b'with MS in 2001-2002 (1913 responses) and Study: People with MS using cannabis2018 (1014 responses) to determine patterns of mostly for spasticityuse and perceived benets of complementary Researchers in the Department of Neurology,and alternative medicine. Questions on both Oregon Health and Science University and thesurveys were similar with updates to account Portland VA Health Care System conductedfor newer therapies, trends, and app use. The across-sectionalanalysisofself-reportedsurvey comparison showed an increase in the patterns cannabis use and perceived benetsuse of supplements from 65 percent in 2001 for MS symptoms. There were 91 people withto 80.6 percent in 2018. Some supplements MS enrolled in the study who reported on pastand therapies followed trends during these and current cannabis use. Current users weretime periods, for example, yoga (7.8 percent asked about routes, frequency, and perceivedto15.3percent)andmind-bodypractices benefit, including pain, spasticity, sleep,(14.3 percent to 39.4 percent) have increased depression, anxiety, and stress on a 5-pointover the years. Additionally, communication scale. Most respondents were white, middle-with their neurologist about CAM has increased aged females, 54 percent of whom reportedfrom 6.7 percent to 55.4 percent in 2018. In cannabis use in the past and 36 percent2018 respondents with progressive MS and were current users. Topical use (55 percent)respondents with a longer disease duration was the most popular route of administration.used a higher number of supplements. The Most respondents used cannabis at least onceresearchers noted demographic limitations a day. Current users noted that cannabis wasto their study but compared to other surveys somewhat to very helpful for pain (85 percent)with similar methodology on the topic their and spasticity (79 percent). The researchersresults are generalizable. Also noted is a lack of discussed a possible reason for the high useevidence for CAM and the potential interactions of topical cannabis may be due to spasticitywith prescription medications. being a localized musculoskeletal symptom.Dr. Thrower: Many people living with MS use This study may be the rst to study cannabis usecomplementaryandalternativemedicine. patterns, but the authors note there is a needThis 17-year study found that 81 percent of for further research to study the aect cannabispeople with MS were doing so. I prefer the term may have on prescription medications.complementary therapy because I would hope Dr. Thrower: Cannabis, marijuana, CBD, THC,that those with MS are not choosing between and cannabinoids. While the terms can betraditional options and nontraditional ones. confusing, this study nds that 36 percent ofI would argue for using the best of both worlds.people with MS are currently using cannabisWe have not found a cure for MS yet and tohelpmanageMSsymptoms.Ofthosemany with MS struggle with symptoms and using it, 79 percent reported cannabis to bedisability despite the advances we have made. helpful for their spasticity.Some have been aected by side eects from Cannabis includes both marijuana andtraditional medications. Ideally, your MS is hemp. Hemp-based CBD products are legalbeing managed by a comprehensive, integrated in all 50 states. By law these products mayteam with you and your needs at the center. contain no more than 0.3 percent THC andIts vital that you let your healthcare providers typically have no psychoactive eects. In myknowwhatyourneedsareandwhat experience, hemp-based CBD by mouth maynontraditional therapies you are using. help with sleep and anxiety, but does not53 msfocusmagazine.org'