Evidence favoring use of medical cannabis

Kevin P. Hill

Is there any strong evidence supporting the use of medical cannabis instead of other treatments?

Kevin P. Hill, MD: For some conditions there are. One of the problems with medical cannabis is that we have people wanting to use it for many conditions and there is little evidence. But there are some conditions with pretty strong evidence at this point. The 3 top conditions that I would talk about would be chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and also spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.

For each of those conditions, there are more than 6 or so randomized controlled trials supporting the use of medical cannabis. There are other conditions too. Cannabidiol, which is one of the cannabinoids, for example, had 2 very positive trials published in major journals over the past 2 years.

So there is a growing body of evidence to support the use of medical cannabis for various medical conditions. However, the number of conditions for which people want to use it far outpaces the evidence at this point. That is one of the problems that we have with medical cannabis.

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