The popularity of marijuana use for medical purposes is continuously increasing, this is why health experts analyzed its properties and the possible good and bad impacts it may have on people’s health.
So far, the experts know that marijuana is good for easing chronic pain and it helps in sleep disorders, but it may also increase the risk of schizophrenia and heart attacks. The information on the effects of marijuana is still deficient and the health experts have started a study campaign on it and other cannabinoids.
However, the scientists will be facing difficulties in their research. Some drugs containing marijuana have been approved, indeed, but it remains illegal and this may cause them meet restrictions in their research. In order to gain approval for intensive study, researchers have stated the purpose as the discovery of potential harms approved marijuana medication can pose on health.
So far, 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana use. Eight of these states and the district have legalized it for recreational use, too. Studies so far have found a few benefits of marijuana use.
Strong evidence shows its benefits in treating chronic pains and reducing muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis. A little more limited evidence claims that it might be beneficial for people suffering from AIDS or PTSD and further evidence is needed regarding the treatment of cancer, epilepsy, or some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
However, the committee found potential harms done by marijuana. Frequent users have a high risk of developing schizophrenia and psychosis. Small evidence found that it may be linked to the development of depressive disorders, but more research is needed on the topic. There is strong evidence that marijuana may cause traffic accidents, but there is no evidence whatsoever for workplace accidents or death from marijuana overdose. Also, there is small evidence that it might affect school and work performance and harm social functioning.
Women who smoke marijuana during pregnancy recorded reduced birthweight, but no further complications for either the mother or the baby. No conclusive evidence links marijuana smoking and prostate, cervix, or esophagus cancer, but there is proof that marijuana smokers are not at a higher risk of developing lung cancer. However, they are prone to respiratory difficulties and chronic bronchitis.
Some studies show weak evidence linking marijuana use and heart attacks, but especially for people predisposed to heart diseases. In the end, there is some evidence that marijuana users may become addicted to other substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, or other illegal drugs.
Marijuana has its benefits, but it may also be harmful for health. People who qualify for medical marijuana use should consult their doctor and not take such medication without specialized advice.
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