Top 10 medical uses for marijuana

Although marijuana has been stigmatized for the cognitive impairment of people who use it, can it actually help some people manage medical problems? We review the top legitimate uses for medical marijuana here.

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Medical use of marijuana

Some doctors may recommend marijuana primarily for relief from the symptoms of disease rather than as a cure. Some of these conditions may include:

1. Treatment for symptoms of AIDS

2. Glaucoma

3. Neuropathy (diseases affecting the nerves or nerve cells) Ex. epilepsy

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4. Nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy

5. Pain caused by structural or psycho-physiological disorders

6. Muscular spasticity and limb pain (multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury)

7. Symptoms of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome

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8. Appetite stimulant for diseases of malnutrition (cachexia or starvation)

9. Nausea and vomiting (general)

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10. Migraine headaches

Top 10 diagnoses for non-medical use of marijuana cards

Does the FDA approve medical marijuana?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approved smoked cannabis for medical reasons. Although some aruge that this is a political decision, rather than a medical or scientific decision based on research and analysi, the FDA has approved two drugs, Marinol and Cesamet, for therapeutic uses in the U.S. These drugs contain active ingredients that are present in botanical marijuana but come in the form of a pill. Nonetheless, that the FDA has not approved smoked marijuana for any condition or disease seems rather short-sighted.

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Medical marijuana debate

What do you think? Should patients be restricted to only taking Marinol or Cesamet? Or should smoked marijuana be considered a medical treatment?

Reference sources: Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. I’m 54 years old & I have suffered from Hypertension & in return get severe migraines. I honestly can just take 2 or 3 hits off a joint & immediately get relief. It helps me to chill & relax. Especially after a hard day’s work. It’s no difference than having a glass of wine. I feel Smoking marijuana had saved my life. Thanks! Pamela

  2. Hi, I have read your whole blog and find some informative points related to marijuana and I think the information that you have shared is very valuable for all. I just want to know how much marijuana is benefit for our health if we regularly use it. I’ll wait for your reply. Thanks!

  3. I have go through your whole blog and find really interesting information about medical marijuana. I just only want to know is marijuana good for health or not.

    1. Hi Virgil. In order to qualify for medical marijuana you must have a diagnosed ailment that is on your state’s list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions. Since marijuana is not legalized for medical use in every state, you should first check if your state is in the group of those who have legalized the medical use of this drug. In order to answer your question we have to know the state you live in. Parkinson’s disease is a qualified condition on the list of the following states: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.

  4. I have suffered from severe shoulder pain for three years following cervical laminectomy C2 – 8. The dispensary in NYS won’t give me medical marijuana. Where can I get it and does it help with pain?

  5. Badger, I understand and sympathize with you. You now have to take matters into your own hands and find a very selective person who can help you get marijuana. Use juris prudence and get the help you need. It was good to hear your doctors felt you should be using it as a way to help you! I was fired off a job too when I hurt my neck and know the rigors of all that’s involved! Good luck to you and God bless you-don’t give up please!

  6. As a spine injured patient with awful and constant neuropathy-from lumbar region to feet-the burning pain is too hard to take without some kind of help. None of the many pain killers and NASAIDS I was on stopped any of the burning. My kidneys started to show damage so I weaned off everything and will admit that smoking marijuana helps. I am not ashamed to say and we badly need cannabis reform to make it a legal medicine instead of a schedule 1 drug! I am 71 years of age and so I have lived through a lot of things and I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday. What’s going on with the FDA and our government is worse than a crying shame. I have no respect or trust for either anymore and I’ve never seen any of my pot smoking friends commit any crimes!! Bullshit is as bullshit does!

  7. I have recently been dinosed with tremors that are similar to Parkinson’s Disease that were caused by the herbicides I used at work. I was in the employ of a municipal parks system until they forced me out , before I could get my pension. The first effects that the glysophate based chemicals caused was a decrase ibg eyesight, which is what they used to force me out, now I am dealing with the tremors. Doctors for both diseases say that Medical marijuana use would help to reverse my systoms but it is not legal in this state. They are educated professionals who recommend it but they government is just letting me go after all the years. I am now 62 and need some relief.

