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What are the Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana


Humans have been growing and using cannabis, or marijuana, for as long as history has been recorded. Today, marijuana is used to improve overall health, treat illnesses, and improve conditions such as epilepsy, chronic pain, and anxiety. If you would like to know if medical marijuana is right for you, schedule an exam with one of our Florida Marijuana Doctors. You may complete our eligibility survey to find out if you pre-qualify for a recommendation in just 5 minutes or less.

When was marijuana first used to benefit health?

Ancient physicians commonly mixed marijuana with medicines or added it to teas as a treatment for pain and other ailments. In 2737 B.C., legendary Chinese emperor Shen Neng was the first major leader to prescribe marijuana tea for the treatment of gout, malaria, rheumatism, and poor memory. Since 2000-1400 B. C., India has been treating illnesses using a drink called “bhang” – a cannabis paste (made from the leaves and buds), spices, ghee, and milk [1]. In 2008, archeologists discovered the grave of a 2,700-year-old ancient shaman who had been buried with over two pounds of cannabis. Scientists who conducted extensive research to test its potency concluded the ancient culture used cannabis for “pharmaceutical, psychoactive, and divinatory purposes” [2].

When did marijuana use for medicinal purposes begin in the United States?

Introduced by Mexican immigrants, marijuana was first brought into the United States after the Mexican Revolution of 1910. By 1930, major drug manufacturers were producing at least 28 prescription medicines containing cannabis. They were used by many thousands of U.S. citizens and could be purchased at almost any drug store. Still, those who campaigned for a drug-free society blamed violence and criminal activity on the use of marijuana. It was outlawed in 1930 when testimony from the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Anslinger, helped to pass the Marijuana Tax Act [2].

What has led to a wider acceptance of medical marijuana?

A renewed interest in the legitimate benefits of marijuana has continued to grow over the past 30 years. Its therapeutic effectiveness and low toxicity have caused a societal shift in the way people think about and use the drug. Cannabis use has not been known to cause a single fatality. On the contrary, it has been a safer alternative to most over-the-counter medicines. Because of this, the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) all requested closer investigation into the health benefits of cannabis use.

As a result, scientific research has led to the discovery of specific cannabinoid receptor sites throughout every system of the human body. These receptors respond to chemicals found in cannabis plants, the most psychoactive of which is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabinol (CBN) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are also major cannabinoids but are non-psychoactive. Specifically, the cannabinoid system is involved in the biological functions of pain, memory, appetite, control of movement, and reproduction [2].

What are the health benefits of marijuana?

The use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes has been legalized in all but four states, though some states are restricted to CBD only [3]. Research has shown a change in doctors’ prescribing patterns which suggests prescription drug use has declined in states where marijuana is legal. For example, patients have found success in treating chronic pain with marijuana because it does not contain addictive properties. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created federal guidelines to regulate the use of opiates due to concerns about patients who have become addicted. Marijuana is fast becoming part of the answer to the opioid crisis in America as it provides pain management without negative side effects [4].

Some other common uses for medical marijuana today are anxiety, depression, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, chemotherapy-induced nausea, migraines, obesity, arthritis, diabetes symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder, epileptic seizures, stroke, schizophrenia, adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bulimia, anorexia, tinnitus, intestinal disorders, constipation, gum and tooth pain, airway and adrenal diseases, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis [5].

Is medical marijuana right for me?

If you feel your health may benefit from medical marijuana, the first step is to take our eligibility survey. In just 5 minutes, you could pre-qualify for a recommendation. One of our licensed Florida Marijuana Doctors can then determine if you qualify during an in-person exam. To speak with a DocMJ Patient Care Coordinator, please call (888) 908.0143.


  1. https://www.medicaldaily.com/brief-history-medical-cannabis-ancient-anesthesia-modern-dispensary-370344
  2. https://mychronicrelief.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/NORML_Clinical_Applications_for_Cannabis_and_Cannabinoids.pdf
  3. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/medical-recreational-cannabis-legal-states
  4. https://mychronicrelief.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Cannabis-as-a-substitute-for-prescription-drugs.pdf
  5. http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.usf.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=94415462&site=eds-live



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