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Cerebral Palsy and Medicinal Cannabis

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a term that represents a range of neurological disabilities that cause movement impairment and issues with balance and posture.

Cerebral palsy occurs as a result of damage to the brain or abnormal brain development, and is the most commonly found in children. 

Every person experiences CP in a different way, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. CP is a condition that does not progressively get worse, but symptoms may change over the course of a patient's lifetime. 

What are the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy includes a range of symptoms that are mostly physical in nature. They include:

  • Movement and walking disabilities
  • Speech difficulties
  • Learning disabilities
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Epilepsy
  • Emotional and behavioural challenges
  • Spinal deformities
  • Joint problems

Risk factors for developing cerebral palsy include:

  • Infancy
  • Preterm or low birthweight
  • Not getting certain vaccinations
  • Injury

How can medicinal cannabis help with Cerebral Palsy?

Although only a few studies have been conducted overall for medicinal marijuana as a treatment for spastic quadriplegia (a form of CP), results indicate that cannabis can be a very beneficial therapy for patients. 

Animal studies support cannabis' efficacy as a CP treatment, suggesting that the active components of cannabis help control partial seizures - a common symptom found in patients with spastic quadriplegia. Usually, the treatment is delivered in oil form, with a higher concentration of cannabidiol (CBD), allowing patients to treat seizures and spasms without the 'high.' 

Some of the cannabis products that have shown to be beneficial treatments to Cerebral Palsy sufferers include:

  • Nabiximols
  • Dronbinol
  • THC:CBD extracts
  • CBD extracts
  • Cannabis Sativa
  • Cannabis Indica

They can be consumed as an oil, vape liquid, sprays and wafers.

If you or a loved one are suffering from Cerebral Palsy and are considering medicinal cannabis as a potential treatment, please speak to your GP or to one of our SAS accredited doctors here.