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The first thing that you should know is that Marijuana is the Spanish language word for Cannabis. Back in the 1930’s when cannabis came under attack by the federal government drug agents started using the Spanish language “marijuana” instead of cannabis so that the racial passions of the public would be inflamed.  Lost in that ugly racist history is that cannabis was primarily a medicine before it was outlawed in 1937.  It is just in the last 20 years that the medical effects of cannabis have again been touted.

Cannabis compounds are largely derived from of the dried flowers and the leaves of the cannabis plant.  Cannabis is so much more than just a plant, it is a rather elegant compound in the botanic world.  Of the 5 main cannabinoids one is particularly powerful for healing and it is also a non-psychoactive compound called CBD (Cannabidinol). This is the ingredient, along with the THC, that delivers the much needed healing effects of marijuana.

Even though it might seem basic, a lot of people are unfamiliar with the composition and major compounds in cannabis. It’s important in the age of medical marijuana to take a look at some of the scientific benefits of the compounds – specifically CBD and THC – as  they produce most of the benefits that people look for when determining the potential benefits of medical marijuana.

Does hemp oil cure cancer?

There are different types of cancerous conditions affecting various parts of our bodies, so let’s have a look.

  1. Brain cancer

There are a few studies in this area and a good deal of anecdotal evidence. For instance, a study published in the British Journal of Cancer showed that compounds found in hemp oil as well as other cannabinoids managed to inhibit the growth of a brain tumor. The delivery of the cannabinoid was actually safe and it didn’t have any psychoactive effects and the cannabinoids were found to actively decrease the tumor cells in two of the nine patients taht participated in the study.

  1. Lung cancer

The Experimental Medical Department of Harvard Medical School determined that THC is capable of inhibiting the epithelial growth factor which induces the migration of lung cancer cells. Another study published by the US National Library of Medicine showed that cannabinoids are capable of inhibiting the invasion of cancerous cells as well.

  1. Blood cancer

There is some good news on this front related to hemp oil.  A study published in the Molecular Pharmacology journal showed that cannabinoinds inhibit cell growth and are effective against apoptosis (the death of cells) in the mantle cell lymphoma.

4. Other types of cancer

Of course, it’s also worth noting that there are other types of cancer and hemp oil has a lot of additional benefits in that regard as well. Cannabis is definitely a perfect example of how our minds could be easily conditioned to believe in something even when we are conclusively faced with evidence which contradicts our beliefs afterwards. All of us, while growing up, were told that drugs are “bad”, so to speak. However, as science and medicine advances further, it turns out that substances such as cannabis and cannabidinol, for example, could be potentially lifesaving. What is more, this particular substance has over 50,000 different uses, all of which are particularly beneficial. This is something that needs to be taken into account – that’s certain. The US has already noticed this as it reflects in the ongoing legalization tendencies of medical marijuana.

Handling Nicotine Addiction – Positive Effects of Marijuana

Evidence related to cannabis and the potential treatment of nicotine addiction is based on a brand new study conducted with 24 smokers which were randomly chosen and give an inhaler with CBD or an inhaler with a placebo. They were then asked to take a slight puff whenever they felt the need to have a smoke. Those who had the placebo saw no difference and there wasn’t a drop in the use of cigarettes. However, those who were given the real CBD reported a 40% drop in the intake of nicotine. This is quite impressive and it’s without a doubt one of the most impressive new feats of medical cannabis.  It begs the question : what else can this wonder drug do?

Benefits of Marijuana for Acne

The Journal of Clinical Investigation as well as the National Institute of Health discovered that the CBD can actually battle acne. The researchers used cannabidinol on the glands and determined that it has highly anti-inflammatory and sebostatic properties which turned to be a great benefit when treating acne. The research was later published in a study and, to use a turn of phrase; it’s absolutely legit.

Medical Marijuana Benefits Related to Diabetes

Another study conclusively managed to prevent diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice using CBD. The study also revealed that the substance is capable of preventing cytokine which is absolutely crucial because it plays an important part in a variety of different autoimmune diseases.

