Pot Not Linked to Poor Health

Marijuana use does not correlate with negative health outcomes or hospitalizations, a study has found.

By | September 24, 2013

WIKIMEDIA, BOGDAN GIUSCAMarijuana may not be linked to health after all, researchers from the Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine showed in the Journal of General Internal Medicine this week (September 23). Specifically, the team found that use of the drug did not correlate with health status or health-care utilization among adults who reported to have used the drug before. The study serves to support mounting evidence that marijuana is likely less harmful than once thought.

BMC’s Daniel Fuster and his colleagues examined the relationship between marijuana use, health, and emergency department visits and hospitalizations in 589 adults who in primary care screened positive for recent illicit or non-medical prescription drug use. Among all participants, 84 percent reported marijuana use—29 percent daily, 55 percent less frequently. Adjusting for age, sex, tobacco and other substance use, Fuster’s team assessed the importance of marijuana use frequency over a three-month period in predicting health-care utilization during that same time. The researchers “were unable to detect an association between frequency of marijuana use and health, emergency department use, or hospital utilization,” they concluded in their paper.

The most commonly used illicit drug, the effects of marijuana on health have been of great interest lately, as laws—which already vary from state to state—are continually changing. At the same time, researchers continue to study the potential therapeutic uses of Cannabis, and in some cases are arguing for their use in sick children.

Fuster and his colleagues noted that because many marijuana users also use other illicit substances, the incremental effects of marijuana on health remains an open question. “Even though we could not compare marijuana users to those who used no drugs at all, our findings suggest that marijuana use has little measurable effect on self-reported health or health-care utilization in adults using drugs identified in a primary care clinic,” he said in a statement.

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Avatar of: krmonagle

krmonagle

Posts: 1

September 25, 2013

What about the brain damage that pot use can cause?  Development of serious mental illness is associated with pot use.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827091401.htm

Avatar of: azt

azt

Posts: 1

September 25, 2013

are you really serious posting such a misleading statement? showing the non-associating with emergency visits and marij is hardly a proof of no poor health outcomes!!! the posts like these misinform the public about the conclusions of the studies and their inferences. as science writers, you have a social and professional obligation to monitor how you phrase your statements because they may be misused. without truly understanding what this study really means, general public who is so eager to justify the use of marij will interpret these results as there are no adverse health outcomes from the use. pretty poor and disapponting reporting..

Avatar of: josh277

josh277

Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from krmonagle made on September 25, 2013

September 26, 2013

 No one is supporting the use of marijuana by minors as your article speaks of the affects of adolescent marijuana use. http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/37141/title/Kerfuffle-Over-Marijuana-Claim/. The idea that it should be illegal while not proving to be a danger to adult society is absurd. BTW caffeine has a larger negative impact on adolescent development. http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2013/09/caffeine-intake-slows-youth-brain-development.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feed%3A+fpdarticles+(fpd+-+articles)

Avatar of: Jack95

Jack95

Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from josh277 made on September 26, 2013

September 27, 2013

why would you say something so idiotic. It clearly is harmful as it wouldn've been illeagalized in the first place...

Avatar of: GGGGGGG

GGGGGGG

Posts: 1

September 27, 2013

Ok so basically... Marijuana was never made illegal for health purposes. Please do your research before you post a comment.

Avatar of: Broz

Broz

Posts: 2

September 27, 2013

I think its important to note the difference between adolescent and adult usage.
Canabanoids are very important in healthy development. Once you finish proper development, fluctuations in canabanoids can be weathered without much long-lasting affects.

Alcohol and caffine are MUCH worse, and much easier for adolescent to obtain and abuse. I fear there is an unfair stigma on all hemp products, even though they really do not pose as much of a toxilogical risk as their legal counterparts.

Avatar of: Broz

Broz

Posts: 2

Replied to a comment from Jack95 made on September 27, 2013

September 27, 2013

If you can find one scholarly, peer-reviewed academic paper pointing to its longterm harmful affects in adults, as well as any significant published paper as to why it became illegial in the first place, by all means please show me - I would actually be very interested in reading it.

Avatar of: ShamronCole

ShamronCole

Posts: 1

September 27, 2013

Marijuana was illigelized because paper factory's started a slander campane against it because the process of using hemp for products was cheaper and more efficient so they had to find a way to shut it down. If marijuana was so bad for your health they wouldn't use it to HELP people with serious health/mental issues. Our economy would benefit greatly from the legalization of the product. It just stupid people like you who hear the word marijuana and think drugs. And I'm here to tell you Meth is a drug. Heroine is a drug. Crack is a drug. Marijuana is a PLANT. And one that we could use for many many useful purposes. And yes that includes smoking it. 

Avatar of: Joeyh

Joeyh

Posts: 1

September 27, 2013

Interesting. Not really conclusive though. Not really sure that this is a misleading article, I have found that most users are generally free thinking and don't just believe what the internet tells them. There are many reasons that marijuana is illegal, but it's mostly down to large industry having a voice in law making. 

