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A Future Revolution in Medical/Dental Therapeutics: Medical Marijuana

Paul J. Flaer, J. Gallegos


Dispensing and use of marijuana (Cannabis) and derivatives are restricted under federal statutory control in the United States as “SCHEDULE 1” substances (illegal drugs). However, at the state level (September 2016), “medical marijuana” is legal in 20 states plus “recreational marijuana” in four states and the districts of Columbia. Several other states have litigation for marijuana decriminalization on the November 2016 ballot. Pharmacotherapeutic use of marijuana and its derivatives may alter future prescribed use of opioid medications (most narcotic medicines) for pain control in medicine and dentistry—lowering the effective dose of the opioid when used in combination with marijuana. Although abuse of marijuana is still controversial, modern practitioners are beginning to incorporate “medical marijuana” into their clinical practice. Marijuana and its derivatives have been used for many indications in medicine and dentistry—some are supported by research evidence, however, many are not. Practitioners should take appropriate care that use of “medical marijuana” will benefit the patient and that such treatment is in the best interest of the patient.


Keywords: Medical marijuana, pain control, marijuana research, opioids, chronic illnesses

Cite this Article

Flaer P, Gallegos J. A Future Revolution in Medical/Dental Therapeutics: Medical Marijuana. Research & Reviews: Journal of Dentistry. 2016; 7(3): 1–6p.

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