The use of cannabis to treat some symptoms of neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), has increased worldwide. We aimed to assess the use of cannabis in patients with MS (PwMS) from Argentina, its reasons and patients’ perceptions on the management of MS symptoms. Additionally, we assessed their association with socio-demographic and clinical aspects.
A cross-sectional online survey that included 281 PwMS from Argentina was conducted. Screening instruments: Demographics and clinical data, health-related QoL (MS Impact Scale-29), Fatigue Severity Scale, The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, sleep disorders, physical disability (self-administrated Expanded Disability Status Scale) and medical or recreational cannabis use were evaluated. A logistic regression model was carried out.
Current users (cannabis was used within the past year) was reported in 34.2% and former users (had tried cannabis but not used it within the past year) in 22.7%. Daily cannabis use was reported in 31.3% (current + former users) of the studied cohort, 41.9% started their use after MS diagnosis and 54.3% of them had never discussed about cannabis use with their neurologist. Recreational use was reported in 47.5%. Younger (age below 30 years) PwMS (OR = 2.39, p = 0.03), presence of chronic pain (OR = 2.42, p = 0.002) and current alcohol intake (OR = 3.33, p = 0.001) were predictors of current cannabis use in our multivariate model.
A high prevalence of use of cannabis in PwMS from Argentina was observed. Demographic, symptoms and lifestyle factors predict cannabis use. Identifying the presence and severity of these conditions would contribute to a better MS management and treatment.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.