For over 4,800 years, Cannabis/Marijuana have been used medically for a variety of ailments. The effects and properties of cannabis have been recognized in historical texts in a multitude of cultures and regions - texts from China, Greece, and Persia are some of the regions of which confirmed texts depict medicinal use of cannabis.
Cannabis was used as a superb pain reliever until the invention of aspirin came into use. Other ailments and maladies that cannabis were used for were: migraines, insomnia/sleeping aid, analgesic, and anticonvulsant. However, in 1937, it was banned with the 1937 marijuana tax act.
Researchers and scientists over the years and with recent discoveries have identified also that cannabis use can relieve intraocular pressure - aiding in glaucoma patients (since high pressure in such patients cause blindness). It also serves a vital function in aiding patients in preventing the wasting syndromes / chronic appetite loss associated with chemotherapy treatment and AIDS.
synthetic THC is on the medical market as Marinol - however, many patients have abondoned its use due to widespread problems with it.
Medical cannabis refers to the use of the drug Cannabis as a physician recommended herbal therapy, most notably as an antiemetic. The term medical marijuana post-dates the U.S. Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, the effect of which made cannabis prescriptions illegal in the United States.
Due to widespread illegal use of cannabis as a recreational drug its legal or licensed use in medicine is now a controversial issue in most countries.
There are many studies regarding the use of cannabis in a medicinal context. Cannabis was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 until 1942, however the United States federal government does not currently recognize any legitimate medical use, although there are currently seven patients receiving cannabis for their various illnesses through a Federal Medical Marijuana program that was closed to new patients by President George H. W. Bush. (See also DEA). Regardless, Francis L. Young, an administrative law judge with the Drug Enforcement Agency, has declared that "in its natural form, (cannabis) is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known."