Proponents of legalizing cannabis for medicinal use suggest the drug could help many who currently suffer from illness and disease. Opponents of the idea assert that the legal drugs currently available provide appropriate relief from relevant symptoms. These different viewpoints have inspired spirited debates. An unbiased assessment of the drug's costs and benefits requires extensive research. Investigations must reveal the drug's ability to alleviate symptoms without creating unsatisfactory side effects. This chapter outlines a brief history of marijuana's medical uses and discusses important considerations in evaluating relevant research. An overview of marijuana's applications follows, examining the available data on its utility as a treatment for many physical ailments.
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