27 Apr
Nearly 100 Conclusions on Health Effects of Marijuana Nearly 100 Conclusions on Health Effects of Marijuana

Nearly 100 Conclusions on Health Effects of Marijuana

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As more U.S. state governments consider legalizing marijuana for recreational use -- USA Today recently predicted the next 15 that might take up the issue in one form or another -- concerns continue to be raised about the potential health effects of using the drug.

Advocates have for decades sworn by the drug's benefits, while naysayers point to research underscoring their contentions that marijuana remains harmful to human health.

Now, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides what the organization terms "a rigorous review of scientific research published since 1999 about what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products."

In arriving at their list of almost 100 conclusions, committee participants who conducted the study and composed the report considered more than 10,000 scientific abstracts. A few highlights from the committee's findings:


  • Therapeutic Benefits: People treated with cannabis-related products were likelier to have their pain symptoms significantly reduced.
  • Respiratory Disease: Regular cannabis smokers are more likely to experience "more frequent chronic bronchitis episodes" as well as more acute respiratory symptoms.
  • Mental Health: Cannabis users increase their risk of developing social anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, other psychoses, and depression, the latter to "a lesser extent". However, those with schizophrenia and other psychoses who also have a history of cannabis use may perform better on learning and memory tasks. Still, heavy cannabis users were likelier to experience suicidal thoughts than those who don't use, and those with bi-polar disorder displayed intensified symptoms of that disorder than those who don't use.
  • Pregnancy and Prenatal: Some evidence indicates that cannabis use during pregnancy may result in lower birth weights.
  • Cardiovascular: Smoking cannabis may provoke a heart attack.
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Read 2805 times Last modified on Monday, 16 April 2018 05:20
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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