Merit of Medical Marijuana

  • Research Suggests Medical Marijuana Has Merit

    merit-medical-marijuanaAccording to California researchers who presented an update of their findings to the California Legislature and also released them to the public, marijuana can be a promising treatment for some specific, pain-related medical conditions.

    ”I think the evidence is getting better and better that marijuana, or the constituents of cannabis, are useful at least in the adjunctive treatment of neuropathy,” Igor Grant, MD, executive vice-chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, tells WebMD.

    ”We don’t know if it’s a front-line treatment. I’m hoping the results of our studies will prompt larger-scale studies that involve a much more varied population.”

    ”This [report given to the Legislature] sets the stage of larger-scale studies,” he says.

    Some experts who reviewed the report said they worry about the health effects of marijuana smoke in the long term and some of the studies are flawed.

    The researchers show the value of marijuana for pain-related conditions in the report and communicated that marijuana is helpful in reducing pain in people suffering from spinal cord injury and other conditions (appeared in Journal of Pain). It was also remarked pain perception can be reduced with medium doses of marijuana (appeared in Anesthesiology) and pain in HIV patients can be reduced with smoked marijuana (appeared in Neuropsychopharmacology). According to a study appearing in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, researchers found that vaporized marijuana can be safe.

    References:

    • Igor Grant, MD, executive vice-chairman, department of psychiatry, University of California San Diego School of Medicine; director, Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, University of California.
    • Kevin Weissman, PharmD, director of drug information services, Los Angeles County+University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles.
    • Joel Hay PhD, professor of pharmaceutical economics and policy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
    • Abrams, D. Neurology, February 2007; vol 68: pp 515-521.
    • Abrams, D. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, November 2007; vol 82: pp 572-578.
    • Ellis, R. Neuropsychopharmacology, published online Aug. 6, 2008; vol 34: pp 672-680.
    • Wallace, M . Anesthesiology, November 2007; vol 107: pp 785-796.
    • Wilsey, B. Journal of Pain, April 2008; vol 9: pp 506-521.

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