Spotlight on Treatment of neurologic disorders with marijuana

Cannabis, which for much of the past century was relegated to the status of an oddity (at best) or a drug of abuse (at worst), has in recent years seen a resurgence in its public popularity and use. A number of recent studies show that a majority of Americans believe cannabis should be legalized, and its use has doubled in the last decade. Concordant to this groundswell of public opinion is the increasing public and medical perception of cannabis as a potential treatment for a variety of medical symptoms, including nausea, pain, and anxiety. Recent AAN guidelines as well as stories in the popular media have raised patient perception of its possible utility in a variety of specific neurologic conditions as well. This coincides with increasing legalization of the drug for a variety of health conditions.

Given the increasing availability and patient interest in the potential applications of cannabis, clinician understanding of the history, risks, pathophysiology, and available clinical data, both in animal and human studies, is essential to accurately educate patients and make informed decisions about whether its use could provide benefit for specific neurologic diseases. In this article, Dr. Jonathan Snider of the University of Michigan disucsses treatment of neurologic disorders with marijuana.

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