  8. Political argument for marijuana.

    By “law” you can defend ourselves from any and all health risks, so if smoking marijuana can reduce the risk of cancer then its an automatic legal substance, even if you don’t have cancer it can still be used to prevent the potential of getting cancer, 
    The law won’t let u have help to kill yourself but the government is already doing that by making a natural cure illegal, but a created one with potentially unforseen side effects descuvered because of death is fine! 
    Bob Marley showed that peace is easier to see when you relax into urself as u look upon the problems all around, that is his message, he sang for it and died because of it, who is the next one to suffer for the dream of a peaceful united world, if I would catch that bullet if it meant others would be closer to peace, I see marijuana as a tool to relax my mind and focus on the real problem, it starts with one thing then it ripples out into everything, cause marijuana and effect music thet makes u think twice about what the future has the potential to be,
    I’m just a Word Smith with the potential to make this world far more beautiful than others believe.
    What happens if marijuana is legalized and placed under the same limits as alcohol,
    1, it can be taxable so the government can reduce taxes elsewhere,
    2, if u sell it at a fair price it will end the import, export of illegal substances (as the government will make a deal with other governments for purchase) helping the world economy,
    3, if its cheaper than a dealers offer then it will reduce crimes that are to feed drug habits (as its more affordable) 
    4, those with a problem would feel more at ease seeking help (as it will be regarded on the same line as alcohol) 
    5 better songs to listen to that chill the mind into peaceful thoughts of the future,
    6, can’t have a drug war over legal substances 
    7, the ingredients will be on the package (in this case “marijuana and nothing else”)
    8, it helped me to think like this, so why not others?
    9, it is natural on the planet, are u going to deny your self a gift from God, if people trust that there is a purpose for everything in this universe then why wouldn’t marijuana be part of that?
    10, that’s how the law is meant to be who is anyone to deny another’s bliss, 
    So yes I would catch that bullet, because I believe in law being equalaacross the board, like people should be.
    Thank you for ur time, I’m here all week.

  9. Medical marijuana helps to fight glaucoma by lowering eye pressure which helps to relieve pressure surrounding the optic nerve cable.

  10. There are many medical uses of marijuana such as AIDS, Eye diseases like Glaucoma, Nausea and vomiting. It is primarily use for relief instead of cure. It also prevents cancer and brain trauma.

  11. You guys are all dopes. Just because other bad things are legalized i.e. tobacco and alcohol, doesn’t mean that something only slightly less appealing and bad should also be. Alcohol was legalized because of the fading influence of prohibition and the multiple gangs led by Al Capone. Many businesses were established on alcohol during the 1920’s and was finally legalized by the 21st amendment. Tobacco is still legal because, not only was our country, assuming you are all from the United States, started through the plantations of it, but is okay in war. And what of Marijuana? Nothing.

  12. most people look at marijuana as a bad thing if you think about you have cancer u never feel like eating when you get into a bad state why not pull out a blunt and get the munchies

  13. I have advanced cancer, and I was given by my MD 180 vicodin with 3 refills and more if I wanted them. I don’t want this medication, I don’t want to be sleeping, addicted, I want to be functional in my last days. So medical marijuana is my answer. I still drive, shop, still live life to the best of my abilities while using MM. If I was using Vicodin I could not do this. With MM you can use more or less and I can control how much to take, so that I can still do everyday activities. Don’t put down MM until you are in the place I and others are in.

  14. Our brains include cannabinoid receptors to regulate appetite, pain, mood and memory. That cannabis binds to these receptors is an illogical argument for use of marijuana. In the logic of your argument, we should all be using opiates because we also have opioid receptors in our central nervous system!

  15. It can be vaporized marinol and the other pill are processed and do not have all of the cannibinoids that the natural form of the plant have. Don’t forget all the cookies, brownies, chocolates, essential oils, etc. how can u ban a natural plant that our brains were made to use. That’s right why do our brains have THC receptors?

  16. I believe that medical marijuana should be used for mental health issues. There are people that have severe mental health issues that regular medication does not help, like myself. Marijuana is the only thing that helps me.

