Position on Research into the Use of Cannabinoids for Medical Purposes

A Position Statement from the American Academy of Pain Medicine

The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) supports regulatory rescheduling of cannabinoids from Schedule I to Schedule II to facilitate research into the medical effectiveness, substance toxicity, and overall safety of these products for the treatment of pain. The Academy is calling for this change so that a broader assessment can be made of risks and benefits related to cannabinoids as a medical option.

The lack of rigorous scientific and clinical research leaves both physicians and patients alike at a disadvantage when considering the potential risks and benefits of cannabinoids as medicine. Additionally, the current disparity in some areas between state and federal law relating to the use of marijuana for the delivery of cannabinoids results in these substances not being sufficiently regulated. These factors place physicians in a difficult ethical and legal position when contemplating recommending cannabinoids for their patients. Accordingly, the American Academy of Pain Medicine urges federal agencies to reschedule medical cannabis in order to encourage research leading to responsible regulation.

November 2013

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