Medical Uses of Marijuana

One of the most controversial topics recently has been the use of marijuana. Critics of marijuana highlight the many risks associated with its frequent use and have concerns about its impact on kids, drivers, and employees. On the other hand, there are avid supporters of marijuana who highlight its many medical benefits and believe that a safe and systematic use of this drug could only benefit humans.

Even though there have been many reports about the health benefits of marijuana, officially marijuana has only been approved for the treatment of nausea and vomiting which may occur as a result of chemotherapy or some other illness. In addition, some jurisdictions have also approved medical marijuana for the treatment of various medical conditions including cancer pain, headache, infantile seizures and even cachexia.

Nausea and Vomiting: The most common use of marijuana is for nausea and vomiting. Sold as dronabinol, this marijuana formulation can be used by both men and women of all ages to relieve the symptoms of emesis. Dronabinol can be used for as long as the symptoms of nausea persist. However, it should not be used to control nausea and vomiting that is related to pregnancy as its effects on the fetus remain unknown.

Pain: One of the most common off-label uses of marijuana has been for the treatment of pain. People with pain from neuropathic causes seem to respond best to marijuana. For some unknown reason, pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis or low back pain does not seem to show improvement with the drug. The degree of pain relief is variable and is not seen consistently in everyone. Marijuana seems to work best for mild to moderate pain caused by cancer, fibromyalgia and certain neuropathic syndromes.

Poor Appetite and Weight Loss: There are some HIV and cancer patients who develop significant weight loss and have no appetite. Both cancer and cancer drugs cause a decrease in appetite, alter the patient’s sense of taste and cause significant weight loss. Over the years, many anecdotal reports have appeared that regular marijuana use can help improve appetite and induce weight gain. In these patients, marijuana can be smoked to enhance the appetite. The effects on appetite are not immediate and not seen in all patients.

Marijuana for medical purposes requires a prescription from a physician. In addition, one needs to have a marijuana card in case of any questions by law enforcement officers. This card will place you on the list that permits you to buy marijuana from an approved dispensary or an authorized seller.

It is important for all users of marijuana to know that any marijuana prescribed in one State cannot be transported to another state. There are some states that do permit marijuana use and federal rules prohibit the transport of marijuana across state lines. Marijuana has mild side effects that include short-term memory loss, drowsiness, and euphoria.

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