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Here’s What the National Academy’s Medical Cannabis Report Actually Says

January 13, 2017
Rear View Of Doctors Talking As They Walk Through Hospital
The release of “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids,” a comprehensive report by the National Academy of Sciences, has sparked a flurry of reaction around the nation. Cannabis advocates have focused on the report’s conclusion that cannabis possesses therapeutic value for chronic pain patients, while others emphasized the report’s warnings about car crashes and memory problems. USA Today’s headline captured the report’s overall sense of caution: “Marijuana can help some patients, but doctors say more research needed.”

What is the report, what does it actually say, and why is it important? We’ve got you covered.

What is “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids” Report?

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine is a private, nonprofit NGO established more than 150 years ago to advise the nation on scientific matters. It’s considered one of the gold standard institutions of science. In 1999, largely in reaction to California’s legalization of medical cannabis, the Institute of Medicine (the medical research arm of the National Academies) was tasked by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to conduct a systematic review of the scientific evidence pertinent to the health risks and benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids. To the White House’s surprise, the institute came back with a report that cautiously supported the idea that cannabis could have beneficial medicinal effects.

Almost two decades later, the National Academies put together this follow-up report to see what the science of the past 18 years has further revealed about cannabis and medicine.

What Kinds of Cannabis Research Did It Consider?

The committee reached nearly 100 research conclusions based on consideration of more than 10,000 research articles. They gave more weight to articles published since 1999 report. From this information, each specific research conclusion was assigned to one of five “levels of evidence”: conclusive, substantial, moderate, limited, and no/insufficient evidence. Importantly, the committee focused exclusively on the human literature, and did not consider basic research conducted using animal models.

You can read the full report, highlights, and public release slides here.

Female scientist in lab with hand detail

What Medical Applications Are Supported by Conclusive Evidence?

The committee found three medical applications for cannabis use supported by conclusive evidence (as opposed to substantial, moderate, limited, or insufficient evidence):

  • Nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy
  • Chronic pain in adults
  • Spasticity in multiple sclerosis

There’s a lot more to dive into (see below), but let’s first consider some important caveats to the study’s conclusions.

Related

Is Cannabis Better for Chronic Pain Than Opioids?

Barriers to Cannabis Research

One thing the report emphasizes is how much we don’t know—and why we don’t know it. It provides us with four conclusions about research barriers:

  • Specific regulatory barriers, especially the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, are an impediment to the advancement of research on cannabis and cannabinoids;
  • It is difficult for researchers to obtain access to the types of cannabis products necessary to address questions surrounding the health effects of human cannabis consumption;
  • A diverse network of funders is needed to help support the necessary research efforts;
  • Improvements and standardization of research methodologies will be needed to develop conclusive evidence for the short- and long-term health effects of cannabis use.

This is a key take away point. If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on when it comes to cannabis, it should be that we need to do the research necessary to inform ourselves about its health effects. But this is very difficult to do in practice because of cannabis’ absurd designation as a Schedule I controlled substance. Because this report identifies multiple medical applications supported by conclusive evidence, it directly contradicts the Schedule I designation the federal government places on cannabis.

Related

Here’s Why the DEA Will Never Reschedule Cannabis

Important Caveats

There are three big caveats I think we should keep in mind when reading this report:

Caveat 1: When reviewing human studies, members of the committee looked for statistical associations between cannabis use and health outcomes, but they did not attempt to evaluate whether significant associations were due to cannabis use causing a specific health outcome or whether cannabis use and that outcome were associated for some other reason, such as a common underlying cause. This is a key weakness when we only consider human studies involving a Schedule I substance: the findings are usually correlational and thus prevent us from drawing conclusions about cause-and-effect.

Caveat 2: Many human studies rely on self-reporting of cannabis usage. This is a huge caveat for many human studies, as any conclusions drawn about the effects of light, moderate, or heavy cannabis use rest on the assumption that subjects are accurately reporting their consumption.

Caveat 3: The committee explicitly decided to not consider basic research studies. That helped simplify the gargantuan task of evaluating tens of thousands of research abstracts. There are many thousands of basic research studies out there (both test tube and animal studies), and considering these would have been incredibly time- and labor-intensive. While that basic research isn’t conducted in humans, it does allow us to dig deeper into mechanisms of action and establish cause-and-effect relationships. There’s a lot of interesting and compelling basic research out there that should inform the direction of human clinical research. This represents a huge knowledge gap in the report.

