In Brief
Weed. Does it really have incredible medical properties, or are people just trying to make excuses so they can get high? Science has the answers.

There has been a lot of debate recently about weed. Some hail it as a kind of magical cure-all. Others insist that people are just exaggerating the positive benefits of marijuana because of their personal drug tendencies and desires. So, what’s true? What does science say about it?

Well, there is certainly some merit in discussions about the medical benefits of marijuana. In a study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, scientists showed that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults. However, as is true of all drugs, it can also cause harm. A recent study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, looked at marijuana users who started using during their adolescence. In the paper, scientists asserted that, in regular users, there was substantially reduced connectivity among the brain areas that are responsible for learning and memory (not so great).

Ultimately, as is true of all things, there is a right way and a wrong way to use marijuana. Here, Dr. Sanjay Gupta tries to separate fact from fiction, explaining how marijuana affects the brain and detailing how this drug could be used to treat a number of conditions.