Pot and pain

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Science  04 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6312, pp. 566-568
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6312.566

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Could marijuana be part of the solution to our nation’s opioid epidemic? A small but growing number of clinical studies suggests that marijuana may provide relief for patients with difficult-to-treat pain conditions typically managed with opioid drugs. There are also preliminary signs that painkiller prescriptions and opioid overdoses may be going down in states that permit medical marijuana. Yet following up on these hints isn’t easy because the plant is listed on Schedule I, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of the most dangerous drugs. That listing creates barriers for researchers interested in conducting clinical studies or tracking how marijuana is being used as medicine in the states where it’s legal.

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