What You Should Know about Marijuana Facts, Myths & Misconceptions
With all the myths and misconceptions about the pros and cons of marijuana, getting to the bottom of what’s true and what’s false about the benefits of medical marijuana isn’t quite so easy nowadays. To dispel questionable cannabis info and assumptions, we did some fact-checking to pinpoint the hard, tried-and-true medical marijuana facts.
So let’s play a quick game of fact or fiction. Which of the following facts about medical marijuana are true...and which are just plain false? Uncovering these hard marijuana facts is important for anyone using or considering medical cannabis. Let’s jump right in.
Truth or Myth? Medical Marijuana Facts 101
- Fact or Fiction? Side Effects Outweigh the Benefits of Medical Marijuana
In order to evaluate the pros and cons of marijuana, you also have to consider the bigger picture of pharmaceutical medication today. Why is any therapeutic agent with side effects legal? Dr. Bearman, a medical doctor with 40 years of experience in substance abuse treatment and prevention, points out that you don’t experience the same side effects and complications from cannabis use like you do with other drugs (think opiate dependence).
Cannabis has been used for medicinal and industrial purposes for thousands of years. Because of the vast benefits of medical marijuana and its ability to improve the natural regulation of the body, cannabis is considered a miracle cure-all.
Although using cannabis may cause you to feel slightly “high,” you’re not at risk of experiencing the long list of side effects that you hear at the end of drug commercials today. When used responsibly and for medicinal purposes (i.e. in order to treat symptoms with the fewest side effects possible), many physicians, oncologists, and documented cannabis facts indicate that a little euphoria may not be a bad thing. Stress, after all, leads to a host of problems and is considered the number one killer today.
After a 2-year rescheduling hearing in 1998, the chief administrative judge for the DEA recommended the rescheduling of cannabis info. He argued that cannabis is one of the safest therapeutic agents known to man, referencing an abundance of medical marijuana facts available at the time.
The American Medical Association (AMA) also strongly testified against the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act because they couldn’t identify any harmful cannabis facts about medical marijuana. In fact, the opposite was true: the AMA cited the significant benefits of medical marijuana. And this was when substantiated medical marijuana facts were well known because products containing cannabis had already been available in U.S. pharmacies for more than eight decades at the time.
- True or False? Smoking Cannabis Causes Lung Cancer
There are some studies and medical marijuana facts that reference some harmful effects of smoking cannabis (e.g. increased coughing). But a much larger body of reputable scientific evidence examining the pros and cons of marijuana indicate smoking cannabis doesn’t cause lung cancer. On the contrary, credible cannabis facts suggest that marijuana may actually help prevent cancer by killing many different types of cancer-causing cells.
- Myth or Reality? Legalizing Cannabis Increases Use & Abuse
A common assumption in discussions about medical marijuana facts is that if you remove political barriers and legalize medical cannabis, there will be increased cannabis use and even abuse. But according to Dr. Bearman and a survey of cannabis facts about medical marijuana, prohibiting something is one of the worst regulatory moves you can make for a substance that’s helpful and in demand. When you do so, you end up creating a crime that typically doesn’t need to exist.
In the 1920s, American physicians wrote 3 million prescriptions year after year for products containing cannabis… people weren’t breaking into drug stores to get them. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health also found that states with legal medical cannabis have seen a 30% decline in opioid-related deaths. The report highlights the overwhelming benefits of medical marijuana and the consequences of misleading and incorrect marijuana facts circulating today.
- Fact or Fiction? Cannabis is Addictive
The definition of addiction has historically been a moving target. It was defined fairly narrowly and only referred to opiate addiction until the concept was later broadened. While a drug dependence may develop from using marijuana in some situations, “cannabis addiction” really isn’t a thing according to Dr. Bearman and an abundance of literature on medical marijuana facts.
Some of the most unsubstantiated cannabis info today suggests medical cannabis is addictive. A study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Center for Biotechnology Information compared the dependency risk of several different recreational drugs (e.g. alcohol, tobacco, coffee, cocaine, cannabis, etc.). Cannabis had the least dependency risk.
So why are there so many inaccurate medical marijuana facts claiming that cannabis can be addictive? A damaging misconception in some cannabis info today is that marijuana is some kind of mystical substance rather than a medicine that’s been around for four or five thousand years.
People often don’t recognize that the dose and strain you’re recommended are important because you need different cannabis components and amounts for different conditions. If you’re prescribed high medical marijuana doses for certain conditions, you don’t usually experience the same inclinations, dysphoria, and/or unpleasant side effects that high doses of pharmaceutical medications can induce.
Untainted Truth About Marijuana Facts
In a world inundated with biases and erroneous information, debunking myths and falsehoods is becoming increasingly challenging. This is certainly the case when taking a look at all the cannabis info out there today dubbed “marijuana facts” but, in reality, are tainted by personal interests.
If you talk with any physician up-to-speed on the overwhelming evidence-based and time-tested marijuana facts outlined in well-respected scientific publications, it’s hard to refute the benefits of medical marijuana. Oftentimes, myths about the pros and cons of marijuana stem from an unawareness of the science. Unsubstantiated, misleading and sometimes even flat out false facts about medical marijuana can also spread because of an unwillingness to understand how cannabis invigorates our natural cannabinoid receptor proteins. But 'times they are a-changin’ as more and more people consider switching to medical marijuana.
Interested in exploring more research-based marijuana facts? Check out our article on the cost of medical marijuana compared to pharmaceutical medications.