A new study published in Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association, has found that cannabis consumers don’t weigh more than non-consumers, and don’t intake more calories – though they do intake slightly more carbohydrates. The study, which found that consumers had slightly lower levels of a specific type of cholesterol, concluded that total body fat was not significantly different between those who do, or don’t consume cannabis.
According to the United Nation’s 2012 World Drug Report, 5% of the world’s population consumes cannabis.
The report indicates that in 2010 (the most recent data accumulated) up to 225 million people consumed cannabis – approximately 5% of the global population. In countries like America and New Zealand, the number is above 10%. The report states:
Cannabis is a truly global phenomenon. Reports on cultivation and seizures of cannabis and on sources of cannabis products illustrate that cannabis is not only consumed in all countries in the form of cannabis herb (marijuana), it is also grown in most of them.
Studies over the past few years have been clear in their conclusion that medical marijuana dispensaries aren’t linked to an increase in crimes, and may very well lower the crime rate in the surrounding area.
In 2011 the RAND Corporation released the results of a new study which revealed that crime was 60% greater within a three-block radius, and 25% greater within a six-block radius, in areas where medical marijuana dispensaries had been shutdown – compared to areas where dispensaries were allowed to stay open. This study came after a Los Angeles ordinance shut down roughly 7 out of every 10 dispensaries in the city.
In 2012, a government funded study, conducted by the National Institute of Health, and published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, concluded that dispensaries weren’t linked to neighborhood crime.
A new study conducted by the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia has found that “there was no significant difference between the health of the children living in cannabis grow operations and the comparison group of children”.
Here’s the method that was used:
In 2007 ABC News reported on a study which found that marijuana may be helpful in fighting breast cancer. Little research has been published since on the matter, but the results were encouraging, to say the least.
The study was conducted by researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, and was funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program. According to ABC News, researchers “have found at the cellular level, a compound in cannabis inhibits the gene that controls the spread of cancer.”
“The problem is not the cancer itself, the problem is the spread of the cancer,” said cancer researcher Yvez Desprez, Ph.D, who points to the gene ID-1 as the trigger. “When this type of gene is expressed, the cells basically go crazy and they’re very aggressive and they metastasize everywhere in the body,” said Desprez.
Recently a double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study looked at patients who suffered from neuropathic pain, and didn’t get much relief from traditional medication, to determine if vaporized cannabis could be helpful. It found, in clear terms, that it is.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California Davis Medical Center and published in The Journal of Pain, was given the title “Low-Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain”.
Participants were given doses of cannabis with either a really low amount of THC (3.53) or an extremely low amount of THC (1.29 percent, barely putting it above hemp). Some of the participants also received a placebo that contained no THC.
Legalizing medical marijuana decreases the consumption rates of alcohol, which reduces traffic fatalities. This is according to a study released at the end of 2011. Although the study didn’t spread near as much as it deserves, it was picked up by multiple national outlets such as Time Magazine and The Huffington Post.
The study was conducted by Montana State University economics professor Mark Anderson, and Daniel Rees, a professor at the University of Colorado, and was published by IZA, the Institute for the Study of Labor. Their research method included the pair using an analysis of data from the National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Using the data, the study compared traffic fatalities over time in states with and without medical marijuana laws, accounting for changes in each state’s law. The researchers found that fatal car crashes dropped by 9% in states that legalized medical marijuana. A pretty drastic drop.
The research, which used comprehensive statistical analysis to come to its conclusion, found that states in the U.S. which have legalized medical cannabis saw a drastically significant reduction in suicides. Unsurprisingly, this was under-publicized in the media.
Overall, medical cannabis states saw a suicide reduction of roughly 5%. Those aged 20-29 saw a reduction of 11%, while those aged 30-39, saw a 9% decrease.
You can’t die from marijuana consumption alone. It’s worth being repeated; no matter how much you consume, regardless of how fast and through what method of inhalation or ingestion, you can’t die from marijuana consumption. It’s non-lethal.
This is an anomaly among substances that we as humans can consume. Everything else has a fatal dose, even water. Water, for example, has an easily detectable LD-50; the amount at which consumption will kill half of those who consume that particular amount.
Scientists have yet to discover – and in all reality never will – the LD-50 for marijuana. This infuriates prohibitionists.
Cannabis is a non-lethal, vastly medicinal, and wonderfully therapeutic plant. It being outlawed is one of the largest travesties of our time. The more we move forward as a society, and the more science improves, the more we learn of the true benefits of cannabis and ending its prohibition. Only propaganda and special interests have kept the beast alive.
Despite the resistance, science, especially over the past several years, has begun to make a mockery of the typical stereotypes and myths surrounding cannabis. Here is a look at some of the more important cannabis related studies to come our way in recent years.