A new University of Arizona study shows little or no evidence that medical marijuana is an effective treatment for anxiety, migraines, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, a finding that could hinder efforts to expand the allowable uses for the drug in Arizona, the Arizona Republic reports. Researchers working on behalf of the state Department of Health Services reviewed dozens of scientific studies related to marijuana use for the four medical conditions and determined that most of the research was of little value in weighing the medicinal risks and benefits.
State health officials and medical-marijuana advocates agree the lack of scientific research is in large part because of restrictions on research of some controlled substances. The new study could affect efforts by medical-marijuana supporters to expand the state’s program to include the treatment of anxiety, migraines, depression and PTSD. State health officials have heard dozens of anecdotes about how those conditions impair daily life and how medical marijuana helps, but officials have said they will base the decision to expand the program only on scientific evidence. “The key question for us is: Do the benefits outweigh the risks?” said Will Humble, state health director. “And there’s just not that much research in this area to help form our policy decisions.”