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The Promising Potential of Medical Marijuana


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Medical marijuana is now legal in several U.S. states, but it’s still incredibly difficult for scientists to legally study it. The possible therapeutic uses of marijuana are vast, but more research is still needed. Read on to learn about the most promising potential applications of medical marijuana and the current state of marijuana research.

Medical marijuana
Medical marijuana is now being used to successfully treat several conditions. istock.com/tvirbickis

Marijuana is the term commonly used for the Cannabis sativa plant. (1) Despite being legal in 23 states and Washington, D.C., cannabis is still federally classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has a high abuse potential and no medical use currently accepted by the U.S. government. (2) Other Schedule I drugs include heroin and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), while cocaine and methamphetamine (meth) are Schedule II drugs, since they have an officially recognized medical use. (2)

As crazy as this may sound, it’s harder for scientists to conduct studies on marijuana than on cocaine or meth. College students routinely administer methamphetamine to rodents in their science classes, but if they are caught with cannabis, they may face serious disciplinary—or even legal—consequences.

The Differences between Cannabis, CBD, and THC

The terms “marijuana” and “cannabis” both refer to any of the subspecies of the whole, unprocessed Cannabis sativa plant and its basic extracts. (3) Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannibidol (THC) are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that are of particular medical interest. These chemicals and those that resemble them are known as cannabinoids. (3) THC is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis responsible for much of the “high” that users feel; CBD, however, is non-psychoactive and does not produce the physiological responses that THC does. (4, 5)

While using unprocessed cannabis as medicine remains unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA has approved two synthetic cannabinoid medications. These medications are dronabinol and nabilone, both of which are approved for the treatment of nausea caused by chemotherapy and to increase appetite in patients with extreme weight loss caused by AIDS. (3)

However, there are numerous other areas in which cannabis and cannabinoids could prove beneficial to people’s health and well-being.

Four promising uses for medical marijuana…

Endocannabinoid Receptors Suggest Potential Targets and Applications for Medical Cannabis

The human brain contains endocannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids can induce either an inhibitory or excitatory response from the affected neuron by acting on these endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors bind not only the chemicals found in cannabis but also endogenous compounds—i.e., compounds that are naturally produced in the body. (6)

The known functions of our bodies’ endogenous cannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors suggest possible therapeutic targets for medical cannabis.

Endocannabinoid receptors have been linked to the regulation of appetite, pain management, neuroprotection, central regulation of motor functions, sleep, regulation of nausea and vomiting, reward-driven neurocircuitry, intraocular pressure, memory, tumor growth, and gastrointestinal motility. (7)

One specific type of endocannabinoid receptor, CB1, is known to stimulate appetite and ingestive behaviors. (7) This effect is responsible for the snacking behavior—or “munchies”—caused by recreational cannabis use. It is also the reason that cannabis can be used medically to increase the appetites of patients with AIDS or those who are undergoing chemotherapy, as mentioned before, while also reducing nausea and vomiting among those groups. Cannabis’s appetite-stimulating effects could also be used to treat age-induced anorexia in the elderly in general, and specifically for those with Alzheimer’s disease. (8) Cannabinoids may also be able to slow the disease process of Alzheimer’s by preventing inflammatory effects induced by the beta-amyloid deposition that is a hallmark of the disease. (9)

Endocannabinoid receptors have been shown to reduce pain from a variety of causes. The analgesic effects of acetaminophen can be prevented by blocking specific cannabinoid receptors. (10) Cannabis extracts containing THC alone and THC with CBD have proved effective at reducing chronic and neuropathic pain. (11) Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who use cannabis report a reduction in symptoms, including muscle spasticity, pain in extremities, tremor, bowel dysfunction, and walking and balance dysfunction. (12) This may be due to cannabis’s role in pain, motor control, and gastrointestinal motility.

