June 17, 2016
The debate over whether the benefits of marijuana use are worth the risks continues to rage, as more and more states make moves to legalize it. While much remains unknown about its effects, a group of researchers recently made an important discovery that should lay some doubts to rest: Long-term marijuana use does not lead to any physical health problems. In fact, the only issue the researchers were able to link it to was a higher incidence of gum disease. For many people facing serious issues such as cancer and epilepsy who turn to marijuana, this news will be highly welcomed.
The study looked at the effect of marijuana usage on the health of 1,037 New Zealanders from the time of their birth up through middle age. They tracked metrics such as cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, lung function and blood sugar.
The study did uncover a higher rate of gum disease among regular marijuana smokers despite controlling for tobacco use. They also found that regular pot smokers were less likely to floss and brush their teeth daily than those who did not smoke. The reasons behind this are unclear, but the link between marijuana and gum disease persisted even after controlling for these dental hygiene habits.
Marijuana use does not adversely affect overall health
Gum disease aside, the subjects’ overall health was not adversely affected by marijuana.
“In general, our findings showed that cannabis use over 20 years was unrelated to health problems in early midlife,” the study states.
“Across several domains of health (periodontal health, lung function, systemic inflammation, and metabolic health), clear evidence of an adverse association with cannabis use was apparent for only one domain, namely, periodontal health.”
As a matter of fact, marijuana use was actually associated with even better health outcomes in some areas. For example, cannabis use was linked to a somewhat better metabolic performance, including a lower body mass index, better glucose control, improved lipid profiles, and a smaller waist circumference. Although the associations were small, they were quite unexpected nevertheless.
Head researcher Madeline Meier of Arizona State University was particularly surprised that no association was uncovered between the use of cannabis and poor lung function.
Study used longitudinal data
This study is noteworthy because it did not rely on self-reporting; instead, physical health exams were performed by trained professionals to reach the conclusions. It is also different from most of the other studies into this matter because it relies on longitudinal data, keeping track of the health of the same people from their birth in the 1970s up to age 38. In contrast, many studies examining marijuana’s physical health effects just use observations taken at a single point in time, which does not take into account the effects over a person’s lifetime.
It’s important to note that the study only looked at how physical health was affected by long-term pot smoking; it did not look at mental health.
While gum disease is certainly not a fun matter to contend with, people who are facing cancer and other illnesses will likely feel that this minor risk pales in comparison. The “solutions” provided by Big Pharma can cause a lot worse than that, and they often fail to alleviate people’s symptoms anyway. This finding adds to the growing body of evidence that Mother Nature provides us with the tools needed to heal ourselves and stay healthy, and now those who rely on medical marijuana can alleviate the concerns of well-meaning loved ones who question its side effects.
Read More At: NaturalNews.com