John from Albuquerque, New Mexico, asks:
Doc, I have heard marijuana is an excellent natural painkiller. Is this correct?
Quite a few Americans are on a pilgrimage cross-country to those U.S. states where marijuana is legalized. Inter alia, for pain relief. Unfortunately, ‘legal’ does not necessarily mean safe for your health as research at, inter alia, the University of Colorado School of Medicine has validated scientifically.
Rather, the use of marijuana can have dramatic side effects on at least 3 biologic levels: psychiatric (such as hallucinations, anxiety, and a generally altered mental status), cardiovascular (such as hypertension, fast heart rate, palpitations – and stroke), and gastrointestinal (such as vomiting and abdominal pain). Sending more and more recreational ‘travelers’ to the ER.
In a nutshell: marijuana is a narcotic as it always was and therefore, when it comes to pain relief, it is the death of a myth.
Fortunately, natural medicine has safe and effective alternatives for pain relief. Like the herb White Willow Bark, with quite some history. Not only as a herb used for thousands of years in India's natural Ayurvedic Medicine. Also, when the pharmaceutical company Bayer synthesized this natural herb to patent it by the name of Aspirin in the year of 1900, 'modern' medicine based on pharmaceutical drugs was born.
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Dr. Mark Fritz, NMD, PhD