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. i live n a state that cannibus is ill-legal but,, i am very forunate,, i have a neurolisgist that allows me to smoke,, better than bing addicted to pain pills any day,, he aggrees! Legalize everywhere now,, yesterday!!!

  2. This study should be brought up as evidence at the hearing to reschedule cannabis on October 16th in DC.

  3. ” in her opinion, “all illegal drugs are bad.””

    That’s why marijuana should be legal! It shouldn’t be lumped in with truly dangerous and harmful substances especially when there are so many people who could use it for certain psychiatric and medical diagnoses, ailments and diseases.

  4. I’d Like to know more about the dangers of cannabis use if you have Hep C, cant find any info except as noted above.

  5. They FAIL to mention this!

    “Hepatitis C – A 2006 study performed by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco found that marijuana helps improve the effectiveness of drug therapy for hepatitis C, an infection that roughly 3 million Americans contract each year. Hepatitis C medications often have severe side effects like loss of appetite, depression, nausea, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Patients that smoked marijuana every day or two found that not only did they complete the therapy, but that the marijuana even made it more effective in achieving a “sustained virological response,” which is the gold standard in therapy, meaning there was no sign of the virus left in their bodies.”
    Look it up for yourself!!!!!!

    [Paul Armentano responds: There is conflicting data regarding cannabis use in Hep C populations, with some literature documenting potential adverse effects (e.g., Daily cannabis smoking as a risk factor for progression of fibrosis in chronic hepatitis. Hepatology 42: 63-71.) Therefore, it is not unreasonable to express caution regarding the potential use of cannabinoids in this indication, as NORML also recommends here:

  6. The Obama admin claims it is focused on the “science” of these things. I guarantee they will not look at this study. If you vote for Obama, you are damning weed legalization.

  7. My parents use marijuana as a form of pain relief. I believe it should be legal because I have pictures of my parents doped up on prescription drugs sleeping on their recliners in our living room. I do not have one picture of them asleep in the living room or their bedroom doped up on marijuana. This is because with extended use this “DRUG” does not cause that effect on the user. This happened with pills for almost 7 years to my parents. They were also very rude and easily agitated when taking the pills as well. With marijuana I can easily talk to my parents without the fear of them yelling at me or getting angry at a simple question. Just make the thing that helps legal and stop doping up our world.

  8. I smoke weed at least three times daily and ingest it in varyingt forms at least once a week and I feel GREAT.

  9. Barry/Barack isn’t going to legalize it ’cause he is one of the few people in the world the world who cannot tolerate pot in his system without acting like a jerk. In his case, alchol is better for his personally. But why would fight to keep what he knows is not dangerous in this terrible not really even legal pot-head harrassment system in place is beyond my understanding.

    Barry is fucked in the head, like Bush and Clinton before him. Lies are better policy in support of Americon. The truth might return America to us. This must be avoided at all costs, right Mitt Romney?

  10. I look at it like this, Barry says America should and even needs to have a “discussion about marijuana”. What is wrong with this guy? We already did have that discussion, while he was busy smoking someone else’s pot out back for the last ten years. Where’s he been? WE got the science, the evidence, and Obama is already well aware of marijuana’s safety, he personnally conducted dozens if not hundreds of “safety spot checks” of other folk’s weed.

  11. Thanks for the hep c info gentlemen, I went through the interferon and ribovibrin therapy about 10 years ago, it never reached the gold standard for me and I was advised by my doc to stop the therapy at about month 9 or so, from what I recall Cannabis only aided me in the usual good overall feeling it has always provided me, I did not miss a day of work, and I understand it is a very intense treatment for many people, I was not and am not a daily user, thanks again to all, will read the recommended article.

  12. I read that children who’s mothers used pot when they were pregnant actually had better interaction and copping skills…

  13. The science of restoration of the full benefit found in the canabis plants do not require the inhalation of smoked canabis. Educte yourself through or the many scientific reports now becoming available.

  14. Do not be fooled, the first comment is clearly an attempt to degrade the reputation of Marijuana users by pretending to be one adversely affected mentally.

    Please, if you are against the legalization of Marijuana, say so and state your reasons so that we may have a legitimate discussion of its pros and cons.

    The existence of this person trying to place a fabricated image of the medical Marijuana user into our unconsciouses is a glaring signpost of the desperation and, moreover, futility of the Marijuana prohibition movement.

