Cannabis News

5 key findings from a comprehensive report on health effects of recreational cannabis and marijuana edibles

The change in attitudes toward recreational cannabis, legal access to junajuana edibles, and online weed dispensaries around Canada over the past several years is very staggering. During the past few years many online weed dispensaries and recreational marijuana stores have been opened up and most of them mail order cannabis across the country. You can easily buy weed online buy searching online weed dispensaries and many online cannabis dispensaries will show up on your search engines. As of last fall, 77% of adults in the Canada said they thought recreational cannabis and marijuana edibles must be legalized and they want to have free access to cannabis same as every other legal products in Canada. The other interesting fact is that now a lot of Canadians are trying to buy marijuana edibles online more than ever according to google search engine data.

In large part, the report reveals how much we still have to learn, but it’s still surprising to see how much we know about certain health effects of cannabis. “The policy has outpaced science, and it’s really too bad,” Staci Gruber, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery program at McLean Hospital, told us in an interview last week, several days before we saw the report. “As a scientist, I think the goal is always to try very hard to get to the findings and to be able to disseminate those findings so that we can make good decisions grounded in science,” Gruber said. Cannabis “has been around for thousands of years; it’s not like we just made it in a lab.” Having good research is essential so that we know “how best we can use it, what are the safest ways, and what are the real risks,” she added.

Surprising findings on cancer, mental health, and more by using medical and recreational marijuana 

Before we dive into the findings, there are two quick things to keep in mind. First, the language in the report is designed to say exactly how much we know — and don’t know — about a certain effect. Terms like “conclusive evidence” mean we have enough data to make a firm conclusion; terms like “limited evidence” mean there’s still significant uncertainty, even if there are good studies supporting an idea; and different degrees of certainty fall between these levels. For many things, there’s still insufficient data to really say anything positive or negative about cannabis. Second, context is important. Many of these findings are meant as summations of fact, not endorsements or condemnations. For example, the report found evidence that driving while high increased the risk of an accident. But the report also notes that certain studies have found lower crash rates after the introduction of medical cannabis to an area. It’s possible that cannabis makes driving more dangerous and that the number of crashes could decrease after introduction if people take proper precautions. With that in mind, here are some of the most striking findings from the report:

  •    There was conclusive or substantial evidence (the most definitive levels) that cannabis or cannabinoids, found in the marijuana plant, can be an effective treatment for chronic pain, according to the report, which is “by far the most common” reason people request medical marijuana.
  •    With similar certainty, they found that medical and recreational cannabis can help treat muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis and can help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.
  •    The authors found evidence that suggested that marijuana increased the risk of a driving crash.
  •    They also found evidence that in states with legal access to marijuana, children were more likely to accidentally consume cannabis edibles.
  •    We’ve looked at these numbers before and seen that the overall increases in risk are small — one study found that the rate of overall accidental ingestion among children went from 1.2 per 100,000 two years before legalization to 2.3 per 100,000 two years after legalization. There’s still a far higher chance parents call poison control because of kids eating crayons or diaper cream, but it’s still important to know that some increased risk could exist.

And it’s hard to conduct research on recreational or medical marijuana right now. The report says that’s largely because of regulatory barriers, including marijuana’s Schedule I classification by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the fact that researchers often can’t access the same sorts of marijuana that people actually use. Even in states where it’s legal to buy marijuana online or in stores, federal regulations prevent researchers from using that same product. As the government officials always encourage people to buy cannabis flowers and marijuana edibles from online weed dispensaries that provide lab tested products. Without the research, it’s hard to say how policymakers should best support legalization efforts — to say how educational programs or mental health institutions should adapt to support any changes, for example. “If I had one wish, it would be that the policymakers really sat down with scientists and mental health practitioners” as they enact any of these new policies, Krista Lisdahl, an associate professor of psychology and director of the Brain Imaging and Neuropsychology Lab at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, told us in an interview shortly before we could review this report.

It’s important to know what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to be studied more. This report does a lot to show what we’ve learned in recent years, but it also shows just how much more we need to learn. In studying cannabis, “we’re not really after the good or the bad — we’re after the truth,” Gruber said. The fact is now a days there are a lot of online weed dispensaries and buying recreational cannabis or medicinal marijuana can not be any easier. The consumers must get educated on what they want to consume so they can decide on what can be the best for them. Canada is one of the first countries that is legalizing recreational cannabis and that allows a lot of online weed dispensaries to start providing recreational cannabis to all Canadians. The hope is that within next few years scientists can gather more data on consuming medical cannabis and marijuana edibles so we can conclude better on positive effects on marijuana on human body.

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