We all know that marijuana has a negative public image after so many years of being illegal nationwide and stereotyped as addictive. Users of marijuana were, of course, criminals, idlers and dangers to law abiding citizens. This stereotype was sustained in movies, the news media and politicians campaigning for votes as anti-drug activists.

And now, with a little help from the fields of science, medicine and healthcare, it turns out that marijuana may have got a bad rap. It seems that marijuana is finally getting its due, even though it can’t escape debate and controversy — yet. People are still in prison for using and selling marijuana, so it will take a while for wholesale public acceptance of marijuana for recreational use on the same level as the much more addictive alcohol, for example.

Medical and health benefits are casting marijuana in a more positive light, with a new term, “medical marijuana,” in the spotlight. We’re talking about marijuana attained by a doctor’s prescription for legitimate healthcare purposes, Additionally, researchers have been reporting all the good news about marijuana when it comes to relieving pain and its benefits to cancer patients. A growing number of U.S. states— 33 at last count— have legalized marijuana for medical purposes with a third of them decriminalizing it for recreational use.

What are marijuana’s medical and health benefits?

Relief from Pain…

There are so many ailments, injuries and conditions that are the source of unrelenting pain. We know what happened with opioids, which were prescribed indiscriminately for years, unleashing an epidemic. Medical marijuana offers relief from chronic pain caused by various conditions, and there is no such thing as a fatal marijuana overdose. Pain not only causes suffering, but it also makes it difficult, if not impossible, for many to lead normal lives and to be physically active. Pain not only hampers mobility but interferes with productive and gainful employment and active social and leisure lives. Personality and emotions are also affected when severe and chronic pain holds sway over your life. It can change personalities mobility, moods, emotions, and even job opportunities and leisure activities.

Cannaboids in marijuana (cannabis) have been shown to relieve pain by connecting with the brain — without the addictive properties of many pharmaceutical pain relievers.

Treating anxiety and depression…

There are other kinds of pain than physical suffering. There is also emotional suffering   We know that physical pain can be relieved through cannabis, but emotional pain in the form of conditions such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Cannabis has been found to work effectively on mood disorders, especially on patients taking psychiatric medications. Prescription cannabis has something else rare in prescription drugs. There are virtually no negative side effects of consequence.

Cancer cells KO’d by cannabis…

Suffering cancer patients are already getting relief from medical marijuana, and there is hope that cannabis will attack cancer itself. Researchers have conducted studies on rodents where their cancer cells have reportedly been shrunken by marijuana.

Smoking weed good for lungs?

Compared to smoking tobacco, toking marijuana is apparently an improvement and there is evidence it might actually improve the efficiency of the lungs. There is even evidence that lung function of marijuana smokers is better than non-smokers. Stay tuned.

Improving creativity and eloquence…

It should not come as a surprise that ingesting marijuana actually improves creativity, with gains in verbal fluency being especially impressive. Some of our most creative and eloquent people admit to recreational use of marijuana.

Athletes say they perform better with cannabis…

Believe it or not, some athletes credit marijuana with improving their performance, according to one study. They also profess that they recover quicker from their exertions during training and competition.

These are some of the benefits of prescription marijuana.