We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Medical Marijuana?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Medical marijuana is cannabis that is used as part of an ongoing medical treatment. The concept of marijuana for medical use is a hotly debated topic in many parts of the world. Some believe that the limited use of marijuana as a means of alleviating pain, such as in the case of a terminal cancer patient, is a proper use of the drug. Others tend to believe that the plant should not be used in any form, and promote completely outlawing any use of marijuana.

Among those that promote the idea of medical marijuana, it is often noted that the marijuana plant does not have to be smoked in order to realize the benefits. Various parts of the plant can be used to create extracts that can be consumed with food, or added to beverages. It is also possible to ingest the plant by using capsules that are prepared under strict regulations by a government recognized pharmaceutical company. These options, along with the rigid regulatory processes that often are present in countries that recognize the use of medical marijuana, are said to limit the chance for abuse while providing relief to the sick.

Advocates of medical marijuana also point to the fact that the use of medical cannabis has fewer side effects than some other types of drugs used to manage pain. There is also some controversy about the level of addiction that marijuana can trigger, especially in comparison with other types of pain medication. Those who support marijuana laws that would make it legal for physicians to prescribe cannabis as a pain killer usually refer to research that indicates marijuana is less likely to cause addiction, while still offering an excellent means of easing pain and suffering.

Detractors of the use of medical marijuana are likely to point out that even with the most stringent of regulation, there is little chance that the drug would be limited to the medical uses of marijuana alone. They often point to the widespread abuse of prescription medications that already takes place today. In addition, detractors sometimes refute the veracity of the research that indicates marijuana is less addictive and provides more relief than other options.

Depending on which studies are cited, a great many claims are made for the efficacy of medical marijuana. Some research indicates that the drug can be effective for relieving arthritis pain, treating depression and anxiety, and correcting various types of stress disorders. Women are said to benefit from the use of this drug to help ease the discomfort of morning sickness, as well as to minimize pain during the menstrual cycle. Because some of these studies are not conducted under circumstances that are considered ideal for definitively proving these claims, a number of medical professionals do not accept the findings on the benefits of marijuana as being reliable.

At present, there are several countries around the world where medical marijuana is prescribed for pain and a limited number of medical problems, such as nausea, nervous disorders, and even glaucoma. Germany, the Netherlands, and Canada are examples of nations where marijuana for medical use is allowed. There are also a few areas of the United States where medical marijuana has been used in the past, although the controversy continues to rage across the nation about even this limited usage.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.