Medical Marijuana vs. Prescription Drugs: Why Marijuana Comes Out on Top
More research is being done that proves medical marijuana to be an effective treatment for conditions that cause chronic pain, nausea, anxiety, and a host of other adverse symptoms. Individuals who use marijuana to treat everything from post-traumatic stress disorder to cancer to fibromyalgia swear by the effectiveness of the herb and its ability to reduce pain and improve overall well-being.
Fortunately for these individuals and millions of others who can benefit from its therapeutic use, medical marijuana is now legal in 29 states including California. In the golden state, anyone possessing a state-issued medical marijuana ID card can legally purchase marijuana from any dispensary in the state as well as grow it in their home for personal use. An ID card is easily obtained online by getting approval from a licensed physician.
California residents who have a condition that can be medically treated by marijuana often wonder if they would be better off using the herb or to use prescription medication. Many doctors still recommend prescription drugs as their main method of treatment and continue to renew prescriptions for their patients on a regular basis. Do you wonder whether you should use marijuana or prescriptions in your treatment plan or if would you like to explore marijuana as an alternative to your present prescriptions? Here are just a few reasons why medical marijuana comes out on top.
It Can Treat the Disease as Well as the Symptoms
In most cases, prescription drugs are used only to treat symptoms of underlying diseases or conditions by masking pain. Medical marijuana, however, can actually help treat some diseases while also helping the individual manage symptoms. In the case of cancer, for example, cannabis can kill cancer cells and inhibit the growth of tumors. Whether used in combination with more aggressive forms of treatment like chemotherapy and radiation or on its own, marijuana can be effective in making a cancer patient feel better as well as fight their disease.
No Danger of Overdose
Prescription drug abuse is a big problem in the United States and it is estimated that more than 17,000 deaths per year are the result of prescription overdoses. This number is greater than More than 50 million Americans use prescription drugs for uses other than medical, and addiction to opioids affects those as young as 12 years old.
As of 2017, there have been no known overdoses of medical marijuana. In addition, it is much more likely for individuals to become addicted to heroin or cocaine based on opioid use than marijuana use as opioids are derived from the same source as harder illegal drugs.
Fewer Dangerous Side Effects
One of the biggest drawbacks of prescription medication is the multitude of side effects ranging from constipation to fatigue and everything in between. Many people also develop a tolerance to their dosage of painkillers, which makes them continually up their dosage to experience the same effects. This leads to even more serious side effects and can cause other conditions that then need to be treated—often with more prescriptions medications.
Prescription drugs can be also be life threatening. Some prescriptions increase the risk of developing additional problems like deadly brain infections. Others, like drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis, work by blocking white blood cells. Since these cells protect the body from infection and disease, the inhibition of them can lead to more damage than the originally disease they are meant to treat.
Medical marijuana is not without side effects, of course, but they are generally much less dangerous and easier to manage. Common marijuana side effects are dizziness, lethargy, and low blood pressure, but much of this can be remedied by adjusting the dosage or percentage of THC in the drug. Medical marijuana has a lower percentage of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, than its recreational counterpart and tends to produce fewer side effects.
Long-term use of opioids includes decreased brain function, liver damage, hormonal dysfunction, and an overall weakening of the immune system. Those who try to stop taking opioids may also experience a number of negative side effects, especially if they have been on the drugs for a long period of time. Withdrawal symptoms can include muscle aches, anxiety, inability to sleep, high blood pressure, excessive sweating and more. This often leads individuals to begin taking the drugs again to deal with the symptoms, leading to a cycle of addiction.
Marijuana, on the other hand, has few long-term side effects, especially for individuals who take CBD-heavy medical marijuana. In fact, there is even emerging research that shows positive effects of medical marijuana on the temporal lobe of the brain. Most medical marijuana never experience any signs of addiction to the herb and do not have to deal with the problems of increased tolerance or withdrawals.
With prescription drugs, you only have one choice: to take a pill (or multiple pills.) Some individuals are on so many medications that they are taking dozens of pills per day. If you don’t like taking pills or if they irritate your stomach, you don’t have many other options when it comes to prescriptions.
Medical marijuana comes in a variety of forms including vaporizing, smoking, and eating. This makes it easier to incorporate the drug into your everyday routine and find the delivery method that works best for your needs. When you work with a local dispensary, you can ask questions about the different forms that are available for purchase or for ways you can alter what you buy to make different forms of consumables. Remember to ask how altering the drug will change its chemical composition and/or potency so you can adjust for the proper dosage.
If you are considering or are currently using prescription medications to treat the symptoms of a disease or condition, you should look at medical marijuana as an alternative treatment option. Marijuana has fewer dangerous side effects, is more customized to your needs, and can even be more effective than prescription drugs. If you are interested in obtaining your ID card so you can legally buy medical marijuana, please reach out for more information.