Reefer Madness — From Down Under


…and I’m not talking about the Great Barrier Reef.


There was a recent study published in The Lancet Public Health and Pain Medicine News with the following headline:


“Medical Marijuana May Not Have Pain Benefits Previously Predicted”


This was a four-year study of over 1,500 participants recruited through community pharmacies across Australia. These individuals suffered from chronic non-cancer pain and were being treated with opioids. Approximately ¼ of them were also using cannabis for relief.


The study concluded as follows:


“Cannabis use was common in people with chronic non-cancer pain who had been prescribed opioids, but we found no evidence that cannabis use improved patient outcomes. People who used cannabis had greater pain and lower self-efficacy in managing pain, and there was no evidence that cannabis use reduced pain severity or interference or exerted an opioid-sparing effect. As cannabis use for medicinal purposes increases globally, it is important that large well designed clinical trials, which include people with complex comorbidities, are conducted to determine the efficacy of cannabis for chronic non-cancer pain.”


I’m also linking to a pro and con medical marijuana case vignette published in The New England Journal of Medicine. While not a clinical study, it presents interesting anecdotal approaches to whether to prescribe or discourage medical marijuana.


Here’s my conclusions:


  • Medical marijuana is coming to your jurisdiction;
  • More widespread and well-designed clinical studies are critical;
  • Anecdotal stories are important, but following the science will help you do better.


Call us. We can do better.


William Faris, JD
Chief Executive Officer

Posted in OMCA