  15. Ok, so because alcohol is legal…. Its not a bad drug?????? Its not part of Americas problems?????? How many marijuana related deaths have you heard about? Weigh that in with the alcohol deaths!!!!! And, you find, alcohol prevails over marijuana deaths by %99.9!!!!! I was a smoker from the age of 12, to the age of 21. Everyday like it was a religion!!!!! The ONLY(few) times I got in trouble was for possession!!!!!! And they tried to give me the same amount of time in prison as they would someone who gets charged with vehicular homicide due to being intoxicated on alcohol!!! I spent 5 years in rehab, and in now serving 7 years on probation!!!!!! I’m bi-polar, ocd and have high anxiety!!!! How do I cope now that I can’t smoke???? I don’t, because I refuse to take a pill!!!! When I smoked, I could concentrate. I could actually think clear, and my anxiety want crazy!!!! It definitely has medical boundaries. And, not to mention, its such a profitable cash crop!!!!! Hemp oil, hemp rope, you can make clothing, gas, and many other things! It also produced way more oxygen than any other plant, that’s the answer to our ozone problem. Make every American own two plants per house hold, then in a sense we all are paying for our own oxygen!!!!!!! Lol. I’m just set for marijuana being legal. I would rather my kids to smokemarijuana than drink and become abusive lazy alcoholics. And, as far as lazy goes, it isn’t the marijuana, its the person!!! I have had a job since the age of 14, and worked everyday since!!! I know alcoholics who can’t start a day without a drink, and then can’t work due to a drink!!!! Just saying, thanks.

  16. Anonymous just published a list of some of the big players that have kept/are keeping marijuana illegal. Prohibition is a perfect example of how corporations and governments conspire to oppress the populous. I firmly believe this is one of the biggest issues of our generation because legalization will undercut so many powerful interests. (I am not a marijuana user).

    Here is the link:

  17. I emailed Indiana’s Member of Congress, Peter J. Visclosky, the link with the scientific break through.

    With a link showing 18 states that are allowed.

    If you live in Indiana, please email your representative.

    For the record.

    Hi, Peter.

    I had recently emailed you and received a response.

    I have a question regarding Medical Marijuana, Legalizing Cannabis.

    Why is it, that there are 18 states permitted and Indiana seems to be going no where? I understand you submitted a bill to congress. State of California & Colorado along with 16 other states fought against the federal government to get these certain state laws passed. I’d like to pass a link to you, Peter, to have a read at. Michigan, the state above us is even allowed btw.

    This was just released recently.

    I’d like to show you the 18 states as well.

    Please, fight for this. If it takes making a new bill over and over and submitting it over and over, please do so.

    Thank you for your precious time, Peter.


  18. Women do not use this drug if u are (prg) or (b-f) If u think it is safe for a women to use this drug when they are expecting or when hey are breast feeding then u are not a good parent

  19. Amen, the AMA, DEA,FDA et al are lapdogs for the corporate state…. they do not serve you they serve the guys they hope to get jobs with after government “SERVICE”.

    on your feet or on your knees

  20. Douglas, that is similar to saying, “You’re not a good parent if you feed your baby formula which came a can or a bottle as both containers have materials that leach into the food which cause or promote cancer and diabetes.”

    Frankly I’m not certain, but I think the cancer and diabetes are something to be worried about at a level higher than the supposed “dangers of marijuana” which can’t even be found (i.e. a myth).

  21. To John above me,

    I too live in Indiana, and you should know we’re not dead in the water. Next year we’ll be voting on medicinal and decrim… it’s a start. They didn’t this year because of the elections and they believed the issue to be too controversial. E-mail Karen Tallian she’s the senator proposing the efforts.

  22. Cannabis is completely non-toxic, and is even edible. It’s more a vegetable than a drug, and arguably the most healthy veggie of all. Even over-the-counter medications are toxic in large doses, but not so with cannabis. Nobody has died from an overdose of cannabis. There are hundreds of overdose deaths from the cocaine-like drug, caffeine, yet it continues to legally be sold to children at every minimart. Our legal system is completely out-of-touch with reality (along with our health-care system, our economic system, and our government in general). Wake up sheeple, EDUCATE yourselves!

  23. i am against the legalization of cannabis. but i am in favor of cannabis use. the use of cannabis is not and should not be a legal issue. if the government legalizes the use of cannabis, within ten years of legalization, we will begin to hear of carcinogenic problems relating to the use of this plant, the reason being that the profiteers, and there will be many, will quite frankly, fuck up the entire plant, adding all kinds of garbage that will keep you coming back for more…kind of like the tobacco companies. in fact, EXACTLY like them. they will probably even sell Menthol More…but a cannabis stick, cool, huh? But, this little menthol marijuana will cause cancer….tobacco in and of itself doesn’t CAUSE the cancer, but all the additives to it. my point is, by “legalizing” pot, you are playing right into the hands of the profiteers, and helping to RUIN one of the Gifts given to man….think about it.

    [Editor’s note: Favoring cannabis use while still favoring a system that deems the cultivator, seller and user as ‘criminal’ makes no sense at all. Keeping cannabis illegal plays into the hands of government’s control and the cops, not personal freedom and consumer choice.

    Legalization or bust(ed)!]

  24. We all have heard about the many benifits of cannabis in the treatment of many illnesses. What I need is specific data, on the detailed treatment of lymphoma. Doseage seems to be an issue as well as the THC and CBC levels in the many strains.

    Send me some links, or data….

