More Medical Research Needed To Confirm Benefits Of Pot, Doctors Say

It may take up to five years before clinical trials could confirm many of marijuana’s touted benefits, which is forcing doctors to grapple with a backward federal system in the meantime, says the president of the Canadian Medical Association.

Chris Simpson says physicians should not be prescribing medical marijuana in most cases because of the dearth of clinical research, despite efforts by commercial cannabis growers to fill the void.

“We’re looking for the evidence to support a drug that’s been made available, where usually it’s the other way around,” Dr. Simpson told The Globe and Mail. “We know that there’s a history in medicine of lots of things that seem promising, but once they’re subjected to the rigour of scientific inquiry, they turn out to be either not as good as advertised or harmful, rather than helpful.”

Dr. Simpson, however, does support the use of medical cannabis by terminally ill patients, those in palliative care, and said there is some evidence that a compound in the drug can help reduce seizures.

A year after the federal government overhauled the medical marijuana system, Health Canada has approved only one clinical pot trial, which involves patients with arthritic knees.

– Read the entire article at The Globe and Mail.