Medicinal marijuana contains many compounds, called cannabinoids, that give cannabis its therapeutic value.
The main psychoactive agent in marijuana. THC stimulates receptors both in the central nervous system and the immune system. THC has a moderate analgesic effect making it appropriate for pain treatment. THC has synergy with other cannabinoids which increases the beneficial effects of natural marijuana products vs. synthesized versions i.e. Marinol.
Another main constituent of the cannabinoids present in marijuana is known to be a major anti-convulsant, is anti-inflammatory, and there is even evidence that it slows the progress of tumor cells.
These compounds allow marijuana to be used as a medical therapy for a number of conditions. Americans for Safe Access provides brochures with information about specific conditions:
Eight official conditions may qualify someone to become a medical marijuana patient in Colorado but those eight conditions expand to include the symptoms and qualifying conditions listed here.