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.
April 18, 2017, American Academy of Neurology (full article)
Taking cannabidiol (non-psychoactive CBD) may cut seizures in half for some children and adults with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a severe form of epilepsy, according to new information from a large scale controlled clinical study.
Nearly 40 percent of people with LGS, which starts in childhood, had at least a 50 percent reduction in drop seizures when taking cannabidiol compared to 15 percent taking a placebo. When someone has a drop seizure, their muscle tone changes, causing them to collapse. Children and adults with LGS have multiple kinds of seizures, including drop seizures and tonic-clonic seizures, which involve loss of consciousness and full-body convulsions. The seizures are hard to control and usually do not respond well to medications.
Intellectual development is usually impaired in people with LGS. Although the drop seizures of LGS are often very brief, they frequently lead to injury and trips to the hospital emergency room, so any reduction in drop seizure frequency is a benefit. "Our study found that cannabidiol shows great promise in that it may reduce seizures that are otherwise difficult to control," said study author Anup Patel, MD, of Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
"Our results suggest that cannabidiol may be effective for those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in treating drop seizures," said Patel. "This is important because this kind of epilepsy is incredibly difficult to treat. There is currently a plan to submit a New Drug Application to the FDA later this year