Danish Multiple Sclerosis Center has taken to work with medical cannabis

Ph.d. Stefan Gustavsen

They have waited and waited. Now, ph.d. Stefan Gustavsen from Danish Multiple Sclerosis Center at Rigshospitalet (large hospital based in Copenhagen) hopes that the list of patients who are lined up to receive medical cannabis through the trial order will have their wishes come true.

The first nine patients have received treatment with oils from the trial order, which includes three different drugs. One contains primarily THC, one contains primarily CBD and one is a mix of the two. These are patients who are already connected to the ward at the hospital and who have severe pain or spasticity.

’This is not a clinical trial with a control group, but we do make an extra effort to gather information and examine the safety in the gradual increase of the dosage, so that we can make a useful evaluation afterwards’, says Stefan Gustavsen to Cannabis Danmark.

Besides the gathering of adverse effects, patients will be asked a wide range of questions before the trial and again after four weeks with medical cannabis. With the patient’s consent, further blood samples will be taken to be used to research medical cannabis’ effect on the endocannabinoid system (our body’s own cannabis system) in plasma and at cell level.

How many patients will begin treatment with medical cannabis at the sclerosis clinic at Rigshospitalet is unknown at this point. ‘For many patients, it is an obstacle that they are not permitted to drive during the entire treatment period and that the treatment may be expensive’, Stefan Gustavsen states.

If a patient is interested in the medical cannabis treatment, but cannot afford it, there is an opportunity to participate in a national medical cannabis project that aims to research cannabis’ effect on pain and spasticity connected to multiple sclerosis. ‘This is a large research study which is in the initial phase at the sclerosis clinics around the country. It is an excellent opportunity for patients who are interested in this kind of treatment and who also want to contribute to the sought-after research’, says Stefan Gustavsen.

Comment from Cannabis Danmark:

The large research study mentioned in this article is partially funded by the trial order and involves all Danish sclerosis clinics as well as two clinics for patients with spinal cord injuries. In this study, cannabis from the magisterial order is used. The research study is four-armed and includes CBD, THC, THC/CBD and placebo.

Stefan Gustavsen’s study is based on products from the trial order which have more components. We, at Cannabis Danmark welcome testing of several different cannabis products for sclerosis patients to make it possible to get an indication of which products/cannabinoids works the best for this particular condition.