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positive things about cannabis

Research (done on rats, mice, and monkeys) from University of Nottingham shows that cannabis may help protect the brain from damage caused by a stroke by reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke.

Marijuana is approved to treat PTSD in some states in America. [8] In New Mexico, PTSD is the number one reason for people to get a license for medical marijuana, but this is the first time U.S. Government’s The Department of Health and Human Services has approved a proposal that incorporates smoked or vaporized marijuana.

In January 2012, a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association showed that marijuana improved lung functions, and even increased lung capacity. Researchers looking for risks factors of heart disease, tested on 5,115 young adults, over the period of 20 years, and found out that only pot users showed an increase in lung capacity, compared to the tobacco smokers who lost lung function over time.

12. Help reverse the carcinogen effects of tobacco, and improve lung health

This is a bit complicated because it involves both positive and negative effects. Marijuana may disturb the sleep cycle by interrupting the later stages of REM sleep.

In response, Goodall recently mentioned that he’d consider permitting athletes to use marijuana if medical research shows that it’s an effective neuroprotective agent.

Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help control the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain.

Recent studies from Israel shows that smoking marijuana remarkably reduces pains and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients. What was impressive about the research was the improvement of the fine motor skills among patients.

For one, the report finds “substantial evidence” of marijuana’s negative effects for a few conditions. For long-term marijuana smokers, there’s a risk of worse respiratory symptoms and more frequent chronic bronchitis episodes. For pregnant women who smoke pot, there’s a risk of lower birth weight for the baby. For marijuana users in general, there’s a greater risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses. And there’s a link between marijuana use and increased risk of car crashes.

The report also found “limited evidence” of links between marijuana use and several other negative outcomes, including an increased risk of testicular cancer, triggering a heart attack, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pregnancy complications. And it found “moderate” to “limited” evidence that marijuana use might worsen symptoms or risk for some mental health issues, including depressive disorders, bipolar disorder, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among heavier users, and anxiety disorders, particularly social anxiety disorder among regular users.

Overall, the report suggests that, as far as therapeutic benefits go, marijuana is a solid treatment for multiple symptoms associated to chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and multiple sclerosis. Everything else, from epilepsy to HIV/AIDS, needs more research before pot is more definitively shown to be effective or ineffective.

What are marijuana’s benefits?

With the problems specifically linked to smoking marijuana, it’s worth noting that other forms of consumption — vaping and edibles in particular — may not carry the same risk. More research will be needed to evaluate that, particularly for vaping.

Still, the bottom line is that marijuana does pose some harms — particularly for people at risk of developing mental health disorders, pregnant women, those vulnerable to respiratory problems, and anyone getting into a car. And while some of these harms may be overcome by marijuana’s benefits or curtailed by consuming pot without smoking it, the evidence shows that weed’s reputation as a safe drug is undeserved.

Marijuana is often described as one of the safest drugs out there, in part because it’s never been definitively linked to an overdose death and it’s broadly safer than other drugs like alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, and heroin. And while the National Academies’ report doesn’t find evidence of a marijuana overdose death, it does add a few wrinkles to the narrative of marijuana as a safe drug.

The report can’t fully validate or invalidate all of the claims about marijuana’s medical benefits, given that there are still no studies on some of these questions, and many of the studies that are out there are bad or lacking. But it does have some solid findings.