Below, I’ll walk us through the chapter highlights of the 11 chapters of the report. The basic conclusions reached by the committee are listed as bullet points, with my own commentary below them, including what we should take away and any important caveats we should keep in mind. Each heading below corresponds to one chapter of the report focused on a specific health concern.

woman's hands holding leafs of medicine marijuana

Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis

  • Oral cannabinoids are effective at treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in adults.
  • Adults with chronic pain are more likely to experience clinically significant levels of pain reduction when treated with cannabis or cannabinoids.
  • Oral cannabinoids provide improvement for adults with MS-related spasticity.

Not much new here. These effects have been widely known for some time. Again, these are the areas supported by evidence deemed “conclusive” by the committee. There are many more things for which “substantial,” “moderate,” or less convincing levels of evidence exists.  For me, the second bullet point is arguably the most important, as it could have huge implications for the country’s ongoing opioid epidemic.

Related

America’s Opioid Crisis: Can High-CBD Cannabis Combat Pain and Reduce Addiction Rates?

Cannabis and Cardiometabolic Risk

  • The evidence is unclear about the association of cannabis use with heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. 

Not a whole lot to add here. To be safe, people with cardiovascular issues should be extremely careful, as THC’s action through CB1 receptors in the brain can cause an acute (temporary) increase in pulse and blood pressure.

Cannabis and Cancer

  • Evidence suggests that smoking cannabis does not increase the risk of lung, head, or neck cancers in adults.
  • There’s limited evidence for an association between cannabis use and one particular subtype of testicular cancer.
  • There’s minimal evidence that parental cannabis use during pregnancy is associated with greater cancer risk in children.
Related

Cannabis and Cancer

Not much new here, either. The weight of the evidence to date suggests that smoking cannabis, unlike smoking cigarettes, does not increase lung cancer risk. Apparently there is modest evidence for an association between cannabis use and a specific form of testicular cancer. The important caveat for these conclusions is that they’re based on finding (or failing to find) statistical associations between cannabis use and a specific cancer outcome. Controlling for confounding variables, such as tobacco smoking, is critical for interpreting the results.

The association between cannabis and one subtype of testicular cancer is considered limited because the studies finding a link suffered from one or more of the following: they relied on self-reported data, response rates were low, or potential confounding variables were not controlled for.

Cannabis and Respiratory Disease

  • Smoking cannabis regularly is associated with chronic coughing and phlegm production.
  • Quitting smoking is likely to reduce these symptoms.
  • It’s unclear if cannabis use is associated with other respiratory problems (e.g. asthma, general lung function).

Again, not much new here. If you smoke cannabis all the time, there’s a good chance you’ll be coughing up some phlegm. We recommend regular smokers consider vaping instead.

Cannabis and Immunity

  • There’s a general lack of data on how cannabis-based therapies affect the human immune system.
  • There is insufficient data on the overall effects of cannabis on immune system competence.
  • There is limited evidence suggesting that cannabis smoke exposure has anti-inflammatory effects.
  • There is insufficient evidence to support an association between cannabis use and adverse immune effects in HIV patients.

This is a section where the authors concluded that limited or insufficient evidence exists across the board. But it’s also an area where a lot of basic research has been done that should be used to guide human clinical research. For example, we know that THC is a more potent anti-inflammatory that aspirin and hydrocortisone, and we know the endocannabinoid system has an important role in regulating the immune system’s inflammatory response. This makes it plausible that there are useful anti-inflammatory applications of cannabis-based therapies, and we should be pursuing human studies to investigate what these might be.

Cannabis and Prenatal, Perinatal, and Neonatal Exposure

  • Smoking cannabis during pregnancy is associated with lower birth weights.
  • The relationship between smoking during pregnancy and other outcomes is unclear.

This one is pretty straightforward. Please don’t smoke anything if you’re pregnant. It’s the only safe and reasonable strategy to take. The report contradicts a 2016 review that Leafly covered, which found that cannabis use was not linked to negative birth weight of preterm delivery outcomes (at least when used without tobacco or other illicit substances). However, the current report points out that there’s reason to think that non-cannabinoid byproducts of combustion that are found in smoke (including carbon monoxide), can impair fetal growth. The only reasonable conclusion here is that pregnant woman should avoid all forms of smoke inhalation.

