California pot research backs therapeutic claims

By Peter Hecht
phecht@sacbee.com

Out Of State Marijuana

Nigel Duara / AP Photo

In this photo taken Thursday June 21, 2012, a marijuana plant grows in a greenhouse at a medical marijuana co-op in Ontario, Ore.

 

University of California medical researchers slipped an ingredient in chili peppers beneath the skin of marijuana smokers to see if pot could relieve acute pain. It could – at certain doses.

They monitored patients with AIDS and HIV as they toked on joints or placebos to determine whether marijuana could quell agonizing pain from nerve damage. It provided relief.

They tested a “Volcano Vaporizer” to see whether inhaling smokeless pot delivered healthier, low-tar cannabis. It did.

Over a dozen years, California’s historic experiment in medical marijuana research brought new science to the debate on marijuana’s place in medicine. State-funded studies – costing $8.7 million – found pot may offer broad benefits for pain from nerve damagefrom injuries, HIV, strokes and other conditions.

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