According to the National Institutes of Health, humans have been using marijuana, or cannabis, for at least 3,000 years. The Food and Drug Administration has not judged marijuana safe or effective for the treatment of any medical ailment. However, cannabidiol, a component of marijuana, was approved as a treatment for certain types of epilepsy in June 2018.
Marijuana’s efficacy is a cure for a wide variety of disorders and an absence of scientific information. It is about its effects has been compounded considerably in recent years by a push for legalization.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now permit the use of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.
A recent study published in the journal also discovered that marijuana usage is expanding significantly across the United States. This increase may not be related to the legalization of marijuana in participating states. Nonetheless, this increase in use raises serious public health issues.
In this essay, we will examine the scientific evidence comparing marijuana’s medical benefits to its related health concerns in an attempt to answer the simple question: is marijuana good or bad?
What are marijuana’s medical benefits?
Throughout the years, research has revealed evidence that marijuana may be beneficial in treating some illnesses.
Pain that persists
Last year, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conducted a comprehensive evaluation of over 10,000 scientific papers on the medical benefits and side effects.
The paper examined the use of medical marijuana to alleviate chronic pain in detail. Chronic pain is the biggest cause of disability in the United States, impacting over 25 million persons. In the United States, a Reliable Source
The review discovered that marijuana, or medicines containing cannabinoids — the active chemicals in marijuana — or other drugs that act on the same brain receptors as marijuana, help treat chronic pain.
Alcoholism and substance abuse
Another comprehensive evaluation of the research, published last year in the journal Clinical Psychology Review, concluded that marijuana use might aid individuals struggling with alcohol or opioid addictions in their recovery.
However, this finding may be debatable; according to the National Academies of Sciences analysis, marijuana usage increases the chance of misusing and becoming dependent on other substances.
Additionally, the more marijuana someone smokes, the more likely they will develop a marijuana use disorder. Individuals who begin smoking marijuana at a young age are also at an elevated risk of marijuana use disorder.
Depression, PTSD, and social anxiety
The review, published in Clinical Psychology Review, analyzed all known scientific material on the use of marijuana to treat mental illness symptoms.Its writers discovered some evidence that marijuana can be used to treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
They emphasize that marijuana is not suitable for several other mental health problems, including bipolar disorder and psychosis.
The review indicates that there is some evidence that marijuana may help with social anxiety symptoms, but this contradicts the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine review, which concluded that regular marijuana users might be at an increased risk of social anxiety.
Oral cannabinoids appear to be beneficial against chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and some small trials show that smoked may also help ease these symptoms.
According to research on cancer cells, cannabinoids may either delay the growth or kill some types of cancer. However, early human trials found that while cannabinoids are a safe medication, they are ineffective at controlling or curing cancer.
Short-term usage of oral cannabis may alleviate spasticity symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis, but the benefits are small.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of medicine containing cannabidiol (CBD) in June 2018 to treat two rare, severe, and distinct kinds of epilepsy — Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome — that are difficult to control with other types of medication. Epidiolex is the brand name for this CBD-based medication.
It has no psychotropic properties. The medication used to treat these illnesses is a pure version of CBD. The approval base on research and clinical studies outcomes.
A 2017 study indicated that using CBD resulted in significantly fewer seizures in children with Dravet syndrome when compared to a placebo.
Seizures associated with Dravet syndrome are lengthy, recurrent, and sometimes fatal. Indeed, 1 in 5 children with Dravet syndrome will die before reaching the age of 20.
In the trial, 120 children and adolescents with Dravet syndrome allocates to receive either an oral CBD solution or a placebo for 14 weeks in addition to their usual treatment.
The researchers discovered that children who got the CBD solution experienced a decrease in seizures from approximately 12 per month to an average of six per month. Three youngsters who received CBD had no seizures at all.
Children who got the placebo also experienced a decrease in seizures, but only a minor decrease — their average monthly seizure count decreased from 15 to 14 over the research.
According to the researchers, this 39 percent reduction in seizure occurrence gives compelling evidence that the molecule can benefit persons with Dravet syndrome. Their study contains the first solid scientific evidence to support this claim.
Health hazards associated with marijuana?
On the other hand, a slew of research has discovered detrimental correlations between marijuana usage and health.
Problems with mental health
Daily marijuana usage is likely to increase pre-existing bipolar disorder symptoms in those with this mental health problem. However, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine research indicate relatively limited evidence of a link between marijuana use and the development of bipolar illness in those without a family history of the disorder.
Moderate evidence suggests that regular marijuana users are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and that users have a somewhat higher risk of depression.
While regular marijuana use has been associated with an increased risk of persistent cough, it is “uncertain”. If marijuana use impairs lung function or raises the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.
Research published in 2014
An investigation on the link between marijuana usage and lung disease concluded that it was plausible that smoking could lead to lung cancer. While conclusive evidence linking the two has been difficult to establish.
However, the study discovered a high proportion of adverse reactions to CBD. Over 9 in 10 children treated with CBD reported adverse events, the most prevalent were vomiting, tiredness, and fever.
The Epidiolex patient information booklet cautions about possible side effects such as liver damage, sedation, and suicidal thoughts.
So, is marijuana beneficial or detrimental to one’s health?
There is data demonstrating both the negative and positive health effects. Even though up-to-date analyses of scientific studies analyzing the drug’s benefits and hazards have emerged in the last few years. It is evident that additional study is necessary to properly understand the public health implications of increased usage.