Medical Marijuana: Clearing Away the Smoke
The Open Neurology Journal, May 4, 2012
Recent advances in understanding of the mode of action of tetrahydrocannabinol and related cannabinoid ingredients of marijuana, plus the accumulating anecdotal reports on potential medical benefits have spurred increasing research into possible medicinal uses of cannabis. Recent clinical trials with smoked and vaporized marijuana, as well as other botanical extracts indicate the likelihood that the cannabinoids can be useful in the management of neuropathic pain, spasticity due to multiple sclerosis, and possibly other indications. As with all medications, benefits and risks need to be weighed in recommending cannabis to patients. We present an algorithm that may be useful to physicians in determining whether cannabis might be recommended as a treatment in jurisdictions where such use is permitted.