SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) – One of the reasons marijuana legalization advocates were successful in Washington was by touting the medical benefits of the drug.

But now a Dutch study is calling into question one of those health claims.

The researchers found no evidence that cannabis helps calm dementia patients.

They gave cannabis pills containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to 50 dementia sufferers with behavioral symptoms.

Half of them were given pills containing THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, while the other half got a placebo.

“Our study results are valuable since any firm evidence of the effectiveness and safety of medical marijuana in this disease area is scarce,” said study author Dr. Geke A.H. van den Elsen. “Ours is the largest study carried out so far on evaluating this drug for behavioral symptoms of dementia.”

While both groups saw an improvement in their symptoms, there wasn’t a significant difference between them. Researchers found no other other differences between the two groups for day-to-day living, quality of life, or pain symptoms.

According to the World Health Organization, about 48 million people worldwide suffer from dementia.

The study is published in the journal Neurology.

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