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Conditions for Which Medical Cannabis Shows the Most Promise

  1. PTSD. While anti-drug crusaders frequently cite the detrimental effects of cannabis on memory (13), there are certain populations for which this effect would be a good thing. People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could benefit from the memory-weakening effects of the drug. Nabilone, the cannabinoid drug approved for the treatment of anorexia and nausea among cancer and AIDS patients, is associated with a cessation or reduction in the intensity of nightmares in a majority of PTSD patients surveyed. (14) New Mexico was the first state to allow usage of medical cannabis to treat PTSD, and one study done within in the state revealed a 75 percent reduction in symptoms among participants with PTSD. (15)
  2. Cancer. Cancer and AIDS patients are the two populations for which medical cannabis or cannabinoid use has become most widely accepted. Nabilone and dronabinol have been approved for treatment of anorexia, cachexia, nausea, and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy since the 1980s. (16) Newer research has revealed an even more exciting use of cannabis for cancer patients: cannabis may be able to treat the cancer cells themselves. Cannabinoids induce cell death, inhibit cell growth, and slow metastasis in tumor cells without harming the surrounding non-cancerous cells. (16) In a mouse model, pure THC and CBD were shown to prime glioma cells—a cell found in certain types of brain cancer—for radiation therapy, making them more sensitive to and easily destroyed by irradiation. (17) Studies like these show that cannabis may have a broader application for cancer patients than previously thought.
  3. Multiple sclerosis (MS). Cannabis can provide relief for multiple symptoms of MS, as discussed above, but it has shown the most promise for treating spasticity. Spasticity refers to the feelings of stiffness and involuntary muscle contractions experienced by people with MS, and it is one of the most common symptoms of the disease. (18) The endogenous cannabinoid system may be active in controlling spasticity, as indicated by exacerbation of this symptom in a mouse model of MS following blockage of endocannabinoid receptors. (19) In humans with MS, both whole plant cannabis-based medicine and an extract combining THC and CBD may reduce the number and severity of spastic episodes. (20, 21) Despite being one of most common symptoms of MS, spasticity has remained difficult to treat with most drugs currently on the market, making cannabis a very intriguing option for treatment.
  4. Treatment-resistant epilepsy. Cannabis has been used for millennia in the treatment of epilepsy, but it has only recently been investigated seriously by scientists for safety and effectiveness in this use. In particular, research has focused on cannabis use for childhood epilepsy that has shown resistance to current treatments. While cannabinoids have produced mixed results in animal models of epilepsy (22), CBD has been associated with a decrease in seizure frequency in a recent human study among participants with childhood-onset treatment-resistant epilepsy. (23) Additionally, the safety profile of CBD makes it an attractive treatment for epilepsy in children and young adults. The side effects of antiseizure drugs can be brutal for kids, and a growing number of parents have turned to CBD as an effective and much better tolerated alternative. More research and clinical trials are needed on this application of medical cannabis, but more than 4,000 years of anecdotal support for its efficacy in treating seizures have provided hope for many.

A Changing Legal and Social Environment

Once a niche area with limited scientific interest, the field of cannabis research has expanded rapidly in the last decade. Much of the research continues to focus on cannabinoids, rather than whole, unprocessed cannabis. Support for the use of whole cannabis comes from anecdotal evidence as much as from empirical scientific research, but research is slowly beginning to confirm or disprove those anecdotal claims. Cannabis’s current classification as a Schedule I drug by the U.S. government, as well as the attached social stigma, continues to limit the ability and willingness of researchers to investigate all of its possible uses. But as more states approve cannabis for medical and/or recreational use, research and funding will likely continue to expand.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) currently provides funding to more than forty active projects in the category of Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research. (24) Projects include investigations into the potential of transdermal CBD to reduce the chance of relapse in abstinent alcoholics (25), the ability of vaporized cannabis and dronabinol to reduce neuropathic back pain (26), and the role of the endocannabinoid system in radiation and chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment and possible methods for prevention or treatment (27), among many others.

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Join the conversation

  1. My daughter has ADD, severe anxiety, and tics. We have tried several medications in the last 8 years. I have been told that the Adderall she was on for several years may have caused the tics and the sensory overload that she experiences. In the last year, I have seen her gain 100 lbs. yet, they still keep prescribing medication. She is done.
    A friend suggested that I look into CBD Oil. We have tried it for about three weeks. We are currently weening her off of Wellbutrin. I see no difference in her level of concentration at school. What I mean by that is that she is doing amazing without the Wellbutrin. The CBD has changed her level of anxiety. It has not cured it, but has reduced it so she can function. I have also seen a decrease in cravings as well. I am extremely hopeful.

