In 2017, the National Academies of Science produced a 486 page report detailing what is known about the effects of marijuana on various health conditions based on scientific research gathered to date.

The report is called “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research.”  The report looks at the efficacy or the effectiveness, and the safety, of medical cannabis.  Over 30 medical conditions were surveyed including anxiety, asthma, cancer, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD, sleep disorders, spasticity, and Tourette’s, to name a few.

CannaTrials has posted the report’s findings on these conditions for your education, which you can access freely under our main navigation tab labeled “Medical Marijuana”, then “Medical Marijuana and Medical Conditions.”  The direct link is: https://cannatrials.com/medical-marijuana/cannabis-and-medical-conditions/

Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids from NASOne of the biggest take-aways from this publication is that more research needs to be done.  The authors propose specific and organized methods for a national research program.  What is currently holding this back is a few major conditions:

  • Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. Cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug, along with heroin, cocaine, and LSD – all of which have “no medical use”, “severe safety concerns”, and “high abuse potential.”  We’ll discuss this in a moment.
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) currently handles all medical research on cannabis. You can imagine, and your guess is borne out by fact, that NIDA funds research primarily on the negative potential effects of marijuana.  Researchers with NIDA funding are highly regulated, overseen, and supervised in ways that no other medical or clinical research is conducted.
  • The ONLY farm for growing marijuana that is approved in federally funded research is the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciencesat the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, which was initially approved in 1968(1).  Researchers have complained that the quality of product received is far below what others are producing, and very limited in variety, given the more than 100 cannabinoids that can be isolated and researched today.

In summary, the report found that medical marijuana is very effective for three specific conditions. One of them is spasticity, muscle spasms in some people who have spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis. Patients can have incredibly painful spasticity where the muscles spontaneously contract and it’s very painful, almost constantly.  Cannabis is shown effective for that.  It’s also effective for nausea and chronic pain, and specifically neuropathic pain.

What’s interesting about their findings is they didn’t have a lot of data that actually supported that it was truly effective for the indication.

This is why CannaTrials has been created.  Our mission is to conduct clinical research to show what kinds of cannabis can be helpful for patients with specific symptoms.  We are beginning to conduct trials of product, sponsored by producers.  When successful, both producers and patients will benefit from increased use of products that are effective for addressing specific health conditions.

Interested in our research, and being involved or informed?

Our website has specific tabs (pages) for patients, doctors, processors/growers, and dispensaries, all of whom will form teams coordinated by CannaTrials to conduct evidence-based research.

We also encourage your participation in our PROMMISE Study – a HIPAA-compliant survey of how patients are using medical marijuana to relieve their symptoms.  Join the survey today.  We’ll share the results with you.  https://prommise.study.

If you wish to download the entire 486 page NAS report, you may do so here:
https://cannatrials.com/health-effects-of-cannabis-and-cannabinoids-nas-download/

Cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance
A final note before we end here.  As I mentioned above, according to the Federal Government marijuana has no medical use, severe safety concerns and high abuse potential.
We all know this to be untrue.
Cannabis has a millennial history of being used as medicine, it has never killed anyone, it is not addictive (although may be habit-forming), and has been legalized to varying
degrees in 31 States.

Where cannabis has been legalized, opioid use has dropped over 30%(2).  There is no question the pharmaceutical industry has incentives to lobby against marijuana because of potential threat
to sales.  While numerous bills have been introduced to reform federal marijuana laws, none has been brought to a vote, despite the bipartisanship of sponsors.  In the Senate, through 2018 and early 2019,
Mitch McConnell has blockaed any consideration of pro-marijuana legislation. (3)  We’ll see what happens in 2019.

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(1) https://news.olemiss.edu/federally-funded-marijuana-turns-50/

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29989239

(3) https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/marijuana-pot-federal-states-act-congress-817670/

 

About Jonathan Marx, MBA

Jonathan Marx, MBA, is CannaTrials Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer. His expertise is in online medical and health education as well as dissemination. He has helped train more than 15,000 medical professionals online. His orientation to evidence-based medicine drives his interest in developing evidence for cannabis and health, so that patients can use cannabis most effectively, and so that producers can craft the best products to address diseases and symptoms.