Dr John Zajicek, of the Peninsula Medical School at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth in southwestern England who headed the study, told a conference there seemed to be further benefits for patients who continued treatment for a year.
"In the short term-study there was some evidence of cannabinoids alleviating symptoms of multiple sclerosis; in the longer term there is a suggestion of a more useful beneficial effect, which was not clear at the initial stage," he said.
Cannabis contains more than 60 different cannabinoids. The most active is thought to be tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).