Rachel, MS Reporter.
Can taking cannabis improve the quality of life for people with MS?
Gen Edwards, MS Society. Well, what we’ve done is look at the evidence and it shows that for certain symptoms, which is pain and muscle spasms, cannabis can be very helpful for people with MS, which is one of the reasons why we decided to look at our position.
And then, so have you found for other symptoms that people have with MS, does cannabis seem to work for those?
We haven’t got any evidence that it helps with anything else at the moment. What we are asking for is more research to be done so that we can properly understand the benefits of cannabis, but what we can see so far is that it does help some people, it won’t work for everybody, but it can help some people who have those relentless symptoms of pain and muscle spasms. I think, our estimate is it’s about ten per cent of people, so that’s 10,000 people with MS, it’s a considerable amount.
Yeah. And is this meaning because there’s 100,000 people in the UK suffering from MS that it seems to alleviate symptoms of the pain and spasticity in ten per cent?
Yes. There are other treatments of course available to target those specific symptoms, but we know that they don’t work for everyone either. So our medical advisers think that it should be a third line treatment available for people where those other treatments have failed for… and they think about 10,000 people, or ten per cent could benefit.
MS Reporter : Rachel.
Director of External Affairs – MS Society : Gen Edwards.