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GMHC Treat Issues. 1999 Apr;13(4):11-2.

IOM finds scientific merit to medical marijuana. Institute of Medicine.



The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has issued a report on the medical uses of marijuana, coming in the aftermath of voter referenda supporting its medical use. For the purposes of the study, marijuana was defined as unpurified plant substances ingested by eating or smoking. The IOM panel looked at the effects of cannabinoids, health risks associated with medical marijuana use, and the efficacy of medical marijuana. Cannabinoids offer broad-spectrum relief for a variety of conditions, but the health risks associated with smoking remain. Medical marijuana can help patients with nausea, vomiting, anorexia, headache, and pain. There are concerns expressed that the drug diminishes psychomotor performance, and patients using marijuana should not drive a car. There are also short-term immunosuppressive effects that warrant further study.

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