  2. I think you can find the right balance of THC and CBC for you. Will use it for severe epilepsy and cancer and it does better than any medicine ever had

  3. I live and practice in the state of Hawaii, on the Big Island, which is more rural. My practice location is in a pen underserved area, and many have resorted to medicinal use of marijuana for treatment of a variety of conditions, primarily pain. I am seriously reconsidering going ahead and incorporating helping patients being able to obtain their medical marijuana cards in my practice because of the respectable work and information coming from practitioners like you. Thank you very much for putting this out there.

  4. I live in California, where medical marijuana has been legal for many years. I have seen its effectiveness time and time again for cancer patients with nausea and vomiting, topical treatment with CBD oil shrinking cancerous lesions, people being able to get off their pain meds for chronic conditions, and sleep better too, manage anxiety, and so on. We should be studying it like mad, especially in its whole form.

  5. As much as I am a fan of marijuana and a believer in its therapeutic benefits, I would like to point out to the integrative and functional medicine world my experience. To keep in short I can tell you that I feel a dual action with smoking marijuana and feel that it reduces my autoimmune symptoms especially calming the CNS after a week of Intense gym work. But I have noticed increased symptoms with some of my other autoimmune issues(some parts of skin improve while others worse) and feel I would like to say am confident that marijuana does have the potential to trigger
    my autoimmune issues. I don’t know what mechanism this works through whether it’s direct or indirect, I’m trying to eliminate perhaps a dysfunctional thyroid through the stress of smoking though I think it is slightly more sinister than that. Regards.

  6. I have heard that it helped some people with ulcerative colitis. It is not legal in my state (Tx).

    • Is that Texas you are talking about? Isn’t that the state where the Texas Medical Board try and put Stanislaw Burzynski in jail every year for his success in treating some cancer patients sent home to die?

        • Absolute nonsense. The Texas Medical Board try to jail this man and fail every time. The Board’s accusations are rejected by every judge as fallacious trash. Anti neo plastrons are hugely successful and hospital records show that patients sent home to die have been cured by him.
          The real snake oil sales men are those pushing carcinogenic chemotherapy drugs.
          No wonder The Texas Massacre Board won’t allow CBD research as it would upset the cartels of Pharmageddon .

