Medical Applications

Dr. Benjamin Caplan is an industry leader in the application of medicinal cannabis to a variety of different conditions. Having overseen the treatment of over 250,000 patients, he has seen a wide variety of pathologies successfully treated through the usage of cannabinoids. The following sections address some of the diseases and conditions for which Dr. Caplan has most often seen patients. Should you or a loved one have a question about conditions below or an affliction not listed below, you are welcome to contact Dr. Caplan’s office to schedule an appointment.


Cancer affects tens of millions of Americans every year. Each type of cancer is characterized by distinct pathologies and, consequently, cancer treatment strategies are complex. However, despite these challenges, cannabinoids can play an important role in a treatment plans. There are many applications for medicinal cannabis that result in successful clinical outcomes for cancer patients. Studies show that, against both common and lesser known cancer cells, cannabinoids induce anti-tumor responses. Scientists have seen that medicinal cannabis can slow the proliferation of cancer cells, prevent tumors from forming blood vessels, and inhibit the spread of cancer. Additionally, there is conclusive evidence that cannabinoids are successful in the treatment of nausea and vomiting which often occur during chemotherapy or radiation therapy.  Patients also report considerable benefit from cannabis treatments for cancer pain.


Epilepsy, a spectrum of chronic neurological disorders in which abnormal electrical discharges in the brain cause seizures, affects approximately 65 million people worldwide and can severely decrease quality of life. The anticonvulsant effects of cannabis have been known for centuries but they have only recently been applied to the treatment of epilepsy. Research shows that patients who utilized medicinal cannabis saw significant improvements characterized by dramatic decreases in seizure frequency and recovery of cognitive functions. Medicinal cannabis is a particularly viable treatment option for the approximately 30% of patients whose conditions are not successfully controlled by traditional Antiepileptic drugs. In one study, a patient affected by a particularly drug-resistant form of epilepsy, who was experiencing dozens of seizures a day, saw a complete disappearance of major motor seizures and only isolated myoclonic jerks.

Mental Health/PTSD

There is a broad spectrum of mental health disorders to which medicinal cannabis is applicable. Evidence exists showing cannabidiol as an effective treatment for patients suffering from anxiety disorders, depression, sleep disorders, schizophrenia and other psychoses. A major reason that medicinal cannabis is often a viable treatment plan for many such disorders is due to the fact that it has far fewer serious side effects than other medications. One specific area where Dr. Caplan has seen a growing need is the treatment of patients with one of the most complicated, and most debilitating mental health disorders: Post Traumatic Stress Order (PTSD). Studies suggest that the usage of medicinal cannabis decreased the severity of some of the major symptoms (poor sleep quality, frequent nightmares, hyperarousal, etc.) experienced by patients with PTSD.

Skin Conditions

Dermatologic diseases such as pruritus, inflammatory skin disease, and dermatitis are often chronic situations that require medical treatment. They are also disorders for which medicinal cannabis is a viable treatment option. It has been shown, for example, that the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids can play a role in the treatment of psoriasis. Medicinal cannabis is also an option for the relief of skin irritation in conditions that are traditionally therapy-resistant. In one study, patients with prurigo, lichen simplex, and pruritus used a topical cannabinoid. The subjects saw an average itch reduction of 86.4%. Additionally, the therapy was well-tolerated by all patients with no burning sensations or contact dermatitis.

Pain Management

One of the most common medical applications for cannabinoids is analgesia and countering inflammation. For many Americans, various causes of muscle, joint, and back pain are chronic conditions that lead to a severely diminished quality of life. For patients suffering from acute pain after a traumatic event, pain management is also a crucial part of recovery: many patients do not know that the body’s healing mechanisms perform more efficiently when a person is not in pain. For both categories of pain, chronic and acute, medicinal cannabis is a beneficial option. At a time where opioid addiction is a Nationwide Public Health Emergency, cannabinoids present patients a non-addictive pain management option with no risk of overdose or withdrawals. It should be noted that in states that have legalized medicinal cannabis, the opioid death toll has dropped by a third.

Menstrual Cramps

Women who have been unsuccessful in alleviating pain associated with menstrual cramps using standard pain-management protocols often find that medicinal cannabis provides relief. The usage of cannabinoids for pain management and anti-inflammatory purposes has been long established, and menstrual cramps are a unique type of pain which cannabinoids effectively treat. Patients with severe menstrual cramps have experienced surprisingly fast relief through the usage of lotions and creams applied to the lower abdomen and lower back. Studies suggest that addressing the pain caused by menstrual cramps by targeting cannabinoid pathways is effective, because the female reproductive tract has some of the highest levels of endogenous cannabinoids in the body.

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