An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

Medical Marijuana – Debunking the Myths

Discussion in 'Marijuana' started by Pafpartner, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Pafpartner

    Pafpartner Member

    It should be noted that this article is for information purposes only and should not, under any circumstances, be accepted as legal advice or health advice.

    If you’ve ever done much research on the subject of medical marijuana, there is a fair chance that you found large numbers of articles that flatly contradict each other. That's probably attributable to the various vested interest and pressure groups that sponsor the articles concerned. It probably also has to be admitted that facts are in short supply whilst opinions are available in excess.

    Here though, we will be trying to examine some apparently widely held views relating to medical marijuana, which appear to be, at best, illogical. Do please keep in mind while reading it, that it is personal opinion and not qualified medical, legal or scientific advice.

    Medical marijuana use is just a cover for recreational drug activities.

    That just cannot be right. There are vast numbers of stories, studies and shared personal experiences, coming from people that have used marijuana for legitimate symptom relief purposes. It is patently absurd to suggest that all these people (including many well-known celebrities) are simply recreational users that are either lying or deluding themselves as to their true motivation. These are ordinary, sincere and professional people leading entirely normal lives - apart from the fact they have been afflicted by an illness of some sort. Unless one believes that the individuals concerned have deliberately sought to make themselves ill simply in order to justify the use of marijuana, this fact should seriously question the above myth.

    No doubt there are some individuals who have sought recreational access to marijuana by attempting to justify its use for medical purposes, but commonsense tells us that this cannot be the case for all users.

    Marijuana for medical use is now legal in many US states

    No, that's not strictly accurate. Several states now have legislation on the books that permits the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Some may have legislation pending which has not yet been approved, and others may turn a blind eye to its use in certain circumstances. Under Federal Law it remains an illegal substance even if you are using it for medical purposes. Before making assumptions about the position where you live, it would be highly advisable to take legal advice.

    Medical marijuana is legally available in many European countries

    No, it is not. Some countries of the European Union (notably Holland) have legislation that may permit very small quantities to be used for private or medical use. For the most part, however, it remains illegal, even if many individual countries choose not to enforce their own laws on the subject.

    Medical marijuana is harmless

    Virtually any substance taken in large quantities may cause severe medical problems. That applies to something even as ordinary as water consumption. If marijuana is abused it may cause numerous undesired side effects. If used for the purposes of analgesia or symptom relief, it is highly advisable to ensure that this is done under medical supervision and assistance, although in some legal jurisdictions, physicians and other health professionals may render themselves liable for prosecution if they do so.

    There is strong scientific evidence that marijuana is helpful in certain medical conditions

    This is a very tricky one to deal with. At present time the Federal Drug Administration's position remains that there is no clinical evidence that marijuana is of any benefit whatsoever in terms of various forms of symptom relief or analgesia. This position is also adopted by a number of other national health authorities around the world.

    It is true, however, that many individual medical practitioners do believe that marijuana has a place in their portfolio of treatments (if their laws allow them to do so), and they claim to have seen significant results. Other medical experts accept that marijuana may provide some beneficial effects for certain conditions, but believe that its use may be outweighed by undesired side effects. This remains a controversial subject. In the end, it may be a question of the opinion of an individual medical expert.

    Perhaps more worryingly, whilst the law appears to be confused, or even punitive, with regard to medical marijuana, it may prove difficult to conduct sufficient large-scale controlled studies so as to reach a conclusion (one way or another) that everyone could accept.
  2. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I think the article for me just shows how mixed up the whole argument is with regards to marijuana for medical use.