  7. There are over 100,000,000, to 110,000.000 Americans suffering from Chronic pain. 7 out of 10 adults are on a prescription drug. Again, in case you’re like me, I need a reminder what I just read, 110 million adults suffer from daily and chronic pain. What do they do to deal with it? Quote from a medical website: “Opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications remain the main drug treatments for pain.” I have a theory and a practical alternative that works for me: A diet that is organic, balanced, high fat, medium protein (No grain fed animal products), raw milk from Ancient breed cows, pure water but not 8 glasses a day unless one is afflicted with gout, and only then until the uric acid is lowered, but there’s a more interesting idea than the above. Suppose you went to a diet of some isolated tribes, be them European, African, Irish, or whatever, whose health is wonderful, for instance African tribes before being lured into the Western protocols caused by economic manipulation, had zero cavities. One, and there were many others, from the Alps, with 2000 members, had one cavity per 288 teeth, that’s nine people and only one cavity between them, then some of them went to a Western influenced town and got cavities quicker than those who normally lived there, but they still had all 32 teeth. Back to their Alps tribe the cavities, some of them, glossed over, defined, went into remission. Any way, here’s my suggestion: Adopt or adapt to, a diet similar to any one of the tribes around the first part of the 20th century. The Alps tribe was cheese, milk, some veggies but not many, butter, meat once a week, etc. more to it but read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price, not an easy read but just cherry pick the diet thing. So what does this have to do with Marijuana? I tried it once, I got goofy high and for nearly 8 hours it had me. Some may say, wow, now that a high. Yes, but here’s the reason I didn’t do it again: I felt happier, higher, and stronger without it, why take something that alters my natural high, and so I didn’t. I was one of the lucky ones. Why? I was naturally highly physical, I went with that. I had an appetite, I went with that. I wasn’t locked into a career that demanded I change my life, diet, etc., in other words I was happy being myself. Again, what’s this have to do with Marijuana? If we did what our bodies were capable of, for instance, sitting a the wheel of a car bolted to the seat, stressed by traffic, stressed by economic demands, stressed by nearly everything and if one didn’t have to work and just sat home eating the best food, exercising, etc., we’d be stressed by that, too. That’s not a life, that’s a neurotic existence, I know, I’ve tried it and I was lonely, and getting strangerer and strangerer every day. I could look a undressed women on my computer, soon that was like wishing for the great painting every painted and after a month, one could care less, the same for an ocean view, pretty soon it’s oh hum. So what do people do with chronic pain? Marijuana variations might help and will, but what about physical therapy by a knowledgeable trainer, stretching, a diet referred to that makes one feel better and better, and contrary to what anyone says, we don’t need culinary masterpieces to eat, we merely need to be truly hungry and not eat unless we are. We live bogus lives, with bogus demands, and the outcome is neurological pain caused by emotional trauma caused by stress, in other words, we do what others and the economic structure demands of us. How to change that? Not smoking pot, or eating edible variations, but keying into our own selves. We’re always looking for that ingredient or product to make our lives better when right before us is the key to eliminating pain, a need for alcohol, drugs, or gobs of sweets, it’s finding, and it’s actually easy to find, a diet that is in harmony with our body and if it’s in harmony with our body it’s in harmony with our mind/brain. Easy to do? Hell, no. It takes work but if we keep chemical helper out of the mix, do the physical, dietetic, sleep without chemical help, work at something that doesn’t piss us off half the time, we’ll find what I refer to as individual freedom. Of course there’s a lot more to it than the foregoing, but I speak from experience, and it works. I take nothing, no pot, pills, booze, sweets, cigarettes, psychotherapy, religion, or new age suggestions. I try to help people but find that’s a full time job that meets with too much resistance, no matter what my persistence. So now I say, here’s what I do, you do what you want, and I move on. What I’m going to do is choose a diet from about 1900, that includes milk and cheese, a few veggies, fermented and fresh, little or no fruit, meat less often, and I would be the people from the Alps ate meat from tail to snout. Again, what does this have to do with Marijuana? By adding such a died, pain may be lessened, sleep may be more healing, strength may increase, etc. It is, I think, worth a try, but for those poor souls whose pain is neuropathic, which is a condition where opiates are often prescribed until the dosage reaches the limit levels both dosage strength and number, edible marijuana may be the better choice than taking dangerous opiates. News just came out that cosmetic claiming to be organic will be or they’ll be taken off the shelf by order of the FDA. Hooray for that, maybe we’re finally realizing drugs, chemicals, etc., really aren’t in our best interests, either that or oblivion of our people.

    • I am quoting you Robert
      “We live bogus lives, with bogus demands, and the outcome is neurological pain caused by emotional trauma caused by stress”

      Actually I don’t live a bogus life, thank you very much and can I suggest that paragraphs really help when reading a script, such as this one.

  8. For over a year, I have been going to a dispensary trying to find an edible or oil or tincture for insomnia. The dispensary is owned by the Mayor of the city and has really high standards, but none of the recommended products have worked. Can anyone suggest a product (by name brand) that might work? I have a box full of expensive items that don’t work. I am desperate for sleep, but can’t afford to keep buying products that don’t work. Thank you. Pat

    • I have suffered from insomnia the last several years. What’s really helped is listening to Chris Masterjohn’s podcasts and following some of his suggestions which include paying attention to your light exposure throughout the day and especially before you go to bed, using amber glasses if you need to.

      Another suggestion was to pay attention to your calcium intake and to balance it with magnesium, vit. K2 and vit. D. It’s worth listening to the podcasts to understand how the vitamins and minerals work together.

      Of course it is best to get this nutrition from food if possible but these days many people are deficient in magnesium and K2. In the winter months in northern latitudes vitamin D is hard to come by. I am unable to eat dairy so in order to meet my daily requirement of 1200 mg I need to supplement.

