Aside from the 2 FDA-approved indications for cannabinoids, the scientific evidence supporting the medical use of marijuana and cannabinoids varies widely by disease entity from high quality evidence to poor-quality evidence. Despite the variability in evidence supporting various uses for medical marijuana, state policies suggest the use of medical marijuana for many medical problems beyond nausea, vomiting, and anorexia.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.
For some of the medical conditions approved for use in some states, there are only preliminary data supporting the use of medical marijuana as pharmacotherapy.
Data from more than 40 clinical trials of marijuana and cannabinoids have been published; beyond the 2 indications for which dronabinol and nabilone are already approved by the FDA, the strongest evidence exists for the use of marijuana and cannabinoids as pharmacotherapies for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. The study found that
“Use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high-quality evidence. Six trials that included 325 patients examined chronic pain, 6 trials that included 396 patients investigated neuropathic pain, and 12 trials that included 1600 patients focused on multiple sclerosis. Several of these trials had positive results, suggesting that marijuana or cannabinoids may be efficacious for these indications.”
Medical marijuana use is now common in clinical practice, and it is critical for physicians to understand both the scientific rationale and the practical implications of medical marijuana laws. While medical marijuana has been at times a controversial and contentious issue, physicians have a responsibility to provide evidence-based guidance on this critical issue. With more states enacting medical marijuana laws, it is imperative for physicians to understand both the scientific rationale and the practical implications of medical marijuana laws.
More studies are needed on cannabis as a form of treatment as many studies are not so in-depth and only scratch the surface.