Something tells us that the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 might be a tad outdated when it comes to marijuana! It asserted that weed has no accepted medical value back then but there have been hundreds of thousands of studies in the last few decades which suggest otherwise.
That reports are analysing the findings of thousands of cannabis studies tells its own story! Although a 400-page report from the United States National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, which looked at over 10,000 studies, wasn’t overwhelmingly positive, it did show clear evidence that Mary Jane is an excellent treatment for chronic pain, relieving symptoms of MS, and reducing nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
There seems to be an important cannabis study published every week and while we can’t keep up with them all, we have compiled a list of five that will amaze you.
1 – Cannabis Stops the Opioid Killer in its Tracks
According to the CDC, opioids were the cause of over 42,000 deaths in 2016. Government officials are desperately thinking of ways to solve the crisis and don’t seem to realize that the answer is on their doorstep. In March 2018, the Minnesota Department of Health published findings from enrollee experience during the first five months of the state’s medical marijuana program. It found that 63% of opiate painkiller users were able to reduce or eliminate their use of deadly opioids.
These findings follow on from Michigan’s experience which was published in 2016 and found that medicinal weed reduced opioid usage by 64%. A detailed review of northwestern states saw an opioid reduction usage of 77%. It seems remarkable that marijuana could play a major role in defeating the opioid epidemic, we wait and see if it becomes legalized around the country.
2 –Cannabis Could Be the Key to Treating Autism
In Israel, scientists are busily conducting open clinical trials on marijuana’s effectiveness in treating autism spectrum disorder. The results are extremely promising so far. In one of the case reports, and a host of anecdotal evidence, the cannabinoids in weed could help some kids with autism to have better communication, less repetitive behaviors, better social interaction, and less anxiety.
These trials follow on from a 2013 study which compared the level of cannabinoid receptors on blood cells in healthy kids to those with autism. Researchers discovered that autistic children had significantly more cannabinoid receptors in white blood cells which suggests a possible cannabinoid deficiency. Bizarrely, it seems as if boys derive the greatest benefit from the CBD cannabinoid.
3 – Medical Cannabis IS Safe & Effective for Treating Chemotherapy Pain & Side Effects
Those who are bravely fighting cancer and the effects of chemotherapy are all too familiar with the agonizing road to recovery. Recent research suggests that weed could be your secret weapon as it is both safe and effective when treating painful chemo symptoms. The latest evidence was published in a recent European Journal of Internal Medicine and showed that medicinal cannabis helped relieve pain, and nausea and vomiting suffered by chemotherapy patients.
The study looked at almost 3,000 chemotherapy patients who received medical marijuana between 2015 and 2017. After six months, over 1,200 patients were still taking weed and 96% of them reported an improvement in their condition. It seems patently cruel that cancer patients don’t have access to weed in some states when it clearly helps them fight through the pain and nausea.
4 – Alcohol Damages the Brain More Than Cannabis
Imagine a world where a harmful substance is legal and celebrated while a healthy one is vilified and banned. You don’t have to because that’s where we are! A recent study by the University of Colorado-Boulder meta-analyzed the damage caused by alcohol and weed in the brain. The research team looked at over 800 adults aged 18-55 and over 400 teens aged 14-18. The participants had variable rates of weed and alcohol consumption.
As most people knew but seem to ignore, a low level of alcohol consumption can be healthy but higher levels reduce gray matter volume and threaten white matter. Meanwhile, cannabinoids were shown to have no long-term effect on gray or white matter. While no one recommends the long-term chronic use of weed, it is less likely to harm your brain than alcohol. Even so, you could order $1,000 worth of alcohol online right now and no one would bat an eyelid.
5 – Cannabis Is Conclusively NOT a Gateway Drug
Marijuana advocates have known this for years and their claims were even backed up with ample medical research. Not enough it seems like the myth persists but a study, published in September 2017, not only debunked the Gateway Drug myth, it suggested that weed could prevent you from graduating to hard drugs!
The study involved 125 people who suffered from chronic pain. By the end of the five-year study, one-third of the patients had stopped using prescription painkillers. We hope it puts an end to the nonsense suggestion that marijuana users eventually end up on cocaine or heroin (less than 1% of weed users go down that dark path). In reality, marijuana can keep you away from opioids, benzodiazepines and other deadly drugs which are far more likely to either kill you or cause you to try harder drugs.
Final Thoughts on Medical Cannabis Studies
We have only scratched the surface in this article because important studies are being published around the world on an almost weekly basis. The lack of clinical trials in the United States is a problem but when Canada legalizes cannabis for recreational use in July 2018, we hope it opens the door to further research.
What we know is that marijuana is exceptionally effective when dealing with chronic pain, and it also helps alleviate anxiety and disorders such as PTSD. In a country where the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50 is a drug overdose, perhaps we should rely on Mother Nature and not manmade synthetic garbage?