Study Supports Placebo Effect Theory of Medical Marijuana

A new study suggests that therapeutic benefits of medicinal marijuana are heavily influenced by the patient’s belief in marijuana’s medical efficacy.

The study was conducted by researchers with the Karolinska Institutet near Stockholm and published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Twenty studies using cannabis for pain control in over 1,450 people between the ages of 33 and 62 were examined.

“The placebo response amounted to 67% of the pain relief associated with genuine cannabinoids," lead author Karin Jensen told CNN. It echoes results from other studies including a 2020 analysis from Hull York Medical School, University of Hull and a 2021 analysis by the International Association for the Study of Pain.

However, a woeful lack of reliable research on cannabis and its medical benefits makes it impossible to draw firm conclusions. As always, further study is needed.

Read more about the Stockholm review here.