While recreational marijuana is legal in just two states (for now), 20 states plus the District of Columbia already allow marijuana for medicinal uses, and up to nine other states may soon follow suit. Many patients swear that cannabis helps ease their symptoms, but the drug has never gone through anything close to the testing required for prescription drugs. One reason: Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug (a federal classification of the most dangerous drugs, including heroin and
So just how medicinal is
Pain: Marijuana is a proven pain reliever. Studies show that it works against pains of many sorts, including neuropathic pain,
Multiple sclerosis: Several studies over the years have shown that marijuana and its compounds can offer at least some relief for muscle spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis. Sativex, a mouth spray that combines two compounds from marijuana, is already available for MS patients in Europe and Canada and is undergoing studies in the U.S.
Appetite: Marijuana's well-known tendency to induce the "munchies" could potentially be helpful for patients who have lost their appetite because of cancer,