  17. i have been diagnosed with bipolar and NEAD. non – epileptic seizures. When I was a teenager I never had non-epiliptic seizures until my period started. I see it helps alot with patient s with tremors which I have but always wondered if it would help my other problems since no other drug seems to help or control my symptoms. I have lost my career in the medical field becaue of it so at this point in time I could care less of the ramification. It is not legal in this state but is in other states I can stay in for a while.. Have awesome dr who at this point tries everything but not sure if she woud try this. Would it elp. Have migrianes too.

  18. I have an inoperable benign brain tumor, meningioma, that was treated by Stereotactic Radiation Surgery in 2008. It is still there, but not growing. Its location causes seizures and severe headaches/migraines that I take narcotics for. I would much rather get off the hard drugs and do marijuana, but in Oklahoma medical marijuana is illegal. So the state dispenses narcotics…What sense does that make? Even my pain management doctor said, if MM was legal, he would prescribe it for me, and graduate me down from the demoral and pain killers I am on now.

  19. I have ms i wish georgia would go ahead and approve the marijuana the medications i could take have too many side effects for me

  20. None of these comments on your website have helped me to learn anything about medical marijuana so for now I will go somewhere to look up medical marjuana. I would like to try medical marjuana for my disability that I have dealt with since I have been 13 years old (epilepsy) and if medical marjuana will help me in Dec. then I would like to try it. I would really like medical marjuana too if it decreases your appetite, helps you to loose weight, helps you with headaches because I have been dealing with that for years.

  21. Marijuana maybe addictive for some people but if you take it at a low dosage I hope that it is not. It is worth trying though to help out some people’s disability. A lot of people have been on their medications for 20 years like I have been. Topamax for 20 years and Vimpat for 15 years.

  22. Hi Jame. You’ll have to consult with a physician who prescribes marijuana for chronic illness. We are not qualified medical professionals who can recommend or advise on medications for illness.

  23. I have a sister who has been living with with M.S for over 3 decades. She is unable to move from her waist down, and is constantly in pain. This also affects her appetite and {needless to say} attitude. She is always on one treatment or another, but the prognosis looks bleak. Would Marijuana help her situation

  24. no because people would abuse it just like they do oxy cotton because we know that its a lab made herion..Just let them keep taking it in pill form

  25. Drinking alcohol is far worse for your health than smoking, or digesting marijuana. The prescription medications given to children for ADHD are far worse. Prescription drugs are expensive, most are addictive, and have most have at least some, if not many, unwanted side effects. America’s entire healthcare system has become way more about money, than for the health of its citizens.

    The illegalization of marijuana in America is all, and only, about money.

  26. I have a question. I know a man who has a card permitting him medical marijuana use. Is he allowed to smoke anywhere (We are in Washington State)? He claims there are no restrictions-He smokes while driving, smokes outside of grocery stores, and other family oriented places. I observed him smoke 3 joints in less than 1/2 hour in front of a family eating establishment. He received many negative comments but blew them off.

  27. when it comes to Medical Marijuana wouldn’t it be wiser to use it in its natural God given form. Yes you can relay on the goverment to provide a pill, but can you truely relay on them to provide a trust worthy product thats not cut with other harmful chemicals? It is safer to use it as is, there are other ways of consuming Medical Marijuana besides smoking. There are tea’s, rubs it can be turned into baked goods as well as hemp milk. Not to mention the goverment dosen’t truely consider Medical Marijuana to have Medical propertys. They make more money off it being illegal. If they were to regonize its true Medical values this long costly war on drugs would be over and they would loose another money maker. I say hail to God’s wonderful gifts and we should use them for the better of man kind.

  28. As a dentist I have prescribed things much worse than marijuana and I think the FDA is negligent in not providing smoking marijuana for legitimate medical problems. Equally I think that some of the ( Or all of the )carcinogens should be mentioned in the use. There are some 400 carcinogens in marijuana. I also think that habitual recreational users should not be covered by National health coverage.
    Dr Glen Whitten

  29. I’m 52 years old and because of job restrictions I have not smoked
    marijuana in over 30 years. I work outdoors and twice a year I suffer
    from extremely debilatating allergies. I use massive amounts of anti
    histamines that not only have dangerous side effects,but are also de
    bilatating in their own right. I can tell you that when I was in my youth
    smoking marijuana completely eradicated all my allergy symptoms. If
    anyone out there suffers from seasonal allergies and is able to use
    marijuana I would certainly give it a shot.