As for the whole brain damage scenario, well, that's just part if life. Some people die after eating a peanut. Awareness is the answer and I think this article goes a little way towards enlightenment. Cannabis is a healer to a lot of people, and as a society we should be able to make up our own minds without fear of a criminal record or having to venture into the world of crime just to indulge. The law makes us criminals by virtue of its stance on cannabis. 

For the record, I am not a cannabis user. 

Avatar of: Abyss

Abyss

Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from Jack95 made on September 27, 2013

September 27, 2013

On the contrary, marijuana was NOT made illegal due to negative health effects, as legal substances such as tabacco, alcohol, and caffeine have substantial proven negative impacts on health but are legal due to government substitutes. Not doing your research before calling people down is the empitome of idiotic.  

Avatar of: prescilla

prescilla

Posts: 1

September 27, 2013

I would like to know in general, which overdoses and accidents are caused by cannabis, alcohol, other illegal substances.
Avatar of: wyvernsrose

wyvernsrose

Posts: 1

September 27, 2013

Oh and I dont touch the stuff in spite of having chronic pain.... It drops my blood pressure too low.
Avatar of: tageslicht

tageslicht

Posts: 2

September 27, 2013

@Jack95

 

I signed up just to reply to your comment, I hope you can learn something.

 

Marijuana has been gradually banned not because of alleged negative impact on health, but because the big paper companies in the USA saw hemp as a growing and potentially dangerous competition for their products, since it is easy to grow and cheap. It wasn't banned in one step, but in first place, taxes for growing hemp or cannabis were raised very high, so noone could actually afford it anymore. The prohibition on Marijuana was a business thing, not a health thing, so, inform yourself in the future before posting such a low-light-comment.

 

In fact, saying "It must be dangerous or it would not have been forbidden" is a very naive, not to say stupid way to argue. You could then also say: "If Putin declares homosexuality dangerous for the society, then it must be dangerous"

No offense though, dude

 

Avatar of: tageslicht

tageslicht

Posts: 2

September 27, 2013

@Study:

I didn't read it though, but from what I can read here, the study doesn't seem to have a high scientific value, since most alleged negative health impacts of Cannabis are supposed to develop gradually, like, lung problems, worse concentration, sleep problems. So if you just look at a three months timeframe, it is not very surprising they couldn't find anything. They would have probably found the same about tobacco, or alcohol, though I think noone would disagree when I say that those two friends have a very negative impact on health.

Avatar of: jmm822

jmm822

Posts: 2

Replied to a comment from prescilla made on September 27, 2013

September 27, 2013

This should get you started. It is a summary article on the zero death rate of marijuana as compared to 17 other popular FDA approved drugs. Includes links to some backup sources...

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000145

 

Avatar of: jmm822

jmm822

Posts: 2

Replied to a comment from krmonagle made on September 25, 2013

September 27, 2013

If you are going to pick an article pick one that actually backs your claim. I am not going to tear this article up, I could but I won't. I just have to say that it references psychological behavioral in adolescents humans, nut the physiological effects it uses are all based on research on rats...read into that what you want. Also I will say that NO drug, not even FDA approved prescription drugs, are good for consistent use in an adolescent with a developing brain. Saying that smoking pot may cause problems in cognitive brain development in adolescents is about as brilliant, and intuitive as telling someone if they run across the freeway during rush hour without looking they will get hit by a car.

I have attached three article citations for you. If you want some factual, peer reviewed research on cannibus's neural regenerative effects in the HUMAN brain, as well as a good overview on many of the beneficial medical apects of cannibus research look them up and read them.

Campbell, V. A., & Gowran, A. (2007). Alzheimer's Disease; Taking the Edge off with Cannabinoids?. British Journal of Pharmacology. 152(5): 655-662.

McPartland, J. M., & Russo, E. B. (2001). Cannabis and Cannabis Extracts: Greater than the Sum of Their Parts?. Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics. 1(3-4): 103-132.

Eubanks, L. M., Rogers, C. J., Beuscher IV, A. E., Koob, G. F., Olson, A. J., Dickerson, T. J., & Janda, K. D. (2006). A Molecular link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer's Disease Pathology. Molecular Pharmaceutics. 3(6): 773-777.

Avatar of: Eken

Eken

Posts: 1

September 28, 2013

Drugs aren´t good, they are bad or worse. A report fromthe Swedish National Institute of Public Health

http://www.fhi.se/PageFiles/7570/MOB2003-is-cannabis-a-harmless-drug.pdf

E
njoy.

Avatar of: someone

someone

Posts: 1

September 28, 2013

As someone who developed Panic Disorder 12 years ago (which it turns out I am stuck with for life) because of Marijuana, this article makes me feel a bit sick. Just like krmonagle noted mental illness can be caused by its use.