      I have found that adding calcium has helped me with sleep. Not only am I sleeping longer but the quality of my sleep has noticeably improved. I’ve only been doing this a few weeks so I don’t know if it will continue long term but it’s worth a try.

    • Have you tried vaporizing a pure indica strain? I find any pure indica helps relax my body and helps me zone out enough to knock off often after one hit on the vaporizer. Favorite staring is blackberry kush (or any kush strain that is a pure indica, no sativa).

      • I have never used a vaporizer, don’t know anything about them, I thought that they were similar to smoking. Thank you for the suggestion, I will Google info on vaporizers. Pat

        • I don’t know if this is relevant to you, but when I don’t drink, don’t drink coffee after 11 AM, don’t eat chocolate after 3 PM, I sleep like a log.
          I’ve had a group of friends all sitting around complaining about insomnia (I had been one of them), but when I told them about my experiments with foods, they proclaimed that they could never get through an evening without their wine! They could however, accept the dangers of using sleeping drugs.

  9. There is another substance called CBN – Cannabinol that you might investigate. It induces and improves sleep in much the same way as Melatonin helps to regulate the sleep cycle, with the added bonus of improving sleep quality and sleep time.

    • I live in California. Where would I find CBN, I am on sleeping pills, antidepressants, benzodiazepines with no success and terrible side effects on the body. I have a really bad case of SIBO, disfunctional adrenals.

      • Go to most any dispensary AFTER securing your MM Card from a MM doctor. Easy to find. Start SLOW with edibles, say 10 milligrams. I teach “Mother Nature’s Farmacy” world-wide. Studied and used MM for 50 YEARS!!! Never a problem but the toxic “Controllers.” Evil country America has become with FORCED VACCINATIONS etc. MM is a life saver for so many. Vietnam Vet…tortured by the VA sick system of toxic pills. Only thing I take for PTSD is MM No more of the thousands of killing pills. I teach “Education” not Medication! Get your BUTT to an integrative physician. Get ahold of me and I will teach you HOW TO Doctoryourself.com. Go to that web site and get BUSY learning how to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF as the AMA is the leading cause of death in the dying USA. Learn SPROUTING, JUICING,CLTURES,KEFIR,ANAEROBIC FERMENTATION and stop killing yourself with terrible judgement.

      • Pat, I have insomnia (& other issues) and have been experimenting with cannabis for a year now. I didn’t do well with almost anything the dispensary recommended (and I tried everything) for sleep except one product by Mary’s Medicinals (http://www.marysmedicinals.com) that was a transdermal patch of CBN. It’s expensive to use every night so I started making my own CBN. I purchased flower with very high THC and known for helping with sleep. I then put each flower strain in its own glass container, no lid, and on a sunny windowsill. Leave for 1 month. Right before bed, I vaporize (get an expensive good one like the Pax 2) the flower and also eat a homemade edible made from CBN flower. I can get 5-6 hours uninterrupted sleep and then fragmented sleep after that but everyone is different. You can also make it into CBN in the oven but I’ve heard that UV light is the best. I suggest using many strains so you don’t build tolerance to one. Good luck to you.

        • Thank you, Amy. I so appreciate the information. It was kind of you to take the time to help me. Pat

  10. I have a question for those that live in states where it has been “fully” (med. & rec.) legalized, and this will also touch on the subject of “over-pricing” that has been brought up. If you live in a state where marijuana is legal for recreational use, why would you bother buying it and paying such over-marked prices (which I can attest to first hand after taking a recent trip to Colorado – I couldn’t believe the “high” prices!), when you can grow it yourselves? It is not that hard and, once you get a good set-up going, doesn’t cost much. Those who say it is must be growing very large amounts, which would be a tremendous amount of work and cost a bit more to do. But to grow enough for your own personal use is not that difficult (I know from personal experience). For some (myself included) it may take a few tries, but once you have it down, there would be no need to pay someone else for it.

    I don’t know if all states that have full legalization in place allow private grows or not (sorry, I haven’t taken the time to look it up), but I do know that at least some of the states do allow personal grows, even if only a limited amount.

    I look forward to any answers/input to this question. Thank you.

