What are the scientific benefits of medical marijuana use?

We’ve all heard of medical marijuana. For what conditions has medical marijuana been found to be effective?

The effectiveness of medical marijuana can be hard to study, as there are so many varieties, and as the cannabis plant contains 400 different chemicals.

To date, medical literature has found that medical marijuana helps these conditions:

Chronic pain and muscle spasms: Evidence is moderate that medical marijuana helps with these symptoms.

Nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy: This is probably the most widely known use of medical marijuana, as many cancer patients have had relief of vomiting associated with chemotherapy.

Improving appetite for AIDS patients: Medical marijuana is probably helpful to improve the nutrition and weight of AIDS patients, although support in medical literature has not been strong.

Tourette Syndrome: Marijuana can help with this tic disorder.

There are many other studies currently in progress to evaluate the use of marijuana for other conditions such as seizure disorders, dementia, and other conditions, but the results have been conflicting to date.

What are the risks to marijuana?

Marijuana can affect cognitive function, impairing the ability to process information.

In some cases, heavy pot use can actually cause excessive vomiting, called “cannabis hyperemesis syndrome.”

For some patients, use of pot can cause psychotic symptoms.


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