For years, marijuana and its components have been a topic of heated debate and speculation in the US. Many medical professionals across the world have acknowledged the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana, but there are a number of misconceptions surrounding marijuana and its safety. Addressing and debunking these myths to reduce stigma and help in evidence-based decision-making is essential. Using marijuana has its own medical benefits. However, people usually wonder if it’s safe or not. Will it be an addiction if they consume it? Does it really have any medicinal value? Or is it just another recreational escape? These questions are not uncommon, but don't worry; we will answer them all in this blog.
Common Misconceptions and The Reality
Before we start talking about the misconceptions, it is important to understand that not all marijuana is the same. They are different in their characteristics. Among many other components of marijuana, THC and CBD are known for their therapeutic effects. The FDA has also given its approval on THC-based medications like dronabinol (Marinol®) and nabilone (Cesamet®) for the treatment of nausea in cancer chemotherapy patients and to increase appetite in AIDS patients with wasting syndrome. However, it is highly recommended to consult medical marijuana doctors in Florida to understand if it is suitable for your health or not before consuming it.
Now that we have understood the basics let’s discuss the myths and the truth about medical marijuana.
Myth #1: Medical Marijuana Is Addictive Like Street Cannabis
One of the most common misconceptions is that medical marijuana is addictive in nature. However, medical researchers have found that marijuana can be used as a medicinal solution, and the risk of addiction to it is relatively low. The important fact is that you need to use it responsibly while following the prescribed dosage. Unlike street cannabis, medical marijuana is carefully regulated to ensure controlled and therapeutic outcomes. Not everyone who uses marijuana becomes addicted; addiction varies among individuals.
Myth #2: Medical Marijuana Impairs Cognitive Function Permanently
Another misconception revolves around the belief that using medical marijuana leads to permanent cognitive impairment. While it’s true that marijuana can temporarily affect memory and concentration, especially when consumed in high doses, research indicates that these effects are reversible and diminish once usage is discontinued. However, it is important to understand the nuances of cognitive effects. Following your doctor’s advice regarding dosage and frequency is highly recommended.
Myth #3: Smoking is the Only Way to Consume Medical Marijuana
People often think that consuming marijuana is only possible through smoking. However, doctors and specialists suggest that oral consumption is the best way to consume as it has many benefits due to its gentle effects. By oral consumption, it allows you to control the right amount of dosage and avoid respiratory issues. However, there are many other methods that exist as an alternative to smoking. So, patients can choose as per their preferences and health needs.
Myth #5: Using Cannabis Can Lead to Lung Cancer
The misconception that smoking medical marijuana is as harmful as tobacco is not grounded in scientific evidence. While smoking any substance can have respiratory effects, various alternative methods of consumption, such as vaporization or edibles, minimize these risks. Additionally, marijuana used as a medical supplement undergoes various steps of quality testing and checking to ensure it’s safe and pure so that it doesn’t harm your health.
Myth #6: Marijuana is a Gateway to Drugs
The idea that using medical marijuana acts as a gateway to more dangerous substances has long been a point of contention. However, contemporary research has denied this notion. Many studies have shown that there’s no direct link between medical marijuana and drugs. An analysis by NIDA shows that there’s only a 9% possibility that people who consume marijuana will become addicted, while the number is 17% when it comes to teenagers. This is much lower than the estimated impact of heroin or alcohol. Another important factor is when healthcare professionals recommend the usage of marijuana for any medical issues; they are trained to use it in a controlled and regulated dosage.
It is extremely important to reveal the truth against these misconceptions to promote a more accurate understanding of the safety of medical marijuana. Rigorous scientific research constantly supports the idea that when used responsibly and under the guidance of healthcare professionals, medical marijuana can offer therapeutic benefits with a relatively low risk of adverse effects. As with any medication, it’s the responsibility of patients to communicate openly with their healthcare providers about their medical history, current health status, and any concerns they may have.