3 Common Medical Marijuana Misconceptions Squashed
Cannabis is widely used for various medical applications these days. While Mary Jane is increasingly popular around the world for pain management and treating various ailments, there are still many misconceptions and mistruths that exist about medical marijuana. The benefits of ingesting cannabis for medical use are many, but there are also many people who believe lies that were broadcast about cannabis years ago. We hope to clear up some common misconceptions about medical marijuana so you can educate someone with less knowledge than you too!
Cannabis is a Gateway Drug!
Everyone knows this right? Nope! This ancient misconception has been repeated over and over, and unfortunately some folks still believe that cannabis use equals drug addiction. Actually, in direct contradiction to this old propaganda, a recent study by JAMA concluded that although early-life marijuana use has been associated with instances of drug abuse, there is NOT enough evidence to suggest that marijuana is the cause for any type of addiction later in life. Anyway, cannabis is a plant, surely it is safer than many other medications.
Cannabis is a Dangerous Drug
Prior to the 1930’s, cannabis was popular with physicians, but by the mid-1930’s the United States had ruled that the cannabis plant was an illegal substance. Films such as Reefer Madness were produced to convince people that marijuana (or marihuana, as it was referred to) was an evil drug and that smoking it induced severe side effects.
In the 1936 film, drug dealers lured teenagers into “marihuana addiction” and promiscuous sex. In reality, medical marijuana is now used to treat drug addiction rather than blamed for causing it! Cannabis is becoming a common treatment for methamphetamine users and has been successful in assisting opiate addicts who are detoxing. In the US states where medical marijuana has been legalized, a 25% drop in opiate painkiller related deaths has been observed… cannabis is saving lives, not taking them.
Cannabis is Scary
The misconception that cannabis is a scary drug is still common today. Norma Eckroate, a MMJ advocate and Californian MMJ patient, told me, “I became a medical marijuana patient in December 2012… at that time, there were still lots of stories in the media about people being arrested – and that made it scary to me.” Norma was scared by what she had heard about medical marijuana use, even though she knew it was helping people and she was seeking relief from it herself.
Medical marijuana can be scary for some people. Norma suggested that research is the key to overcoming fear:
“It is essential to research, research, research to determine the best strain and dosage for you. In addition to your own research in books, articles and online, finding a medical professional who is savvy about cannabis medicine can be extremely helpful. But if that’s not possible for you, ask lots of questions of budtenders at marijuana dispensaries and, if you don’t get the results you are looking for with one product, continue to tweak your dosage – and/or explore new products.”