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In the medical field, marijuana or cannabis is used in its natural state or its basic components are extracted to treat particular illnesses or improve symptoms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet given recognition or approval to the consumption of the marijuana plant as medicine.

Scientific studies with single cannabinoids or whole plant marijuana (smoked cannabis, cannabis extract) have often been inspired by positive subjective experiences of patients retaining basic cannabis products. The anti-emetic, the appetite enhancing, relaxing effects, analgesia, and therapeutic use in Tourette’s syndrome were all discovered in this manner.

However, research on the chemicals of marijuana, called cannabinoids, has managed to get FDA approvals on two medications that contain those chemicals in capsule form. Persistent research may lead to more marijuana added medications. As the cannabis plant includes chemicals that might treat number of illnesses and their symptoms, arguments are rounded now and then on the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. In fact, many states have legalized the usage of marijuana in the medical field and many are continuing to do so. Presently, there are two cannabinoids mainly from the marijuana plant that have been used; THC and CBD.

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

CBD is a cannabinoid that doesn’t intoxicate people, unlike the THC. It is also used for reducing pain and inflammation, controlling seizures, and may even help in treating psychological disorders and addictions. Funds given by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), help researchers to continue to explore the potential uses of the THC, CBD, and other extracts of the marijuana plant for medical treatment. For example, latest studies on animals have shown that extracts from the marijuana may help in killing certain cancer cells and shrink the size of others. One cell culture study with rodents shows evidence of purified extracts from the natural plant of marijuana slowing down the growth of cancer cells from one of the most dangerous types of brain tumors. Another research with mice showed evidence of purified extracts of THC and CBD being used with radiation to increase cancer killing effects of the radiation on mice. Researchers are also conducting preclinical and clinical trials with marijuana and its extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions, such as:

Syndromes that affect the immune system, including:


  • Multiple sclerosis (MS), which is the cause of gradual loss of muscle control

  • Inflammation

  • Pain

  • Seizures

  • Substance use disorders

  • Mental disorders