Medical Marijuana news and information.Medical cannabis (also referred to as medical marijuana) is the use of cannabis and its constituent cannabinoids such as THC as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy. The Cannabis plant from which the cannabis drug is derived has a long history of medicinal use, with evidence dating back to 2,737 BC.Although the extent of the medicinal value of cannabis has been disputed, and despite the opposition to research and use put forward by most national governments, it does have several well-documented beneficial effects. Among these are: the amelioration of nausea and vomiting, stimulation of hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients, lowered intraocular eye pressure (shown to be effective for treating glaucoma), as well as gastrointestinal illness. Its effectiveness as an analgesic has been suggested (and disputed), as well.There are several methods for administration of dosage, including vaporizing or smoking dried buds, smoking, drinking, or eating extracts, and taking capsules. The comparable efficacy of these methods was the subject of an investigative study conducted by the National Institutes of Health.Synthetic cannabinoids are available as prescription drugs in some countries. Examples include Marinol, available in the United States and Canada, and Cesamet, available in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and also in the United States.While cannabis for recreational use is illegal in all parts of the world, though decriminalized in some, its use as a medicine is legal in a number of territories, including Canada, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Israel, Italy, Finland, and Portugal. In the United States, federal law outlaws all cannabis use, while permission for medical cannabis varies among states. Distribution is usually done within a framework defined by local laws. Medical cannabis remains a controversial issue worldwide.