“What happens is you have the psychedelic, psychoactive effects on top of all of the toxins, which include things like benzene, toluene, and xylene. They are all carcinogenic agents,” Gross said.

Still he does see value in scientists isolating the “cannabinoids” to do more studies on the health impacts and standardizing the dosage.

“I look forward to that, but I look forward to doing that the right way,” Gross explained.

As for Corso, he would like to try it as long as it takes his pain away.

There are over 480 natural components found within the cannabis plant, of which 66 are classified as “cannabinoids.”

Advocates in Florida are fighting to legalize a strain, known as Charlotte’s Web, which is high in a non-hallucinogenic compound in cannabis.  They say it can reduce and even eliminate seizures in children and is already available in Colorado.

Read more about state laws across the country related to marijuana.

Additional information:

In 1972, the U.S. Congress placed marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act because they considered it to have “no accepted medical use.”  Since then 20 states, plus Washington, DC, have legalized the medical use of marijuana. However, these state marijuana laws do not change the fact that using marijuana continues to be illegal federally.  Nor do these state laws change the criteria for FDA approval of safety and effectiveness.  State laws vary greatly in their criteria and implementation, and many states are experiencing vigorous internal debates about the safety, efficacy, and legality of their marijuana laws. Many local governments are even creating zoning and enforcement ordinances that prevent marijuana dispensaries from operating in their communities.  States that legalized marijuana include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, DC.  Maryland has a law that allows medical marijuana use as a legal defense in court.  Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana and public consumption for medical reasons is still illegal.  (Source:whitehouse.gov/ondcp/state-laws-related-to-marijuana)

THE PROS:  Proponents of medical marijuana argue that it can be a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, pain, epilepsy, and glaucoma. Now, new research has revealed that chemical compounds found in cannabis may help to reduce brain damage following a stroke.  Researchers at the University of Nottingham conducted a meta-analysis of experimental studies into cannabinoids; chemicals related to those found in cannabis, some of which also occur naturally in the body.  The findings show that the compounds could reduce the size of stroke and improve neurological function. Also, research published by the National Institute of Health has found that cannabinoid-based medicine administered through IV may provide a method of helping an indicial resuscitate from cardiac arrest. Another study performed on mice and rats at the National Cancer Institute suggests that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. (Source:biosciencetechnology.com/news/2013/12/cannabinoids-can-limit-neurological-stroke-damage#.UtcKD7SCUtV  and ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24346544 and http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4)

THE CONS:  Opponents of medical marijuana argue that it is too dangerous to use, lacks FDA-approval, and that various legal drugs make marijuana use unnecessary.  They say marijuana is addictive and can lead to harder drug use.  They also claim that marijuana use interferes with fertility, impairs driving ability, and injures the lungs, immune system, and brain.  Heavy marijuana use lowers men’s testosterone levels and sperm count and quality.  Pot could also decrease libido in some heavy-smoking men.  Many experts believe that marijuana is physically addictive.  Symptoms of withdrawal from pot might include: