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Andrea Chisolm, MD, is a board-certified OB/GYN who has taught at both Tufts University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School.

Based on current advisement from the NIDA, medical marijuana in its inhaled form should not be used in people who:

Mechanism of Action

Though marijuana has not been shown to be cause birth defects, the presence of cannabinoid receptors in the fetal brain suggests that marijuana may impact a child’s cognitive and behavioral development in later years.  

Practitioners of alternative medicine will frequently include menstrual cramps as one of the conditions that medical marijuana can help treat. Insofar as it has been reported to help relieve symptoms of endometriosis and interstitial cystitis, it would seem reasonable to assume that marijuana can help treat the cyclical cramps and pelvic pain that can occur with menstruation.  

The two most recognized cannabinoids in marijuana are:

The cannabis sativa plant has two main varieties that are grown for specific purposes:

Research indicates that CBD may reduce back pain by:

Ways CBD Treats Back Pain

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a new and relatively understudied treatment for pain, including back pain. Studies suggest it may help relieve inflammation, which is often a factor in chronic back pain. 1

Some studies suggest that CBD can have an effect on how an individual perceives pain, but more robust research is needed. CBD is generally considered a full-body treatment, which means that it does not target back pain specifically—except in the case of topical products—but contributes to an overall feeling of relaxation and pain relief.

Advocates of CBD believe it can be used to treat a range of conditions in addition to back pain, such as anxiety-related disorders. 5