One of the most interesting attributes of cannabinoids is their unique safety record when weighed against other therapeutically active chemicals, most significantly their inability to be fatal upon overdose because they do not act as depressants for the central nervous system, unlike alcohol or opiates. The World Health Organization stated that the projected overdose amount would be physically impossible for users to even reach.
Also unlike opiates and alcohol, cannabinoids are largely nontoxic to healthy cells or organs, proven by a 40 year period of clinical studies and trials in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that found no increase in serious negative effects in marijuana consumers in relation to a control group, only noting dizziness as the most common non-serious negative effect. Newer trials have taken place after these findings and showed cannabinoids possessing not only neuroprotective properties against toxins, but an abundance of anti-cancer capabilities as well. The Institute of Medicine for the National Academy of Sciences reported that, aside from the adverse effects related to smoking, the possible harms from cannabis comply with parameters set for other medications and could be rated a relatively safe drug in comparison to other mainly recreational drugs.
Though it has been proven to be relatively safe, cannabis like all drugs is not completely harmless, as its psychoactive effects are still present in one form or another. Marijuana can alter mood, emotion and perception, thus consumers are advised to be fully aware of their state of being and surroundings prior to medication, and should not be used prior to driving or conducting any activities which require retention of new information. As with any therapy or medication, prospective patients should thoroughly consult their doctor on whether medical cannabis is appropriate for their condition and situation.