  30. Hi chevieman, This article was intended as a mirror article to the ways that people use “fake” diagnoses to get weed…which also occurs. I personally believe that what is one person’s medicine is another person’s poison. And that marijuana can certainly help people in pain. But the intention of this article is to outline the legitimate reasons for medical marijuana.

  31. I have RA and leaky gut which gives me allergies to a myriad of foods which in turn cause the Rhuematoid disease to flare. When you are in pain and it is excruciating day after day, you get to the point where you will try anything after having your guts forn up by pharmacueticals. When the people who think they should decide what other people can and can’t have get done spewing uneducated lies and further false propaganda I would like to give them some of what I have which is incurable and then lets see how they feel about restricting relief to people who live with excruciating pain every day..

  32. I have smoke pot since i’m 15 years old and will be 56 soon if pot caused lung cancer i should have been dead a long time ago.My wife never smoked pot in her life and died of lung cancer 12 years ago probably from tabbaco which the goverment says its ok to smoke.I’ve never missed a days work because i had smoked a couple of joints the night before but lots of guys could come to work because they were drunk the night before.Had two boys never laid a hand on my kids because i smoked pot but know lots who beat there wife or kids because they were drunk hey and thats alwright .I had heart attack not cause by pot but from tabbaco,the worse drug on the market and the goverment says it’s alwright.Before talking bad about pot you should get the facts straight.Thank you

  33. I thoroughly agree with each point you have made. As a student of the criminal justice field and a past TDCJ prison official I can see nothing wrong with decriminalizing marijuana and regulating its production, distribution and sale. It would be cost effective to local and state econmy as well as reducing overcrowding in our jails and prisons. This would in turn be even more cost effective!
    L. Gary

  34. R. Gibb-

    You make no sense and are just perpetuating myths with no evidence. What you’ve given is your own uneducated, unsupported opinion, which is clearly based on judgement and falsities.

    Just Google “Marijuana Does Not Cause Cancer” and you will find massive amounts of information to support this – huge studies, reports from a wide variety of news sources (so you cannot accuse the articles of being biased if you happen to dislike a particular news source or more than one news source).

    Educate yourself. It cracks me up that tobacco – which CLEARLY KILLS – is not only legal, but somehow able to get away with deceptive marketing strategies that amount to researching how to get people to become hooked on their death-product. Alcohol is legal and kills many people in many ways – poisoning, drunk driving, violence, etc. How many reports do you find on overdosing on Marijuana, or violent potheads? It is laughable that people like you spew absolute verbal diarrhea and think you have any way of supporting your claims besides government-biased reports. They don’t want to legalize it simply because, while they could theoretically tax it, it would be hard to keep track of everyone growing it and thus they’d not make their money. They do not like the idea of something so medicinally useful being able to be grown simply by the average person. The medical industry, which is supposed to “help” us, is more concerned about profits than our well-being. This is the TRUE crime.

    For the record, I am not much of a drinker – maybe a few times in a matter of several years. I no longer smoke cigarettes, and the only reason I do not smoke pot is because of the drug-testing police at my job. It is not evil.

    Educate yourself before you have an opinion. An opinion is just an opinion. Facts are facts.


  35. Medical Marijuana “cures” nothing. As a matter of fact smoking it is as bad or worse for your lungs than smoking cigarettes. You can develop lung cancer from it. The only thing MM might due is decrease the upset stomach, relax you and increase your appitite. So, why not have the FDA approve a pill form if you get the same benefits? Oh, that’s right the dopers would rather grow their own and smoke it. That’s why. Until you get the recreational user out of the picture MM doesn’t have a chance. You know the 18 year old with a MM card for his aching big toe.

  36. Hey there, I was wondering if some of you has a hystory or tryed MMS? ‘m a bit ill and my friend has cancer so i am willing to try anything that could heal this ilness. I would really appreciate your opinions.

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