Other Benefits

In any case, it’s obvious that CBD has a variety of different benefits and healing properties. To list a few more, it can help you handle fibromyalgia, mad cow disease (seriously!), PTSD and many more maladies. In any case, this is a natural substance which is definitely capable of battling all manner of disorders for which medical science hasn’t yet found a definitive and permanent cure. Of course, use should always be in moderation and only after duly recommended by a licensed physician who talks to you about methods, manner and amounts of usage.

cannabis

Author Bio- This post is submitted by John Levy. He is a blogger for Pot Valet, a leading company providing marijuana delivery in Santa Monica. He has 5 years of experience in the Cannabis industry and loves sharing health benefits of marijuana and related products.

  • Edited for grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax by Jay Leiderman.  Not edited for content.
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40 Comments

  • Curtis says:

    The drug eases the pain of multiple sclerosis.

    Marijuana may ease painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in May suggests.

    Jody Corey-Bloom studied 30 multiple sclerosis patients with painful contractions in their muscles. These patients didn’t respond to other treatments, but after smoking marijuana for a few days they were in less pain.

    The THC in the pot binds to receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain. Other studies suggest that the chemical also helps control the muscle spasms.

  • Jason Awazy says:

    THC slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Marijuana may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute suggests.

    The 2006 study, published in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, found that THC, the active chemical in marijuana, slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques are what kill brain cells and cause Alzheimer’s.

  • MJ says:

    It may decrease anxiety.

    Medical marijuana users claim the drug helps relieve pain and suppress nausea — the two main reasons it’s often used to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy.

    In 2010, researchers at Harvard Medical School suggested that that some of the drug’s benefits may actually be from reduced anxiety, which would improve the smoker’s mood and act as a sedative in low doses.

    Beware, though, higher doses may increase anxiety and make you paranoid.

  • Thozas Lata says:

    A chemical found in marijuana stops cancer from spreading.

    CBD may help prevent cancer from spreading, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported in 2007.

    Cannabidiol stops cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1, the study, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, found. Cancer cells make more copies of this gene than non-cancerous cells, and it helps them spread through the body.

    The researchers studied breast cancer cells in the lab that had high expression levels of Id-1 and treated them with cannabidiol. After treatment the cells had decreased Id-1 expression and were less aggressive spreaders.

    In “WEED,” Gupta also mentioned a few studies in the U.S., Spain, and Israel that suggest the compounds in cannabis could even kill cancer cells.

  • MJ says:

    It also decreases the symptoms of a severe seizure disorder known as Dravet’s Syndrome.
    Charlotte Figi has Dravet’s Syndrome, and her parents are giving her marijuana to treat her seizures.CNN/WEED
    During the research for his documentary “Weed,” Gupta interviewed the Figi family, who treats their 5-year-old daughter using a medical marijuana strain high in cannabidiol and low in THC.

    Their daughter, Charlotte, has Dravet Syndrome, which causes seizures and severe developmental delays.

    According to the film, the drug has decreased her seizures from 300 a week to just one every seven days. Forty other children in the state are using the same strain of marijuana to treat their seizures — and it seems to be working.

    The doctors who recommended this treatment say that the cannabidiol in the plant interacts with the brain cells to quiet the excessive activity in the brain that causes these seizures.

    As Gutpa notes, a Florida hospital that specializes in the disorder, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Drug Enforcement agency don’t endorse marijuana as a treatment for Dravet or other seizure disorders.

  • MJ says:

    It can help control epileptic seizures.

    Marijuana use can prevent epileptic seizures, a 2003 study showed.

    Robert J. DeLorenzo, of Virginia Commonwealth University, gave marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to epileptic rats. The drugs rid the rats of the seizures for about 10 hours. Cannabinoids like the active ingredients in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC), control seizures by binding to the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.

    The findings were published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  • MJ says:

    It may help reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and improve lung health.

    According to a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association in January 2012, marijuana does not impair lung function and can even increase lung capacity.

    Researchers looking for risk factors of heart disease tested the lung function of 5,115 young adults over the course of 20 years. Tobacco smokers lost lung function over time, but pot users actually showed an increase in lung capacity.

    It’s possible that the increased lung capacity maybe due to taking a deep breaths while inhaling the drug and not from a therapeutic chemical in the drug.

  • MJ says:

    It can be used to treat Glaucoma.

    Marijuana use can be used to treat and prevent the eye disease glaucoma, which increases pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision.

    Marijuana decreases the pressure inside the eye, according to the National Eye Institute: “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.”

    These effects of the drug may slow the progression of the disease, preventing blindness.

