Interestingly enough, the topic of marijuana use came up during one of the sessions during our recent NAFP Summer CME Conference . While the speaker pointed out (and I'm obviously paraphrasing from my addled brain 2 weeks later) that no studies had demonstrated any benefit from cannabis, the audience member noted that it's impossible to perform a legitimate randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving the use of a Schedule I substance .
Which brings up a very interesting conundrum. With menopausal hormone therapy, we had plenty of observational studies demonstrating benefit such that is was imperative that we perform a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to confirm (or disprove) this association as well as prove causality. But if we look at marijuana, do we have enough observational studies demonstrating benefit, at least enough to warrant performing a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study? Granted, we only see what we want to see but I've only stumbled on data suggesting minimal-to-no benefit aside from reports of benefit in nausea & glaucoma. So we don't have any studies linking marijuana use to mortality. But why risk psychosis, lung function, liver health, etc?