There’s Little Evidence in Favor of Medical Marijuana Use Against Chronic Pain and PTSD

Experiencing chronic pain in the lower back

Medical marijuana might not be so effective as a treatment for PTSD or chronic pain

Many people praise medical marijuana and its contribution to the relief of many ailments. However, these might be myths rather than reality. Two recent studies question the efficacy of medical cannabis against chronic pain or PTSD, as there is not much evidence in its favor.

The two studies, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, discovered how there is not enough evidence to prove medical marijuana can relieve chronic pain or symptoms of PTSD. However, this doesn’t mean we should completely abandon the idea that cannabis shouldn’t be used to treat these disorders. We just need more studies to prove its efficacy.

These studies have been funded by the US Department of Veteran Affairs, as many former military personnel receive a medical marijuana prescription or specifically ask their doctor for such a treatment. This happens in 28 states and the District of Columbia, where medical cannabis use is legal.

Medical marijuana might alleviate neuropathic pain

Between 45 and 80 percent of those people want to take medical marijuana to ease their pain. After analyzing data collected from 62 previous studies and 13 other reviews, researchers established medical cannabis might be effective against neuropathic pain, but only in some patients. However, the data does not show any results against other types of chronic pain.

Even so, the presence of evidence in favor of neuropathic pain relief is still significant. Those results lead to two conclusions. Either medical marijuana is not effective enough to be worth considering, or it might have important effects only to a small group of patients.

The situation is similar of PTSD, with little to no improvements observed regarding the alleviation of symptoms. However, many states in the US allowed veterans to use medical marijuana after struggling with PTSD. Now, doctors have to discuss with their patients a possible use of medical cannabis, given the lack of evidence in its support and further proof that it might be damaging.
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