Conoce el contenido de nuestra declaración sobre el Uso terapéutico de Cannabis acá

Epistemonikos Foundation and Adherent Organisations Inform: The Use of Cannabis in People with Medical Conditions Does Not Produce Improvements and Causes Damage to Health.

June 11, 2018
Epistemonikos Foundation

Alert to the Scientific Community: The Use of Cannabis in People with Medical Conditions Does Not Produce Improvements and Causes Damage to Health.

The Congress of Chile is currently discussing a bill that aims to modify the National Health Code in order to incorporate and regulate the medical use of cannabis-derived products (see the Congress’s bulletin No. 11.327-11). In this context, Epistemonikos Foundation and the signatory organisations wish to share the scientific evidence available about the matter.

Those who make decisions informed by scientific evidence face an unavoidable task: to evaluate and, whenever possible, synthesize in a coherent whole the totality of the available research findings, and to do so following the best methodologies. Such approach makes it possible to weigh the evidence and reach valid conclusions, even when individual studies of a similar nature yield different or even opposite results.

For the last two years, Epistemonikos Foundation has worked together with a group of 31 academics and collaborators, from different disciplines and universities, on synthesizing the existing research on the effects of the medical use of cannabis and the products or drugs derived from it (including synthetic cannabinoids). The method used (GRADE, Cochrane, Epistemonikos) follows the highest methodological and transparency standards, and incorporates the continuous updating of the body of evidence.

Based on the existing scientific research, we conclude that there is no medical condition in which the benefits derived from the use of cannabis or cannabis-derived products are superior to its adverse effects and risks.

This conclusion was reached by analyzing more than 1,000 scientific articles, which evaluate dozens of medical conditions where the use of these drugs has been proposed, and by preparing a summary for each of those conditions.

The conclusions of the evidence summaries fall in one of these 3 categories:

  1. Cannabis or its derivatives are not effective and are associated with frequent adverse effects (as is the case with multiple sclerosis and anorexia nervosa).
  2. Cannabis or its derivatives may produce a low benefit, but also produce frequent adverse effects that exceed the benefits (as is the case with chronic pain and epilepsy).
  3. It is not clear whether cannabis or its derivatives are effective or not, because the certainty of the evidence is very low, and they are associated with frequent adverse effects (as is the case with fibromyalgia, insomnia, Tourette's syndrome, and the management of nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy).

It is important to emphasize that the ongoing research, including additional analyses by this group, is considerable and could add relevant information in the future. So it is not possible to rule out that, in the future, specific situations will be identified in which these drugs produce more benefits than risks.

It is equally important, however, to clarify that:

.  The vast majority of current research deals with the use of products derived from cannabis and not with the consumption of the unprocessed plant, as contemplated in the current bill discussed by the Chilean Congress. There is no justification, from a scientific point of view, for increasing access to unprocessed forms of cannabis for medicinal use. Homemade marijuana preparations have an unknown composition and do not meet the standards that would allow their use as medicines.

.  Chile’s current legislation already permits the authorization of selling, marketing and prescribing cannabis-derived drugs when specific requests are made. There is, then, no need for a new bill to regulate such cases. Current institutional processes are in place to ensure that the therapies provided to Chilean citizens meet the minimum standards of safety and effectiveness.

The evidence summaries for each medical condition are freely accessible at:

The scientific information we have analyzed and summarized is also freely accessible. It is organised in an interactive web repository, continuously updated, maintained by Epistemonikos. Please follow this link:

Signatory organisations:

ACHED-CP - Asociación Chilena de Estudios del Dolor y Cuidados Paliativos

APCh - Asociación Psicoanalítica Chilena

CIESAL - Centro interdisciplinario de estudios en Salud - Escuela de Medicina Universidad de Valparaíso

‎CITUC - Centro de información toxicológica de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

COLMED - Colegio Médico de Chile A.G


Fundación Epistemonikos

Fundación Me Muevo

Instituto Alfa Adicciones

Instituto Médico Schilkrut

Médicos Sin Marca


SACH - Sociedad Chilena de Anestesia

SOCHIMEF - Sociedad Científica de Medicina Familiar y General de Chile

SOCHIPE - Sociedad Chilena de Pediatría

SOCHOG - Sociedad Chilena de Obstetricia y Ginecología

Sociedad de Geriatría y Gerontología de Chile

SONEPSYN - Sociedad de Neurología, Psiquiatría y Neurocirugía

SOPNIA - Sociedad de Psiquiatría y Neurología de la Infancia y Adolescencia

Frente por un Chile Saludable

Sochepi - Sociedad Chilena de Epidemiología

SOTOX – Sociedad de Toxicología de Chile

Signatory physicians and researchers:

Ana Marina Briceño

Andrea Aguila

Andrés Borzutzky H

Anneliese Dôrr

Camila Jiménez Olivares

Carlos Ibañez

Cecilia Goity

Cecilia Rodriguez

Christian Nilo Schultz

Claudia Cabeza

Cristóbal Cuadrado

Cynthia Zavala

Diego Lobos Urbina

Doina Pavel

Gabriel Rada

Gonzalo Bravo

Javier Peña Alvarez

Jimena Schmidt

Josè Luis Castillo

José Luis Contreras

José Peña

Keryma Acevedo Gallinato

Lili Hitelman

Luis E. Ortiz

Luis Felipe Gonzalez

Macarena Morel

Magdalena Galarce

Maria Antonieta Rico

María Ignacia Morales

María Isabel Ruiz

María Paz Acuña

María Paz Bertoglia

Mario Hitschfeld Arriagada

Matias Ignacio Rocco

Matías Irarrázaval D

Monica Bruzzone

Oscar Corsi Sotelo

Patricia Gonzalez Mons

Pedro Pérez Cruz

Rocio Bravo Jeria

Rudy Garrido

Tania Contreras Labarca

Valentina Llovet

Verònica Buròn Klose

Verònica Gaete

Viviana Venegas

Vivienne Bachelet

Claudio Pérez Oliva

María Inés Brugal

Pamela Llantén Aroca

Marco Cornejo Ovalle

Fernando Peña Soto

Cecilia Castillo L

Henry Zambrano Velásquez

Fabiola de la Torre Altamirano

Ernesto Vega

Evelyn Gómez

Andrés Rodríguez

Felipe Reyes Zaldívar

Jorge López

Juan Pablo Seguel Careaga

Mariano Garcia Carrillo

Sebastian Robert Barros

Alvaro Jeria Durán

Matias Correa Ramirez

Jorge Rodriguez Rojas

Renato Sáez Zamora

Felipe Flores Umaña

Daniela Alvo Campeny

Nicolás Rodríguez Del Real

Felipe Navia González

Nicolas Zamorano Maldonado

Pía Nitsche Royo

Andrés Franzani Garcia

Juan Ignacio Reculé Rivera

Andrea Castillo Díaz

Diego Ignacio Barttlet González

Rocío Aedo Apara

Pedro Rojas Carvallo

Igor Aedo Campos

Danisa Torres Montenegro

Rodrigo Toro Toro

Carolina Pérez Ojeda

Javiera Libuy

Rodrigo Irarrázaval

Patricia De La Maza