The Safety Profile of Medical Cannabis
By Suzanna Mountain
Scientists and Archeologists are in agreement, ancients cultivated cannabis for medical, psychedelic and divinatory use. Marijuana has remained in use worldwide for the same purposes till today. In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act put an end to all forms of legal pot use in America. The illegality of cannabis was reaffirmed in 1970 when it was officially classified as a Schedule I substance, a classification reserved only for drugs which have no medicinal value, are highly addictive, and are not safe for medical use under the supervision of a medical professional. This is the most severe drug classification there is. Even as medical and recreational legality spread across the nation, the Obama administration has made it clear that there is no reason to even review cannabis’ classification.
Meanwhile, research on the medical benefits of marijuana are ground breaking on every front. No justification for marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I substance have arisen. Just the opposite. With over 20,000 peer reviewed articles published on the medical benefits of marijuana, it is becoming apparent that marijuana is the miracle drug many people suffering from a wide variety of ailments have been looking for.
“Evidence is accumulating that cannabinoids may be useful medicine for certain indications. … The classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug as well as the continuing controversy as to whether or not cannabis is of medical value are obstacles to medical progress in this area. Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.” – published in Open Neurology Journal in 2012
Marijuana is arguably the safest therapeutic drug available. It is impossible to consume a fatal dose regardless of potency. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “There are no recorded cases of overdose fatalities attributed to cannabis, and the estimated lethal dose for humans extrapolated from animal studies is so high that it cannot be achieved by … users.” Studies at McGill University found that even the medical use of THC and CBD extracts in much higher concentrations than found in cannabis plant matter itself rarely led to adverse affects.
This is of course not to suggest that marijuana is entirely harmless. Certain types of psychological instability can be triggered or worsened by cannabis use. People with decreased lung function should of course steer clear of excessive smoke inhalation. But it must be said, overall, a safer pain killer is not available.