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Scientists Look Into More Marijuana Health Effects

Update Date: Jan 17, 2017 03:15 AM EST
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While many have discussed the topic of marijuana use extensively, a group of scientists have dove deeper in to the issue and are pointing out various health risks and effects of using the drug. The group is recommending more research to further understand the issue at hand. 

Marie McCormick, chair of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine committee said that, "The lack of any aggregated knowledge of cannabis-related health effects has led to uncertainty about what, if any, are the harms or benefits from its use."

NPR reported after considering 10,000 scientific abstracts, 100 conclusions have been reached about the drug.

Researchers found evidence that marijuana reduces chronic pain. Aside from being a form of pain relief, cannabis or oral cannabinoids can also improve symptoms for adults with multiple sclerosis.

For cancer treatments, researchers found evidence that cannabinoids from marijuana can prevent nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy. There is no evidence that marijuana can cause cancer.

In pregnancy-related issues, there is minimal evidence that cannabis use can be passed down to offspring. There is no conclusive evidence that associates cannabis with heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

The researchers said it is unclear whether cannabis use is associated with certain respiratory diseases, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), asthma, or lung cancer. There is limited evidence of marijuana increasing depression, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and anxiety. Marijuana can help enhance memory and learning, but heavy use may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychological disorders.

Further, there is conclusive evidence that driving under the influence of marijuana increases the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. There is also an increased risk of overdose in children in states that legalize marijuana.

There is limited evidence that marijuana can open the possibility of engaging in other drugs. But use of marijuana at a younger age may develop a problem with cannabis use.

Vox reported Marijuana is legal for medical purposes in 28 states. Due to its significant increase of users, where 90 percent has reported recreational use and only 10 percent for medical use, McCormick adds "As laws and policies continue to change, research must also."

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