Pharmaceutical medications can be accompanied by adverse negative side effects, some that are extremely severe, like the possibility of a fatal overdose. With medical marijuana, negative side effects are slim, and those that do exist are often mild. In fact, it is nearly impossible to fatally overdose on the plant. As pharmacologist Dr. Nichol Iverson explains, "Laboratory animals (rats, mice, dogs and monkeys) can tolerate doses of up to 1000 mg/kg. This would be equivalent to a 70 kg person swallowing 70 g of the drug - about 5,000 times more than is required to produce a high. Despite widespread illicit use of cannabis, there are very few, if any, instances of people dying from an overdose."
Not only is marijuana safer than pharmaceuticals due to its lack of severe side effects and the nearly nonexistent possibility of overdose, but also because it is a far less addictive substance. Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School, wrote, "Marihuana is also far less addictive and far less subject to abuse than many drugs now used as muscle relaxants, hypnotics, and analgesics." Cannabis should not be hailed as a harmless drug, however. Some of the short-term effects include coughing, euphoria, dry mouth, red eyes, increased appetite, blurred vision, delayed motor reactions, sedation, anxiety, and on rare occasions convulsions. Long-term effects include the potential for developing bronchitis or a chronic cough, cognitive effects like short-term memory loss and a shorter attention span, and psychomotor effects like a lack of coordination or unsteadiness, .
Read the full analysis of cannabis' safety profile on the Cresco Labs website. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer.