Marijuana versus Medical Marijuana
There is no difference. Calling marijuana “medicine” does not change any of the research or health effects.
Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug under Federal law, making it illegal to possess or use without Federal approval due to its high potential for abuse. Nevertheless, medical research has determined that marijuana may be effective for a few medical conditions and which the federal government has made available for doctors to prescribe.
Marinol and Cesamet are a synthetic pill form of THC that relieves nausea and vomiting: usually used to reverse weight loss in AIDS and cancer patients. It is already currently available by prescription in the United States.
Sativex is a nasal spray used to treat certain pain associated with cancer and muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis. Sativex has been approved by Canada, New Zealand and eight European countries for use with a prescription. It is currently undergoing medical trials in the United States.
Medical research is currently ongoing to test its effectiveness in regards to stopping or slowing certain types of seizures.
For most pain management, so far medical research indicates marijuana is usually less effective than current non-prescription and prescription medicines.