7 Common Myths About Medical Cannabis

CITIVA is dedicated to providing patients and doctors alike with the most advanced, complete, and accessible information regarding medical cannabis. In that spirit we’ve decided to create a blog that keeps you updated about the politics, business, and science behind medical cannabis.

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We’d like to start by simply debunking some of the more popular myths about medical cannabis. Without further ado here are 7 Common Myths About Medical Cannabis…

1. Medical cannabis is debilitating.

The caricature of the average cannabis consumer is someone who’s lazy, refuses to get off the couch and generally lacks enthusiasm. Besides the many leaders in industry, technology, politics and culture who use cannabis and who seem to disprove this, there is a scientific reason why medical cannabis should not cause these effects. The only intoxicating substance in cannabis is a chemical known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. While THC can be an effective medicine in it’s own right, medicines that combine THC with other cannabinoids such as cannabidiol or CBD can moderate the intoxicating effects. CITIVA believes that cannabis medicines, like all medicines, should limit psychological impairment. This is a very achievable if the goal is to heal and not to get consumers “high”.

2. Medical cannabis is addictive.

As with any pleasurable substance, unregulated cannabis use can become habit forming. However, cannabis has been consistently shown to have a low addiction potential; far lower than narcotic prescription drugs and legal recreational drugs like tobacco and alcohol. It seems to hold about the same addiction potential as coffee. When cannabis products are consumed as part of a supervised medical regime, the addiction potential falls even further.

3. Medical cannabis is only effective for terminal conditions.

Due to the legacy of prohibition, many states in the US have been very cautious as to what diseases should qualify for a medical cannabis qualification. Due to this cautiousness it’s caused many states to limit the qualifying diseases to very extreme maladies like late-stage AIDS or cancer. This leads many to believe that cannabis is only appropriate in a hospice –like setting. While cannabis is very effective for symptom control in terminal patients (especially in combatting nausea) its use in other less serious conditions is in many instances safer, cheaper and more effective than traditional treatment.

4. Medical cannabis will cause weight gain

This myth is somewhat understandable given the common perception of cannabis as a substance that causes hunger and lethargy. However research seems to prove otherwise. Harvard researchers found, in a very broad study, that cannabis users were far less likely to be overweight or have blood sugar disorders.

5. Medical cannabis is expensive.

The problems associated with the costs of medical cannabis are structural not inherent. Medical cannabis products are not covered by health insurance and the manufacture of products endures some particularly burdensome regulation. Despite this medical cannabis products have been able to remain competitively priced when compared to prescription drugs used for similar purposes. Imagine the affordability of these medicines once the structural problems have been fixed!

6. Medical cannabis has overdose risks.

This one is old and has few true believers left but it is worth being abundantly clear about. In the 4,000-year history of recorded cannabis use there is not one instance of someone overdosing on cannabis.

7. Medical cannabis has no scientific basis.

Though you will hear this refrain from people who haven’t had the opportunity to delve into the research it is simply not true. A simple Google Scholar search for “cannabis” will yield you thousands of studies on the medical effects of cannabis. Cannabis may be one of the most researched substances on earth.

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