Symposium To Study Use Of Medical Marijuana

CANADA:  It was put in the hands of physicians who did not know what to prescribe “for lack of hard evidence,” says Denis deBlois, Université de Montréal professor of pharmacy and co-director of a research group on medication.

Marijuana for therapeutic reasons remains controversial. Few clinical trials have evaluated its effects. Which conditions does it help?

There’s a strict process of evaluation of risk-to-benefit ratio before Health Canada gives its stamp of approval to a medication, but that’s not the case for marijuana, said deBlois, a co-organizer of a one-day symposium on medical marijuana that takes place Friday and brings together experts in pain management, addiction, and drug monitoring.

“What we need is data,” deBlois said. A body of anecdotal evidence suggests pot may be useful and well tolerated, but there is a lack of systematic scientific evidence.