Even though pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are among the most common reasons people use medical marijuana in the U.S., there isn’t much proof cannabis works for either one of these conditions, two research reviews suggest.
That’s because there hasn’t been enough high-quality research to produce conclusive evidence of the benefits or harms of cannabis for pain or PTSD, the two studies found.
Both studies were conducted by a team of researchers at the Veterans Health Administration and published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
“The current studies highlight the real and urgent need for high-quality clinical trials in both of these areas,” said Dr. Sachin Patel, a psychiatry researcher at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
“If cannabis is being considered for medical use, it should certainly be after all well-established treatments have failed,” Patel said by email.
One in 10 U.S. adults use cannabis, the researchers note. Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states and the District of Columbia even though it is illegal under federal law.