Is Cannabis A Safe Medicine?

Marijuana: A traditional herbal remedy… or a dangerous drug?

Medical Marijuana - Cannabis Leaf and StethoscopeFor thousands of years, Cannabis has been used as a medicine by mankind: From physicians in ancient China to the medical marijuana dispensaries that are becoming an increasingly popular sight in more liberal territories across the planet, the herb has proven to be a vital tool in the treatment of a myriad of conditions: From loss of appetite, to brain cancer, multiple sclerosis to Alzheimer’s.

Whilst some more enlightened parts of the planet might allow medical marijuana to be used and studied, the sad truth is that this natural medicine is still heavily suppressed throughout most of the world…

This global cannabis embargo is enforced by hard-hitting anti-drug laws which severely limit themedical_marijuana_B_dec13 chances of marijuana ever becoming a threat to the current breed of highly-profitable man-made pharmaceuticals which dominate the medical industry: Despite the fact that it may have the potential to be a lower-risk alternative in many cases!

Before anyone can make their mind up about the safety of marijuana, the risks must first be assessed…

As with all medicines, there may be some side-effects…

Whilst marijuana is often described as a relatively safe medicine, it can end up triggering somemedical_marijuana_C_dec13 adverse reactions, including:

  • Paranoia
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Impaired co-ordination and reflexes
  • If smoked, it can carry similar risks to consuming tobacco
  • It has been linked to an increased chance of developing schizophrenia

This list tells us something that any medical professional could: No medicine is without its risks – it’s just that some substances are more dangerous than others…

In order to put the dangers of cannabis into perspective, some of the risks involved in consuming the (legal pretty much anywhere) painkiller, Ibuprofen, can include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fluid retention
  • Headache
  • Stomach inflammation
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Blood in the stool or vomit
  • Allergic reactions
  • Narrowing of airways
  • An increased risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack, with higher doses

So, given the series of risks listed above, how come Ibuprofen is so widely accepted around the world, whilst cannabis is, save for a few exceptions, regarded as an illegal substance?

The schizophrenia connection: is there really a link?

Out of the potential side-effects that cannabis has been linked to, schizophrenia is one of the most serious on the list: But new studies are unveiling evidence which might mean that the relationship between this particular form of mental illness and marijuana is not as close as researchers have previously thought…

A study which was recently conducted at the prestigious Harvard Medical School suggests that cannabis use alone is not a major factor in increasing the risk of an individual developing schizophrenia: Instead, the researchers found that the answer came down to genetics…

Whereas previous studies didn’t really separate cannabis users with a family history of schizophrenia and those without, the recent study did: And, as the results illustrated, it was this genetic disposition which was the major contributing factor – and not marijuana use alone.

Whilst no one is saying that there isn’t a link between cannabis use and schizophrenia, it is clear that more research needs to be conducted, especially given the findings of this recent study.

Cannabis: Is it safe or not?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer which will apply to everyone, regarding the safety of cannabis: The real question should be: How does cannabis compare to existing, legal medications, on the sliding scale of efficacy versus adverse effects?


The information and views expressed within this post are presented for educational and entertainment purposes only: We urge all readers to consult an approved medical professional before seeking any form of treatment and to strictly obey the laws of their country of residence.