Medical Marijuana: How Does It Affect Your Health?

Find out who benefits from using marijuana as medicine.

With 23 states and Washington, D.C., legalizing medical marijuana, it’s easy to wonder if this drug is the real deal. Because marijuana has historically been associated with “counter cultures,” you may have questions about how it’s prescribed and used for treatment in a mainstream medical setting.

Medical marijuana has been shown to alleviate pain and symptoms of a variety of health issues, including serious illnesses like ALS or multiple sclerosis, says internist Paul Knoepfelmacher, MD.

Different states have different rules for how doctors can prescribe medical marijuana. Some states only allow medical marijuana prescriptions for serious conditions, while others allow doctors to prescribe it for general problems with nausea, anxiety, or digestive health.

To access medical marijuana, doctors must believe the patient’s health will benefit from the drug and write a prescription. Then, patients will typically have to apply for a license, which allows them to pick up their prescription at a medical marijuana dispensary. The license also protects the patient from being penalized for possession in states that do not allow recreational marijuana.

If you are experiencing health complicatons, medical marijuana may be an option for you to consider. Talk to your doctor to see if this the health benefits of medical marijuana are right for your health condition.

Paul Knoepflmacher, MD

This video features Paul Knoepflmacher, MD. Dr. Knoepflmacher is a clinical instructor of medicine at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where he also maintains a private practice.

Duration: 1:50. Last Updated On: Nov. 8, 2017, 6:14 p.m.
Reviewed by: Preeti Parikh, MD . Review date: April 2, 2017
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