Medicinal marijuana has been legal in Canada for the better part of 20 years now. As more research is conducted, many doctors, scientists, patients, and other medical professionals are realizing the potential for cannabis in the treatment and management of a whole host of conditions.
Nonetheless, there remains plenty of misinformation and confusion in the field. There are many myths and misconceptions that are still routinely passed around, especially on the internet.
What are some of the common misconceptions about medicinal marijuana?
Some of the most common myths include how dangerous medicinal marijuana is, how addictive it is, and that it is unsafe. There are also many misconceptions about the patients who use medical marijuana to help them manage a health condition.
1. Medicinal Marijuana Is Dangerous
One of the most common myths about medicinal marijuana is that it is dangerous. Moral panic about cannabis dates back decades and is a key factor in the criminalization of cannabis in most Western countries.
This moral panic has been extended to marijuana used for medicinal purposes as much as recreational cannabis or cannabis obtained on the street. People believe that since cannabis is illegal, it must be dangerous.
In truth, cannabis isn’t very dangerous, and this is particularly true for medical marijuana. It’s grown with strict standards in mind, and although you want to take precautions, you can be assured medical marijuana is very safe.
2. It’s Addictive
Many people mistakenly believe medical marijuana is highly addictive. Unfortunately, you’re more likely to become addicted to opioid medications many healthcare providers prescribe for chronic pain and other conditions than you are to become addicted to cannabis.
Medical cannabis doesn’t appear to have the same addictive qualities as many other substances, which is one of the reasons it’s not as dangerous.
While there is still some research that suggests cannabis could have some properties leading to psychological dependence, this is not the same as addiction.
3. People Who Use Medical Marijuana Just Want to Get High
This is a very harmful yet common misconception about medical marijuana and the patients who use it to manage their health. Many people have a very poor opinion of medical cannabis patients because they believe cannabis is not actually medicine.
The research in this field is rapidly changing the medical industry’s opinion on this point, but social attitudes have been slower to follow. Since the field still lacks many high-quality studies, people continue to doubt that it can and is used as a legitimate medication.
4. It Will Lead to Substance Abuse
Unfortunately, cannabis has a reputation as a “gateway drug,” which means its use leads to the later use of “harder” substances. Many people see it as a start to substance abuse and addictions, especially for street-involved people.
This translates over to the medical community. Many believe people who use cannabis in a medical capacity may eventually turn to street drugs or crime. This social attitude goes hand in hand with moral panic about medical marijuana.
5. You Must Smoke It
This misconception turns away many people who may actually benefit from a medicinal marijuana treatment. Even some physicians and healthcare practitioners may believe it.
The truth is there are many different ways to consume medical marijuana. In fact, most healthcare experts recommend these methods over smoking. While the idea that cannabis is just as harmful or more harmful than tobacco is largely discredited, smoke can still irritate your lungs. With long-term use, this can lead to respiratory problems and other medical conditions.
There are many other ways to use medicinal marijuana, and there are many legitimate reasons to use it. Visit a medical marijuana clinic or talk to a licensed producer if you have questions. They can help you sort myths from the facts.