A UC medical marijuana research panel today released the results of a ten year clinical study and according to its report, pot can effectively treat chronic pain.
Volunteers with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries were randomly treated with marijuana or a placebo. Patients given cannabis reported fewer multiple sclerosis muscle spasms, and less spinal injury pain.
In another study, the panel found that pot effectively also treats migraines.
But researchers used marijuana grown by the federal government, not the kinds available to California medical marijuana users.
Medical marijuana has been legal under California law since voters approved Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, in 1996.
The state Legislature clarified in 2004 that the Compassionate Use Act allows qualified patients and their primary caregivers to cultivate marijuana for medicinal use.
Medical marijuana remains illegal under federal law, though, leaving patients and providers open to prosecution in federal court.
Bay City News contributed to this story.