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Monday, September 28, 2015

Medical Marijuana Use for Pain Relief in Medical Conditions like MS and AIDS Explored in New Nature Article

Medical Marijuana Use for Pain Relief in Medical Conditions like MS and AIDS Explored in New Nature Article

Cannabis is a plant that can be used in a wide range of settings such as medical purposes, a source of fiber and oils, or as a recreational drug. Growing evidence has been reported on the clinical benefits of medical marijuana (herbal form) for treating chronic pain. Currently, several countries in the world and almost half of all U.S. states authorize the use of medicinal marijuana.
According to a new article published in Nature entitled, “Medical marijuana: Showdown at the cannabis corral,” author Michael Eisenstein notes that current marijuana laws make assumptions concerning the medical benefits of cannabis that sometimes go beyond the scientific evidence available, opening the door to the creation of new, opportunistic markets that are selling unproven medicines to people with chronic diseases.
“Everybody is selling stuff, but the real professionals who are supposed to do the job are not there yet,” said in a news release Dr. Arno Hazekamp, the Head of Research and Education at Bedrocan in Veendam, the Netherlands, the country’s official provider of medical cannabis. Supporters of medical marijuana fear that this deregulation can undermine the efforts developed so far for the establishment of the medical legitimacy of the controversial plant.
Dr. Donald Abrams, an oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues have shown in a previous clinical trial with patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), that 52% of the patients using cannabis reported a significant reduction in HIV-associated neuropathic pain in comparison to 24% in the control group. Other clinical trials have obtained similar results in patients suffering from neuropathic pain caused by several medical conditions. On the other hand, other trials have reported no added benefit from cannabis use.
Concerning multiple sclerosis, medical marijuana has been found to help improve chronic pain and muscle spasticity in patients with this progressive neurodegenerative disorder.
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