medical marijuana

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Medical Marijuana

What it is: Use of the cannabis plant, in its whole form or as pills, oils, or extracts, for health-related purposes.

Science says: "Cannabinoids bind to special receptors in the brain that are responsible for controlling many physiological systems, including pain," says Mark Ware, MD, associate professor of family medicine and anesthesia at McGill University in Montreal. A study in The Journal of Pain reveals that people with chronic pain who used medical marijuana for a year showed significant improvements compared with their non-cannabis-using peers.

Best for: A variety of chronic pain conditions, but particularly those related to neuropathic pain, which is caused by nerve damage.