    • Nunya – There is a bit of a conspiracy to keep seeds out of the hands of consumers. Most cannabis grown is from feminized seeds that only produce female plants with no seeds. However, I am seeing that some groups are freely giving away seeds so that people might start growing their own. Once marijuana seeds are sold in seed catalogs alongside tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers…the gig is up.

      The ONLY reason there is a high-priced market for pot is because it has been illegal for so long. Once people equate marijuana with other medicinal herbs, and not an illegal drug, the price will go to where it should and people will have access.

  11. One problem with Cannabis is you are mainly expected to smoke it. This smoking is contrary to all the health messages of the last 50 years.
    My suggestion is The Cannabis Suppository. It could be easy and cheap to manufacture to pharmaceutical standards and if you are in pain you will not mind using this route as a painkiller. If you are looking for a high you are not going to pass one around the group and peer pressure is reduced. It would be difficult to overdose as your body will naturally reject it via a bowel movement. A variety of strengths will be easy to produce. Selling from any convenience store will keep prices down and people can self medicate to their own level of need. The government will also get a tax income.

    • hi John, I’ve found a little weed under the tongue/side of cheek works well (similar absorbability through thin skin surface).

      I bet it’s quicker than a suppository if only because there are fewer buttons to undo?.

    • “My suggestion is The Cannabis Suppository. It could be easy and cheap to manufacture to pharmaceutical standards”

      John, the last thing the world needs is Cannabinoids manufactured to pharmagheddon standards.

      No one would really want a sub standard synthetic substitute for oils that don’t need to be smoked.

  12. I firmly believe that medical cannabis has multitudes of uses and this use is being interfered with because the pharmaceutical companies and alcohol/tobacco people feel threatened by it’s use. I live in chronic pain and if it was legal in Georgia, I would use it. There are many risks to growing cannabis even if it’s legal or just permitted and not all the risks come from the government, police, but fire, theft and armed robbery and murder of growers and caretakers. Yes, it is a high price if someone grows for you, but they are taking all the risks. As long as quality control is tested, I see no reason not to use cannabis as medicine. When you get medicine from the pharmacy, you don’t know what’s going to happen with all the side effects causing not only loss of life, but brain damage and permanent disability.

  13. We are voting in Las Vegas, NV this election and I hope that it passes and takes over the pharmaceutical companies greediness and some revenue goes back to the community improvements. All for it! Yes on Question 2!

    • Here is a very professional look at the costs associated with commercial marijuana growing. Estimates for various types of grow operations (small hydroponic, small greenhouse, large outdoor cultivation). The estimates range from $70-$400 per pound, including trimming and packaging.


      Tobacco costs ~$2000 per acre to grow, cannabis is expected to cost $500-1000 per acre as it is less labor and chemical intensive than tobacco.

      An acre of cannabis would produce ~500 pounds of dried buds. So, in this setting, the raw plant material is $1-2 per pound! Trimming and packaging adds another $65-100 per pound.

      I believe that once marijuana is fully legal and there is a good supply, it should never cost more than $40-50 for an ounce of “good sh*t.” For comparison, current US street values for an ounce of buds are $200 (where legal) to $500 (where still illegal).

      And at this price, there is plenty of room for everyone to make a nice profit. Well, except Big Pharma…they are losing out on this deal, lol.

  14. I live in California, which allows medical cannabis use. I started using external CBD cream for osteoarthritis, which it seems to have helped. Immediately after starting to use it, my hearing and eyesight became dramatically better. My other senses seem improved but that is subjective. Before, I could not hear the turn signals in my car. Now, I can hear them clearly. Before, my eyesight was weak, especially in my right eye. Now, I am using eyeglasses from years ago. Also, I was starting to get some diabetic neuropathic numbness. That seems to have stopped. My senses of taste, smell and pain perception also seem to have gotten sharper. Nothing else changed to cause these changes.