  • hockey says:

    It relieves arthritis discomfort.



    Marijuana alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers announced in 2011.



    Researchers from rheumatology units at several hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine. After a two-week period, people on Sativex had a significant reduction in pain and improved sleep quality compared to placebo users.

  • kd35 says:

    Marijuana treats inflammatory bowel diseases.
    another sergio via Flickr
    Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis could benefit from marijuana use, studies suggest.

    University of Nottingham researchers found in 2010 that chemicals in marijuana, including THC and cannabidiol, interact with cells in the body that play an important role in gut function and immune responses. The study was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

    THC-like compounds made by the body increase the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in. The plant-derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body-cannabinoids, preventing this permeability and making the intestinal cells bond together tighter.

  • Boost says:

    It lessens side effects from treating hepatitis C and increases treatment effectiveness.
    California dispensaries have been the subject of federal raidsReuters
    Treatment for hepatitis C infection is harsh — negative side effects include fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and depression — and lasts for months. Many people aren’t able to finish their treatment course because of the side effects.

    But, pot to the rescue: A 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully completed their Hep C therapy, while only 29% of non-smokers completed their treatment, possibly because the marijuana helps lessens the treatments side effects.

    Marijuana also seems to improve the treatment’s effectiveness: 54% of hep C patients smoking marijuana got their viral levels low and kept them low, in comparison to only 8% of nonsmokers.

  • window says:

    Other types of muscle spasms could be helped too.
    Other types of muscle spasms respond to marijuana as well. Gupta also found a teenager named Chaz who was using medical marijuana to treat diaphragm spasms that were untreatable by other, prescribed and very strong, medications.

    His condition is called myoclonus diaphragmatic flutter (also known as Leeuwenhoek’s Disease) and causes non stop spasming in the abdominal muscles which are not only painful, but interfere with breathing and speaking.

    Smoking marijuana is able to calm the attacks almost immediately, as it calms the muscles of the diaphragm.

  • one says:

    Scientists led by Penny Whiting from University Hospitals Bristol in the U.K. report in JAMA that there is only moderate-quality evidence supporting the benefits of medical marijuana, and only for certain conditions. The majority of studies involving medical marijuana are of lesser quality and therefore more likely to be biased and provide unreliable results.

  • 14 says:

    Is marijuana an effective cancer therapy?
    “It is already widely understood that marijuana is valuable and safe as a palliative medicine, which undermines the tenets of the Schedule 1 status,” says Gerdeman. “But additionally, there are anecdotal patient reports, increasing numbers of legitimate clinical case studies, and large amounts of preclinical studies that all indicate tumor-fighting activities of cannabinoids, and with great mechanistic detail.” Gerdeman says he wants to know whether herbal marijuana is effective in cancer therapy, and if it is, for what cancer types.

  • tony says:

    What does it do to the brain?
    Studies have shown small structural changes in the brains of people who use marijuana, and researchers say there is little doubt that using marijuana has effects on the brain. However, whether those changes are actually bad, remains unknown. “This is an important question with tremendous policy implications,” says Gerdeman. “While the media interpret such [changes] de facto as evidence of damage, they are within the range of normal human variation as far as we currently understand.”

  • q5 says:

    What dosage or strains have the best use in medicine?
    Researchers say they want to know more about how much marijuana is needed to treat a person’s disorder, and for how long. “Like all drugs, FDA-approved therapeutics or recreational, marijuana will have some unwanted side effects,” says Sinai’s Hurd. In addition, researchers are still looking into what strains are most beneficial and whether a person needs the whole plant, or just one compound.

  • torch says:

    Can marijuana help brain and cognitive problems?
    Some researchers, like Gerdeman, want to study whether marijuana could stave off Alzheimer’s disease or even mitigate brain damage from stroke or concussions. One 2014 study suggested a compound in marijuana could slow the production of proteins that accumulate when a person has Alzheimer’s.

  • oakley says:

    What about anxiety?
    There’s some evidence suggesting marijuana could help people with anxiety, but the relationship is still not well understood. “Without the clinical trials it may be a long time before we know for sure,” says Patel.

