As several articles have pointed out, it’s generally hard for researchers to study marijuana, since it’s an illegal Schedule 1 substance (despite the fact that medical marijuana is legal in 28 states). But a recently published 395-page report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine led to a number of conclusions about weed, most of them positive. Esquire parsed out some of the most relevant ones.
According to the study, marijuana is not linked to cancers typically found in tobacco users, like lung cancer. It also shows that marijuana is useful for treating chronic pain (duh), that it’s an effective aid for combating nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, that it helps with sleep disorders, that evidence doesn’t suggest that it’s a gateway drug and that there’s not enough evidence linking the drug to worsened academic or educational performance (we recommend a screening of the film How High for further evidence of this fact).
But the study wasn’t all edible rainbows and sunshine. It says that cannabis use increases the risk of a motor vehicle accident — which seems incredibly obvious as no one should drive while impaired on any substance. But it also says that longterm marijuana use increases the risk of developing social anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and depression (Although this is inconclusive. Some psychiatrists advocate the use of medical marijuana to treat depression and anxiety and a separate 2013 Harvard study shows no connection between marijuana and schizophrenia).
Basically, weed is good for several forms of pain treatment, doesn’t cause lung cancer and smoking it won’t lead kids to becoming meth heads. And let us remember that, in addition to glorious icons like Snoop Dogg and Rihanna, some of the most successful people of all time, like Steve Jobs and one Barack Obama, have all enjoyed a toke. Let’s take a win on this one! Best news in weeks!
(Photo: Ollie Millington/Redferns)
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