Medical cannabis has become nearly mainstream. Millions of people around the world use cannabis to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. Twenty-nine states in the US recognize the therapeutic value of cannabis and are willing to defy the federal government to ensure their citizens have access. Both public opinion and the scientific community recognize that cannabis is a safe and effective medicine. Despite the massive progress that has been made on this issue, some of those nearest and dearest to us have not yet been persuaded.
Americans have been inundated with unscientific propaganda opposed to cannabis for several generations. It is understandable that a significant number of us have negative opinions about the plant. Many of us rely on cannabis and want our loved ones to understand the importance of the therapeutic benefit it gives us. Some of us have a friend or family member who might benefit from cannabis medicine but have dated understandings of its effects. The following facts should make even the most ardent cannabis skeptics reconsider.
The first thing they should know is that cannabis is safe. It’s surprisingly nontoxic. Even at very high doses it does not cause damage to organs or tissue. There has never been a recorded overdose attributed to cannabis. Cannabis use does not correlate with higher rates of disease. Even when it causes strong intoxication, cannabis use is far less likely to induce the kinds of risky behaviors associated with alcohol intoxication
It Doesn’t Cause Dependency
Drug dependency occurs when a person begins taking a drug regularly, and due to the persistent use their body becomes reliant on the chemical. When that occurs if the person stops taking the drug they experience painful medical symptoms. Drugs that have the potential to cause the most powerful dependencies are well known and widely available; opioids, benzodiazepines, alcohol, and tobacco. Other kinds of drugs that cause dependency but are not generally thought of as dependency causing drugs include anti-seizure, anti-depressant, and anti-psychosis medication.
Cannabis does not cause users to experience painful symptoms of withdrawal, even if used long-term. People who stop using cannabis only risk the resumption of the symptoms that drew them to cannabis in the first place. Further, cannabis is an effective alternative to many dependency causing drugs like many of the classes of drugs listed above.
Millions rely on cannabis for effective relief. The American Academy of Sciences has done a thorough review of medical cannabis research and found that cannabis has extensive therapeutic potential. Veterans attest to its ability to banish PTSD induced nightmares. Parents of epileptic children move their families across the country to get legal access. Sufferers of HIV and cancer swear that cannabis is the only medicine that allows them to keep food down and maintain their weight. Both the clinical and anecdotal evidence is conclusive: cannabis works!