  • BZR says:

    Can pot help end the opioid epidemic?
    As TIME has previously reported, several doctors are interested in the use of marijuana as an alternative or adjunct to opioids, since the U.S. is currently in the midst of an epidemic of painkiller addiction. “ If you give [opioids] alongside cannabis, there is a synergistic effect which means you can give less of the opioid and or you can give the opioid for a shorter period,” says Dr. Lester Grinspoon is Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. A 2016 study found doctors in a state where marijuana was legal prescribed an average of 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers per year.

  • roblox says:

    Are there long term consequences of using pot?

    Scientists also want to understand whether marijuana can cause any effects over the long term, since some people may use the plant medicinally for some time. “What are the effects on the developing brain?,” says Hurd. “This is a particularly important question for me since our preclinical studies suggested that prenatal and adolescent THC exposure can have long-term impact into adulthood long after the drug was administered.”

  • huara says:

    Marijuana can help people trying to cut back on drinking.
    YouTube
    Marijuana is safer than alcohol. That’s not to say it’s completely risk free, but it’s much less addictive and doesn’t cause nearly as much physical damage.

    Disorders like alcoholism involve disruptions in the endocannabinoid system. Because of that, some people think cannabis might help patients struggling with those disorders.

    Research in Harm Reduction Journal shows that some people use marijuana as a less harmful substitute for alcohol, prescription drugs, and other illegal drugs. Some of the most common reasons for patients to make that substitution are the less adverse side effects from marijuana and the fact that it is less likely to cause withdrawal problems.

    Some people do become psychologically dependent on marijuana, and this doesn’t mean that it’s a cure for substance abuse problems. But, from a harm-reduction standpoint, it can help.

  • Danny says:

    Weed reduces some of the awful pain and nausea from chemo, and stimulates appetite.
    Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider
    One of the most well-known medical uses of marijuana is for people going through chemotherapy.

    Cancer patients being treated with chemo suffer from painful nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. This can cause additional health complications.

    Marijuana can help reduce these side effects, alleviating pain, decreasing nausea, and stimulating the appetite. There are also multiple FDA-approved cannabinoid drugs that use THC, the main active chemical in marijuana, for the same purposes.

  • appnan says:

    It can help eliminate nightmares.
    AP
    This is a complicated one, because it involves effects that can be both positive and negative. Marijuana disturbs sleep cycles by interrupting the later stages of REM sleep. In the long run, this could be a problem for frequent users.

    However, for people suffering from serious nightmares, especially those associated with PTSD, this can be helpful. Nightmares and other dreams occur during those same stages of sleep. By interrupting REM sleep, many of those dreams may not occur. Research into using a synthetic cannabinoid, like THC, but not the same, showed a significant decrease in the number of nightmares in patients with PTSD.

    Additionally, even if frequent use can be bad for sleep, marijuana may be a better sleep aid than some other substances that people use. Some of those, including medication and alcohol, may potentially have even worse effects on sleep, though more research is needed on the topic.

  • cards says:

    It might protect the brain from concussions and trauma.
    Al Bello/Getty Images
    There is some evidence that marijuana can help heal the brain after a concussion or other traumatic injury. A recent study in the journal Cerebral Cortex showed that in mice, marijuana lessened the bruising of the brain and helped with healing mechanisms after a traumatic injury.

    Harvard professor emeritus of psychiatry and marijuana advocate Lester Grinspoon recently wrote an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying the NFL should stop testing players for marijuana, and that the league should start funding research into the plant’s ability to protect the brain.

    “Already, many doctors and researchers believe that marijuana has incredibly powerful neuroprotective properties, an understanding based on both laboratory and clinical data,” he writes.

    Goodell recently said that he’d consider permitting athletes to use marijuana if medical research shows that it’s an effective neuroprotective agent.

  • pokemon says:

    Marijuana protects the brain after a stroke.
    .v1ctor. via http://www.flickr.com creative commons
    Research from the University of Nottingham shows that marijuana may help protect the brain from damage caused by stroke, by reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke — at least in rats, mice, and monkeys.

    This isn’t the only research that has shown neuroprotective effects from cannabis. Some research shows that the plant may help protect the brain after other traumatic events, like concussions.

  • amazon says:

    Marijuana helps veterans suffering from PTSD.
    Walter Hickey / BI
    The Department of Health and Human Services recently signed off on a proposal to study marijuana’s potential as part of treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Marijuana is approved to treat PTSD in some states already. In New Mexico, PTSD is the number one reason for people to get a license for medical marijuana, but this is the first time the U.S. government has approved a proposal that incorporates smoked or vaporized marijuana, which is currently classified by the government as a drug with no accepted medical applications.

    Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help regulate the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain.

  • girls and boys says:

    Pot soothes tremors for people with Parkinson’s disease.
    Walter Hickey / BI
    Recent research from Israel shows that smoking marijuana significantly reduces pain and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients. Particularly impressive was the improved fine motor skills among patients.

    Medical marijuana is legal in Israel for multiple conditions, and a lot of research into the medical uses of cannabis is done there, supported by the Israeli government.

  • pokemon says:

    Marijuana might be able to help with Crohn’s disease.
    Getty Images/David McNew
    Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder that causes pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and more. But a recent study in Israel showed that smoking a joint significantly reduced Crohn’s disease symptoms in 10 out of 11 patients, and caused a complete remission of the disease in five of those patients.

    That’s a small study, but other research has shown similar effects. The cannabinoids from marijuana seem to help the gut regulate bacteria and intestinal function.

  • ompare says:

    While not really a health benefit, marijuana spurs creativity in the brain.
    Getty Images / Marc Piscotty
    Contrary to stoner stereotypes, marijuana usage has actually been shown to have some positive mental effects, particularly in terms of increasing creativity. Even though people’s short-term memories tend to function worse when high, people get better at tests requiring them to come up with new ideas.

    One study tested participants on their ability to come up with different words related to a concept, and found that using cannabis allowed people to come up with a greater range of related concepts, seeming “to make the brain better at detecting those remote associations that lead to radically new ideas,” according to Wired.

    Other researchers have found that some participants improve their “verbal fluency,” their ability to come up with different words, while using marijuana.

    Part of this increased creative ability may come from the release of dopamine in the brain, lessening inhibitions and allowing people to feel more relaxed, giving the brain the ability to perceive things differently.

    Marijuana might be able to help with Crohn’s disease.

  • apk says:

    It improves the symptoms of Lupus, an autoimmune disorder.
    Leonard C. Sperling, M.D., COL, MC, USA, Department of Dermatology, Uniformed Services University
    Medical marijuana is being used to treat the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Ertyhematosus, which is when the body starts attacking itself for some unknown reason.

    Some chemicals in marijuana seem to have a calming effect on the immune system, which may be how it helps deal with symptoms of Lupus. The rest of the positive impact of the marijuana is probably from the effects on pain and nausea.

    While not really a health benefit, marijuana spurs creativity in the brain.

  • Nmd says:

    It keeps you skinny and helps your metabolism.
    Flickr
    A study published in the American Journal Of Medicine on April 15 of last year suggested that pot smokers are skinnier than the average person and have healthier metabolism and reaction to sugars, even though they do end up eating more calories because of the munchies.

    The study analyzed data from more than 4,500 adult Americans — 579 of whom were current marijuana smokers, meaning they had smoked in the last month. About 2,000 had used marijuana in the past, while another 2,000 had never used the drug.

    They studied their body’s response to eating sugars: their levels of the hormone insulin and their blood sugar levels while they hadn’t eaten in nine hours, and after eating sugar.

    Not only are pot users skinnier, but their body has a healthier response to sugar.

    It improves the symptoms of Lupus, an autoimmune disorder.

  • pokemon says:

    It relieves arthritis discomfort.


    AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli
    Marijuana alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers announced in 2011.



    Researchers from rheumatology units at several hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine. After a two-week period, people on Sativex had a significant reduction in pain and improved sleep quality compared to placebo users.

    It keeps you skinny and helps your metabolism.

  • me says:

    Marijuana treats inflammatory bowel diseases.
    another sergio via Flickr
    Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis could benefit from marijuana use, studies suggest.

    University of Nottingham researchers found in 2010 that chemicals in marijuana, including THC and cannabidiol, interact with cells in the body that play an important role in gut function and immune responses. The study was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

    THC-like compounds made by the body increase the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in. The plant-derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body-cannabinoids, preventing this permeability and making the intestinal cells bond together tighter.

    It relieves arthritis discomfort.



  • nmd says:

    It lessens side effects from treating hepatitis C and increases treatment effectiveness.
    California dispensaries have been the subject of federal raids

    Treatment for hepatitis C infection is harsh — negative side effects include fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and depression — and lasts for months. Many people aren’t able to finish their treatment course because of the side effects.

