January 30, 2017 – Good or Bad?


Anchor lead: What can the latest review teach us about marijuana? Elizabeth Tracey reports

More US states have legalized marijuana in the last round of elections, with the National Academy of Sciences stepping in with a comprehensive look at the literature relative to the drug. William Checkley, a member of the review committee from Johns Hopkins, says there are a few benefits to marijuana, or cannabis.

Checkley: When you’re looking at the therapeutic effects, a couple of things we found on that side. For people with cancer, use of cannabis appears to be an effective antiemetic. For people who have chronic pain, cannabis also relieves pain, and for people who have multiple sclerosis related spasticity, muscle spasticity, cannabis is also effective at reducing this spasticity.  All these effects were on the modest range however. :25

Checkley says a dose-response relationship does appear to exist, where increasing doses of cannabis to a point may offer more symptom relief, but says harms relative to smoking and inhalation of burned materials also need to be considered. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.