Often, doctors are the first healthcare providers to interact with their patients about medical cannabis. Until recently, the topic was taboo in the exam room, with many fearing judgment or even losing their medical license.
Marijuana Is Not A Cure.
While some studies have shown that marijuana can help alleviate some symptoms of cancer, including nausea, vomiting, and pain, it does not cure the disease. It also does not prevent cancer from spreading or recurrence. According to Texas medical marijuana doctors, patients need to understand that marijuana is not a substitute for cancer treatments. The drug can be harmful if taken in large amounts or in combination with other medicines that treat serious illnesses. For example, using marijuana with sedatives or other drugs that make you sleepy can be dangerous. Marijuana smoke can irritate your lungs and lead to infections such as bronchitis. It can also interfere with other medicines, such as glaucoma medicine, that lowers pressure inside your eyes.
Physicians who specialize in epilepsy may not believe that medical marijuana can help with their patients’ seizures. In contrast, physicians who work in addiction treatment or similar indication areas are more skeptical. Some doctors do believe that marijuana is a useful medicine, however, and are willing to discuss it with their patients.
Marijuana Is Addictive
Although many people who use marijuana do not become addicted, a significant percentage do meet the criteria for addiction. This is especially true of people who start using the drug as adolescents when their brains are still developing, and they are more vulnerable to addiction.
Marijuana has psychoactive compounds called THC that interact with receptors in the brain and alter the way they function. Over time, if someone uses marijuana often, they may develop a physical dependence on it, meaning their body needs it to feel normal. They can also develop an addiction, which is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and cravings for the drug even when it is not being used.
People who smoke marijuana can also experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it, like irritability, insomnia, and depression. However, these are not as severe as those from other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. In addition to smoking, there are other ways to consume marijuana, including vaping, edibles, and sprays. Some of these have a much stronger effect and can be dangerous. They can cause a psychotic reaction and can have adverse health effects such as kidney problems, liver disease, strokes, heart attacks, and psychiatric disorders. They can also have deadly effects when paired with other medications or alcohol. Some of these products are made with chemicals like butane or isopropyl, which are incredibly toxic to the human body.
Marijuana Is Not Safe.
Marijuana is a potent drug with potential health risks for users. It can cause psychotic episodes in some people, and it can be abused or used as a recreational drug. It can also interfere with other medications, especially those that make you sleepy or control your mood. It may also cause lung damage from smoking. It’s important to talk with your doctor before trying marijuana.
Many physicians still believe there’s a stigma against medical marijuana and are reluctant to recommend it to their patients. Often, they lack training and knowledge about medical cannabis. Others are concerned about losing their DEA license to prescribe drugs, which would be required for any medical marijuana prescription.
In states where marijuana is legal, doctors can write a “recommendation” for the drug after determining and certifying that the patient suffers from one of the conditions the state law defines as qualifying for medicinal marijuana: cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS. But those are only a few of the conditions for which medical marijuana is approved, and physicians can easily lose their licenses by prescribing marijuana for nonqualifying illnesses.
Marijuana Is Not Effective.
It’s no secret that medical marijuana is effective in helping patients with a variety of conditions. It helps relieve pain and ease nausea and is an excellent muscle relaxant. It can also be used to treat glaucoma, reduce anxiety, help with insomnia, and boost appetite. And it’s a great alternative to opiates and other prescription drugs that have much more dangerous side effects.
It can even be used to relieve the pain from shingles, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and Colitis), HIV-associated wasting syndrome, PTSD, and ALS. It’s also an effective sedative and has been shown to help people with Parkinson’s disease, as well as reduce the tremors caused by MS.
Some physicians may be reluctant to recommend medical marijuana because they don’t have enough clinical data to support it. However, they should consider the research that does exist. The results are positive, especially when compared to the negative side effects of other medications, such as acetaminophen (which kills nearly 500 people per year), tobacco use, and alcohol.
It is essential to recognize that medical marijuana has a real place in modern medicine. But it is equally vital to understand that the drug is not a cure-all and should not be used as a substitute for proven medical treatments. Dispelling myths about the drug will allow individuals to make informed decisions and foster more rational discussion about its role in medical practice.