Quick Info

Medical Marijuana has been approved in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

 

Through FDA research:

Currently, the two main cannabinoids from the marijuana plant that are of medical interest are THC and CBD. 

THC can increase appetite and reduce nausea. THC may also decrease pain, inflammation (swelling and redness), and muscle control problems.

Unlike THC, CBD is a cannabinoid that doesn't make people "high." These drugs aren't popular for recreational use because they aren't intoxicating. It may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures, and possibly even treating mental illness and addictions.

 

The FDA approved a CBD-based liquid medication called Epidiolex® for the treatment of two forms of severe childhood epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Many researchers, including those funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are continuing to explore the possible uses of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids for medical treatment. 

What is medical marijuana used for?

Medical marijuana is used to treat a number of different conditions, including:

But it’s not yet proven to help many of these conditions, with a few exceptions, Bonn-Miller says.

"The greatest amount of evidence for the therapeutic effects of cannabis relate to its ability to reduce chronic pain, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and spasticity [tight or stiff muscles] from MS," Bonn-Miller says.

 

How does it help?

Cannabinoids -- the active chemicals in medical marijuana -- are similar to chemicals the body makes that are involved in appetite, memory, movement, and pain.

Research suggests cannabinoids might:

  • Reduce anxiety

  • Reduce inflammation and relieve pain

  • Control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy

  • Kill cancer cells and slow tumor growth

  • Relax tight muscles in people with MS

  • Stimulate appetite and improve weight gain in people with cancer and AIDS

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