CA NORML Medical Marijuana Information


Uses of Medical Marijuana

California's Proposition 215 allows medical marijuana to be used for ANY serious condition for which marijuana provides relief. Cannabis has a remarkably wide spectrum of medical uses, ranging from chronic pain, muscle spasticity, nausea and appetite loss to psychiatric conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

Following is a survey of conditions reported by medical cannabis specailist Dr. Tod Mikuriya. Altogether, Dr. Mikuriya has recorded over 250 indications for medical cannabis, as classified by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9). Following is a compilation of diseases reported by 2,480 of Dr. Mikuriya's 9,000 patients, according to the primary indication for which the patients were diagnosed. In practice, many patients report more than one indication. One of the most important uses of cannabis is as a substitute for other, more dangerous or costly pharmaceutical drugs. Many patients report substantial reductions in use of narcotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills and other drugs. This usage is not reported below, because it does not count as a "primary indication."

Because of government restrictions on research, very few of marijuana's medical indications have been clinically studied. For a survey of recent medical marijuana research, see www.cannabis-med.org,(International Assoc. for Cannabis Medicine) "Recent Research on Medical Marijuana," (NORML, 2006), and "Human Studies on Medical Use of Marijuana" (Cal NORML, 1996).

 

  Summary of 2480 Medical Marijuana Patients

 Interviewed by Dr. Tod Mikuriya

 

Source:  Dale Gieringer, "Medical Use of Cannabis in California," in Franjo Grotenhermen, M.D. & Ethan Russo, M.D.,  ed.,  Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Potential,  Haworth Press, 2002

 

           

Nausea & Appetite Loss

  Total:                                                              113    = 4.6%

hepatitis                                                             42

AIDS/HIV                                                        25

cancer*                                                               29

nausea, other                                                    17

* includes chemotherapy patients w/ nausea & others w/ post-operative pain, etc.

 

Spasms, Convulsions                                        

  Total                                                               228    =9.2%

head, brain injury                                            45

epilepsy                                                             25

spasm                                                                23

quad/paraplegia                                              21

lower back pain                                               20

MS                                                                      15

colitis                                                                  19

pylorospasm                                                      9

post-Polio                                                            7

 others                                                               44

(cerebral palsy, Tourettešs, et al.)

                                                                               

Analgesia / ŗImmunomodulatory Anti-Inflammant˛

 

  Total                                                            1133    = 45.7%

 

(A) Migraine and Neuralgias                          

      Subtotal:                                                    179    = 7.2%

migraine                                                          127

neuropathy                                                       22

sinusitis                                                              12

psychogenic pain                                              5

other pain,  neuralgias                                    13

 

(B) Arthritis                                                         

   Subtotal                                                        433    =17.5%

arthritis, post-traumatic                                      318

arthritis, degenerative                                        37

fibromyalgia                                                         21

arthropathy                                                          22

myofascial pain                                                    11

rheumatoid arthritis                                            10

psoriatic arthritis                                                  5

other arthritis                                                       9

   (inc. lupus, polyarthritis et al)

 

(C) Spinal & Skeletal Disorders:

   Subtotal                                                        366    =14.8%

lumbosacral back disease                                   175

disks & vertebra diseases                                   88

scoliosis                                                                 33

spondylolisthesis                                                 12

spinal stenosis                                                      7

spondylosis                                                           6

other spinal                                                           12

sacrum disorder                                                   11

other skeletal                                                        22

 

(D)   Injury, trauma

   Subtotal                                                          57    =2.3%

sprain, whiplash                                               36

carpal tunnel                                                     12

other trauma                                                      9

                                                                               

(E) Gastrointestinal:                                          

   Subtotal                                                          68    =2.7%

gastritis                                                              50

peptic ulcer                                                       10

Crohn's Disease                                                 5

other intestinal                                                   3

 

(F) Other Inflammatory                                 30    =1.2%

   (endometriosis, panniculitis, pruritis et al.)

 

 

                                                                               

Mood Disorders                                                 

  Total                                                               660    = 26.6%

post-traumatic stress disorder                     274

depression                                                      162

anxiety disorder                                               73

dysthymic disorder                                         46

bipolar disorder                                               34

schizophrenia                                                   26

attention deficit disorder                                15

obsessive compulsive  disorder                      8

panic disorder                                                    5

other psychiatric                                              17

 

Insomnia                                                              

   Total                                                                71    = 2.9%

                                                                               

 

 

Harm Reduction / Substitution

   Total:                                                             136    = 5.5%

alcohol dependency                                      118

opiate dependency                                            8

others                                                                10

 

Glaucoma & eye diseases

   Total:                                                               24    = 1.0%

glaucoma                                                          15

others                                                                  9

(drusen cyst, disease of conjuntiva, et al)

 

Asthma:

  Total                                                                 53    =2.1%

 

Miscellaneous:

   Total                                                                62    = 2.5%

Pre-Menstrual Stress                                       24

Lyme disease                                                      8

hypertension                                                      7

others                                                                23

   (tinnitus, Menierešs disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, et al.)


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