Is Medical Marijuana Beneficial?

An article from the Periodical: Canadian Family Physician: The Official Journal of the College of Family Physicians of Canada

The title of this research article is: “Simplified guideline for prescribing medical cannabinoids in primary care”  Vol. 64, Issue 2 - 1 Feb 2018

The study looked at the efficacy of cannabinoids for use with pain, nausea and vomiting, spasticity, and adverse event.  This is a thorough study with recommendations when and when not to use medical marijuana.  Extensive references.  

https://www.cfp.ca/content/64/2/111

The first ‘General recommendation’ is:

“We recommend against use of medical cannabinoids for most medical conditions owing to lack of evidence of benefit and known harms (strong recommendation)”

“Although advocated for various medical conditions, the evidence for medical cannabinoids for most conditions is sparse.”

The authors of the article investigated what research has been done in the USA and Canada on whether cannabinoids are beneficial or not for various medical conditions such as Neuropathic pain, pain, cancer and palliative pain, nausea and vomiting, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, spasticity, amongst others.

There are detailed results but: “Although advocated for various medical conditions, the evidence for medical cannabinoids for most conditions is sparse.” From far too small a group to show any more than minimal beneficial test results.  

“While mental health concerns are a common reason for medical marijuana use, the evidence is very poor.” For some mental health issues such as depression, there were no more than 9-10 patients studied with some only subjective results cited.  

Per this research article, what little testing is done on the benefits of marijuana are done with THC levels s 

Canadian study found that functional status among medical marijuana users was worse than among the general population, reporting scores of 28 versus 7 on functional assessment, respectively (using the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule for which possible scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores representing worse function).”

The article stresses that although marijuana (medical marijuana) has been promoted for and used for many different physical and mental issues, there is a serious lack of high-level (quality) research.  

One of the key recommendation is that patients, even in palliative care should be fully educated on the lack of proven benefits and possible harm that medical marijuana could do.  

Posted by greymouser

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