The pros and cons of medical marijuana

By Jane Smith on 28th Dec 2019

The use of marijuana is illegal in Tennessee, but the pressure is growing to change that. Already some 17 states in the US have legalized it for medical use. But what are the ‘pros and cons’ of Marijuana and its effect, good or bad, on your health?

According to, there are many different strains of cannabis with varying concentration of cannabinoids. The concentration and proportion between the different cannabinoids have heavy impact on the operation, use and tolerability.

The claimed medical use and health benefits are potentially extensive. For example:

  • Help to treat Glaucoma
  • Help reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and improve lung health
  • It can help control epileptic seizures
  • Decreases the symptoms of a severe seizure disorder known as Dravet’s Syndrome
  • A chemical found in marijuana called CBD stops cancer from spreading.
  • It may decrease anxiety (it can also have the opposite effect) See also cons!
  • THC slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Marijuana eases the pain of multiple sclerosis
  • Cannabis treats inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Relieves arthritis discomfort
  • Improves the symptoms of Lupus, an autoimmune disorder
  • Marijuana spurs creativity in the brain
  • Cannabis might be able to help with Crohn’s disease
  • Weed soothes tremors for people with Parkinson’s disease
  • Marijuana helps veterans suffering from PTSD
  • Weed reduces some of the awful pain and nausea from chemo, and stimulates appetite
  • Cannabis can help people trying to cut back on drinking
  • Cannabinoids activate brain cell growth
  • It may help at schizophrenia (it can also have the opposite effect) See also cons!

Some illnesses and disorders that may benefit from taking Marijuana::

  • Antibiotic-resistant infections
  • Immuno-suppressive
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Vascular and muscle relaxing
  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Spasm
  • MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic pain
  • schizophrenia

Cons of Marijuana use:

  • It may increase anxiety, and this depends on the quality of weed, the preposition of the consumer and social environment
  • In some cases, it can cause schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Psychosis (In very few cases, experts believe the cause of psychosis to take in conjunction with marijuana, but only as a trigger which already slumbered in the affected.)
  • It may temporarily affect the short-term memory
  • Paranoia and an increase in appetite
  • In terms of addiction, cannabis may be one of the least dangerous drugs. Not body addictive, but can cause mental dependency. Some would claim in comparison to alcohol, cigarette, heroin and other opiates, Marijuana is harmless. But heavy usage could cause mental addiction and other problems.

Above list and info, courtesy of:

But according to (who have compiled their own “Pros and Cons of Marijuana Use-an informative read), there are other ‘Cons” as well…

Legalizing marijuana is opposed by major public health organizations. Some of the public health associations that oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use include the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Legalization campaigns that imply that marijuana is a benign substance present a significant challenge for educating the public about its known risks and adverse effects,” the American Academy of Pediatrics said. The ASAM “does not support the legalization of marijuana and recommends that jurisdictions that have not acted to legalize marijuana be most cautious and not adopt a policy of legalization until more can be learned.” The AMA “believes that (1) cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern; (2) sale of cannabis should not be legalized.”

Marijuana use harms the brain, and legalization will increase mental health problems. Cannabis use may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, depression, and other psychiatric disorders. Researchers at Harvard and Northwestern found that recreational marijuana smokers showed abnormalities in the shape, volume, and density of certain areas of the brain.

Dr. Hans Breiter, a psychiatrist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital who co-authored the study, said, “People think a little marijuana shouldn’t cause a problem if someone is doing O.K. with work or school. Our data directly says this is not so.”A British Journal of Psychiatry study stated, “There is good evidence that taking cannabis leads to acute adverse mental effects in a high proportion of regular users.”

A survey published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal reported that 22% of marijuana users experienced “acute anxiety or panic attacks following cannabis use,” and 15% had psychotic symptoms following use. More at

Scientific Evidence Remains Limited

In the past, clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of marijuana to treat certain conditions have been restrictive and limited. As medical marijuana becomes more prevalent throughout the world, researchers are doing more studies.

However, expert reviews of current research continue to advocate that more studies are needed. Many of the hurdles involve controlling the quality and dosing of cannabis with what is legally available to researchers. Additionally, a number of the current studies are not controlled clinical trials in which a placebo or alternative medicine is used. Without more of these comparative studies, scientific evidence on the therapeutic effects of cannabis will remain in question.

Until marijuana is downgraded from a Schedule I drug, widespread clinical trials are unlikely to happen in the United States. If we really want a definitive answer as to whether marijuana is valuable for symptom management, it needs to be evaluated using the same standards as other medications.

The Facts of the Matter

  1. A 2017 Gallup poll found a record-high 64% support for legalizing marijuana, up from 12% in 1969, the first year the polling company asked about marijuana.
  2. Smoking one marijuana joint is as damaging to the lungs as five tobacco cigarettes, and marijuana may contain five times as much carbon monoxide concentration and three times as much tar as tobacco.
  3. Marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington has cost Mexican drug cartels an estimated $2.7 billion in profits.
  4. 68% of marijuana users report daily or near-daily use.
  5. In 2016 The state of Colorado pulled in nearly $200 million in tax revenue thanks to its $1.3 billion in marijuana revenue.


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