    But, pot to the rescue: A 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully completed their Hep C therapy, while only 29% of non-smokers completed their treatment, possibly because the marijuana helps lessens the treatments side effects.

    Marijuana also seems to improve the treatment’s effectiveness: 54% of hep C patients smoking marijuana got their viral levels low and kept them low, in comparison to only 8% of nonsmokers.

  • Gia says:

    In all, Whiting and her colleagues analyzed 79 randomized trials, the gold standard in medical research in which volunteers are randomly assigned to take a cannabis-related product or a placebo. The studies evaluated marijuana’s ability to relieve a range of symptoms including nausea from chemotherapy, loss of appetite among HIV positive patients, multiple sclerosis spasms, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, psychosis and Tourette syndrome. Most of the studies showed improvements among the participants taking the cannabinoid products over those using placebo, but in many, the scientists admitted that they could not be sure that the effect wasn’t simply due to chance since the association was not statistically significant.

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  • detroit says:

    So far, more than half of all U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical use, and eight (plus the District of Columbia) have legalized the drug for recreational use. Varieties of cannabis available today are more potent than ever and come in many forms, including oils and leaves that can be vaped, and lots of edibles, from brownies and cookies to candies — even cannabis gummy bears.

    A report published Thursday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine analyzed more than 10,000 studies to see what could conclusively be said about the health effects of all this marijuana. And despite the drug’s increasing popularity — a recent survey suggests about 22 million American adults have used the drug in the last month — conclusive evidence about its positive and negative medical effects is hard to come by, the researchers say.

  • rubber says:

    According to the report, that’s at least partly because the federal drug enforcement agency’s designation of the drug as a Schedule I substance — having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” — entails so many restrictions that it has been difficult for researchers to do rigorous research on marijuana.

    We just need “far more information,” Dr. Marie McCormick, chair of the NAS committee and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, tells Shots.

  • rubber says:

    Health Risks

    Cancer There is no evidence that smoking marijuana increases the risk for cancers often associated with tobacco use, such as lung and head and neck cancers, the scientists report, adding that more research is needed to determine whether marijuana use is associated with heart attack and stroke. However, they say, “some evidence suggests smoking marijuana may trigger a heart attack among individuals with diagnosed heart disease.” There’s also some evidence that smoking marijuana during pregnancy is linked to lower birth weight in the offspring.
    Asthma and other chronic respiratory problems Evidence suggests that smoking marijuana on a regular basis is associated with more frequent chronic bronchitis and worse respiratory symptoms, such as chronic cough, the scientists say. But they add that it’s unclear whether the drug increases the risk of developing asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
    Mental health problems While the report notes some research suggesting that using marijuana might increase risk of developing schizophrenia or other social anxiety disorders, the committee of scientists cautions that there may be other explanations for that link; it could simply be, for example, that people with these mental health problems are more likely to smoke marijuana.
    Injury or death In terms of risk to life and limb, the NAS committee found that driving under the influence of cannabis “increases the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.” The report also cited evidence that increasing numbers of young children may be accidentally ingesting marijuana products now, particularly in states where cannabis use is legal.
    Substance abuse disorders Some parents worry that their teens’ use of cannabis can cause problems, and the report was mixed in its conclusions on that. The evidence that marijuana is a gateway drug to trying other drugs, including tobacco, “is limited,” the researchers say. But they found “moderate evidence” that there’s a link between cannabis use and the development of substance dependence or abuse problems with alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs. What’s more, the evidence suggests that initiating marijuana use at a younger age, the researchers say, “increases the likelihood of developing dependency, which can affect academic performance and social interactions.”
    “The adolescent brain is very sensitive to these kinds of substances,” McCormick says. “So they continue to use it — and may use it in increasing amounts — and are at risk for developing problematic cannabis use.”

  • Angelika says:

    Medical Benefits

    Pain relief Regarding chronic pain, there’s evidence that patients who are treated with cannabis or cannabinoids “are more likely to experience a significant reduction in pain symptoms,” the researchers say. More particularly, for adults with muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis, there is “substantial evidence,” they say, that short-term use of certain oral cannabinoids can improve symptoms. And for adults with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, “there is conclusive evidence” that certain oral cannabinoids are effective in preventing and treating those ailments.

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