Is Medical Marijuana Right for You?

When you see a green cross in Colorado, what do you think of? Many Colorado residents have now come to associate this symbol with medical marijuana, the drug that has been used to treat skin disorders, sleep disorders, eye disease, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, Huntington’s disease, glaucoma, and cancer-related issues…to name a few. So while some Coloradans are enjoying the right to consider medical marijuana as a treatment for their ailments, the drug is still illegal to possess in over half of the country. How can something that seems so good, also be considered so bad?

The jury is still out on medical marijuana because long term effects have yet to be determined. While numerous studies are currently taking place, we still do not have results of any long-term studies.

For one person, medical marijuana may offer immediate relief from their ailment, while causing anxiety and rapid heartbeat in another person. So while tales of both positive and negative experiences are easy to find, it is important to look beyond the hype. Consider a variety of treatment options. Most importantly, if you think medical marijuana may be right for your particular health issue, don’t forget to include a medical professional in the conversation.

So how do you know if medical marijuana right for you? As with any other drug, exercise caution. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And lastly, do your research – using reputable sources like National Institutes of Health and Mayo Clinic.

Remember that human bodies are resilient and often will recover without medical interventions. If you are seeking treatment for relief from common ailments that will likely clear up on their own, it’s possible that any form of medication is unnecessary.

Lastly, marijuana use for anyone under the age of 21 is not only illegal but potentially very harmful, as young peoples’ brains are still developing up to around the age of 25.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has provided this great resource that can be used to educate yourself and others about the effects of marijuana on our kids and adolescents.