Medical Marijuana Might Help MS Patients, But Uncertainty Remains

concern,” LaRocca said.

The clinical trials also showed that cannabis-derived drugs come with few side effects and no serious ones, noted Dr. Marissa Slaven, an assistant professor of palliative care at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

“It definitely adds to the literature in suggesting this is a safe treatment,” said Slaven, who wrote an editorial accompanying the new evidence review. “Whether or not it’s effective, I think we need more research.”

The evidence review, conducted by Mari Carmen Torres-Moreno, of the University of Barcelona in Spain and colleagues, included clinical trials related to four cannabis-derived preparations: orally administered cannabis extract, nasally administered cannabis extract, and the drugs dronabinol and nabilone.

Dronabinol and nabilone are both synthetic versions of THC, the chemical in marijuana that causes intoxication. Both are used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

The new evidence review combined 17 clinical trials involving 3,161 patients. Researchers concluded from the review that cannabis-derived drugs can be considered safe and have limited

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