The cannabis health benefits, drawbacks and risks have been a major topic over the last few years. As a growing number of states give their approval to medical marijuana, it’s clear that both the good and the bad regarding its use needs to be better understood.
To start, what is certain is that there has been a growing body of promising research suggesting that cannabis health benefits could provide thousands upon thousands of patients with a new treatment option. Uses for medical marijuana include everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s and even epilepsy. It has the potential to reduce the need for prescription painkillers and, therefore, the demand for and recovery from narcotics. Ideally, it could also reduce the number of accidental overdoses of those drugs.
That said, while the cannabis health benefits known by the medical community are becoming greater understood, so are the dangers of its use. Among the drawbacks include lost productivity, apathy, intellectual function deterioration, addictive disease, psychosis, and the inability to safely drive a motor vehicle, among others.
It is also important to note that in states where it is legal to use it as a medication, cannabis requires a prescription. As such, a licensed doctor must first determine that the use of the drug will be of benefit to the patient. Moreover, he or she will also need to decide if the potential risks of using the drug are worth the potential benefits it has to offer. This is the same as any other prescription medication.
Every prescribed medication comes with a string of potential risks. Usually they involve side effects, but they may also include drug, supplement, food or medical condition conflicts. They may also include a risk of addiction, dependency and withdrawal symptoms. Strong side effects and addiction risk are common among drugs for which cannabis has the potential to be an alternative.
While there are certainly drawbacks to the use of cannabis, even for medical reasons, research is increasingly pointing to its use to improve a widening number of conditions. Before taking this medication, it is important to understand both the potential good and the potential bad reactions it could cause in the body.
Patients should discuss a prescription very carefully with their doctors as well as with their pharmacists before deciding that it’s right for them to use. It’s also important to follow the prescription directions very carefully as they are designed to create the most positive effect while avoiding unwanted symptoms.