Research shows pot can ease muscle spasms
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The first U.S. clinical trials in more than two decades on the medical benefits of marijuana confirm pot is effective in reducing muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and pain caused by certain neurological injuries or illnesses, according to a report issued Wednesday.
Igor Grant, a psychiatrist who directs the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, said five studies funded by the state involved volunteers who were randomly given real marijuana or placebos to determine if the herb provided relief not seen from traditional medicines.
''There is good evidence now that cannabinoids may be either an adjunct or a first-line treatment,'' Grant said at a news conference where he presented the findings.
The California Legislature established the research center in 2000 to examine whether the therapeutic claims of medical marijuana advocates could withstand scientific scrutiny. In 1996, state voters became the first in the nation to pass a law approving pot use for medical purposes.
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