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Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2019 May 7:1-7. doi: 10.1080/15563650.2019.1610567. [Epub ahead of print]

Tetrahydrocannabinol - friend or foe? - Debate.

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a Integrative Medicine Program, Illinois Department of Public Health , NorthShore University HealthSystem , Chicago , IL , USA.
b Pritzker School of Medicine , University of Chicago , Chicago , IL , USA.
c Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, Illinois Department of Public Health , Chicago , IL , USA.
d Northshore University HealthSystem - OMEGA Glenbrook Hospital Glenview , IL , USA.



Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive cannabinoid that has been used to treat various conditions. However, due to various adverse effects, its widespread promotion and use has been controversial. It is this aspect (encouraged by various state legislatures) that forms the basis for an edited debate between an Integrative Family Medicine physician and a Medical Toxicologist.


Pro/Con debate with literature review and commentary.


Medical THC is beneficial for various conditions (especially pain relief). However the dosing, titration and delivery system has of yet to be precisely defined. There is a paucity of studies focusing on cannabidiol (CBD) efficacy without THC, which further complicates medical cannabis clinical studies. Cannabis toxicity tends to be cumulative, which makes it more difficult to identify at the bedside.


There is conflicting data regarding the efficacy and toxicity of medical use of THC.


Cannabis; debate; medical marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol

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