Research Discourages Use of Medical Marijuana For Rheumatic Diseases Like Lupus

In a recent review article published in Arthritis Care & Research, the journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), researchers at McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) point to the risks associated with using medical marijuana in advising healthcare providers to discourage its use by rheumatology patients.

"With the public outcry for herbal cannabis therapy, governments around the world are considering its legalization for medicinal use," explains lead investigator Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, a rheumatologist and researcher at the Research Institute of the MUHC and who is also a professor of medicine at McGill University. "Physicians caring for patients who are self-medicating with marijuana need to understand the health implications of using this drug. Our review aims to provide healthcare professionals with that medical evidence related to medical marijuana use in patients with rheumatic conditions."

"At this time, we cannot recommend herbal cannabis for arthritis pain management given the lack of efficacy data, potential harm from the drug, and availability of other therapies for managing pain," concludes Dr. Fitzcharles. "Physicians should discourage rheumatology patients from using medical marijuana as a therapy."

Source: McGill University Health Centre

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