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Dr. Carl Hart says it’s true – medical marijuana can be good for your health. It’s healing properties have been found to produce relief for all kinds of ailments from Alzheimer’s disease to MS.

Dr. Hart, a PhD who is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University and the Co-Director in the Institute of African-American Studies, should know. He is also a Research Scientist in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and on the board of directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the Drug Policy Alliance.

His recent book, High Price, is about the racism inherent in drug enforcement policies. Hart obviously knows of what he speaks and he believes that medical marijuana is a viable healing solution that is finally making its way to mainstream acceptance.

Follow Dr. Carl Hart on Twitter @drcarlhart or check out his blog.

Why do you get the munchies after firing one up?

Marijuana interacts with brain systems that are responsible for increasing appetite.

Can kidney transplant patients use it and what are the benefits for transplant patients? I was reading somewhere it said it could be harmful, is that true?

It is not recommended because it can negatively interact with the other medications used.

Is medical marijuana for diabetes?

No, not to my knowledge.

Is medical marijuana addictive?

All psychoactive drugs are potentially addictive. Marijuana’s addictive potential is relatively low.

My wife was on six different medicines for her Epilepsy and none worked. The Doctors said there’s nothing they could do so they dropped her. Our last result was to try marijuana and it worked. How can she get it prescribed in Florida without having to take all those meds again?

Medical marijuana is not yet legal in Florida. But, she – with the help of her doctor – can apply for the medical use of marijuana through the federal program.

How does medical marijuana help patients with MS?

It helps with the pain and spasms that may occur.

How will legalized marijuana affect the obesity rate in U.S.?

I don’t expect the legal status of marijuana to impact the obesity rate. The vast majority of marijuana smokers are within their normal weight range.

Why does it seem that the chemical drug have worst side effects than the planet marijuana?

All drugs have side effects whether they are synthetic- or plant-based. The key to decreasing side effects is related to the dose – the larger the dose, the more side effects.

Is it a generic brand?

The plant is the generic version.

My child suffers from drug resistant seizures, need CB’d legalized in NC. Do you expect this to happen across more states?

Yes, I expect more states to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, especially for resistant seizures.

Doc, isn’t there medicinal weed without THC ?

Yes, people have bred marijuana that is higher in Cannabidol (CBD) relative to the amount THC.

For the Doctor. …have any links been found between extensive marijuana use and neurological disorders such as Parkinson diseasr?


Doctor has marijuana been tried for anorexic patients? Has anyone researched or thought about it even though the problem is treated psychologically?

There is research showing a connection between the brain’s own marijuana system and anorexia, but I am unaware of anyone treating anorexia with marijuana. I suspect there will be studies on this very soon.

Regarding medical marijuana has it been proven to help with panic attics and anxiety?

Anecdotally, some suggest it may be useful. But, marijuana at larger doses has been shown to precipitate these symptoms.

How is medical marijuana used for patients with multiple sclerosis?

It’s usually smoked for this condition. Many people have reported beneficial effects.

Dr. can medical marijuana be prescribed for ED?

I am not aware of anyone prescribing marijuana for ED.

I have MS and Spinal Stenosis and have had two back surgery I’m still walking thank God, but I’m always in chronic pain. Would that be better than all these pain pills?

There are many people with similar conditions as those that you described and they have chosen to try marijuana. Many are happy with their decision. So, I would suggest that you speak with your physician about this possibility.

Dr. H: clearly the medical marihuana provides symptom relief for a variety of conditions. Does it “cure” any conditions?

No. Most medication do not cure these conditions. They provide symptom relief. Aspirin doesn’t cure headaches; it relieves the symptoms.

Is smoking medical marijuana the only way to take it?

No, it can be administered by mouth.

If your Doctor prescribed marijuana for medicinal purposes and you come up positive on that employee drug test, how is that handled?

Your physician’s prescription should protect you from employment sanctions.

Photo: Beatrice de Gea

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