Well, it’s official – marijuana has been proven to effectively treat chronic pain. The proof is in the pudding thanks to a giant 400-page report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. In other words, this revelation is backed by science.
Ars Technica breaks more of it down here:
“The sweeping report, released Thursday by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, covered more than 10,000 scientific studies and came to nearly 100 other conclusions. Those mostly highlight unanswered questions and insufficient research related to health effects of marijuana, as well as several risks. However, the firm verification that marijuana does have legitimate medical uses—supported by high-quality scientific studies—is a significant takeaway in light of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s decision in August to maintain marijuana’s listing as a Schedule I drug.”
As with the good, there’s always the bad. The report shined some light on some of the negatives. For example, “regular use may increase the risk of developing psychological disorders like schizophrenia,” reports Engadget. And the most obvious, how “cannabis temporarily stunts your cognitive abilities immediately after consumption,” Engadget further reports.
Ready for the kicker? The study found little evidence that marijuana makes you dumber over a long-term of time. This is by far my favorite finding of the study.
Sure, some of the stuff found in this study is pretty common knowledge at this point, but the most important thing is that its finally backed by scientific research. No more guessing games. The proof is now in the pudding.
Here’s some further take aways from that study as reported by Ars Technica:
- Cannabis and cannabinoids were effective at treating chronic pain, particularly that related to multiple-sclerosis. The substances were also effective for treating chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in cancer patients
- Cannabis and cannabinoids use is not linked to cancers that arise from smoking, such as lung and neck cancers. However, smoking may increase respiratory problems, like chronic phlegm, if it’s done on a regular basis.
- Smoking marijuana while pregnant can result in lower birth weights, but it’s unclear if there are long-term effects in children. States in which cannabis use is legal report upticks in accidental poisonings of children compared with states that don’t allow for use.
- There’s not enough research to know how marijuana use relates to heart attack, strokes, or diabetes. But there’s some evidence that smoking pot could trigger a heart attack.
- There’s a little evidence that marijuana could have anti-inflammatory effects, but otherwise there’s not enough research to know how cannabis and cannabinoids affect the immune system or those who are immune-compromised.
- Using marijuana may increase the risk of developing mental health issues, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and to a lesser extent depression.
- There’s a little evidence that using marijuana increases the risk of using other drugs—mostly tobacco. However, the committee found a clear link between people who use marijuana and those prone to developing substance dependence.
- Using marijuana immediately impairs learning, memory, and attention. There’s a little evidence that impairments could linger in people who stop smoking and—for those who start young—could affect educational achievement and employment.