7 Common Misconceptions About Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana has been in the news a lot lately, and for good reason. The benefits of medical marijuana are numerous and there is evidence to support its efficacy in treating many conditions including chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cancer, glaucoma, and nausea from chemotherapy treatments. However, there are some misconceptions about medical marijuana that need to be cleared up so people can make informed decisions before trying it themselves or supporting legislation for wider availability. In this article, we will discuss 7 misconceptions that people have about medical marijuana. Some of these are myths and some are based on bad information.
Why Are There Misconceptions About Medical Marijuana?
There are many misconceptions about medical marijuana. Some people think that it is just for getting high, but in reality, there are many medicinal purposes for the drug. Medical marijuana has been proven to help with chronic pain, nausea, and muscle spasms. It can also be used as an alternative treatment for HIV/AIDS patients who have lost their appetite because of the disease's side effects or to treat glaucoma patients who have elevated intraocular pressure which leads to blindness. Despite these benefits, there are misconceptions, here are 7 most misconceptions about medical marijuana:
1. Medical cannabis does not help with any illness.
This is not true. Medical cannabis has been shown to help with a variety of illnesses, both chronic and acute. Some of these include cancer, AIDS/HIV, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. Cannabis oil has even been shown to kill cancer cells in vitro. While more research is needed on humans, the preliminary evidence is very promising. Cannabis oil is a safe and natural way to treat illnesses, without the risk of harmful side effects that come with many prescription medications.
2. Medical cannabis is a gateway drug, which leads to harder drug use.
The idea behind this misconception is that cannabis acts as a gateway to more dangerous drugs, like heroin or cocaine. The truth is the opposite, researchers found that there was no connection between medical marijuana and increased rates of regular substance abuse for either youth or adults. Some research has shown that opioid painkiller prescriptions decrease when states legalize medical cannabis suggesting it may substitute painkillers that are far more addictive than weed. Furthermore, there's even evidence to suggest medical marijuana could help treat the addiction itself, turning the plant into something of an addiction-breaker rather than a gateway.
3. Using medical marijuana might result in psychological problems.
Many people believe that using medical marijuana might result in psychological problems. There are some cases where this is true, but if you’re looking to use medicinal cannabis for an existing mental health condition like anxiety or depression then the opposite has been found. Medical cannabis can help with these conditions by increasing serotonin levels and decreasing cortisol levels (stress hormone), which leaves patients feeling much calmer than they did before taking it. While there isn't a lot of research on how it affects those without pre-existing psychiatric disorders, many experts agree that its effects seem positive overall.
4. Medical cannabis will make you tired and uninterested.
This misconception is likely because many people who use medical cannabis for the first time do so in the evening, after work. However, when used correctly, medical cannabis can increase energy and productivity. Many patients report that they feel more alert and motivated after using medical cannabis. Some even say it helps them focus on tasks. This may be because cannabinoids like THC are known to stimulate activity in the brain. CBD oil, which is non-intoxicating may be a better choice for those looking for an energizing effect from their medication.
5. Those who use medical cannabis take it as an opportunity to smoke legally.
This could not be further from the truth. Many medical marijuana patients do not smoke cannabis at all. There are numerous ways to take in medical marijuana, including through edibles, tinctures, and topicals. Some patients even vape it or use a transdermal patch. Smoking medical cannabis is certainly an option for those who want it, but it’s not the only way to consume it.
6. You must smoke medical marijuana to reap its advantages.
This is not true. There are many different ways to take in medical marijuana, including through eating or drinking it, using vaporizers, and applying it topically. As long as the product you use has been tested and meets state requirements, there is no wrong way to consume it medicinally.
7. Medical cannabis kills brain cells.
People assume that because cannabis use can induce giggling fits, it causes irreparable harm to the brain. But this simply isn't true. Based on some information, heavy long-term or frequent users don’t damage their brains nor are they less able than nonusers when performing cognitive tests like mental calculations which require attentional skills such as memory recall, processing speed by determining how quickly one recognizes symbols.
We’ve addressed a few of the most common misconceptions about medical marijuana. This list is not exhaustive, but it should provide you with some food for thought if you have been considering incorporating this plant into your wellness regimen. If you are looking to talk more in-depth about any of these points, or want help implementing them in your life or business, give us a call today. Our team can answer any questions and work towards finding solutions that will best suit your needs.
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