  25. Is Douglas a dolt with a keyboard? Mother’s milk is loaded with cannabinoids and one is born with cannabinoid receptors on every cell of the body. Just google ‘endocannabinoid system’ and read to see how ridiculous you sound. Everyone also makes opiates as well. I just had an epiphany; since we are all drug users, the DHS has ordered all of that ammo to shoot all of us drug users. And someone should make this blowhard in the DEA aware that she is an administrator and has no authority to tell anyone what to do. In fact, she is a DBA of a corporate entity which only can tell other corporate entities what to do.

  26. In fact, the sheer number of applications that attempt to answer your burning medical
    queries is staggering.My science writing covers diverse topics but increasingly concerns two intertwined themes in cancer and psychology.
    “physician, recruiting, healthcare, jobs, medical, staffing”

  27. Thank you, Dan. I had sent an email to Karen.

    Together, we can fight these unjust laws that allows Federal to abuse their power in the ways they do.

  28. its funny how a lot of the drugs that doctors give you are very similar to heroin and meth but no worries because “illegal drugs are bad”

  29. Actually, the Jamaican study showed that use during pregnancy is beneficial for the mother and child. I understand this is just them trying to cover their butt, however, we need to stop beating up women who use pot during pregnancy, especially to treat morning sickness!

  30. If it was an actual dangerous drug with only 1 or 2 good uses… it’d be legal. Whoa… wait I’m right! Crystal Meth = Desoxyn (ADHD ADD drug). Salvia Divinorum? Only salvia has NO good uses. Pot has literally dozens of good uses and it’s the safest drug. You cannot and will not die from pot. The ONLY known drug that can make you hungry. Plus the feeling of smoking pot is amazing and can’t be described with words. These people we’re fighting are just evil assholes who can only get pleasure from doing bad things to others.

  31. @editor, you did not read my post entirely. i said cannabis is and should NOT BE A LEGAL ISSUE
    you accuse me of favoring the ‘system’..when i do not. i think cannabis should be neither legal nor illegal. there should NOT be any laws at all regarding its use or its prohibition. like the air we breathe. no one regulates how many breaths we take in a minute, right? why should anyone presume to regulate whether we ingest or do not ingest the plant? i am not in favor of the system. i just want that to be known. i am in favor of human freedom. if you want to be free then be free, if you don’t then don’t….but NO ONE has the right to determine what freedom looks like to me, from their perspective.

    [Editor’s note: “i think cannabis should be neither legal nor illegal.”
    OK……now you’re really making no sense at all, or, you’re simply way too utopian to be taken seriously about reforming cannabis law policies at the state and federal level.]

  32. Kender, you’re right. There are way too many laws concerning Cannabis and Marijuana. It is ridiculous. I suspect we have more laws concerned with how to punish people for owning various amount marijuana than there are for keeping children safe from physical and sexual abuse. Making laws about a specific non toxic plant is an idiotic waste of the taxpayer’s money and is not related to the government’s mission. Smoke and mirrors is basically all these laws are, even those permitting the use of marijuana are written with a negative bias. WFT?

    Do we have laws mentioning other plants by name? Not many. The government has an unhealthy obsession with writing Marijuana Laws.

    We seriously need the prohibition laws repealed, not replaced with further unneeded regulatory bullshit. We already have perfectly good systems for the growing and distribution of marijuana. We do not need any further “non-guidance” from the government on the issue of marijuana. In doing so, we’re asking the foxes to guard the henhouse. Why??? New Jersey’s medical marijuana law is nothing but a biased turd/sham.

  33. In fact, Norml should consider taking New Jersey off the map as we have a useless law that require the “compassion centers” to sell only dirt weed without much THC in it. This law is more scam than medical. Real medical grade marijuana is completely illegal in New Jersey.

    We need a redirect here in NJ. We completely lost the fight, but somehow seem to think we won… Even with the “program” up and running, the patients are still going to have to get real pot from illegal sources, it is a complete scam in support of the continued marginalization of anyone who might benefit from using marijuana.

  34. Its absolutely rediculous the laws/politics involving Marijuana!! I had sever anxiety, depression, a.d.d growing up. I droped out of school @ 16 began smoking weed regularly 18-35 I went Back to school got married had a good job my life improved greatly due to “this drug” I have 2 kids smoked during pregnancy w/ both they are now 13 & 9 very smart my 9 yr old is in the gifted & talented programs at school straight A’s in multipul sports my 13 yr old is a AB student also well in sports. I have had no problems with them what so ever I’m open to them about my smoking & my reasons behind it I will not lie to them or have them here what school is teaching them about this drug! I also have severe arthritis & other medical problems I will not take these legal narcotics what kind of mother would I turn into…. I’ll stick w/ my greens, thanks you illegal or not it has so many wonderful qualitys for people as myself One of my greatest fears was my kids would have the problems I did as a child It’s the complete opposite I’m who I am today because of marijuana Legalize already get the cigarettes & booze out!!!

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