Frequently Asked Questions
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True or False: The only way to consume medical marijuana is to smoke it.
False. Although medical cannabis can be smoked, most patients prefer to vape or use a tincture. Vaping is a safe alternative to smoking. You use a vaping device that heats the plant material and then inhale the vapor. This is much less harsh than smoking, as you are not burning anything, which is what causes the harmful side effects associated with smoking. Tinctures are liquids that you consume with the dropper. You place a small amount under your tongue, which is then absorbed into your system. There are also lotions, creams, and patches that you can apply externally.
True or False. Medical marijuana will cause a high.
False. Medical marijuana has hundreds of components, but the primary two are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD does not cause a high. THC can cause a high, but when it is used with CBD, those effects are minimized or eliminated. A professional medical marijuana doctor can assist you with choosing a CBD:THC ratio that is right for your medical and lifestyle needs.
True or False. CBD is medicinal. THC is recreational.
False. Some medical marijuana products only contain CBD because of its medicinal properties, such as improving sleep, reducing inflammation, and relieving pain. THC also has medicinal properties, though, and can also help ease pain and reduce inflammation. CBD may also work better when combined with THC, which is how they are found in the marijuana plant.
True or False. Medical marijuana has not been studied.
False. It is true that medical marijuana research has been limited in the United States until recently. This is because it is still classified as a Schedule I drug on a federal level. Many foreign countries have moved forward with studying medical cannabis, though, sharing that research worldwide, and several large-scale studies are underway in the U.S., in part because of the recent approval of Epidiolex, a prescription CBD formulation to treat a relatively rare form of epilepsy.
True or False. Doctors do not support medical marijuana.
False. Many doctors support medical marijuana use. There are professional organizations for doctors who want to see more research on medical marijuana use and legalization of medical marijuana on a federal level. There are some doctors who do not support medical cannabis use, of course, but if you feel it is right for you, seek out a medical cannabis physician who can help you get started with qualifying for treatment.
True or False. Using medical marijuana leads to addiction.
False. There is no conclusive evidence that using medical marijuana leads to addiction. With medical marijuana, you are working closely with a doctor who can help you find the right dose for your needs. If you have concerns about becoming dependent, let your doctor know, but typically medical marijuana users do not experience difficulties with stopping medical marijuana use.
True or False. Using medical marijuana leads to the use of illicit drugs. It is a gateway drug.
False. Medical marijuana is not a gateway drug. In fact, it is actually an exit drug. Many opioid-medication users are able to reduce their opioid use by using medical cannabis. It does not lead to using more and harder drugs, as medical marijuana typically does not cause a high. In states where medical marijuana is legal, research published in the Journal of American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine has shown a decrease in opioid prescriptions in comparison to states where medical marijuana is not legal.
True or False. Marijuana is more harmful than tobacco.
False. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Alabama of Birmingham found that marijuana does not have the same harmful effects as tobacco—even when it is smoked.
True or False. Medical marijuana will make you feel unmotivated and lazy.
False. While medical marijuana can make you feel more relaxed and help you sleep better, it will not make you unable to function. There are some strains that may be better taken at night, but your medical cannabis doctor can help you determine the right strain and dosing schedule for your needs. You will still be able to accomplish your daily activities while using medical cannabis.
True or False. Marijuana use kills brain cells.
False. Marijuana use does not harm or kill brain cells. It does not damage the brain or impair your cognitive abilities, even with long-term use. In fact, research published in the Journal of Neuroinflamation shows it may actually help protect the brain.
True or False. Medical marijuana has the same effect regardless of the delivery method.
False. The delivery method is a critical component of medical marijuana use. Consuming cannabis edibles may take longer to take effect than taking a tincture sublingually (under the tongue). However, swallowing medical marijuana provides powerful and long-lasting results. The Inhalation from smoking or vaping medical cannabis may take effect faster than taking it with food; however, the effect doesn’t last as long. Your medical cannabis doctor can guide you to the right delivery method for your medical needs.
True or False. Only young people use medical marijuana.
False. Medical marijuana is used by adults of all ages. According to research by Headset.io, roughly half of all marijuana purchases are made by those age 35 and older.
True or False. Medical marijuana is just an excuse to use marijuana recreationally.
False. Although there are always people who take advantage of opportunities, most medical marijuana users are responsible people who need relief from a medical condition such as arthritis, epilepsy, chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety or another of the many conditions that can be relieved with cannabis use.
True or False. Using medical marijuana is unseemly and stigmatized.
False. Although some people may look down on those that use medical marijuana, more than 60 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization, according to the Pew Research Center. Medical marijuana is regulated by the state and is only available with a doctor’s recommendation. It is purchased from state-licensed centers. With more than 30 states having some form of marijuana legalization, medical marijuana use is much more common and less stigmatized than it has been in the past.
About Neurology of Cannabis
Located in beautiful Sarasota, Florida, the offices of Neurology of Cannabis are open to all full-time and seasonal Florida residents exploring medical treatment options with medical marijuana.
At Neurology of Cannabis, we are passionate about the effective use of medical marijuana to transform the health of our patients.
Our mission is to improve the quality of life for all Floridians through the responsible use of cannabis.