A team of researchers working for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) released two studies that were published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Both studies found little evidence proving that Medical Marijuana is effective in treating pain and PTSD.
The researchers focused on these two medical issues because they are the most commonly cited reasons a medical marijuana prescription. Pain management is listed by 45% and 80% of people seeking cannabis prescriptions. Likewise, over one-third of medical marijuana patients named PTSD as the primary issue.
These Veterans Health Administration researchers examined 27 chronic pain trials and found that “there is low-strength evidence that cannabis alleviates neuropathic pain but insufficient evidence in other pain populations.”
PTSD treatment, on the other hand, was examined by analyzing two systematic reviews and three observational studies. According to the VHA’s research, there was not enough evidence to conclude that cannabis reduces PTSD symptoms. Furthermore, their researchers believe that past research could have a “medium to high risk of bias.”
Conversely, the VHA noted that there are two randomized trials and six other ongoing studies to see marijuana’s effects with PTSD. It will take three years before all of those studies are completed.
Is Cannabis Research a Dead End? No
|(Flickr - Eggrole)|
These kinds of studies are based upon the preliminary stages of medical marijuana research. Cannabis is a very complex plant with over 100 cannabinoids. Scientists have yet to conclusively determine which individual cannabinoids or combinations are the most effective. That will take considerable time.
It also should be noted that there have historically been numerous bureaucratic obstacles from the federal government restricting medical studies on cannabis. Numerous patients report positive anecdotal results from medical marijuana. Therefore, this is a topic that needs considerably more research.