Reviewed by Michael Smith on May 27, 2016

Sources

American Cancer Society: “Marijuana and Cancer.”; Mayo Clinic: “Medical marijuana,” “Is medical marijuana legal?”; American Lung Association: “Marijuana and Lung Health.”

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Video Transcript

AREFA CASSOOBHOY: Medical marijuana. It's in the news as more and more states legalize it. But what is it used for?

Studies show that marijuana may help several conditions. It's most commonly prescribed for chemotherapy side effects like nausea, vomiting, or weight loss. Muscle spasms and stiffness caused by multiple sclerosis. Various pain syndromes and seizures.

It can be taken several ways. Inhaled, either through smoke or vapor, as an edible like in a cookie or an herbal tea, or as a liquid under the tongue.

But marijuana is not without side effects. It can cause dizziness, confusion, and drowsiness. It can worsen some mental illnesses like depression. And like cigarettes, when smoked, it can hurt your lungs.

So if you live in a legal state, talk to your doctor. Like any treatment, you can weigh the benefits and risks to determine if medical marijuana is right for you.

For WebMD, I'm Dr. Arefa Cassoobhoy.