Medical Marijuana and Spasticity

Medical Marijuana and Spasticity

Posted by Sparky on Sep 24, 2018 6:40 pm

Hello nurse Linda,

I am a 59-year-old complete quad (C4/C-5), injured 35 years ago. I have been using 100 mg per day of oral baclofen to manage spasticity. I would love to reduce my baclofen dosage, and was hoping medical marijuana could be helpful in that regard. I acquired my Pennsylvania medical marijuana card and have been using CBD oil capsules, a tincture under my tongue, as well as a vape pen at bedtime. I have been doing it for roughly one month with absolutely no results thus far. I was wondering if you knew any people with expertise in using medical marijuana products for SCI? I am starting to get discouraged, but don't want to give up on it yet. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.


Re: Medical Marijuana and Spasticity

Posted by AskNurseLinda on Sep 26, 2018 7:59 pm

Hello, Steve, there is a lot of interest in this topic. Many people tell me they use marijuana for spasticity control with success. However, there are some who say they have no results. With all of the varieties and injection options it can be quite difficult to figure out. Plus, there are recommendations but the exact dose for each individual's particular case has not been set. Marijuana takes about an hour to become effective. Most people expect an immediate result. When this does not happen, people tend to take in more leading to too much.

I understand wanting to reduce baclofen dosage as it has to travel throughout your body. Side effects can include sedation. The dose is typically increased as your body becomes used to it.

Another treatment option that could be considered is Botox injections. This works in the area of concern with very little of the medication flowing through your body. Many people have success with this for spasticity. The dose is calculated by your physician who is can come fairly close to the dose needed although they might have to adjust a bit for you, individually. Baclofen has to be slowly reduced as it is a drug that cannot just be stopped.

If you want to continue with the marijuana, you will need to work to find the type and dose that is right for you. As with baclofen, marijuana travels throughout your body which can affect more than just your spasticity. Talk with your healthcare provider. If you are not getting the results you want, try other medications including Botox. There are options. You don't have to limit yourself. Nurse Linda

Re: Medical Marijuana and Spasticity

Posted by SpearJanis on Oct 1, 2018 7:43 am

We were just talking about this over the weekend.  My husband also a fair amount of Baclofen for spasms, but was wondering about alternatives as we have also heard some success stories.

Thanks, Nurse Linda for this useful input - I think a lengthy discussion with our Doctor is in order.

Have a lovely week.  :)

Re: Medical Marijuana and Spasticity

Posted by AskNurseLinda on Oct 1, 2018 10:06 am

Janis, glad you are doing well and planning ahead. Keep us posted about if your husband tries it and experience. There is a lot of interest in the topic with mixed success. Nurse Linda

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