  15. I have seen great damage from Marijuana and I would like to see balanced information in the media. I live in Mendocino where the Marijuana Culture is huge. I am a nutrition consultant and have seen great benefits from different types of marijuana use. However, Marijuana has been shown to increase psychosis in people with a history of psychosis. Those dealing in the mental health field have seen an increase in mental health problems along with the ‘legalization’ of Marijuana. Medication for psychotic disorders may not work any more when THC is added to the picture, increasing the psychotic brain activity. Currently I am watching a loved ones life destroyed by it. I follow Chris Kresser and am very grateful for his information, just want to add a balanced view to the marijuana subject.

    • I agree, the mental health concerns are seldom discussed. I am also a nutritionist and we know that there are certain susceptible individuals who adversely affected by marijuana – leading to psychosis and even schizophrenia. Young male teens seem to be more affected. The problem is there is no way of knowing who will be affected. The big concern is the very high THC levels compared to 40 years ago.

      I hear arguments that it’s government propaganda and invalid research but I have seen it first hand with a number of clients and have heard similar feedback from integrative psychiatrist Dr. Hyla Cass and a number of psychiatric nurse practitioners.

      I’ve recently been introduced to CBD from hemp (also cannabis and yet THC is less than 0.3%) and I’m very impressed with the research and safety aspects, and the results folks see with anxiety, insomnia and even PTSD.

      • I recently met someone who is making oil from marijuana leaves and applying it topically. She says it has been bringing her great relief from her osteoarthritic pain. Has anyone tried this, and if so, what has your experience been?

      • Some will always abuse substances, but the many could benefit from their inherent cannabinoid receptors.

        A government should put its people first and an industry that doesn’t require patents and obscene wealth, as in pharmagheddon, should be set up under government funding to research and produce top quality, low THC, high CBD oils for ill people. We pay for it in our taxes.

        Instead we have stinking rich Mafia style cartels and corporations, supported by weasels in power, who should be in jail for crimes against humanity. These criminals are as bad as any despot rogue lawless government and should be tried.

  16. Hey Chris,

    As a soldier I’m really excited about the potential benefits concerning PTSD and pain management, considering how many veterans are plagued with these issues.

    I’m curious, however, if there is any evidence or study on recreational benefits yet? If not, I’d love to hear your educated opinion on the recreational use of whole cannabis or extracts for non-disease applications like stress-management, increased mindfulness, use with meditation, or even for something like manipulating your appetite for bulking.

    I ask because I understand these compounds to have few, if any, side effects, which also begs that question… Have they found any drawbacks or side-effects yet?

    Love your work!

  17. In Australia a generous benefactor donated $38 million to the University of Sydney for research into medical Marjuana after his granddaughter improved immensely on the plant from epilepsy. However, slightly disappointed to hear the scientist involved say how interesting it will be to tease out compounds to produce more manufactured medicines. I thought using the natural product bred without the THC component to gain all the benefits of this highly complex biochemical plant might be more beneficial to humans. Only one State NSW in Australia is it legal for doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis, but others are slowly following such as QLD next March.

  18. The price of medical marijuana is going to go up when recreational marijuana becomes legal in California because they are increasing the taxes. Both the taxes and regulations are very heavy….its not gonna be cheap here…..

    Marijuana is great for decreasing/opiate pain meds use…. I have seen this in people I know

  19. I am 81 and apart from old age. a lifetime of over weight and various other ailments I fell 4 times last year. I healed 75^% but there are about 6 places in my body hurting. I took to my bed. One day I researched google for a nontoxic chemical free pain remedy and came across CBD . I checked with my doctors and there were no contraindications for me to take it . Its working for me. I need a lot of it to make it work . There is a small amount of THC in it so when I use a lot I get slightly dizzy. I take it early am and evening . Its working .I use the ointment as well as the oil infused tincture. Costs about $60 a week to keep me mobile and cheerful. I RECOMMEND IT IF YOU ARE DESPERATE AND ITS LESS TOXIC THAN ANY OVER THE COUNTER MEDS. Better than getting an injured liver kidneys , stomach or addicted.

  20. CBD oil from Rebel Health has grabbed my interest at the same time as your article on the subject. https://rebelhealthtribe.com/get-cbd/ is the informational page as well as the ordering link for what seems to be well screened high quality and reasonably priced product. I’ve no affiliation..not promoting here. Just thought their webinar and focus on the same topic and this product, as well might find a welcome place in this discussion forum.