A Review of Medical Marijuana Research

The need for a better understanding of marijuana’s medicinal properties is great, considering that more states are expected to adopt medical marijuana programs in the coming years. There are currently 23 states and the District of Columbia which have active medical marijuana programs. Such programs have brought on an increase in research involving the controversial drug. While each state is different regarding the acceptable health conditions for which marijuana can be recommended, new research suggests that cannabis works for treating some conditions better than others, Reuters reports.

A new review of previously conducted research, which included 80 randomized trials involving nearly 6,500 people, indicated moderate support for using cannabis to treat certain ailments, including chronic pain, muscle spasms and involuntary movements. However, the review did not show much support for using cannabis to treat:

  • Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting
  • Sleep Disorders
  • HIV-Related Weight Loss
  • Tourette Syndrome

“As systematic reviewers, we have provided a summary of the available evidence which doctors can now use to make decisions regarding whether to prescribe cannabinoids for their patients,” said Penny Whiting of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust in the UK.

Whiting points out that when considering the benefits of using marijuana to treat medical conditions, one must also consider the potential side effects which often accompany the drug, according to the article. Side effects which include:

  • Euphoria
  • Dry Mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness

“Individuals considering cannabinoids as a possible treatment for their symptoms should discuss the potential benefits and harms with their doctor,” said Whiting.

The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

It is important to keep in mind that marijuana is a mind altering substance which carries with it the potential for addiction. If you find yourself struggling with cannabis, please do not hesitate to reach out for help.

Addiction and recovery news provided by Harmony Foundation