In fact when I was diagnosed with PD,  whether I smoked pot was one of the first things my doctor asked me.

Avatar of: avrg_joe

avrg_joe

Posts: 2

Replied to a comment from Jack95 made on September 27, 2013

September 28, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e23_HYLvFzE Yeah... no reason. Watch this video and remember that this guy has a PhD. He knows what he's talking about and won't be saying this for no reason.

Avatar of: avrg_joe

avrg_joe

Posts: 2

Replied to a comment from jmm822 made on September 27, 2013

September 28, 2013

Congratulations. You win the prize for actually having a thought-out argument backed up with multiple sources of evidence, rather than "drugs are bad". The thing is, there is no point in debating whether or not cannabis has serious negative effects or should be legalized because whatever happens people will smoke it. I will just say that if it was legalized it could be taxed and would eliminate the majority of crime, so less money would have to be spent on the police. On top of these economical benefits, you would still probably get the same number of people smoking it. The fact of the matter is that people don't care about the negative effects, they care about the quality of their grass.

Avatar of: Melonie

Melonie

Posts: 1

September 28, 2013

Alcohol kills 2,000 plus people everyday. 

Tobacco kills 2,000 plus people everyday.

Overdose from prescription meds kills double the amounts above..... everyday.

 

marijuana has killed zero people..... Ever.  Any who thinks marijuana  should be illegal is a dumbass. 

 

Avatar of: Henry Casch

Henry Casch

Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from krmonagle made on September 25, 2013

September 30, 2013

No one is seriously considering allowing the recreational use of Marijuana for anyone under 21, and the medical use for children is very conservatively applied. Alcohol, caffeine and tobacco use is the population associated with the referenced study has at least as detrimental an effect as marijuana. The facts are abundantly clear that alcohol abuse is deadly, being directly linked to death in more than 40,000 Americans annually, and indirectly about the same number. The deadly nature of Tobacco use needs no mention here, except that the quantity used is far greater than that of marijuana by the average user. Continuing down the prohibition path based on a lack of or faulty data is negligent at best and criminal when the impact on society is calculated across the full spectrum of affected people.

 

We need an organized effort by Federal and State governments, in concert with institutions of higher learning, to conduct unbiased research based on a set of pre-defined questions to determine the real issues with marijuana use. Until then, all is biased speculation based on what side of the issue you place yourself. Anyone can site 50+ studies that say marijuana is okay, and another 50+ that say the opposite. The time to get real is now!

Avatar of: nokattaem

nokattaem

Posts: 1

September 30, 2013

I can't believe people can still be so ignorant as to believe the lies the government has fed them for years about marijuana.
Marijuana can be used to treat epilepsy, backpain, brain tumors, insomnia, anorexia, cystic fibrosis, coacaine dependance! gastritis, arthritis and even cancer! THC is help trigger apoptosis that that is a naturally occurring process in which cells which could become cancerous that are faulty are damaged.
Open your eyes and do some research, aren't we supposed to be discussing such issues with a scientific UNbiased opionion? I thought we were better than our old superstitions

Source: http://www.unitedpatientsgroup.com/resources/illnesses-treatable

Avatar of: Troy Dube

Troy Dube

Posts: 4

Replied to a comment from someone made on September 28, 2013

January 21, 2014

Um, what's your argument? You have high anxiety from smoking pot? That may be possible, however quite a few people with high anxiety treat their symptoms with cannabis. Therefore, you can't say pot causes mental illness. We can say the possibility exists that cannabis causes unpredictable effects to one's mental condition, ONLY in rare cases. It's rare because what we have learned about the brains reaction with cannabis, though limited, has yet to show any provable link between canabis use and long term side effects, though i would predict at least some correlations exist. Also, PD can be very treatable, and in many cases is symptom of another mental disorder. Personally ive been diagnosed with insomnia after thinking i had PD. 7 years of therapy later im much better.

 

P.S. Ive had a lifetime of people telling ME how treatable insomnia is, so i apologize if that annoyed you the way "insomnia" cures annoy me. I shold have said "for some people". I truly believe their is no cure for my insomnia, something is simply broken, which actually helps me deal with it.

Avatar of: Troy Dube

Troy Dube

Posts: 4

Replied to a comment from azt made on September 25, 2013

January 21, 2014

I just wanna say, its amazing how often people go to the emergency room from smoking cannabis. Im even more baffled when this is some kind of argument regarding the effects of THC or CBCs on the brain. A far more SCIENTIFIC conclusion is that sometimes, stupid people go to the emergency room for very stupid reasons, and some of these stupid people happen to also smoke pot.

Avatar of: pjr

pjr

Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from Melonie made on September 28, 2013

July 21, 2014

thank you Melonie, well said.  there is always going to be individuals that will always be against canabis no matter what.

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