Background: Up-to-date information regarding the scope and impact of cannabinoid use among persons with MS (PwMS) is necessary to guide clinical practice and cannabinoid research.
Objectives: To assess utilization patterns and perceived impact of cannabinoid use among a national cohort of PwMS.
Methods: Data collected were part of a nationwide survey to characterize pain in PwMS. Items included questions about current/recent cannabinoid use, reasons for use, preferred THC/CBD formulations, and perceived benefits/side effects. PROMIS short-forms assessed symptom severity. Pain phenotype was assessed with the painDETECT questionnaire and FMSurvey Criteria Questionnaires.
Results: Among n = 1,027 respondents, 42% endorsed recent cannabinoid use, of which 18% endorsed healthcare provider guidance regarding use. PROMIS scores (except cognitive abilities), and pain centralization and neuropathic pain scores, were higher among recent/current users (each p < 0.0001). Sleep and pain were the most frequently reported reasons for use. Benefit from cannabinoids for sleep and pain were strongly correlated (r = 0.65, p < 0.0001). For those who expressed a preference for specific THC/CBD ratios, CBD-predominant formulations were favored.
Conclusion: Cannabinoid use is common in PwMS, despite a paucity of provider guidance. The range of perceived benefits, and potential differential effects of THC and CBD, highlight the need for personalized, evidence-based guidelines regarding cannabinoid use.
- Multiple sclerosis
- sleep disturbance