Spasticity is a disease that constantly contracts certain muscles. This contraction leads the muscles to be stiff or tight and may interfere with ordinary motion, speech, and gait. Spasticity is usually caused by brain or spinal cord portion damage that controls voluntary motion. The harm creates a shift in the signal equilibrium between the body and the nervous system. This imbalance results in enhanced muscle activity. Spasticity impacts the extremities ‘ muscles and joints and is especially detrimental to growing kids.

Statistics on people affected by Spasticity

  • Spasticity affects more than 12 million individuals around the world.
  • Approximately 80% of individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) have different spasticity levels. This is equivalent to about 400,000 individuals with some degree of CP-related spasticity with an estimated 500,000 individuals in the United States with some type of CP.
  • Approximately 80% of individuals with various sclerosis (MS) are spastic with differing degrees. This is equivalent to about 320,000 individuals with some degree of MS-related spasticity with an estimated 400,000 individuals in the United States with MS.


Among the comprehensive list of promising medical advantages of the cannabis plant is its scientifically proven capacity to relieve spasticity, a disease that frequently impacts patients with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral paralysis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), among other conditions.

Patients experiencing spasticity are suffering from muscle rigidity and movement difficulty. They are also susceptible to spasms where a muscle is limping or jerking uncontrollably, causing serious pain and sleep problems in some instances.

Research based evidence

Outside the United States, the cannabis-based drug Sativex, an oromucosal spray containing an approximate 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC, has currently been approved in 21 countries for the treatment of MS-related spasticity. A 2012 report in the Neurotherapeutic Expert Review noted that’ Randomized controlled trial results have shown a reduction in the severity of spasticity-related symptoms.’ These results are very encouraging.

Cannabis has established up a reputation for relieving muscle spasms, even though it was not commonly accessible for medical use to patients. The Marijuana as Medicine reference book of 2001; The Science beyond the Controversy observed the following: According to a 1982 study of individuals with spinal cord injuries, 21 out of 43 participants said cannabis decreased their spasticity, and a 1997 study of MS patients who frequently used cannabis discovered almost all of the 112 participants also said cannabis helped decrease pain and spasticity.

A thorough 2017 review of 10,000 cannabis science research undertaken since 1999 by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, Researchers said there is “significant proof” that adults with MS-related spasms have been observed to have improved symptoms through the short-term use of oral cannabinoids

A 2015 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association that examined more than 20 randomized clinical cannabinoid studies discovered that’ the use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is backed by high-quality proof. ‘In reviewing 24 studies involving some 2,321 patients, scientists concluded: ‘ Several of these studies have been conducted in the United States.

Research was submitted at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held in Philadelphia from 4 to 10 May 2019.

In order to treat a big population of Italian patients with treatment-resistant MS spasticity, the researchers of this observational, prospective, multicenter research attempted to assess real-life, long-term effectiveness results of THC: CBD oromucosal spray. A numerical rating scale (0-10) was used to assess spasticity at baseline, 1 month, 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months after initiation of therapy.

After one month, out of 1845 patients, 1502 (81.4 percent) accomplished an increase of approximately 20 percent in the numerical spasticity rating scale and 814 (40.2 percent) reached an increase of approximately 30 percent. The average decrease in spasticity results at month 1 was 28.9% and at month 18 was 36.8%.

The Bottom Line

All considered, both clinical research and the collection of anecdotal evidence suggest that cannabis could play a useful role as an alternative therapy to help patients with spasticity. However, the need for more study to better comprehend the advantages and side effects of medical cannabis and cannabinoids is required.



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