Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana, is cannabis and cannabinoids that are prescribed by physicians for their patients. The use of cannabis as medicine has not been rigorously tested due to production and governmental restrictions, resulting in limited clinical research to define the safety and efficacy of using cannabis to treat diseases. Preliminary evidence suggests that cannabis can reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and reduce chronic pain and muscle spasms.
The Cannabis plant has a history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years in many cultures. Some medical organizations have requested removal of cannabis from the list of Schedule I controlled substances, followed by regulatory and scientific review. Others oppose its legalization, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics.