There are 3 key conditions that are likely to respond well to treatment with cannabis, with many more likely to be uncovered as research increases.
Kevin Hill, MD:
The best evidence is really for three things — chronic pain, neuropathic pain, which is kind of a burning sensation that people get in their nerves with certain conditions, and then spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. So those are really the three conditions on top of the conditions that we already have cannabinoids approved by the FDA.
So we have two cannabinoids that are FDA approved for nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and then appetite stimulation. So beyond those FDA indications I think chronic pain, neuropathic pain, then spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, are the best conditions.
Now that's always changing as we do more research. We need clinical trials to look at cannabis for other conditions, but for those three conditions, it’s pretty solid evidence.
I think that it's imperative upon us to fund the clinical trials that people say that they want. When you talk about promising clinical trials there are some. There was a paper that came out in New England Journal earlier this year, which was a phase 2 trial looking at a cannabinoid cannabidiol for a particular type of epilepsy, so that's very promising.
I think that we're going to learn more and more about cannabinoids in the coming years that we're going to be able to apply them in various ways for various medical conditions. So there is promising research there really needs to be more, and like I said I really feel like that research hasn't kept pace with the interest in terms of policy.