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10 Common Misconceptions About Medical Marijuana

medical marijuanaMany have already found that cannabis offers a plethora of therapeutic benefits but, not everyone is convinced. These opponents adamantly deny that it can be helpful and cite various myths to back up their assertions. As a result, the negative perception that follows this healthful herb makes some who can benefit from its use hesitant about trying it out.

This ends today, we are here to put your mind at ease right here and now. Virtually everything you’ve heard that vilifies medical cannabis is likely based on personal perception. And, it wasn’t always like this. In fact, in the early 20th century, many physicians used cannabis to treat a variety of ills.

This practice changed around the late 1930s when propaganda films like Reefer Madness were created. In this film, drug dealers tempted teens into cannabis use, promiscuous sex and other types of bad behavior.

This film, and others like it, convinced the masses that cannabis was an evil drug and using it had horrible side effects. The resulting paranoia led to the government declaring the plant to be an illegal substance.

As you can see, the cannabis deception is not a new phenomenon. And, as a result, even cannabis lovers aren’t always able to separate myth from fact. To help you climb out of the rabbit hole, check out ten of the most common misconceptions below.

Misconception #1: Medical cannabis is addictive

Truth be told, there is some credence to this myth. Medical cannabis is, in fact, addictive to approximately 9% of users. But, for the vast -majority of tokers, this is simply not the case. They can take it or leave it without requiring hospitalization or other drastic measures.

There are also some who have developed a dependency for cannabis. But, it has been proven that this herb isn’t as physically addicting as tobacco and caffeine. Those horrible headaches that coffee drinkers get when they miss their morning cup of joe? It doesn’t happen with cannabis. In fact, people recovering from life-threatening addiction to opiates, and other harmful drugs, often use cannabis to help them deal with withdrawal symptoms.

Misconception #2: Medical cannabis doesn’t work

There isn’t much scientific research out there about medical cannabis because it is listed as a Schedule I Drug. That is, in the eyes of the federal government, cannabis is just as dangerous as LSD and heroin. This Schedule I classification prevents scientists from performing long-term studies.

Still, it’s important to note that, scientists have been able to find some loopholes. And, virtually all the research and trials that they’ve been able to perform prove that medical cannabis has medicinal properties.

To get the most out of your cannabis treatment, you must arm yourself with information. By doing your research, you can make it easier to find the best strain and dosage for your needs. Read books and articles, do online searches, consult with a medical professional who knows about medical cannabis – all these sources can be incredibly helpful.

If none of these options are available to you, consider asking the budtenders at your local dispensaries for advice. To do their jobs properly, they must be well-versed in the specific strains found at their location as well as their medicinal benefits. And, if you don’t get the desired effects with one product, try another one or tweak your dosage until you get optimal results.

Misconception #3: Medical Cannabis is a Gateway Drug

Many of us have heard this fallacy at least once throughout our lives but, it’s simply not true. Using cannabis will not lead to the use of harder, illegal drugs. In other words, patients don’t have to worry about getting addicted to cocaine or heroine simply because they were prescribed cannabis.

In fact, a study by JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) acknowledged that although using cannabis in your youth has been associated with some instances of drug abuse, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that it will lead to addiction later in life.

Misconception #4: Medical Cannabis can kill you

There have been zero reports of anyone dying from cannabis because it’s impossible to consume a lethal amount of this herb. In fact, a 1988 petition states that in order for someone to die from medical cannabis, they would have to consume about 15,000 pounds within 15 minutes.

Truth be told, many prescription meds are deadlier than cannabis.  Furthermore, medical cannabis is now used to help those suffering from drug addiction. In fact, it’s a common treatment for those addicted to methamphetamines. Medical cannabis has even been proven to help opiate addicts going through detox.

And, that’s not all – recent studies performed in the states where medical cannabis is legal have revealed some fascinating insights. These states have witnessed a drop in the number of pharmaceutical drug deaths. In other words, cannabis saves lives, it doesn’t take them.

Misconception #5: Medical Cannabis will make you lazy and unmotivated

There are some cannabis strains that will relax you to the point of laziness but, they aren’t inherently bad. You have to know when and how to use them to get the maximum benefits. For instance, because of their relaxing effect, these strains should only be used at night.

There are other strains that will actually boost your mood and raise creativity levels. They are excellent for use during the day without any adverse consequences. There are also many strains that won’t make you high at all, you will simply feel their therapeutic effects.

As for the perceived loss of motivation, one only has to look to the ever growing list of movers and shakers who’ve admitted to using cannabis in the past or present. Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and even President Obama have admitted to smoking cannabis at one time or another.

These are some of the most influential minds in our country and are just a few of the famous Americans who have proven that cannabis use and success are not mutually exclusive. When it comes to cannabis and laziness, it boils down to who you are as an individual, not the plant that you use.

Misconception #6: Those who use medical cannabis see it as an excuse to smoke legally

There’s no way around it, there are some opportunists that will take advantage of medical cannabis laws so that they can smoke recreationally in several states and at the same time some are voting to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana like alcohol. But, the same can be said for painkillers, sleeping pills, amphetamines for ADHD and other drugs. That is, these prescription meds are often used for recreational purposes. Still, this bad behavior by some doesn’t outweigh the benefits they hold for those who really need them.

Misconception #7: You have to smoke medical cannabis to experience its benefits

Because smoking cannabis delivers a nearly instantaneous effect, many tend to use this method. But, this is not the only way to take advantage of the herb’s medicinal benefits. Medical cannabis can be  made into delicious edibles (like cookies and candies), oral sprays, tinctures, and more.

Also, it’s important to note that, when you ingest cannabis it can take about an hour to feel the effects. The upside is that this also means that the effects will be felt for a longer period of time. On the other hand, this long wait time also leads to patients consuming more cannabis than they need. So, if you choose one of the alternative methods to consume cannabis, make sure you follow dosage instructions carefully.

Misconception #8: Medical cannabis causes lung cancer

All smoke is bad for the lungs but, there’s no conclusive evidence that shows a link between medical cannabis and lung cancer. Furthermore, cannabis may actually offer some protective benefits.

Still, you might be someone who would prefer to err on the side of caution. And, that’s ok – there are many ways in which cannabis can be consumed (see above) that allows patients to prevent the risks associated with smoke inhalation.

Misconception #9: The use of medical cannabis can lead to psychological disorders

Although its use can aggravate pre-existing psychological disorders, taking medical cannabis as prescribed won’t affect your psyche at all.

In fact, studies have found that cannabis actually stabilizes the mood. In a study published in the Addictive Behaviors Journal, it was reported that weekly cannabis users were less depressed than those who didn’t use it. Furthermore, daily users had lower levels of depressive symptoms.

Misconception #10: 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 information found in the Journal of Neuroscience, long term and heavy cannabis use doesn’t damage the brain and users are able to perform just as well as non-users on cognitive tests.

The Bottom Line

Cannabis is used for a variety of medical applications nowadays, like pain management, insomnia, appetite loss, and more. But, the misconceptions persist. It is our hope that armed with the above information, you will be able to weed out the truth from the myth and make an informed decision about your health. Good luck!

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