Would Medical Marijuana Meet the Threshold for FDA Approval?

For most conditions –the answer is no.  A recent study was reviewed by several media outlets including the LA Times.  Here is an excerpt:

A comprehensive review of dozens of clinical trials that have tested medical marijuana for 10 conditions finds that there’s very little reliable evidence to support the drug’s use. The review, by an international team of researchers, was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.

Patients who use medical marijuana to treat chronic neuropathic pain or cancer pain would probably have the least to fear from an FDA review. The JAMA study considered 28 studies involving 2,454 patients and concluded that there was “moderate-quality evidence” from at least a dozen studies showing that cannabinoids – chemicals in marijuana that produce pharmacologic effects inside the body – reduced pain in such patients by modest amounts….

The other condition for which medical marijuana proved useful was muscle spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. After assessing 14 studies with 2,280 patients, the JAMA authors determined there was “moderate-quality evidence” to support its use in these patients, although many of the studies reported improvements that weren’t quite big enough to qualify as statistically significant…

One of the things the studies showed most clearly is that people who use medical marijuana had a “much greater risk” of side effects, including serious problems like kidney, liver and psychiatric disorders. The most common adverse effects included dizziness, confusion and disorientation,  according to the JAMA report…

The authors, from the Yale University School of Medicine, lamented the fact that state approval of medical marijuana had been based on “low-quality scientific evidence, anecdotal reports, individual testimonials, legislative initiatives, and public opinion.”

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One thought on “Would Medical Marijuana Meet the Threshold for FDA Approval?

  1. Pingback: Should Medical Marijuana Get a Free Pass? | gutsandgrowth

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