The Evidence for Medical Use

Practising Consultant of Neurology, Professor Mike Barnes completed an analysis of the 20000 best and highest quality medical and scientific research and trial publications and has graded the efficacy of cannabis against a number of conditions

Professor Barnes' study (which can be downloaded here) found:

Good evidence for chronic pain, including neuropathic pain; spasticity; nausea and vomiting (especially from chemotherapy) and in the management of anxiety.

Moderate evidence for sleep disorders; appetite stimulation; fibromyalgia; post-traumatic stress disorder; and for some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

Some evidence for the management of agitation in dementia; epilepsy; bladder dysfunction; glaucoma; and Tourette’s syndrome.

There is a theoretical basis and anecdotal evidence, but so far no qualifying evidence of efficacy; for management of dystonia; Huntington’s disease; headache; brain protection in traumatic brain injury; depression; obsessive compulsive disorder; gastrointestinal disorders; psychosis (CBD); and a role in cancer/tumour control.

UPDATE AUG 2018: Check out his latest article written for the British Medical Journal - The Case for Medical Cannabis


UPA Patient Survey 2018

United Patients Alliance ran a survey of 1750 medical cannabis patients in the UK, exploring the preferred types of cannabis and methods of consumption, along with conditions being treated and efficacy of treatment versus prescribed medications


The 2018 survey found that the top primary conditions treated, as reported by patients are: Pain(20%) Depression (17%) and Anxiety (16%) with 30% saying they consumed cannabis to address mental and behavioural disorders


A Patient's Guide to Cannabis as Medicine 

All information has been approved by Professor Mike Barnes (UK Consultant Neurologist and Rehabilitation Physician)

These guides are for patients who consume cannabis as medicine. These publications will help individuals who are using or considering cannabis treatments to better educate themselves, their families and their physicians.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) have been developing information resources about medical marijuana (cannabis) for patients, their families, doctors, and elected officials for over a decade.


Chronic Pain

Cannabis can serve at least two important roles in safe, effective pain management. It can provide relief from the pain itself (either alone or in combination with other analgesics), and it can control the nausea associated with taking opioid drugs, as well as the nausea, vomiting and dizziness that often accompany severe, prolonged pain.



The importance of cannabinoids in bone health has been established in transgenic mice that are missing either the CB1 or CB2 receptor. These mice develop osteoporosis much more quickly than normal or wild mice. Research has recently shown that mice missing both cannabinoid receptors have extremely weak bones, a condition that underlies osteoporosis and osteoarthritis pathology.


Gastrointestinal Disorders

The effectiveness of cannabis and its derivatives for treating gastrointestinal disorders has been known for centuries. Recently, its value as an anti-emetic and analgesic has been proven in numerous studies and has been acknowledged by several comprehensive, government-sponsored reviews, including those conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the U.K. House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, the Australian National Task Force on Cannabis, and others.


Multiple Sclerosis

An estimated 100,000 people in the United Kingdom are living with multiple sclerosis (MS), a debilitating and sometimes fatal disorder of the central nervous system. MS is the most common debilitating neurological disease in young people, often appearing between the ages of 20 and 40, affecting more women than men. Current treatment of MS is primarily symptomatic, focusing on such problems as spasticity, pain, fatigue, bladder problems and depression.


Movement Disorders

The therapeutic use of cannabis for treating muscle problems and movement disorders has been known to modern medicine for nearly two centuries. In reference to the plant's muscle relaxant and anti-convulsant properties, in 1839 Dr. William B. O'Shaughnessy wrote that doctors had "gained an anti-convulsive remedy of the greatest value."[12] In 1890 Dr. J. Russell Reynolds, physician to Queen Victoria, noted in an article in The Lancet that for "organic disease of a gross character in the nervous centers . . . India hemp (cannabis) is the most useful agent with which I am acquainted."[13]



The immuno-modulatory properties of a group of fats found in cannabis, known as sterols and sterolins, have been used as natural alternatives to conventional rheumatoid arthritis treatments that employ highly toxic drugs to either suppress the entire immune response of the body or to palliate pain and the inflammatory process without correcting the underlying immune dysfunction.



The effectiveness of cannabis for treating symptoms related to HIV/AIDS is widely recognised. Its value as an anti-emetic and analgesic has been proven in numerous studies and has been validated by several comprehensive, government-sponsored reviews, including those conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the U.K. House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, the Australian National Task Force on Cannabis, and others.



Cannabis has been found to help cancer patients with the associated symptoms that usually accompany cancer such as pain, nausea, wasting, and loss of appetite. Notably, in a meta-analysis of 30 clinical studies on the therapeutic use of cannabis for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Delta9-THC (dronabinol AKA marinol) proved superior to modern anti-emetics. Additionally, patients showed a clear preference for cannabinoids as anti-emetic medication over conventional drugs, when receiving chemotherapy.


Further Information from



Information about the medical use of cannabis, legal information, and practical tools and guides for those using or considering cannabis therapeutics


Information for medical professionals who use or wish to use medical cannabis therapies in their practice.

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