Cannabis is no better than a placebo for treating pain, 20 studies show

Many people use cannabis to manage pain.

Many people use cannabis to manage pain. (Image credit: photolona/ Shutterstock)

Cannabis is one of the most widely used drugs (opens in new tab) in the world. While there are only a few countries where cannabis is legal for recreational use, many more countries have legalized the use of cannabis for medical reasons (opens in new tab).

Reducing pain (opens in new tab) is one of the most common reasons people report using medical cannabis. According to a US national survey, 17% of respondents (opens in new tab) who had reported using cannabis in the past year had been prescribed medical cannabis. When it comes to self-medication, the numbers are even higher – with estimates that between 17-30% (opens in new tab) of adults in North America, Europe and Australia reporting they use it to manage pain.

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