New research conducted by the University of Arizona shows that there is little evidence that anxiety, migraines, PTSD, and depression can be treated by medical marijuana, according to the Department of Health Services.
The researchers conducted the study on behalf of the state Department of Health services. The research was done as a part of determining whether these conditions should be added to Arizona’s list of debilitating conditions which qualify patients for medical marijuana use.
Researchers reviewed dozens of scientific studies related to these conditions and medical marijuana use, and determined that the studies did not do a good enough job of detailing the medical benefits and risks of using medical marijuana to treat these conditions.
However, the lack of scientific evidence for the benefits of medical marijuana is large in part due to the fact that it is technically a controlled substance, which limits the type of research that can be done. This is agreed upon by both medical marijuana advocates and state health officials.
In the decision regarding whether these four conditions should be added to Arizona’s list of debilitating illnesses, state health officials must base their decision on science, not just first hand accounts from patients. They have heard countless stories from users whose lives have been bettered by using medical marijuana for anxiety and depression, but without the scientific research to back the stories up, health officials’ hands are tied.
State Health Director Will Humble explained, “The key question for us is: Do the benefits outweigh the risks? And there’s just not that much research in this area to help form our policy decisions.”
Later this month, Humble will decide whether the state will expand their list of conditions that are eligible for medical marijuana therapy. Under Arizona’s medical marijuana law, the state health department must periodically accept and review petitions to allow new medical conditions into the program.
These current conditions are under consideration from the first round of petitions.