Myths About Medical Marijuana Being Debunked | cannabisMD

Myths About Medical Marijuana Being Debunked

Debunking the myths about medical marijuana

Image Credit: By ltummy on Shutterstock

As the cannabis movement progresses, more eye-opening studies are being published everyday it seems. These studies are slowly changing people’s negative perceptions of the cannabis plant. Misinformation has overshadowed it for a long period of time, due to the plants gradual prohibition around the world. Cannabis got itself a very bad reputation and as a result people were dismissive of the idea that it could be used for medicinal purposes, Thankfully, in recent years, the cannabis plant has undergone a wide variety of studies relating to its medicinal properties.

Scientists in the United States and Canada have started to shed some light on medical cannabis and recreational marijuana. They do so after decades of negative propaganda which has clouded the public’s view of medical cannabis. Canada has just legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes nationwide. By October 2018, it will be legal recreationally too. Due to this and the positive studies conducted on the drug, cannabis has hit the media like a storm.

People are now seeing that the cannabis plant has a place in the medical and cosmetic industry. However, the stigma is still hovering over the plant. Negative associations stem from the psychoactive effects of the plant. THC, a chemical found in the drug, is responsible for the “high” effect. However, there are many cannabis-based products on the market that are THC free. These include many cannabidiol (CBD) oils.

While the public’s awareness and understanding of medical marijuana is definitely improving, there are still many misconceptions surrounding the drug that people subscribe to. We’ve listed the top 3 myths about medical marijuana and debunked them below.

Myths About Medical Marijuana

Myth 1: Medical Cannabis is a joke/ hoax

This statement severely devalues patients who use medical cannabis to treat their medical conditions. It also devalues medical experts, physicians, and any other person in the medical field who provide patients with cannabis, not to mention the researchers who’ve spent their lives unearthing the secret healing powers of the plant. Not only are there plenty of novel research attempts and clinical studies conducted on the plant, but these studies are clinically supported.

People who believe this myth might think patients are trying to find a way to “get high” rather than use cannabis as a treatment for their medical condition. We can agree that more studies need to be carried out on the drug, due to a lack of knowledge. However, you can’t disprove the fact that cannabis has been 100% clinically and scientifically proven to help treat certain ailments. Over 2 million people in America are registered medical cannabis users. They use the plant to treat ailments such as:

  1. Epilepsy
  2. Cancer
  3. Chronic Pain
  4. Depression
  5. Insomnia
  6. Anxiety
  7. Bipolar Disorder
  8. Autism
  9. Skin conditions including eczema
  10. And many more

In the face of propaganda, it’s important to keep an open-mind before making a judgement. There are people out there who are using cannabis to stay alive. It is important to have an understanding of medical cannabis. Medical cannabis is less of a “gateway drug” than conventional pharmaceuticals. Drug addicts and alcoholics who use cannabis as part of recovery actually call medical cannabis an “exit drug.”

Myth 2: Cannabis kills brain cells
Again the popularity of this theory is all down to misinformation and negative propaganda. A study was conducted on cannabinoids (a chemical found in the cannabis plant) and our cannabinoid receptors in our brain. Through the study, scientists discovered the real truth about cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are neuroregenerative.

This means cannabinoids build brain cells. A study conducted on mice with brain cancer injected the mice with certain levels of THC and CBD. The researchers noticed that cannabinoids essentially make cancer cells “commit suicide.” Not only that, but while cannabis and cannabinoids kill bad cells they regenerate and are non-toxic to healthy cells. Through this effect, cannabis is also proven to influence and spark creativity.

Myth 3: Cannabis causes lung cancer
People are led to believe that smoking cannabis in the long term can lead to lung cancer. Once again, this is misinformation.A study conducted by Dr. Donald Tashkin at UCLA stated that cannabis doesn’t pose as a risk for lung cancer.

The study states:

In summary, the accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana compared with the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco

However, if you were to mix marijuana with tobacco, then yes you are at risk of developing lung cancer. If you smoke marijuana without tobacco though, there is no risk.

Nevertheless, there are side effects. It is important to note, although smoking marijuana doesn’t cause lung cancer, Dr. Donald Tashkin’s study stated that “regular marijuana smoking leads to bronchial epithelial ciliary loss and impairs the microbicidal function.” This doesn’t mean that cannabis is innately bad for you. There are plenty of other methods to consume cannabis including edibles, oils (tinctures), topical creams, etc.

The evidence is there so there’s no reason to be skeptical of the cannabis plant. It is clinically and scientifically proven to have a place in the medical industry. If the drug was dangerous, governments wouldn’t be putting so much time, effort, and money into research and legalizing medical cannabis.

Medical cannabis laws are changing as we speak. There are new regulations to assure quality control. People who have purchased and used cannabis from the black market are partaking in unsafe cannabis use. Now that governments are aiming for safer cannabis use, those people will be able to use a product that is a much safer alternative. And, hopefully, these misconceptions will die out as a result and people can finally see cannabis for what it is.

Niamh Tumilty
Niamh Tumilty
Niamh Tumilty is a writer and multimedia producer for cannabisMD where she is constantly evaluating the continued growth of CBD and its presence in the news. Her research and writing on cannabis and CBD can be found at

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