Issues of using cannabinoids in evidence based medicine

Authors: Alar Irs

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Recent years have witnessed heated discussion about the medical use of marijuana and the development of some cannabinoid medicinal products. The approach varies from using the medical argument in attempts to legalize the recreational use of marijuana to the more rational calls of liberalizing the regulations to allow better research of cannabinoids. A short summary of the recent history of the cannabinoid discoveries and political developments is provided, in contrast with the controlled evidence based medical use and the loosely evidence related indications approved by the legislators in several parts of the US. The available clinical evidence is briefly reviewed and current possibilities for the use of diferent cannabinoid products and medical marijuana in Estonia are described. Creating better environment for cannabinoid research and development of contemporary pharmaceutical formulations is supported. However, attempts to use the sufferings of patients to promote the cause of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana must be identified and correctly labelled.