There is not enough research to reach conclusive judgments on whether marijuana can effectively treat most of the symptoms and diseases it is advertised as helping, says a wide-ranging U.S. government study. The same is also true of many of the risks said to be associated with using cannabis, the study finds, reports The Guardian. More than 100 conclusions about the health effects of marijuana, including claims of both helpful and harmful effects, were evaluated by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in a study released yesterday.
There was only enough evidence to support treatment for three therapeutic uses, the study found: to reduce nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, to treat chronic pain, and to reduce spasms from multiple sclerosis. “Really, most of the therapeutic reasons people use medical marijuana aren’t substantiated beneficial effects of the plant,” said Sean Hennessy, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, and a member of the 16-scientist committee that carried out the review. Uses for which there was either “limited evidence or insufficient evidence,” Hennessy said, included increasing appetite and weight gain for patients with HIV/Aids, calming attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, and treating epilepsy.