The Health Effects of Cannabis – Informed Opinions

Enter any bar or public place and canvass opinions on marijuana and there will be a different opinion for every person canvassed. Some opinions will be well-informed from respectable sources while others will be just formed upon no basis at all. To be sure, research and conclusions based on the research is difficult provided the long history of illegality. However, there is a groundswell of opinion that cannabis is good and should be legalised. Many States in America and Sydney have taken the path to legalise cannabis. Other countries are either subsequent suit or considering options. What exactly is the position now? Is it great or not?

The National Academy associated with Sciences published a 487 web page report this year (NAP Report) in the current state of evidence for the subject matter. Many government grants supported the work of the committee, an prestigious collection of 16 professors. They were supported by 15 academic reviewers and a few 700 relevant publications considered. Therefore the report is seen as state of the art upon medical as well as recreational use. This post draws heavily on this resource.

The phrase cannabis is used loosely here to represent cannabis and marijuana, the latter being sourced from a different portion of the plant. More than 100 chemical compounds are found in cannabis, each potentially providing differing benefits or risk.


A person who is “stoned” upon smoking cannabis might experience an euphoric state where time will be irrelevant, music and colours take on a greater significance and the person might acquire the “nibblies”, wanting to eat sweet and fatty foods. This is often connected with impaired motor skills and notion. When high blood concentrations are usually achieved, paranoid thoughts, hallucinations and panic attacks may characterize his “trip”.


In the vernacular, cannabis is often characterized as “good shit” plus “bad shit”, alluding to popular contamination practice. The contaminants can come from soil quality (eg insect poison & heavy metals) or added subsequently. Sometimes particles of lead or tiny beads of glass augment the weight sold.


A random selection of therapeutic effects appears here in context of their evidence status. Some of the effects will be demonstrated as beneficial, while others carry danger. Some effects are barely recognized from the placebos of the research.

Marijuana in the treatment of epilepsy is inconclusive on account of insufficient evidence.
Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy can be ameliorated by oral cannabis.
A reduction in the particular severity of pain in patients with chronic pain is a most likely outcome for the use of cannabis.
Spasticity within Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients has been reported as improvements in signs and symptoms.
Increase in appetite and decrease in weight loss in HIV/ADS patients has been shown in limited evidence.
According to limited evidence cannabis is ineffective in the treatment of glaucoma.
On the basis of limited evidence, marijuana is effective in the treatment of Tourette syndrome.
Post-traumatic disorder has been helped simply by cannabis in a single reported trial.
Limited statistical evidence points to better results for traumatic brain injury.
There is insufficient evidence to claim that marijuana can help Parkinson’s disease.
Limited evidence dashed hopes that cannabis could help improve the symptoms of dementia sufferers.
Limited statistical evidence can be found to support an association between smoking cannabis and heart attack.
On the basis of limited evidence cannabis is usually ineffective to treat depression
The evidence regarding reduced risk of metabolic problems (diabetes etc) is limited and record.
Social anxiety disorders can be helped simply by cannabis, although the evidence is limited. Asthma and cannabis use is not properly supported by the evidence either for or even against.
Post-traumatic disorder has been assisted by cannabis in a single reported demo.
A conclusion that cannabis may help schizophrenia sufferers cannot be supported or refuted on the basis of the limited nature of the evidence.
There is moderate evidence that better short-term sleep final results for disturbed sleep individuals.
Maternity and smoking cannabis are linked to reduced birth weight of the baby.
The evidence for stroke caused by cannabis use is limited and statistical.
Addiction to cannabis and gateway issues are complex, taking into account many variables which are beyond the scope of this article. Problems are fully discussed in the NAP report.
The NAP record highlights the following findings on the concern of cancer:

The evidence suggests that smoking cannabis does not increase the risk for certain cancers (i. e., lung, head and neck) in adults.
There is humble evidence that cannabis use will be associated with one subtype of testicular cancer.
There is minimal evidence that will parental cannabis use during pregnancy can be associated with greater cancer risk within offspring.
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The NAP report highlights the following findings on the issue of respiratory diseases:

Smoking cannabis on a regular basis is associated with persistent cough and phlegm production.
Giving up cannabis smoking is likely to reduce persistent cough and phlegm production.
It really is unclear whether cannabis use is associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary problem, asthma, or worsened lung functionality.
The NAP report shows the following findings on the issue of the human immune system:

There exists a paucity associated with data on the effects of cannabis or even cannabinoid-based therapeutics on the human immune system.
There is insufficient data to draw overarching conclusions concerning the effects of cannabis smoke or cannabinoids on immune system competence.
There is limited evidence to suggest that regular exposure to cannabis smoke may have anti-inflammatory activity.
There is insufficient evidence to support or refute a statistical association between cannabis or cannabinoid use and adverse effects on immune status in individuals with HIV.

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