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Saturday

 

How Effective Is Medical Marijuana? Here's A Closer Look At 14 Different Uses
























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Whether you're in the camp to legalize marijuana or would rather keep it restricted (no judging, here!), it's high time to size up its medical claims. Pot pre-dates the Egyptian pyramids—but it took till now for 23 states to give their A-Okay for its medicinal use. Prevention asked top docs whether cannabis, med-speak for marijuana, is actually helpful (or at least promising) for nearly two dozen health woes ranging from multiple sclerosis to migraines, cancer pain to epilepsy.

Two things to keep in mind as you're reading: Most of the research involves marijuana or its individual psychoactive compounds administered in carefully measured doses—a far cry from the variability in strains being sold on the street or even in dispensaries. "That's the equivalent of buying penicillin at a flea market," contends Ivor Grant, MD, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. And there's just not a lot of research yet, period. The FDA hasn't removed marijuana from its "schedule-one" drug designation, which it reserves for substances that have no acceptable medical use. "Few doctors have the special permission required to work with schedule-one drugs," notes Otis Brawley, MD, chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society. "Cocaine is less restricted than marijuana."

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