Medical marijuana: Clearing away the smoke

Igor Grant, J. Hampton Atkinson, Ben Gouaux, Barth Wilsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Recent advances in understanding of the mode of action of tetrahydrocannabinol and related cannabinoid ingredients of marijuana, plus the accumulating anecdotal reports on potential medical benefits have spurred increasing research into possible medicinal uses of cannabis. Recent clinical trials with smoked and vaporized marijuana, as well as other botanical extracts indicate the likelihood that the cannabinoids can be useful in the management of neuropathic pain, spasticity due to multiple sclerosis, and possibly other indications. As with all medications, benefits and risks need to be weighed in recommending cannabis to patients. We present an algorithm that may be useful to physicians in determining whether cannabis might be recommended as a treatment in jurisdictions where such use is permitted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalOpen Neurology Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012


  • Cannabis
  • Chronic pain
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology


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