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Medicinal use of cannabis

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7297.1312/a (Published 26 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1312
  1. Marcus Müllner (marcus.muellner{at}univie.ac.at)
  1. BMJ

    The medicinal use of cannabis (p 1313) seems to bother the internet community. Many sites report on the medicinal use of marijuana, weed, ganja, kif, pot, and other trusting names. These sites are, however, mainly about commercial products such as cannabis vaporisers (so that you don't have to inhale the nasty smoke), cloned “high quality” seeds, and even legal herbal cannabis equivalents (at least, this is what they say).

    Besides the hundreds of “pot is good, and the law against pot is bad” websites, only a few seem to be of a higher quality. If you want to become informed within the shortest possible time go to New Scientist's www.newscientist.com/nsplus/insight/drugs/marijuana. This report provides balanced information in an accessible way. Although it may sound like blatant self promotion, another source of reliable information on cannabis is bmj.com. So, if you have a bit of spare time and want to go into more detail, search our archive.

    Most of the sites related to medicinal cannabis are rubbish. There are several published criteria for evaluating such sites (www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/318/7184/647), but the one I enjoy most is the Quality of Information Checklist (http://www.quick.org.uk). This is designed for children, which also makes it suitable for my attention span. For the more mature reader, http://www.discern.org.uk has a similar instrument. Both of these are useful when discussing with patients the quality of information that they acquired from the internet.

    For those interested in the pitfalls of cultivating larger amounts of cannabis, I would suggest reading Budding Prospects (www.tcboyle.com/books.html).

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