As time goes by, we’re finding ourselves presented with more and more evidence to suggest that marijuana is every bit as safe as we’ve always proclaimed it to be. Contrary to popular belief, research into the long-term effects and potential benefits of cannabis use is pathetically sparse. In fact, it was recently revealed that somewhere in the region of just 5% of all research into the properties of marijuana has anything to do with its potential benefits and medicinal capabilities.
Really – it’s a pretty depressing statistic.
Still, in the vast majority of instances where proactive studies are carried out, the results seem to be pointing to the same conclusion. So much so that many of the researchers studying cannabis admit that they themselves come out the other end rather surprised with what they have found.
In the latest instance, a team of researchers reached the conclusion that even over the course of several decades, heavy use of cannabis showed only very minor links to one negative health effect. They had expected to draw links between on-going cannabis use and a wide variety of physical health problems. Instead, they actually found things to be quite to the contrary.
The findings of the study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, follow an investigation by a team of researchers from Arizona State University, who took into account the lifestyle choices and medical records of over 1,000 participants from New Zealand from the day they were born until they were 38 years old. Their intention was to see whether or not marijuana use between the ages of 18 and 38 had any impact whatsoever on the participants’ physical health. The participants kept their own reports and underwent lab tests at various points throughout the study, in order to record if and how cannabis had any detrimental effect on their health.
Going completely against the expectations of the researchers – not to mention a million and one small-minded critics – it turned out that there was only one part of the body heavy use of cannabis had a negative effect on. And that was the teeth. By the time the participants have reached the age of 38, it was determined that those who had smoked cannabis relatively heavily and on a regular basis generally had a lower standard of oral health than their counterparts. Other than this, absolutely no other aspects of their health whatsoever had been affected.
All of which probably comes as no surprise whatsoever to most recreational marijuana users.
Even more unsurprisingly, the researchers determined that the participants that smoked tobacco during the course of the study suffered a wide variety of health issues and physical damage by the time they reached the age of 38. From metabolic health to inflammation to lung function, tobacco took an enormous toll on the health of those using it.
One of the more interesting findings from the study was that of the participants who regularly used cannabis apparently having a reduced likelihood of obesity and elevated cholesterol. Which in turn caused the researchers to question whether or not it is possible that cannabis could have a highly beneficial effect on the metabolism. But that would be a matter for another study.
In conclusion, the researchers were not willing to support the heavy use of cannabis for the sole reason that it clearly did have at least one potentially negative effect on participants’ health long-term. But at the same time, they freely admitted the fact that evidence points to a reality where there aren’t nearly as many health risks associated with marijuana as many experts seem to think.
Chalk up another victory for science in the face of senseless propaganda.