ARTICLES COURTESY OF NORML

As states continue to approve legislation enabling the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana, more patients with varying disease types are exploring the use of therapeutic cannabis. Many of these patients and their physicians are now discussing this issue for the first time and are seeking guidance on whether the therapeutic use of cannabis may or may not be advisable. This report seeks to provide this guidance by summarizing the most recently published scientific research (2000-2010) on the therapeutic use of cannabis and cannabinoids for 19 clinical indications:

* Alzheimer’s disease
* Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
* Chronic pain
* Diabetes mellitus
* Dystonia
* Fibromyalgia
* Gastrointestinal disorders
* Gliomas/other cancers
* Hepatitis C
* Human Immunodeficiency Virus
* Hypertension
* Incontinence
* Methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA)
* Multiple sclerosis
* Osteoporosis
* Pruritus
* Rheumatoid arthritis
* Sleep apnea
* Tourette’s syndrome

In some of these cases, modern science is now affirming longtime anecdotal reports of medical cannabis users (e.g., the use of cannabis to alleviate GI disorders). In other cases, this research is highlighting entirely new potential clinical utilities for cannabinoids (e.g., the use of cannabinoids to modify the progression of diabetes.)

The conditions profiled in this report were chosen because patients frequently inquire about the therapeutic use of cannabis to treat these disorders. In addition, many of the indications included in this report may be moderated by cannabis therapy. In several cases, preclinical data and clinical data indicate that cannabinoids may halt the progression of these diseases in a more efficacious manner than available pharmaceuticals.

For patients and their physicians, this report can serve as a primer for those who are considering using or recommending medical cannabis. For others, this report can serve as an introduction to the broad range of emerging clinical applications for cannabis and its various compounds.

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