Medical Significance

Cannabis seems to offer a user a feeling of relaxation. In the past marihuana has been recommended as an appetite stimulant, muscle relaxant, analgesic, hypnotic, and anti-convulsant drug. Today, Cannabis is not widely used in the medical field, but it is a major therapeutic drug used by millions whether legal or illegal. Many people know that marihuana is now being used illegally for the nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy. Some know that it lowers intraocular pressure in glaucoma. Patients have found it useful as a muscle relaxant in spastic disorders and as an appetite stimulant in the wasting syndrome of human immunodeficiency virus infection. It is also being used to relieve phantom limb pain, menstrual cramps, and other types of chronic pain, including (as Osler might have predicted) migraines. Apparently physicians and patients in increasing numbers continue to relearn through personal experience the lessons of the 19th century.

The Lindesmith Center (www. soros.org/lindesmith/tlcjama.html)

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