Cannabinoids have demonstrated the potential for a wide spectrum of therapeutic uses. For example, synthetic THC (Marinol) is FDA approved for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and appetite and weight loss related to HIV/AIDS. A combination of THC and CBD is approved in 30 countries outside of the U.S. for muscle spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis. CBD (Epidiolex) is FDA approved to treat certain pediatric seizure disorders, and was recently shown in a phase III clinical trial to reduce seizures in children with epilepsy disorders. In addition, early evidence has shown cannabinoids to have a range of effects that may be therapeutically useful, including antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and sleep modulating effects. However, the current evidence is preliminary and often limited to animal studies–it will take rigorous human clinical trials before we can confirm these effects and determine which conditions they could possibly be used for.
A landmark review published in 2017 by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded there was “substantial evidence” cannabinoids were effective for: chronic pain, nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy and spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis. They also concluded there was “moderate evidence” cannabinoids were effective for: Improving sleep in people suffering from certain conditions, including chronic pain, obstructive sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia. Other areas demonstrating promise include: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, social anxiety, traumatic brain injury