Marijauna is a controversial topic, especially in relation to drug abuse and medical use. Numerous myths about medical marijuana were popularized over the past few years as the line between recreational and medical use gets muddled by state laws. We at DC Alchemy want to clear up some of the common misconceptions surrounding medical marijuana.
This blog is centered around medical marijuana use only. We are not endorsing the use of recreational marijuana, which is only legal in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Recreational use is not legal in Arizona, though the use of medical marijuana has been decriminalized.
MYTH 1: MARIJUANA CAN CAUSE CANCER
Marijuana can be consumed in a variety of ways. Those with a medical card can smoke it, vape it, or ingest it. The plant’s active component, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), produces the drug’s psychoactive and numerous medical effects. There is no evidence that links THC to cancer.
In fact, THC is used to help those with cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) two approved THC-based medication that treats nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy and stimulate the appetites in those with wasting syndrome due to AIDS.
Several other marijuana-based medications are approved worldwide and more are undergoing clinical trials, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH). The United Kingdom, Canada, and several European countries have a marijuana-based medication for multiple sclerosis called Nabiximols.
While ingesting it is safe, it is true that smoking marijuana produces carcinogens. However, the smoke is less potent than that of a cigarette and no evidence has been found that links marijuana smoke to lung cancer.
A UCLA study concluded that even smoking marijuana heavily does not lead to lung cancer. Instead of causing cancer, the study found evidence that marijuana could inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors.
MYTH 2: MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS A GATEWAY DRUG
Medical Marijuana is often prescribed to replace an opioid, which is a highly addictive substance that can lead to severe health problems and death if abused. Because of how widespread the misuse of prescription opioids is — it affects 15 million people worldwide every year — many fear that marijuana will have the same negative impact.
This is not the case. The majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use “harder” substances, according to NIH. When it is taken as prescribed, medical marijuana is no more a gateway drug than ibuprofen.
MYTH 3: THERE AREN’T ENOUGH STUDIES ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Do you think medical marijuana has not been studied enough to be seen as a valid form of medication? Think again. Google Scholar alone has over 50 pages of medical marijuana studies, NIH has 63 pages of reports. The U.S. National Library of Health, a subsidiary of NIH, has over 1,600 studies to peruse at your leisure.
MYTH 4: MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS NOT SUPPORTED
While it’s true that the use of medical marijuana is not supported by the FDA or the Federal Government, many other entities do not share the same opinion of it. Thirty-three states have legalized it and many prominent health organizations such as the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, and the Epilepsy Foundation of America all support the use of medical marijuana.
Why the Epilepsy Foundation of America? Medical marijuana is proven to reduce the number of seizures in children with Dravet Syndrome, which is a lifelong disorder that causes frequent and prolonged seizures. Patients with Dravet syndrome face a 15-20% mortality rate.
MYTH 5: MEDICAL MARIJUANA PUTS KIDS AT RISK
All medicines come with a chance of being abused by adults and adolescents alike. You needing medical marijuana does not put children at a higher risk of developing a drug addiction. You are simply taking your medicine as prescribed by a doctor to help manage your chronic illness or pain, just as you would with ibuprofen or aspirin.
Medical marijuana is highly regulated. It is not like picking up cold medicine; you can’t walk into a pharmacy to get it. You need to go to a certified dispensary, have a medical card and valid state-issued identification to obtain it.
If you are worried about your child abusing marijuana, explain to them that you need it to treat an illness and that taking it benefits your health. It is not a recreational activity. If they view it as a medicine, the chances of them abusing it drop significantly.
If you’re worried about your child getting into your medical marijuana and getting sick, rest easy. Marijuana poisoning is a real threat, but it is very rarely fatal. Immediate medical attention should be sought if your child experiences chest pain, panic attacks, seizures or losses touch with reality.
MYTH 6: YOU WILL GET ADDICTED
Marijuana is far less addictive than opiates and less than 10% of all users (medical and recreational use) develop a real addiction to it. The main concern surrounding medical marijuana is developing a physical dependence for it.
A dependence to a drug is not an addiction, but it does cause users to experience mild withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, restlessness or cravings. About 30% of all users (recreational or medical) develop dependence on the drug, according to NIH. Most medical users are adults, so kids developing a dependence is extremely rare.
Medical marijuana is highly regulated and safe to consume. It will not lead to addiction, cannot cause cancer and is highly researched. In short, medical marijuana is just that, medicine. At DC Alchemy, we care about your health and want you to know the facts about your medication.
If you’re tired of how you take your medicine, you have a variety of options available to you. If you’re interested in vaping, we sell premium CCELL cartridges all without the premium markup. All of our products are laboratory tested and quality assured for your safety. Check out our shop today.