A new review of studies from the American Academy of Neurology confirms what many medical cannabis patients already know: that weed can help alleviate the symptoms of multiple sclerosis like pain, stiffness, and overactive bladder.

The study also looked at weed’s ability to treat other brain diseases, finding inconclusive evidence for whether pot could effectively treat Huntington’s Disease, epilepsy, and Tourette’s syndrome. The side effects of a drug used to treat Parkinson’s, it found, could not be mitigated by the plant.

“While certain forms of medical marijuana can be helpful to treat some symptoms of MS, our review highlights the need for more high quality research studies on the safety and efficacy of marijuana,” said Dr. Barbara Koppel, the neurologist who led the study.

As Matthew Allen of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance points out to the Boston Globethat lack of good studies may have something to do with the strict regulations the federal government puts on weed studies. “These policies must be changed to allow more study of medical marijuana,” he said.

(Photo: Peter Lynch/Flickr)