January 12, 2017

A review of more than 10,000 scientific abstracts concluded that marijuana is beneficial in the treatment of chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, and multiple sclerosis; It also found no link between smoking marijuana and lung cancer, no “gateway to other drugs” effect, and no link between marijuana use and mortality, overdose deaths, or occupational accidents.

WASHINGTON – The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report on the health impacts of marijuana Thursday, confirming the existence of medical benefits and dispelling long-standing myths about the substance.

The review of more than 10,000 abstracts found that “There is substantial or conclusive evidence that Cannabis or cannabinoids are effective” for the treatment of chronic pain in adults, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and spasticity in multiple sclerosis.

“These discoveries clearly discredit the federal government’s decision to classify marijuana under Schedule I, a category reserved for substances with no medicinal value,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It is confirmed that marijuana has several medical benefits and that it is not nearly as problematic as the community is led to think. There is no rational or scientific justification for our nation’s current ban policy. ”

The report also debunks several myths about the health impacts of marijuana. It found no links between smoking marijuana and the development of lung, head, or neck cancers, nor did it establish a link between marijuana use and asthma or other respiratory illnesses. The respiratory problems that marijuana smoking was associated with, such as bronchitis, seem to improve after the consumer stops using it.

According to the report, “There is no evidence, or the evidence is insufficient” that links the use of marijuana to mortality from any cause, deaths from overdose or damages, accidents and occupational damages. It also found no substantial evidence of a link between the use of marijuana and the use of other illegal drugs. Nor does the report appear to establish any link between marijuana use and violent or aggressive behavior. Several of these discoveries were also included in the previous report of the National Academy of Sciences on marijuana, which was published in 1999.

“The report essentially concludes that marijuana is not harmless, but that it is not as harmful as many other products that are regulated for adult use,” said Tvert. “If the researchers conducted a similar study on alcohol, they would conclude that it does more harm and provides far fewer medicinal benefits than marijuana. Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol and that should be reflected in the laws of our nation “