Senators Want Feds To Make Sure Dispensary Cannabis Is Safe CATO Institute- Republicans and Federal Marijuana Policy Cannabis growers are trying to adapt to plunging retail prices Cannabis Compounds Could Replace Anti-Anxiety Meds Why Trump Can’t Beat Cannabis 98% of Americans live in a state with some form of Legal Cannabis Cannabis Prices Rocket in Nevada as Shortage Continues Cannabis Industry Statistics Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Cannabis Should Be Legal RICO Lawsuit Threatens Cannabis Industry Cannabis May Ease Nerve Pain – Study Legal Cannabis States Try To Slow Smuggling Cannabis Popularity Continues to Grow Among Adults NBA Star Zach Randolph Arrested On Marijuana Charges During Mob Fracas Even With Legal Cannabis, California’s Black Market Will Remain Huge NFL to work with players’ union to study marijuana for pain How California Can Utilize Surplus Cannabis As Trump wages war on legal weed, military veterans side with cannabis There Are More Legal Cannabis Workers Than There Are Dental Hygienists Cannabis or Marijuana? High Hopes Ride on Cannabis Amid Opioid Crisis Jesse Ventura Is Fighting To Legalize Marijuana California expands marijuana rules, will allow deliveries Study: Cannabis users tend to be more successful, happy Cannabis could be a $5-billion boon to the state — but many users may stay illegal Rescheduling Marijuana: How it Works California could be a ‘sanctuary state’ from federal cannabis laws Older Women and Medical Cannabis: A Growth Industry France to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession, Interior Minister Says Epilepsy drug derived from marijuana is close to federal approval Vermont Governor Rejects Marijuana Bill, Wants Changes Marijuana App ‘WeGrow’ Wants To Bring Flower To The People States move fast to protect marijuana industry American Legion to Trump: Allow cannabis research for vets Washington law paves way for organic marijuana market Oregon Economic Forecast Includes Marijuana For The First Time No sanctuary for cannabis in California New Jersey mom turns marijuana into money Women have lead role in new marijuana businesses in Washington State Want to be a budtender? Here’s How. Marijuana May Boost, Rather Than Dull, the Elderly Brain Trump Rejects Congress as He Signals Medical Marijuana Fight The Cannabis Industry Is Getting Super-Sized 87% Of Players Say NFL Should Allow Medical Marijuana Access Pot brownies could lose potency under proposed California rules Cannabis Prices Get Higher After Recovering From 2016 Bust Study proves the importance of using Medical Cannabis The Trump crackdown on legal marijuana might not happen Varying marijuana laws pose questions for air travelers Marijuana – Miracle treatment for children with autism Marijuana workers get the California seal of approval Is Legal Marijuana the Last Bipartisan Cause in America? Marijuana activists vow to smoke and get arrested on steps of U.S. Capitol Most Americans Support Pro Athletes Using Marijuana for Pain Relief California Cannabis Is Going Industrial Trump’s drug czar pick has strong “no” vote record on marijuana Billions In Marijuana Taxes Are Addictive To State Governors The Holy Land of Medical Marijuana Oregon lawmakers vote to block cannabis users’ info from feds Marijuana legalization grows closer with Senate tax proposal Jerry Jones’s marijuana proposal could save NFL players’ lives The problem with America’s marijuana DUI laws John Oliver – Update Federal Marijuana Laws The way people buy legal marijuana will change in 2019 DOJ Wants Information On Colorado Marijuana Cases Oregon lawmakers introduce laws to protect legal recreational marijuana Public support for legal marijuana surged in 2016 Federal Marijuana Hostility Wrong Addiction Specialists Ponder a Potential Aid: Marijuana Dozens of industries could see a boost from legal marijuana Oregon May Declare Emergency Over Jeff Sessions’ Marijuana Threats Maximizing the Medical Effects of Marijuana Marijuana Legalization Opponents Were Wrong Oxford University announces new £10m medical marijuana research program Pro-marijuana church in Alabama: Members tout ‘God and cannabis’ Every State Could Legalize Marijuana by 2021- The Motley Fool 25% of US beer drinkers have switched to marijuana or would if it was legal Colorado Rep. Jared Polis has a plan to keep marijuana safe from Sessions Good science on marijuana is hard to find Jeff Sessions: Marijuana Is “Only Slightly Less Awful” Than Heroin Federal Marijuana Crimes Drop For Fifth Consecutive Year Jeff Sessions Will Enforce Federal Marijuana Laws In An ‘Appropriate Way’ Beer Industry Could Lose $2 Billion From Legal Marijuana Pot for pets: Owners treat sick animals with marijuana Marijuana Legalization Hasn’t Increased Traffic Fatalities Don’t let Big Marijuana prioritize profits over public safety The future of recreational marijuana in Trump’s America Idaho customers breathe life into tiny Oregon marijuana town Elizabeth Warren to Jeff Sessions “Respect state marijuana law” Doctors warn against teen pot use as marijuana laws loosen Will Edible And Concentrate Marijuana Brands Get As Big As Budweiser? Marijuana Industry To Create More Jobs Than Manufacturing By 2020 California Marijuana Is Not Safe to Smoke California marijuana tax and tracking systems behind schedule Republican Introduces “The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act” Why the Legal Marijuana Industry Is Suddenly Worried Military Veterans With PTSD Begin Marijuana Clinical Trials Marijuana Drug Could Extend Lives of Brain Cancer Patients, Study Finds Contaminated Medical Marijuana Believed To Have Killed California Cancer Patient Marijuana lobby goes mainstream

