Cannabis is emerging as an alternative treatment for a variety of medical and psychological conditions from cancer and arthritis to depression and insomnia. While the use of Cannabis as medicine is still a subject of debate, a number of benefits of Cannabis could make it a safer and better option for patients seeking alternative or supplemental therapies for their ailments.
Price: A CBS news editorial by Dr. Mitch Earleywine mentions that Cannabis can be markedly cheaper to use than certain prescription drugs. This is especially pertinent to patients in chronic pain who do not have medical insurance and need to pay out of pocket to see a doctor for a basic painkiller prescription. While THC, an active ingredient of Cannabis, is available as the legal, FDA approved prescription drug Marinol, Cannabis is substantially cheaper than Marinol.
Use by Inhalation: A number of prescription drugs are available to have the same benefits as Cannabis. For instance, an active ingredient of Cannabis is prescribed as the drug Marinol and is used in the treatment of nausea and loss of appetite. While Marinol is effective for treatment of nausea, it is taken as a pill, which can be a challenge for patients who have problems with ingestion, whereas inhalation of Cannabis smoke or vapor poses no problem. Furthermore, it takes more time for orally administered drugs to cycle through the body to relieve pain, nausea and symptoms of glaucoma compared to inhaled vapor or smoke from Cannabis.