Marijuana relieves pain, may raise numerous Health Risks: Report

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on January 18, 2017.

Marijuana can almost certainly ease chronic pain in adults and might help some people sleep, but it may also raise the risk of getting schizophrenia, worsen respiratory problems, and trigger heart attacks. This is the conclusion of a new report by a federal advisory panel regarding marijuana use and its effects released last week.

The report, published by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, analyzed over 10,000 scientific studies that examined marijuana’s association with a number of health issues, including cancer and mental conditions as well as car accidents across the nation.

Out of the hundreds of purported medical benefits, only three are concretely supported by scientific evidence: treating chronic pain, nausea after chemotherapy, and symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

"There is conclusive or substantial evidence that medical marijuana use is effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults," the team, led by Marie McCormick of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, wrote. “Medical marijuana can also help prevent and ease nausea caused by chemotherapy.”

On the other hand, the report outlined numerous risks and harms of marijuana use.

The report says marijuana use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, other psychoses, and social anxiety disorders. It can also raise the risk of depression. It may worsen respiratory problems, such as chronic bronchitis episodes. Besides, marijuana use may raise the risk of testicular cancer as well as trigger a heart attack.

McCormick also said that the lack of any aggregated knowledge of marijuana related health effects has led to uncertainty about what, if any, are the harms or benefits from its use.

The report revealed that over 22 million Americans age 12 and older said they had used marijuana in the past month. Ninety percent say they use for recreational purpose.

As many as twenty-eight states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana and marijuana-derived products for medical uses, while eight of those states as well as the District of Columbia have legalized it for recreational use.

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