In new guidelines published this week, the world’s largest association for neurologists concluded that marijuana may be an effective treatment for a number of brain-related conditions. However, the group adds that stronger research is needed before anyone can say for sure.
“Cannabinoids should be studied as other drugs are, to determine their efficacy, and when evidence is available, should be prescribed as other drugs are,” read the guidelines.
A panel of experts reviewed 34 previous studies to come up with the guidelines. The strongest evidence for medical marijuana they found was in treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis, including pain, muscle spasms and bladder problems.
“There are receptors in the brain that respond to marijuana, and the locations of the receptors are in places where you would expect them to help with these symptoms,” said review author Dr. Barbara Koppel, a professor of neurology at New York Medical College and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.