For a long time now, there’ve been a lot of opinions, views and conflicting information about medical marijuana. The United States Drug Enforcement Agency categorizes marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug (alongside LSD, ecstasy and meth) which basically puts it among drugs with no accepted medical use and with a high abuse potential. They also consider it one of the most dangerous drugs due to its ability to be addictive, and claims it can trigger “severe psychological or physical dependence.”
But not everyone agrees with the US DEA. In fact, many believe that marijuana is not dangerous and even offers a lot of benefits as a medicinal herb. Those who use it medicinally claim it can treat various conditions and is harmless as long as you take it in the appropriate doses.
Theoretically speaking, any substance can be abused – prescription drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and yes marijuana. When we talk about health issues associated with marijuana use, most of them have to do with the smoking part of it. Smoking in itself can generate an array of pulmonary diseases including lung cancer. Smoking cigarettes, for example, produces the same effects. But when you directly ingest marijuana (for example, in pill form), then majority of the health risks that are triggered from smoking it can be avoided.
That’s not to say, however, that marijuana is 100% safe. Whether you directly ingest or smoke marijuana, it triggers its active components like THC to interact with your brain and body receptors to produce certain effects. When the dose is too high, it can lead to dizziness, severe vomiting and in some cases loss of consciousness. There have also been documented reports of cannabis causing mental instability and serious paranoia.
Here are the pros and cons of marijuana:
Marijuana can treat vomiting and nausea, as well as relieve many kinds of chronic pain. Those who suffer from AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis can get relief by consuming marijuana. Patients who consume cannabinoids experience better appetite and improved immune system functions.
Those with personality disorders like ADD, ADHD and social anxiety also feel better after consuming marijuana by ingesting in pill form or smoking pot.
Here are other advantages of consuming marijuana:
- Soothe tremors caused by Parkinson’s Disease
- Improve metabolism
- Control or reduce epileptic seizures
- Improve symptoms from Dravet’s syndrome
- Slow down Alzheimer’s disease progression
- Prevent muscle spasms
- Reduce Hepatitis C treatment-induced symptoms
- Treat inflammatory bowel diseases
- Improve symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Despite all the benefits of medical marijuana, there are drawbacks to consuming it. To start with, possession of marijuana is still illegal in some states. So you could incur penalties if caught.
Then there are health risks to consider, including:
- Reduced balance
- Lack of coordination
- Impairment of thinking, memory and problem-solving skills
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Increased risk of respiratory infections and chronic coughing
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Lowered sex drive
- Reduced sex hormones in men
Consider the pros and cons of medical marijuana before taking it.