medical cannabis refers to the use of cannabis or cannabinoids as medical therapy to treat disease or alleviate symptoms. In the United States, 23 states and Washington DC (May 2015) have introduced laws to permit the medical use of cannabis. Within the European Union, medicinal cannabis laws and praxis vary wildly between Countries.
to provide evidence for benefits and harms of cannabis (including extracts and tinctures) treatment for adults in the following indications: control of spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis; control of pain in patients with chronic neuropathic pain; control of nausea and vomiting in adults with cancer receiving chemotherapy.
we searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, and EMBASE from inception to September 2016. We also searched for on-going studies via ClinicalTrials.gov and the World Health Organization and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) search portal. All searches included also non-English language literature. All relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the safety and efficacy of cannabis (including extracts and tinctures) compared with placebo or other pharmacological agents were included. Three authors independently evaluated the titles and abstracts of studies identified in the literature searches for their eligibility. For studies considered eligible, we retrieved full texts. Three investigators independently extracted data. For the assessment of the quality of evidence, we used the standard methodological procedures recommended by Cochrane and GRADE working Group.
41 trials (4,550 participants) were included; 15 studies considered efficacy and safety of cannabis for patients with multiple sclerosis, 12 for patients with chronic pain, and 14 for patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy. The included studies were published between 1975 and 2015, and the majority of them were conducted in Europe. We judged almost 50% of these studies to be at low risk of bias. The large majority (80%) of the comparisons were with placebo; only 8 studies included patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy comparing cannabis with other antiemetic drugs. Concerning the efficacy of cannabis (compared with placebo) in patients with multiple sclerosis, confidence in the estimate was high in favour of cannabis for spasticity (numerical rating scale and visual analogue scale, but not the Ashworth scale) and pain. For chronic and neuropathic pain (compared with placebo), there was evidence of a small effect; however, confidence in the estimate is low and these results could not be considered conclusive. There is uncertainty whether cannabis, including extracts and tinctures, compared with placebo or other antiemetic drugs reduces nausea and vomiting in patients with cancer requiring chemotherapy, although the confidence in the estimate of the effect was low or very low. In the included studies, many adverse events were reported and none of the studies assessed the development of abuse or dependence.
There is incomplete evidence of the efficacy and safety of medical use of cannabis in the clinical contexts considered in this review. Furthermore, for many of the outcomes considered, the confidence in the estimate of the effect was again low or very low.
Teens who use a lot of marijuana and alcohol are less likely to have a full-time job when they grow up, or to get a college education or get married, according to a new study by University of Connecticut researchers.
The study of 1,165 young adults from across the U.S. also found that dependence on pot and booze may also have a “more severe effect on young men” than on young women.
This study found that chronic marijuana use in adolescence was negatively associated with achieving important developmental milestones in young adulthood.
— Elizabeth Harari, University of Connecticut researcher
Young women who were dependent on marijuana and alcohol were also less likely to go to college and had a lower standard of living than nondependent women, but were equally likely to be employed full time and to get married as nondependent women.
“This study found that chronic marijuana use in adolescence was negatively associated with achieving important developmental milestones in young adulthood,” Elizabeth Harari, a UConn Health psychiatry resident and author of the study, told UConn Today.
For Immediate Release November 1, 2017
As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers from health fraud, the agency today issued warning letters to four companies illegally selling products online that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure cancer without evidence to support these outcomes. Selling these unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, but also can put patients at risk as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective. The deceptive marketing of unproven treatments may keep some patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.
“I am not pro-cannabis; I think 90% is placebo.”
“LAST YEAR DEDI MEIRI, A CANNABIS RESEARCHER AT THE TECHNION, ISRAEL’S OLDEST UNIVERSITY, RECEIVED A “BEFORE AND AFTER” VIDEO OF AN AUTISTIC BOY.
The before showed the boy helmeted, hands tied behind his back, butting his head against a wall. The after showed him calmly sitting at a table, sketching. The difference: two drops of cannabis oil administered below the tongue. The video had been sent to Meiri by Abigail Dar, an Israeli champion for the use of cannabis in children with autism.
Early this year it was a different story. Over the course of a day, Meiri’s lab received a stream of phone calls from Dar: a few autistic children had gone berserk after receiving their two drops of oil.”
Survey shows marijuana use disorder linked to substance use/mental disorders and disability.
Marijuana use disorder is common in the United States, is often associated with other substance use disorders, behavioral problems, and disability, and goes largely untreated, according to a new study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The analysis found that 2.5 percent of adults — nearly 6 million people — experienced marijuana use disorder in the past year, while 6.3 percent had met the diagnostic criteria for the disorder at some point in their lives. A report of the study, led by Bridget Grant, Ph.D., of the NIAAA Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry, appears online today in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
“...Marijuana use can lead to harmful consequences for individuals and society.”
—George F. Koob, Ph.D., Director, NIAAA