Pros and Cons of Using Medical Marijuana

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: May 17, 2015 | Last Updated: Apr 3, 2019

Pros and Cons of Using Medical Marijuana

Over the last two decades the medicinal value of marijuana has been well documented, and the voluminous supply of scientific research on the subject has verified its efficacy when used to treat a variety of medical conditions.

Yet many firsthand accounts of the drug and we use that term loosely have been denounced by some in the scientific community as mere anecdotal evidence.

Understanding of a substance may be one thing, but shouldn’t the real-life and actual effects of medical marijuana that are proven to alleviate health problems in patients be taken just as seriously as statistical analysis?

In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of using marijuana for controlled medicinal purposes. First, let’s provide some frame of reference by comparing the herb to its street-level counterpart.

Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

Recreational Marijuana

For the most part, the quality of the herb will be largely the same whether it’s for medical or recreational use. That still doesn’t guarantee illegally procured marijuana will be safe by any means – far from it, in fact.

Some street dealers have been known to lace their product with powerful drugs in order to enhance the high, or its inherent potency may be higher.

According to Rehab Center Rankings, there is a discrepancy between the motivations of licensed medical practitioners and drug dealers which affect the buyer’s intended outcome.

With that in mind, we’ll move onto the benefits and drawbacks of medical marijuana as relevant to the interests of most modern Americans.


1. Marijuana Is a Safer Alternative
Countless studies have shown that medical marijuana can be an effective treatment and possible cure for cancer, and is a viable alternative to the prescription pills currently used in treating nausea, vomiting, HIV symptoms, hepatitis C and glaucoma.

2. Reallocation of Law Enforcement
When the distribution and administration of marijuana can be controlled through the medical profession, the substance loses the negative associations that are too often attached. Interestingly, crime rates are down in states where it has been legalized.

3. A Variety of Consumption Methods
Unlike some other prescription drugs, medical marijuana can be inhaled, eaten or even sprayed via portable vaporizers. Some varieties may be devoid of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – the mind-altering ingredient that creates the high, allowing for a broader range of medical applications and treatment options.

4. Positive Psychoactive and Physiological Effects
Marijuana has long been used as an effective medicinal agent in cultures the world over and the practice continues to this day. Many doctors are in favor of patients using medical marijuana under supervision given the herb’s proven ability to promote relaxation, heightened moods and euphoric feelings.

Medical Cannabis and Its Impact on Human Health a Cannabis Documentary


1. There Is a Potential for Abuse
While marijuana poses very little if any danger to the health of the patient, prolonged use that is outside recovery parameters could lead to symptoms that resemble those of certain mental disorders.

2. Medicinal Marijuana Is Not FDA Approved
As medicinal marijuana is not FDA approved, some doctors and hospitals may be hesitant to prescribe marijuana as a potential treatment. In light of this, many patients will be assuming an ultimately uncertain amount of risk as long as the substance remains un-FDA approved.

3. Patients Will Be Required to Provide ID
To make medical marijuana accessible to those in need, the bureaucratic hurdles that are present within the dispensary and patient-registry enrollment process represent a significant challenge to anyone without proper identification.

Fortunately, society’s perception of marijuana is beginning to change along with the views of the medical and scientific community.

Now, the use of medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and as more than 85 percent of Americans are in favor of medical cannabis, it’s likely those other states will soon follow suit. Perhaps all that’s needed are more conclusive and carefully implemented clinical trials.

Only time will tell.

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