Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Is Marijuana Harmful?

Marijuana is recreationally legal in 23 states, medically in 40. Roughly 88% of Americans believe it should be fully legal in some form.  Respected universities like the University of Alabama, Cornell, the University of Mississippi and more are doing research as scientists continue to discover benefits and downsides of cannabis.

People still ask, is marijuana harmful.  The answer is not really, if youconsume in moderation.  Like most things (sugar, drinking, etc), if you do it in excess, it can lead to a host of problems.

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

A popular argument in favor of legalizing adult cannabis its adverse health effects are modest compared with those of other licit (alcohol and tobacco) and illicit drugs. It has been made clear via research marijuana is better and easier on the body than alcohol.  Each year over 33,000 North Americans die from alcohol-induced causes. There have been 0 documented deaths from marijuana use alone.

Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder conducted a review of existing imaging data that looked at the effects of alcohol and marijuana, or cannabis, on the brain.

Their findings linked alcohol consumption with long-term changes to the structure of white matter and gray matter in the brain. The use of marijuana, however, seemed to have no significant long-term effects on brain structure.

Study leader Rachel Thayer, of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, and colleagues recently reported their resultsTrusted Source in the journal Addiction.

Cigarettes are more rougher on the body with over 500,000 people in the US and Canada dying due to smoking each year.  But smoking cannabis isn’t the best either. Smoking is rough on the lungs period.  Cigarette smokers tend to work through a pack or more a day while marijuana smokers consume less, but both damage the lungs. If you are going to use, there are other alternatives than a joint.

pharmaceuticals marijuana
Photo by Cappi Thompson/Getty Images

Medical Marijuana has been recognized as important to cancer, PTSD, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS and more.

The FDA has not approved the cannabis plant for any medical use. However, they have approved several drugs that contain individual cannabinoids. Epidiolex was approved for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome, two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.  Dronabinol and Nabilone are used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. Dronabinol is also used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people with HIV/AIDS.

There are studies to see how it could help Alzheimers, Crohn’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Glaucoma, and more. The greatest amount of evidence for the therapeutic effects of cannabis relate to its ability to reduce chronic pain, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and spasticity [tight or stiff muscles] from MS.

RELATED: Nauseous? Marijuana Might Provide Immediate Relief

Consistent with numerous other studies, researchers report patients using medical cannabis reported improvements in health-related quality of life, which were mostly sustained over time. Adverse events were rarely serious.

So the answer is if you are going to do alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana, marijuana is most likely the best for your body.

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