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We specialize in hot-button medical topics, such as medical marijuana and alternative medicine, as well as exciting new treatment plans and medications.
One of the most heated medical debate topics of the generation is the legitimacy of medical marijuana. Proponents of medical marijuana legalization cite the effects of the drug on a wide range of ailments, from mental health treatment to chemotherapy stress relief, and that medical marijuana has an astonishingly small side effect profile and limited long-term effects when compared to alternative treatment options. Opponents of the legalization of medical marijuana stress that legalization of marijuana in any capacity will lead to increased use, not enough studies have been performed to sufficiently claim that it is helpful as a medical treatment option and that some individuals experience extreme apathy, psychosis, and addiction because of the drug.
The topic is extremely polarizing, and it can be difficult to rummage around the claims and opinions to access the legitimate facts about medical marijuana—so we did it for you! Here are three unbiased facts on medical marijuana that we consider to be both important and underreported.
Marijuana is a Schedule 1 Drug
According to the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug, which means it’s placed in the highest of five possible categories. As a Schedule 1 drug, cannabis is viewed to be highly addictive and have no accepted medical application. This puts marijuana in the same category as heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and peyote. It’s important to note, however, that an incredibly large number of studies on marijuana and its medical applications have been completed since 1970; while some studies have revealed potential medical applications of marijuana and its classification has been debated, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug.
Medical Marijuana is being Used in the United Kingdom
Sativex is a cannabis-based drug designed for neuropathic pain in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. It is approved in 24-countries but is still under review in the US. It is directly derived from the marijuana plant but is standardized as to ensure that every bottle of Sativex contains the same amount of active ingredients (standardization is a large issue for many doctors who do not support medical marijuana).
In addition, Sativex and similar drugs have been found to help with the post-surgical pain of procedures such as hip and knee replacements, as well as lower back procedures.
Eight of Ten States Saw a Decrease in Marijuana Usage after Legalization
By 2006, ten states nationwide legalized marijuana for medical use. In eight of those states, teen use of marijuana decreased. Four of those eight states reported statistically significant teen marijuana use in the years following legalization.
Analyzing and understanding these facts on medical marijuana and the potential implications of legalization can help you to design your own opinion and stance on the legalization of medical marijuana. For more information on medical marijuana availability and enforcement in Colorado, contact the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division or explore https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/medicalmarijuana.
Many blogs about medicine mention and promote “alternative medicine.” It’s a hot phrase commonly used in political speeches and opinion editorials and is repeatedly plastered on newspaper headlines and blogs to catch attention. Everyone seems to have an opinion on alternative medicine, but what is alternative medicine? In short, alternative medicine is any proposed medical practice that isn’t considered orthodox by the greater medical community. The conflict around alternative medicine is essentially between those who believe in it and those who don’t.
Each side of the debate features strong claims. Opponents to alternative medicine refer to the lack of complete and professionally produced medical studies; proponents of alternative medicine often cite personal experiences and reactions they’ve witnessed in people rather than thorough studies. Regardless of which side of the debate you’re on, one topic that is commonly questioned and mentioned is the legitimacy of the scientific experiments completed, whether the large medical studies from esteemed universities or the small case studies from alternative medicine practitioners.
Many people just don’t know that they should be on the lookout for distinguishing fake, exaggerated, or purposefully misinterpreted scientific reports (pseudoscience) from legitimately performed and properly analyzed science. Regardless of your position on a debate, the public misinterpretation of scientific reports and lack of knowledge on pseudoscience often reduces professional and respectful debates on the subject into emotion-evoking shouting matches. Here are some easy ways you can identify pseudoscience:
- Is the tone of the language unbiased and non-emotive, or is it specifically designed to evoke anger, awe, hopelessness, or any other raw and powerful feelings?
- A tell-tale sign of pseudoscience is “psychobabble”, or the improper use and overuse of scientific terms to suggest credibility. Is the scientific jargon used legitimate, or does it border on ridiculous?
- Does the article make wild claims with little to no evidence? If so, it’s probably illegitimate.
- Pseudoscience often places extreme trust and dependence on anecdotal evidence rather than on large studies completed on many people.
- It can be helpful to assume that every article is pseudoscience and force the author to prove their point and earn your trust in their competence.
Pseudoscience runs rampant throughout the alternative medicine debate and many, many others. Being able to spot the pseudoscience amongst the legitimate science in every debate can lead to a more wholesome and real understanding of any given topic so you can create better claims and formulate more well-informed opinions.