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Researchers from the University of California's Center for Medicinal
Cannabis Research (CMCR) have found "reasonable evidence that cannabis
is a promising treatment" for some specific, pain-related medical
conditions. Their findings, presented February 17 to the California
legislature and public, are included in a report available on the CMCR
"We focused on illnesses where current medical treatment does not
provide adequate relief or coverage of symptoms," explained CMCR
director, Igor Grant, MD, Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of
Psychiatry at the UCSD School of Medicine. "These findings provide a
strong, science-based context in which policy makers and the public can
begin discussing the place of cannabis in medical care."
Researchers have completed five scientific clinical trials, with more
in progress. These studies showed that cannabis can be helpful in
easing pain in selected syndromes caused by injury or diseases of the
nervous system and possibly for painful muscle spasms due to multiple
"These scientists created an unparalleled program of systematic
research, focused on science-based answers rather than political or
social beliefs," said Senator John Vasconcellos, original author of The
Medical Marijuana Research Act of 1999 (SB847) which led to the creation
of the CMCR.
Study results have been published in high-impact medical journals,
garnering national and international attention which prompted leading
experts to come together and foster scientific dialog on the possible
uses of cannabis as a therapeutic agent. More study will be necessary to
figure out the mechanisms of action and the full therapeutic potential
of cannabinoid compounds, according to the UC researchers.
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