Experts from around the world have argued that more rigorous research is necessary before governments decide whether or not to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Delegates attending the World Medical Association’s General Assembly this month discussed the use of cannabis for medicinal use and research, as well as recreationally.
They said evidence supporting the use of medical cannabis is "inconsistent and of low to moderate quality" and that in countries where cannabis has been legalised for medicinal purposes, the regulations are necessary.
Laws governing research grade cannabis should be reviewed, they said, to allow more scientific research on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Delegates from more than 50 national medical associations who attended the assembly also voiced strong opposition to legislation to allow the recreational use of cannabis because "of its serious adverse health effects". The growing availability of cannabis or its forms in foodstuffs requires "intensive vigilance and policing", a new policy statement from the World Medical Association (WMA) said.
WMA President Dr Yoshitake Yukokura added: "National medical associations should support strategies to prevent and reduce the use of recreational cannabis. It is also important that effective control measures are put in place to prevent illicit use of medical cannabis."