Good science on marijuana is hard to find

marijuana

marijuana

The relationship of marijuana use to public health is one of the most confounding topics in science. As soon as one study is published making a claim about the safety of the drug, another is often published warning of the exact opposite.

Take, for instance, the link between cannabis use and cardiovascular disease. Last week, a study was released detailing a review of outpatient hospital data, including more than 20 million health records and 316,000 people who reported using marijuana. The study found that using the drug was associated with 26 percent increased risk of stroke and a 10 percent increased risk of developing heart failure — independent of other health factors such as tobacco use, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. While the study hasn’t yet been peer reviewed (it will be presented this weekend at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting), it’s attractive given the massive amount of data.

The problem is that its conclusion directly contradicts a number of other large, recent studies looking at the same question. One longitudinal study published last month looking at more than 5,000 subjects over a period of more than two decades found no association between marijuana use and cardiovascular disease. Another longitudinal study from Sweden published last month reviewing more than 50,000 men found similar results.

These are by no means the only studies on this topic. You can spend a whole day reading through the literature on this question and still not find a clear answer.

The root of the problem comes from considering all of the limitations on studying marijuana. Because it is considered a Schedule 1 drug by the federal government — meaning it is considered to have no medical benefits — conducting a randomized controlled trial (the gold standard in scientific experiments) on marijuana use is essentially impossible.

Instead, scientists must rely heavily on self-reporting from patients, making it extremely difficult to know how much, how often or through what means subjects use pot — let alone what type of chemicals they’re ingesting alongside the drug. Meanwhile, without collecting massive amounts of data from weed users, conclusions about those with cardiovascular issues are going to be based on small numbers of people.

“There’s not great infrastructure in place for us to study cannabis well,” said Aditi Kalla, lead author of the study released last week and a researcher from the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

She notes that with more and more states legalizing marijuana, it’s becoming more acceptable to use the drug and for patients to discuss personal use with researchers. But marijuana remains a highly controversial and politicized topic. Regardless of the outcome of any marijuana study, scientists who tackle the issue do so knowing they will probably receive criticism.

“This is not meant to be an anti-cannabis study,” Kalla said of her work. “We know we have limitations. We want to guide future research.”

There are plenty of health implications from marijuana that research has substantiated fairly well, as evidenced by an extensive review of more than 10,000 marijuana studies by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published earlier this year. We know from this research that the drug works to treat chronic pain, multiple sclerosis spasticity and nausea and pain in cancer patients. But we’re also pretty sure that marijuana use is linked to the development of schizophrenia and an increase in traffic accidents.

So it’s clear from the science so far that use of the drug has both pluses and minuses. But there are still many questions about marijuana that need to be answered — especially on cardiovascular disease.

It would be wrong to justify not legalizing marijuana simply because of public-health issues. There are reams of evidence linking alcohol to terrible health outcomes with no net benefits — and yet few people seem ready to go back to banning booze.
Still, given that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, marijuana’s debatable link to cardiovascular issues should be a top health policy concern for everyone — supporters and opponents of marijuana alike. This is about making consumers aware of the risks of their choices. The more we know, the better.

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