A landmark report reviewing more than 10,000 scientific studies of marijuana since 1999 has concluded that the drug has some medical benefits, but also comes with several health risks.
The report by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine aims to provide conclusive evidence about the effects of marijuana.
Researchers said there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” that chronic pain, along with nausea caused by chemotherapy, can be relieved by marijuana, according to their report.
However, the report warns that using the drug may increase the risk of developing mental health problems, such as schizophrenia.
The report says there is evidence that smoking marijuana can trigger heart attacks in patients already diagnosed with heart disease.
The report links early marijuana use with substance abuse later in life. It also says using the drug increases the chances of respiratory problems, vehicle accidents, and low birth weight in babies born to mothers who smoke it.
Around 22 million Americans used marijuana in the past month, according to a recent survey cited by NPR — despite the fact the federal government considers it a crime.
Marijuana is legal for medical use in more than half of the U.S. states, with eight states (plus the District of Columbia) permitting recreational use.
The researchers said more research on the drug is required and that further study had been held back by robust federal regulations.
Next Animation Studio’s News Direct service provides daily, high-quality, informative 3D news animations that fill in for missing footage and help viewers understand breaking news stories or in-depth features on science, technology, and health.
Sign up for a free trial of News Direct’s news animations at http://newsdirect.nextanimation.com.tw/Reuters.aspx
To subscribe to News Direct or for more info, please visit: