The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Medical Marijuana

Fourteen states in the US – Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – now permit, or soon will permit, some medical use of marijuana (Cannabis sativa). In some states, licensed facilities dispense botanical cannabis by prescription. In others, limited self-cultivation is permitted for medical use.

EFFICACY — Botanicals – The marijuana plant itself (C. sativa) is a schedule I controlled substance in the US (high abuse potential; no legitimate medical use), but it is both ingested and smoked to relieve nausea and pain and to treat many other ailments including anorexia, asthma, glaucoma and spasticity. It appears to be modestly effective, depending on the dose, for some of these disorders, but well-controlled studies large enough to ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

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