Helpful Insights forPatients and Caregivers
What is marijuana?

Medical marijuana is marijuana used to treat medical conditions. This is allowed by some states, but not the U.S. government.1 Recreational marijuana is marijuana used by a person to “get high” rather than treating a medical condition. This is legal in some states.2

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and American Medical Association’s (AMA) position on marijuana is that there is not enough evidence to support its use, and there is a high risk of abuse and misuse.3
Most marijuana-based products are not FDA-approved, therefore they are not held to the same standards as other medications.3


  1. Definitions. Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Statutes ORS 475.300-475.346.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Marijuana. National Institute of Drug Abuse. June 2018.
  3. Zaman T, et al. Position Statement on Marijuana as Medicine. American Psychiatric Association. 2013.
  4. Klumpers LE, Thacker DL. A Brief Background on Cannabis: From Plant to Medical Indications. J AOAC Int.   2018;101:1-9.
  5. De Aquino JP, et al. The Psychiatric Consequences of Cannabinoids. Clin Ther. 2018; 1-9.
  6. The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Committee’s Conclusions. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine. 2017.
  7. Hanson K. State Medical Marijuana Laws. National Conference of State Legislatures. 2018.
  8. Recreational Marijuana Laws. The Policy Surveillance Program, Temple University. 2015.  
  9. Manseau MW, Goff DC. Cannabinoids and Schizophrenia: Risks and Therapeutic Potential. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):816–824. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0382-6.