Medical Marijuana: What the Research Shows. Part 2

Photo Credit:  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files (

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files (

Due to the fact there is no single organization that conducts research surrounding marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is hard to keep track of the information that exists. Luckily, Web MD has compiled some of the information obtained from various studies and organizations and created a summary of the different uses of medical marijuana.

One study found that synthetic THC was able to stimulate appetite and reduce agitation when used as a treatment for the symptoms of Alzheimer's. Two studies conducted on animals revealed the chemicals in cannabis could help symptoms of some forms of autism, and a human study is currently being conducted on children with autism at the University of California Irvine Medical Center. There are several studies that reveal THC and other cannabinoids may slow the growth of brain cancer, and some lab studies on human cells show there is potential for cannabinoids to slow other other types of cancer as well. Over 45 studies have analyzed the effects of marijuana on the pain associated with chronic diseases, the majority resulting in pain relief as effective as and preferable to placebo or traditional pain medications, but about a quarter of the studies showed no improvement whatsoever. 

There exists a significant amount of anecdotal and clinical evidence that suggests the cannabidiol, or CBD, found in cannabis may help reduce seizures in children with epilepsy. Personal stories and early studies suggest smoking marijuana could relive the symptoms of colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, and other digestive diseases by relieving bowl inflammation and reducing acid reflux. In addition, because relieving these symptoms allowed some patients to retain more nutrients, their diseases subsequently went into remission. Studies looking at marijuana for the treatment of MS have reported the therapy relaxed patients' muscles and reduced pain. While not approved in the U.S, Sativex, a marijuana based drug, is approved in 24 countries for the treatment of MS. Lastly, there are two clinical trials that show THC and CBD could help reduce psychosis and other symptoms related with schizophrenia.

This post comes as part of a two part series, and the information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer.