(AP) SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The first U.S. clinical trials in more than two decades on the medical benefits of marijuana confirm pot is effective in reducing muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and pain caused by certain neurological injuries or illnesses, according to a report issued Wednesday.
Igor Grant, a psychiatrist who directs the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, said five studies funded by the state involved volunteers who were randomly given real marijuana or placebos to determine if the herb provided relief not seen from traditional medicines.
Along with the studies on muscle spasms and pain associated with spinal cord injuries and AIDS, the center also has funded research on how marijuana effects sleep and driving, limb pain due to diabetes, and whether inhaling vaporized cannabis is as effective as smoking it.
A laboratory study supported by the center examined if pot could be helpful in treating migraine headaches and facial pain. In that study, rats given a cannabis-like drug exhibited reduced activity of nerve cells that transmit pain.
Well, of course medical marijuana is medical – that’s what millions of users and 14 states have already determined! But this is significant as we’re not seeing results from anecdotal reports, laboratory cultures, or animal tests. This is the gold standard of medical science – the double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study with human subjects.
I’m curious, though, what exactly did they give the subjects as a placebo? If I smoke a joint and I don’t get high from it, don’t I know immediately that I’ve got the placebo? And if I know I’ve got the placebo, don’t I report it doesn’t help with the pain? Did these people have to smoke that awful fake bud stuff shilled in the pot magazines?