Medical marijuana study reveals a major flaw in using THC for pain relief

  • This is relevant because cannabis has demonstrated efficacy in neuropathic pain with low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations (< 5-10%), in contrast to potent cannabis (>15% THC), which is highly rewarded in the recreational realm.
  • Thus, we hypothesize that the potency of medical cannabis that is advertised online is similar to the cannabis advertised for recreational purposes, which would potentially create a misconception towards medical cannabis.
  • Thus, we evaluated the advertised THC and CBD content of cannabis products offered online in dispensaries in the United States to determine products’ suitability to medicinal use and compare the strength of products offered in legal medical and recreational programs.
  • We recorded THC and CBD concentrations for all herb cannabis products provided by dispensary websites and compared them between or within states.
  • Despite the clear differences between medicinal and recreational uses of cannabis, the average THC concentration advertised online in medicinal programs was similar (19.2% 6.2) to recreational programs (21.5% 6.0) when compared between states with different programs, or between medicinal and recreational programs within the same states (CO or WA).

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