Discussing the medical benefits of cannabis, Dr. Marie McCormick, chair of the NAS committee and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, said that we need "far more information."
Some of the highlights of her committee's 337-page report on marijuana include:
Medical Benefits: Pain Relief
Regarding chronic pain, there's evidence that patients who are treated with cannabis or cannabinoids "are more likely to experience a significant reduction in pain symptoms," the researchers say. More particularly, for adults with muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis, there is "substantial evidence," they say, that short-term use of certain oral cannabinoids can improve symptoms. And for adults with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, "there is conclusive evidence" that certain oral cannabinoids are effective in preventing and treating those ailments.
McCormick says, many health questions remain to be answered by better research. The increased legal availability of cannabis products in many states, and their increased potency, she says, make that rigorous research more important than ever.