NHMS' Dr. Savage Testifies on HB573 - Use of Herbal Marijuana

There is no question that herbal marijuana contains potent pharmacologically active substances called “cannabinoids” that can relieve pain, reduce nausea and improve appetite. Two marijuana-derived medications, each containing a different cannabinoid, are approved for medical use in the United States. A third medication containing biologically active cannabinoids more closely mirroring marijuana is available in Europe and Canada. It is undergoing clinical trials in the United States and is expected to be approved for use soon. The National Institutes of Health and the global pharmaceutical industry are actively engaged in research to better understand natural human cannabinoid systems and develop safe and effective medications for pain and other indications. This work is promising.

Herbal marijuana historically served a valuable role in healing, before modern medications were available, relieving suffering in circumstances as diverse as complicated childbirths, traumatic injuries and terminal diseases. In the context of contemporary health care and pharmaceutical safety standards, however, herbal marijuana cannot appropriately be viewed as a medication.

To read more of Dr. Savage's testimony click here.