The FDA has approved a groundbreaking new study for Yale researchers to examine the benefits and risks of medical marijuana. In early November, researchers at Yale University announced that they would be launching a major study to investigate the effects of medical marijuana on conditions like stress and chronic pain. This groundbreaking clinical trial, which has been approved by the FDA, will be the first of its kind to study the effects of cannabis on humans — meaning that the potential implications of the study are huge. Here’s what you should know and why it matters. Marijuana as a Treatment for Stress and Pain The Yale School of Medicine is partnering with CTPharma, a grower for Connecticut’s medical marijuana program, to examine the efficacy of cannabis for treating a number of conditions. The multiphase study will begin by examining the general safety of marijuana as a medical treatment, as well as at what dosages. Based on those findings, the next phase will look at how effective marijuana is for treating conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and opioid use disorder. The first phase of the study will examine patients aged 21 to 45 who use marijuana recreationally, and the second will examine patients aged 21 to 60 with chronic pain that hasn’t been fully managed by opioid pain medications. Participants in the study will be treated with a combination of CBD and low-dose THC or a placebo. The team of Yale researchers will monitor participants’ blood pressure, heart rate, and other physiological changes to determine how CBD and THC affect the body. The study will also involve regular lab visits to measure hormone responses and cardiovascular activity. Why This Study Is So Important Conditions like stress and chronic pain can actually increase the risk of other health problems — from heart disease and a weakened immune system to fatigue, anger, and depression — so by determining the effectiveness of marijuana to manage these symptoms, the potential impact of the study is enormous. Not only could it help develop new treatment options for stress, chronic pain, and other issues that could improve the quality of life for many Americans, but the reputation that Yale University brings to this study could also usher acceptance of medical marijuana into the mainstream. Multiple studies in recent years have indicated that medical marijuana offers a number of benefits for treating a wide range of conditions, including childhood epilepsy, dementia, and cancer. Given the current opioid crisis, many experts also believe that medical cannabis offers a safer way to treat chronic pain, and there’s evidence to suggest that states that have legalized medical marijuana see fewer opioid overdoses. However, many of these studies have come with the caveat that more research needs to be done. While it’s unlikely that a single trial is going to conclusively prove everything that has been found in other studies, the fact that a reputable institution like Yale is conducting a clinical trial with backing from the federal government is a major milestone in removing the stigma from medical marijuana. Are you curious about whether medical cannabis might help manage the symptoms of one or more of your health conditions? If you live in Ohio, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our team of specialists at Lakewood Medical Clinic is ready and able to address your questions and concerns, and to make sure you’re able to find a treatment option that best suits your lifestyle.