Scientific Review: “There Is Now Clear Evidence That Cannabinoids Are Useful For The Treatment Of Various Medical Conditions”

For the second time in recent months, a scientific paper published in a peer-reviewed journal has thoroughly rebutted the present Schedule I status of cannabis under US federal law, which states that the plant and its organic constituents possess a “high potential for abuse,” and that they lack “accepted medical use” and “accepted safety … under medical supervision.”

According to a just published review in the German scientific journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, scientific findings from over 100 controlled clinical trials involving either cannabis or its constituents provide “clear evidence that cannabinoids are useful for the treatment of various medical conditions.”

Investigators from the nova-Institute and the Hannover Medical School in Germany reviewed over 100 controlled trials assessing the safety and efficacy of cannabis and cannabinoids.

Researchers reported: “Knowledge about the therapeutic potential of cannabis products has been greatly improved by a large number of clinical trials in recent years. … There is now clear evidence that cannabinoids are useful for the treatment of various medical conditions,” including chronic neuropathy (nerve pain), multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, and other indications.

Regarding the safety profile of cannabis and cannabinoids, investigators determined: “The most common side effects of cannabinoids are tiredness and dizziness (in more than ten percent of patients), psychological effects, and dry mouth. Tolerance to these side effects nearly always develops within a short time. Withdrawal symptoms are hardly ever a problem in the therapeutic setting.”

Authors did express concern that cannabis could pose additional health risks for adolescents and/or pregnant or breast-feeding women, as well as individuals diagnosed with Hepatitis C, severe cardiovascular disease, addictive disorders, or those vulnerable to certain psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.

Investigators acknowledged that cannabis dosing may adversely impact psychomotor skills. However, they noted, “Patients who take cannabinoids at a constant dosage over an extensive period of time often develop tolerance to the impairment of psychomotor performance, so that they can drive vehicles safely.”

They concluded, “No acute deaths have been described that could be unequivocally attributed solely to cannabis consumption or treatment with cannabinoids.”

This most recent paper follows the publication of a similar review, published in May in The Open Neurology Journal. In that paper, investigators with the University of California at San Diego and the University of California, Davis concluded: “Evidence is accumulating that cannabinoids may be useful medicine for certain indications. Based on evidence currently available, the (federal) Schedule I classification (of cannabis) is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.

In 2011, the Obama administration — via the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — formally denied a nine-year-old administrative petition filed by NORML and a coalition of public interest organizations calling on the agency to initiate hearings to reassess the present classification of marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance. In her denial of the petition, DEA administrator Michele Leonhart alleged: “[T]here are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving (marijuana’s) efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts. … At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.”

In June, Ms. Leonhart testified before Congress that she believed that heroin and marijuana posed similar threats to the public’s health because, in her opinion, “all illegal drugs are bad.”

Coalition advocates are presently appealing the DEA’s denial of their petition in federal court.

Full text of the most recent study, “The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids,” is available online here.

83 thoughts

  1. The DEA continues to use circular reasoning.

    1. Schedule I is for “bad” drugs.
    2. Marijuana is in Schedule I.
    3. Therefore, Marijuana is “bad”.

    I guess their funding is safe.

  2. In response to the post that marijuana Did not have the same sedating effects that pills did on their parents: I think a good study would be to determine whether marijuana has any effect on ratios of rem and non- rem sleep.
    It is well documented the drugs like benzo diazit teens have an affect on ram sleep

  3. In response to the post that marijuana Did not have the same sedating effects that pills did on their parents: I think a good study would be to determine whether marijuana has any effect on ratios of rem and non- rem sleep.
    It is well documented the drugs like benzodiazepines have an affect on rem sleep, which could account for agitated behavior etc.

  4. my grandfather has chronic nerve damage to where he has to take pills to help go2 sleep. plane n simple the feds make a boat load of money off prohibition, & don’t want it legal for many other reasons too. its Time to take a stand

  5. Cannabis prohibition is nothing more than a Jobs program of the most destructive and lest productive kind its just plain evil

  6. I have rhuematoid arthritis with chronic pain why make americans suffer and line the pockets of mexican cartels just ask 100000 people with arthritis if they get releif from smoking and not 1 of them would say no I cry everyday with pain and the releif is so simple the medicines are destroying my kidneys ty congress for making americans suffer aimlessly and not standing up for the majority of the american population


  8. My stance is simple: I want cannabis/hemp prohibition OVER. Kaput. Eliminated. Quashed. Killed. Stopped. Ended. Wrapped up. Terminated. Finished. GONE!

    So how do we go about that? We implement the incredibly detailed process which immediately follows:

    1) DEschedule.
    2) Repeal.
    3) DONE!!!

    Now really, was three simple words so hard?

    It’s time to Overgrow The World!

  9. Don’t worry… Good side always wins. The only people evil people are defeating are themselves. lol The people who want cannabis illegal are the evil side, who will eventually lose. Haven’t you seen the movies? Good guys always win. Now that’s a scientific fact! =D

  10. If anyone who has never smoked, who is against legalizing it, toked, after 15 minutes would be like, “Oh my God! I can’t believe it’s THIS good!!” and, “Yeah, it SHOULD be legal.” That’s because it feels amazing, tastes good if you have nugs and you’d be laughing because your problems just left for 2-5 hours. 420

  11. I have severe stomach issues i was not eating ,i was so sick,.i t was the only thing that got me 2 eat .i would have died.How much more evidence do they need .it saved my life.i pray they do legalize this soon…….

  12. I think one reason some hang on to that idea of mariuana is somthing that makes people crazey and dum is becouse all they now about smoking is the propaganda they see from the government and the exagerated stuff they see in movies, if they would try a hit or two they may still not like it, but they would understand it is a peaceful thing not an out of control and intoxicated.

  13. i have a disorder called screw the feds and, cannabis fixes that in just a couple belts from the allows me to focus and, i have done some of my best carving while caressing the pyrex.or, any work around the house as well. i am much more well rounded on a daily basis at work knowing i can leave there to go home to consume the remedy. so, i didnt have to consume and go to work. now, they have started drug testing .four years now im friggen miserable….someone burn just a little for me…peace to you all!!

  14. I to won’t be legal. Why?

    Walgreens, CVS, etc.

    They don’t make money selling candybars…. They’re the worlds largest drug dealer. But you have to pay the insurance company, doctor, pharmacist, government, and pharmacy to get your drugs (that harm you). It’s a nice ‘racket’

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