The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Medical Marijuana
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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      

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