A new study has revealed that medical marijuana or medical cannabis is not useful enough in managing several illnesses that the state laws have permitted it for. During the said study, researchers evaluated a total of 79 studies, which involved over 6,000 patients.
According to the findings of the study, strongest evidence of medical benefits of the drug was found for muscle stiffness experienced by multiple sclerosis patients and chronic pain. Evidence was quite weak for several other health conditions including sleep disorder, Tourette’s syndrome and anxiety. These findings have forced the study’s authors to recommend further research on the subject.
The study has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday. It suggests that several brands labels for medical cannabis edibles list the amount of their active ingredient inaccurately. According to the study’s author over 50% of the brands tested contained the active ingredient in much lower quantities than labeled; this meant that users may not get any result after using those products.
The results were collected from studies which tested cannabis against zero treatment, usual care or placebos. In spite of carrying out such rigorous research, no conclusive evidence of health benefit was found for the majority of the studies. However, evidence of side effects such as dry mouth, sleepiness, dizziness etc. was common. Similar results were found even in a less extensive study review published in the journal.
Authors of both the papers said that marijuana might have widespread advantages, but not a single high quality study could succeed in gathering strong evidence of such advantages.
Dr. Robert Wolff of York, England-based research firm Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd. said that marijuana cannot be described as a wonder drug, but it definitely possesses some potential.
The researchers examined 47 different brands of medical cannabis edibles including baked goods, candy, and drinks. All these products can be purchased from dispensaries in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Independent lab tests conducted for finding the amount of THC (the leading active ingredient of cannabis) in the edibles revealed that only 13 out of the 75 products investigated contained the accurate quantities listed on their labels.
Ryan Vandrey of John Hopkins University, the study’s lead author, said that he was extremely surprised to see so many inaccurate labels. However, the researchers said that these results might not apply for other locations.