Medical Cannabis (MC) is a relatively safe and effective medication for a wide variety of conditions says cannabis expert Peter Grinspoon, MD, a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor at the Harvard Medical School. In an interview posted this week with Cannabis Conversations, Grinspoon explained that while no medication comes without potential harm, the trick is to compare what you’re using to other meds for the same condition:
It’s [MC] a relatively safe and effective medication. And when we say safe you have to ask: Compared to what? Compare to alternatives for chronic pain. Compared to alternatives for insomnia which is another very big indication. What are you going to use? Ambien? Benzodiazepines? Sedatives? Tricyclics? I mean it’s safer for sleep than the alternatives.
So I would say, yes, it’s a safe and effective medication. And that’s why people are adopting it so rapidly, particularly the elderly.
Chronic pain is what Grinspoon most often uses MC for and he prefers it not only because it works but also because it’s safer than the alternatives. Opiates, he says, risk overdose and death, addiction, poor quality of life, and constipation. Tylenol “doesn’t do anything,” and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen, “if they don’t give you a heart attack or ulcers they’ll eventually kill your kidneys.”
That’s why, Grinspoon says, MC is skyrocketing: “People are beginning to realize all the nonsense they’ve been taught by the government where 95% of what they’re being told just isn’t true.”
Even though MC controls pain just as well if not better than the other drugs, Grinspoon, tongue firmly in cheek, readily admits to one very common side effect that he describes as just “terrible:” a little bit of happy euphoria!