    If somebody feels benefit of taking it for a medical condition, even if it's just a placebo and its not actually helping but they think it is, no amount of research is going to change their mind I don't think.
  3. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    I don't want to start anything here nor am I agreeing that people use medical reasons as an excuse to abuse it recreationally; however, to some degree I think medically marijuana is not as beneficial as it is cracked out to be. I am also referring to mental health. I've known people who said it helped their anxiety but have watched them gradually worsen. It seems to give them a quick relief but overall the problem appears to escalate.
  4. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    i find this article informative and lots of sense. True that some see marijuana is harmless which is their reasoning and way to convince themselves that their use of it was just okay. As always being stated that anything in excess is/can be bad.
  5. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    This article once again proves the many complexities of marijuana. Debates about this will always exist because of its theorized positive and proven negative effects. I for one am an advocate of its therapeutic use but a strong opponent of its recreational use.
  6. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Just like any other substance and pretty much anything in the world, marijuana also has it's good and it's bad sides. Yes, it can cause or exacerbate depression, anxiety, paranoia and short-term memory loss. It can also, potentially, lead to psychosis or schizophrenia. However, it has also been used to cure a cancerous tumor in an eight-month old baby and it has been scientifically proven that THC kills cancer cells. It may still be illegal in certain countries but there are places like Amsterdam where it is a huge part of their social culture. There is also one state who have already placed tax on the sale of legal marijuana and they seem to be doing very well off it.
    gracer likes this.
  7. Taki

    Taki Member


    The placebo effect is a very strong one in medicine and has been shown to have all kinds of positive effects on individuals who for whatever reason, their brains are able to create effective physical change due to belief in a substance. Note this is not a pro-drug comment but more so a pro placebo effect comment which can be caused by nearly any substance and has been shown to have causative effect from something as simple as a sugar pill.
  8. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    When you talk about people using it to help anxiety, I think it does work, well I know it does because I've seen it myself. The only problem is that it then becomes a psychological problems where they feel they can't do anything without it.

    So it may help the problem of anxiety, it does cause other issues.
  9. henry

    henry Community Champion

    Well, I never cared if Marijuana was harmful or not, I just smoked it because it made me feel good. I never thought "Poison" or "Medicine" when I was getting wasted, I just thought, "Party." It might have some medicinal qualities and stuff, but I do believe it's more of an excuse for getting high legaly.
    blur92 likes this.
  10. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    Do you think that for some people it may create the illusion of helping them, but in reality it causes more anxiety? I've been friends with regular users who said it calms them down and helps them focus, but I can tell it didn't at all. One of the individuals who swore by that never had his homework done, never paid attention in class, and ended up dropping out.
  11. Taki

    Taki Member


    I think that marijuana is likely one of the most complex drugs we have ever encountered as a society. I think in the future as genetics matures we will find certain groups of people benefit from the substances and others are hindered by it.

    As for the studies showing marijuana causing psychosis or schizophrenia....I've read somewhere that this was caused by particular strains from the EU that were designed to increase THC yields and the growers failed to realized that there are other substances in marijuana that inhibit those side effects and in fact could likely lead to effective treatments against psychosis or schizophrenia. When the growers upset the ratio of active substances in their product it caused some unexpected side effects that the for-profit market could really care less about as long as their product was making them more money.

    Very complex drug that we should approach carefully until all the research has been done surrounding it. As for its recreational use......bahh.

    I get more of a high from being with good friends and especially a lover I'm into than I do from any of these drugs including marijuana.
  12. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    There's no doubt that some people benefit a lot from Medical Marijuana but the real threat is the increased exposure of the drug to the society and young people. It is like a commercial that may fool some people into something like hey marijuana is healthy, don't be afraid to use it while we both know it is not.
  13. Taki

    Taki Member


    I'm not so sure I would go that far. Its likely that our youth could benefit from more comprehensive education about the drug and all of its known effects. I do know it was not beneficial for me after I had dealt with my depression issues.

    I do know of those who it does seem to benefit from a medical standpoint though. And even the government has had to admit recently that it has use as a cancer treatment.

    As for recreational use, I don't believe it to be beneficial for the majority and especially for the youth because of its known side effects on developing brain structure. Its mild negative effects are greatly magnified in children and teenagers and even the early side of young adulthood.

    Again I state that my personal belief is that we know way less about this plant than we should before using it in such an informal manner as recreational use.
    amin021023 likes this.
  14. diprod

    diprod Active Contributor

    I think that medical marijuana is not bad at all. Just my opinion though. The only weed that gets to be dangerous are the ones that can be added by those who can manipulate it.