A major new comprehensive study on marijuana has come to some interesting conclusions about the drug and its use.
A massive new study examining 10,000 other studies since 1999 is the first comprehensive review in decades of marijuana as momentum grows for its legalization. And what the assessment found could be very important: that cannabis does indeed have legitimate medicinal benefits for a variety of ailments, but it also may contribute to certain mental health issues and may have some impact as a “gateway” drug.
The report, which was published in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, came to nearly 100 conclusions based on its deep dive into the research. Researchers also determined that more studies would be needed across a wide array of health areas to learn more about marijuana’s effects as legalization increases around the country.
Scientists say they actually don’t know much about high-potency cannabis that people often smoke, as well as the different ways people use the drug, and this study could be an important first step to a deepening understanding.
“For years the landscape of marijuana use has been rapidly shifting as more and more states are legalizing cannabis for the treatment of medical conditions and recreational use,” said Marie McCormick in the statement, who ischair of the committee; the Sumner and Esther Feldberg Professor of Maternal and Child Health, department of social and behavioral sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass. “This growing acceptance, accessibility, and use of cannabis and its derivatives have raised important public health concerns. Moreover, the lack of any aggregated knowledge of cannabis-related health effects has led to uncertainty about what, if any, are the harms or benefits from its use. We conducted an in-depth and broad review of the most recent research to establish firmly what the science says and to highlight areas that still need further examination. As laws and policies continue to change, research must also.”