In 1996, the state of California was the first state in the country to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Since that time, 33 states and Washington, D.C., have jumped onboard and legalized medical marijuana. Even though medical marijuana is perfectly legal in these states, there are strict regulations in place. In most states, doctors are only allowed to prescribe it to treat certain conditions.

Here are three conditions that medical marijuana is legal to treat in most states.

1. Epilepsy

When there is unusual nerve cell activity in the brain, it results in recurrent seizures. This condition is called epilepsy. It is the fourth most common neurological condition in the United States. People can easily injury themselves when having a seizure.

This makes epilepsy a dangerous condition. Seizures can also cause strokes and other medical issues. Doctors normally prescribe anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) to help reduce seizure activity. It's becoming increasingly common for doctors to prescribe medical marijuana, which controls seizures related to epilepsy.

2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a type of disorder that happens as a result of experiencing a trauma or very stressful situation. PTSD is often associated with disturbing thoughts and feelings. Other symptoms include:

  • Having vivid flashbacks and nightmares
  • Becoming easily angered
  • Feeling jumpy
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Having flashbacks and nightmares

Many people with PTSD also avoid certain places that are reminders of the trauma they experienced. Some even avoid people they associate with the trauma.

Medical marijuana has been proven to improve the endocannabinoid system. This system in the body is responsible for physiological processes in the body. When doctors prescribe medical marijuana to treat PTSD, certain memories are no longer retrievable, which minimizes the feelings associated with trauma. Medical marijuana also promotes happiness and decreases anxiety. This also helps those with PTSD.

3. Cancer

Cancer occurs in the body when abnormal cells divide and destroy body tissue. Cancer can happen nearly anywhere in the body including the lungs, breast, skin, colon, liver, kidney, and lymph nodes. When cancer strikes, doctors often recommend a type of cancer treatment called chemotherapy. This treatment uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. Even though it can be highly effective, there are usually many negative side effects.

Where it is legal to do so, doctors prescribe medical marijuana to help alleviate certain symptoms of cancer treatment including nausea and vomiting. Medical marijuana can also help to reduce pain and neuropathy, which are common symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatments.