Reasons Patients Might Prefer Medical Marijuana to Prescription Drugs

Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

At a time when Americans are seemingly overprescribed medications, many are beginning to look for alternative treatment methods that are as effective as their prescription medications, but that may contain higher safety profiles and produce fewer side effects. The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found 119 million Americans (or 45% of the population) over the age of 12 were prescribed medications. Of that, 19 million (or 7.1% of the population) abused their medications. These statistics show that finding alternative treatment options is necessary, and many patients are starting to turn to natural alternatives like medical marijuana, which is known to produce few adverse side effects and can provide relief for a myriad of symptoms.

One of the reasons patients may prefer medical marijuana is that it is as effective, if not more effective, than prescription medications at relieving certain symptoms. Countless studies have found patients attest to cannabis as being as effective or more effective at relieving chronic pain or reducing the severity and frequency of epileptic seizures, which allows them to reduce or eliminate their use of pharmaceutical medications. That said, sometimes medical marijuana cannot provide full symptom relief on its own. In some situations, marijuana can be used in conjunction with other more traditional treatment regimens, like prescription medications or chemotherapy, to enhance the effects of these therapies. Additionally, patients can use medical marijuana without the fear of risking overdose or without the fear of becoming addicted (although some suggest marijuana is habit forming and may stimulate a sort of psychological dependence). Some pharmaceutical medications may provide desirable symptom relief while at the same time producing other unwanted side effects, but with medical marijuana, this is not the case. With medical marijuana, side effects are not severe and are minimal.

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.