Dr. Frederick Burgess, who is clinical associate professor of surgery (anesthesiology) at Brown University in Rhode Island, has these thoughts from the American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting this past February.

Although animal research has identified cannabinoid receptors that modulate pain and nausea, human data are anecdotal. Dr. Burgess says, “It is hard to come forward as a medical professional and say that we should use this treatment without good evidence? It is difficult to justify advising our patients to smoke street-grade marijuana, presuming that they will experience benefit, when they may also be harmed.”

There was a consensus for more government support to evaluate medical marijuana. At present, research-grade marijuana or THC [delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol] is available from one location, which leads to the belief that this restricts the development of a greater understanding of medical marijuana.

The bottom line?

There is no guarantee, but unless decent research is done we are likely to have political decisions based on the foolishness (here, here, and here) that passes as marijuana research today.

4/8/07 22:04 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.