Question asked by: 
Being Together Glasgow, September 2014
Date asked: 
Jun 2015

I was asked if I wanted to go on a cannabis trial. What do you think of cannabis trials?

What do you think of cannabis trials?
The only way to run trials is to be very rigorous about the way you run them.
Response by Professor Iain McNeish, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology

Cannabis can have quite powerful pain effects. A lot of initial data came from illicit sources of cannabis, people smoking cannabis – which is never going to be an approved drug. We have to then start making cannabinoids and making it into tablet form. 

The only way to run trials is to be very rigorous about the way you run them. When you get data that says that cannabis is great for pain, you know that that trial has been run in a very tightly regulated way and the patients within that are in a group that you're happy with. You can then say with confidence that this drug is better than steroids or whatever. 

Some of the data on cannabinoids are positive but it's only by doing large, well regulated trials that we'll be able to say for certain whether the anecdotes are real. The whole point about doing research is turning anecdote in to hard science.