Book of the Week: Russell Brown on weed

  • Although there are a number of studies lending weight to the idea, including a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study in 2013 that found ” significant” benefit for CPRS patients for whom nothing else had worked, and that low doses were as good as higher ones, the case for cannabis in treating neuropathic pain is not yet conclusively made.
  • As the authors of the 2017 National Academies review The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids noted in their Discussion of Findings on the efficacy of cannabinoids for treating chronic pain, the evidence is kind of a mess.
  • That’s because US federal law has long required that nearly all cannabis used in medical trials must be supplied by National Institute on Drug Abuse, which in turn obtains it solely from the University of Mississippi.
  • Nonetheless, the National Academies reviewers found ” substantial” evidence of cannabinoids’ efficacy in treating chronic pain, even as they begged for more and better research.
  • It’s to the advantage of Dr Shaun Holt, the co-author of Medical Cannabis: A brief guide for New Zealanders , that he’s a clinical trials specialist: he understands what the system of medical evidence doesn’t say as much as what it does.
  • For irritable bowel syndrome, for instance, the authors can cite but one small study, using dronabinol (a synthetic form of THC), which showed no benefit.

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