OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - In recent years there's been a shift in the attitudes about marijuana, particularly for its medical benefits.
Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly has been the director of the "Marijuana Project" at Ole Miss since 1981.
"We here at the University of Mississippi, are in the process of developing other products that could be used in developing it from the plant material that would have good biological activity, good therapeutic potential without having to smoke the drug," said Dr. ElSohly.
Currently in the United States, marijuana is legal in some form for medical use only in several states and the District of Columbia.
However, Dr. ElSohly says legalization is not the way to go.
"You know, people just use that as a way of having access to the drug. Not really because they have a medical condition that can benefit from marijuana," said Dr. ElSohly.
According to Dr. ElSohly, THC, which is the main component in marijuana, does have therapeutic potential, which is why he says it's been approved by the FDA for two indicates; the nausea of cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy, and wasting syndrome in AIDS patients.
"If one uses marijuana for one of those indications, they will probably get some relief," said Dr. ElSohly.
He says the problems attached to smoking it are the 500 different chemicals that come attached with the relief.
"Literally, one would be ingesting thousands of chemicals in order to get the benefits of the one THC that you can get if you develop pharmaceutical formulation that will deliver just the THC that you're looking for," Dr. Elsohly said.