The Most Comprehensive Research Done On Marijuana and Its Benefits
For thousands of years, marijuana has been used in one way or another by humans. There is still much debate over pot's benefits and risks after all these years. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has published a review of the research to try and fill in the knowledge gap. The review was conducted by over a dozen experts and consists of more than 10,000 scientific studies that were published between 1999 and now. Research has shown that cannabis has both major benefits and significant downsides. It is promising for patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis. It also appears to be risky for those with respiratory problems, such as schizophrenia, psychosis, car crashes and lagging social achievements, and possibly pregnancy-related issues.
These findings don't apply to marijuana or cannabinoids. They are for all chemical compounds found in marijuana. Although some of these benefits may come from marijuana, others may be split. However, many drug experts believe there is an "entourage" with marijuana where all its cannabinoids, chemicals, and other compounds, which number in hundreds, combine to produce the maximum potency.
This report has one major flaw. It is, according to its admissions, only a guess at a lot of its findings. A lot of the research available is just not very good. The lack of quality research is mainly due to government policies, particularly the federal marijuana classification which is a Schedule 1 restricted substance. This makes it difficult to conduct effective studies on the drug. These barriers should be reduced and more research funded to get a better understanding of pot's capabilities, particularly as more states legalize its recreational and medical uses.
The report still offers the most comprehensive look yet at marijuana. If you want to get a deep dive into marijuana's benefits, go through it in its entirety. Here is a summary of the research.
What are the benefits of marijuana?
28 states like Washington and Colorado, California, District of Columbia, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Utah, Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Maryland had legalized medical marijuana in the mid-1990s. The benefits of marijuana have remained unclear throughout this time. Despite some research showing pot can help with pain and stiffness, many claims about pot's ability to treat other conditions -- like epilepsy or irritable bowel syndrome-- have been based on anecdotal evidence.
This report doesn't validate or invalidate all claims regarding marijuana's medical benefits. There aren't enough studies to answer some of these questions and many studies are flawed or missing. It does contain some solid findings.
The review supports what previous studies have shown: "Substantial evidence" marijuana can be used to treat chronic pain. This is the main reason marijuana has been legalized for medical use, especially in light of the opioid epidemic that has seen patients resort to opioids to manage debilitating pain. According to the report, marijuana can be used to treat chronic pain. This could allow marijuana to replace more dangerous and deadly opioid painkillers. It was also concluded that marijuana can be used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. This, along with the pain findings, suggests that marijuana is an effective treatment for patients suffering from cancer. The report also found "substantial evidence” that marijuana may improve multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms. However, it found only "limited evidence" that marijuana could improve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis as reported by doctors. The strongest findings aside, the report found that there was "moderate evidence" marijuana can be effective in improving short-term sleep outcomes for individuals with sleep disturbances associated with obstructive sleeping apnea syndrome and chronic pain. It also found "limited evidence," which indicated marijuana could be used to treat Tourette syndrome symptoms, improve anxiety symptoms in people with social anxiety disorders, and improve PTSD. There is also "limited evidence" that marijuana can improve outcomes following a traumatic brain injury.
It also cast doubt on certain claims of marijuana's benefits. The report found that there was "limited evidence" marijuana can be used to treat symptoms such as dementia and glaucoma. It also showed that it could cause depression in people with multiple sclerosis or chronic pain.
It found that "no or inadequate evidence" supports marijuana's use as a treatment for cancers, anorexia, irritable bowel syndrome, epilepsy, and spasticity in patients suffering from paralysis due to spinal injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, drug addiction, schizophrenia, and other conditions. The report concludes that marijuana has many therapeutic benefits. It can be used to treat multiple conditions such as chronic pain, nausea, vomiting, and chemotherapy-induced nausea, as well as multiple sclerosis. All other conditions, including epilepsy and HIV/AIDS, require more research to determine if the pot is effective or not.
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