For which symptoms or conditions might marijuana provide relief?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted the following symptoms or conditions under Appendix IV of their Nov. 2002 report titled "Descriptions of Allowable Conditions under State Medical Marijuana Laws":
Lester Grinspoon, MD, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, wrote in a Mar. 1, 2007 editorial in the Boston Globe titled "Marijuana as Wonder Drug":
"The mountain of accumulated anecdotal evidence that pointed the way to the present [marijuana as treatment for HIV neuropathic pain] and other clinical studies also strongly suggests there are a number of other devastating disorders and symptoms for which marijuana has been used for centuries; they deserve the same kind of careful, methodologically sound research.
While few such studies have so far been completed, all have lent weight to what medicine already knew but had largely forgotten or ignored: Marijuana is effective at relieving nausea and vomiting, spasticity, appetite loss, certain types of pain, and other debilitating symptoms. And it is extraordinarily safe -- safer than most medicines prescribed every day. If marijuana were a new discovery rather than a well-known substance carrying cultural and political baggage, it would be hailed as a wonder drug."
Tod H. Mikuriya, MD, a psychiatrist and Addiction Medicine Specialist, published on the internet on Feb. 21, 2001 his report titled "International Classification of Diseases 9 - CM 1996, Chronic Conditions Treated With Cannabis, Encountered Between 1990-2001." (The ICD-9 numbers are the International Classification of Diseases used by all physicians.):
National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation, IRP, noted on the NIMH website, updated Jan. 25, 2002:
neurochemical, and behavioral studies have shown that cannabinoids
(marijuana-like drugs) suppress pain neurotransmission. [...]
think that these results have implications for how cannabinoids may
work in chronic pain states. A differential anatomical basis underlying
cannabinoid and mu opioid modulation of primary afferent transmission
is supported. Whereas mu opioid receptors in spinal cord are associated
predominantly with thin-diameter primary afferents, cannabinoid
receptors are localized to both thin and coarse diameter fibers.
differences may provide a basis for the possibility that cannabinoids
may relieve pain when traditional opiate drugs fail."
The UK's Medicinal Cannabis Research Foundation published on its website in Nov. 2001:
to date suggests that research into the medicinal uses of cannabis and
cannabinoids has the potential to make exciting breakthroughs in the
management of severe symptoms such as pain, spasm, bladder dysfunction
and nausea and could therefore bring a dramatic improvement in quality
of life for people with: