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90% of Medical Marijuana Is Too Strong for Chronic Pain Patients, Study Says

BY ZACH HARRIS | MERRYJANE.COM | MAR 30, 2020



Is bud with more than 5 percent THC too strong for chronic pain patients? At least one researcher thinks so, but his study has several flaws.


Researchers at the Wake Forest School of Medicine published a new study late last week about a pain medication that could be too strong for most patients. But instead of Oxycontin, fentanyl, or dozens of other opioids, the study’s authors claimed that medical cannabis was simply too powerful to properly treat pain.

According to concurrent reports from Scitechdaily and New Atlas, the study, titled “Mapping cannabis potency in medical and recreational programs in the United States,” was published late last week in the journal PLOS ONE. By analyzing product potency listings from 8,505 batches of flower on 653 legal cannabis dispensary websites across the US, Dr. Alfonso Edgar Romero-Sandoval and his co-authors found statistical evidence for what cannabis aficionados have known for years: Pot is getting more potent.

The researchers discovered that most cannabis flower sold in legal pot shops — both medical and adult-use — contained more than 10 percent THC, with a significant number of listings eclipsing the 15 percent or 20 percent mark. Then, using the collected data and citing several past studies that claim high-THC cannabis can cause psychosis, Dr. Romero-Sandoval made broad, sweeping claims about the harms of high-potency medical cannabis.

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