Myths and Facts About Medical Marijuana

Marijuana has long been used as a recreational drug, of course, legal issues aside. But recent advancements in medical research show that marijuana has medical benefits for a variety of chronic diseases and conditions. 

In fact, more than half of all states, including Florida, have legalized medical marijuana. The marijuana plant contains over 100 different cannabinoids, or chemical compounds. These cannabinoids are very similar to the chemicals in the human body that control pain, movement, memory, and more.

For people with chronic conditions, marijuana can offer relief from symptoms when other treatments or medications have failed. If you live in Florida, you’ll need a medical marijuana card to get access to marijuana for medical purposes.

Brandon Fletcher, MD, is state-qualified to perform medical marijuana card examinations in Florida. He and our team at Nostalgia Family Medicine in Longwood, Florida, are here to help you learn more about the myths and facts about medical marijuana so you can make the best decisions for your health.

Myth: Marijuana doesn’t have any real medical benefits

A common misconception about medical marijuana is that because it’s used as a recreational drug, it doesn’t really have any medical benefits.

In fact, marijuana offers effective pain relief with few side effects. Because cannabinoids found in marijuana mimic chemicals naturally found in the body, they are effective at treating a variety of symptoms. 

People with chronic conditions like seizures, cancer, or untreatable pain conditions can find relief from symptoms like:

In cancer patients particularly, chemotherapy and other treatments can bring negative side effects like nausea and vomiting. Medical marijuana effectively addresses these symptoms without introducing other negative side effects.

Myth: People just use medical marijuana as an excuse to get high

There’s a stigma around the use of medical marijuana. Some people may think that getting a medical marijuana card is an excuse to use the drug recreationally. 

In fact, not all forms of medical marijuana deliver a high. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid that doesn’t make people high. Plus, medical marijuana can be taken in numerous ways, and the delivery method changes how your body reacts.

It can be smoked, inhaled, or eaten. Some varieties are in lotions, oils, or creams that are applied directly to your skin. Each type works differently, and Dr. Fletcher discusses what type might be right for you. 

Myth: Marijuana is dangerous and addictive

Some people think that marijuana is too dangerous to be used as medicine. Because it was illegal for so long, people don’t understand exactly how the drug works. 

In fact, medical marijuana is safe when used as prescribed. When you get a medical marijuana card, Dr. Fletcher first performs a full physical exam. He recommends a dosage and formulary that’s right for you. Overall, medical marijuana is relatively non-toxic and non-addictive.

Research indicates that marijuana is far less likely to become addictive than many other legal substances, like alcohol or tobacco. Additionally, cannabinoids don’t have a lethal overdose potential, as other prescription drugs or alcohol do. 

Myth: Credible health organizations don’t support the use of medical marijuana

Because different states have different laws regarding medicinal marijuana, many people believe there’s no credible research in support of marijuana as a medicine. 

In fact, many reputable medical organizations support and promote the benefits of medical marijuana. One study reports that nearly 70% of medical practitioners support the legalization of medical marijuana to help patients suffering from chronic conditions. 

Health organizations that support medical marijuana research include the Epilepsy Foundation of America and the American Public Health Association. 

While more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of medical marijuana, along with what diseases and conditions it’s best for treating, doctors and medical experts across the country are embracing marijuana for its medicinal purposes.

Are you interested in learning more about how medical marijuana cards work in Florida? Make an appointment using our convenient online booking feature, give us a call, or send us a message here on our website at any time.

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