Related

Is Cannabis Safe to Use During Pregnancy? New Study Clarifies Risks

Problem Cannabis Use

  • Using cannabis more frequently and starting at a younger age are associated with developing problem cannabis use.

“Problem cannabis use” here means cannabis use disorder. While cannabis does not have nearly as much habit-forming potential as substances like alcohol, nicotine, or opioids, it is possible to develop a habit. What’s a habit? If you have trouble voluntarily taking a break, and especially if doing so gives you withdrawal symptoms, then you’ve got a habit. Using cannabis very frequently, especially if you start at a young age, increases the odds of habit formation. This is important but also nothing new.

Related

CBD (cannabidiol): What does it do and how does it affect the brain & body?

Cannabis Use and Abuse of Other Substances

  • Cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing dependence for a substance other than cannabis.

This one jumped out at me. If you look at this chapter of the report in detail, things get confusing. The authors reach these three conclusions in the chapter of the full report:

  1. There is limited evidence for an association between cannabis use and the initiation of tobacco use.
  2. There’s limited evidence for cannabis use affecting the rates and patterns of use of other illicit substances.
  3. There is moderate evidence for a statistical association between cannabis use and the development of dependence for other substances, including alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs.

I found this trio of conclusions confusing. The first two conclusions are that there’s limited evidence for an association between cannabis and both initiation of tobacco use and changes in the rate or pattern of use of other illicit substances. But then we’re told that there’s moderate evidence for an association between cannabis use and the development of dependence for other substances. Wouldn’t the development of dependence be considered a change in the pattern of use? And if the chapter summary (the bullet point above) is based on these three conclusions, what justifies the definitive-sounding statement, “Cannabis use is likely to…”?

It isn’t clear me why they separated the studies that were considered for points (2) and (3) above. Point (2) is about changes in patterns of usage, and point (3) is about the development of dependence, which is itself a change in the pattern of usage.

Related

U.S. Attorney General Says Cannabis Is Not a Gateway Drug

While some of the studies considered had large sample sizes and controlled a variety of confounds, most or all seem to have relied on self-reported data around consumption of cannabis and other substances. These types of studies also don’t include any biological data that might tell us whether someone is generally predisposed to developing a substance use disorder.

If lifetime use of one substance is associated with increased use of another, how do we know that using the first substance was what increased the risk of using the second? How do we rule out the existence of a biological predisposition that makes one more likely to develop a dependence on any intoxicating substance? We can’t, at least not from these types of studies. Thus, I find the conclusion given in the chapter highlights, that cannabis “is likely to increase the risk for developing substance dependence,” to be specious and inappropriately phrased given the content of this chapter.

Cannabis Effects on Injury and Death

  • Using cannabis before driving increases the risk of being in a motor vehicle accident.
  • In states with legal cannabis, there’s an increase in unintentional cannabis overdose injuries in children.
  • There is no clear relationship between cannabis use and mortality or occupational injury. 

Without diving into the report in detail I think we can come up with some common-sense conclusions about the first two points: You shouldn’t operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any psychoactive substance, and you need to be extremely careful about storing your cannabis products if there are children around. That latter point is especially important for cannabis edibles, which can allow unsuspecting individuals to mistakenly consume uncomfortably large amounts of THC.

Related

Why Are Legal States Setting More Limits on Cannabis?

The last point should come as no surprise, since we know why you can’t die from cannabis consumption. People in states with legal medical cannabis also don’t appear to be getting stoned before heading into work. In fact, we’re seeing lower rates of workplace absenteeism in states with legal medical cannabis.

Psychosocial Effects of Cannabis

  • Recent cannabis use (within the last 24 hours) impairs cognition (memory, attention).
  • A limited number of studies suggest there are such cognitive impairments in people who have stopped cannabis use.
  • Adolescent use is associated with impairments in subsequent academic achievement and other social outcomes.

The first two points are straightforward. The acute effects of THC intoxication involve impairments in cognition (e.g. short-term memory, attention), and there is limited evidence that such impairments can persist after people stop consuming cannabis. The last point about academic impairments associated with adolescent use is true based on the studies considered in this report, but we also highlighted a 2016 study too recent to be considered in this report that didn’t find this type of association (but only after controlling for confounding variables, namely tobacco use). Because childhood and adolescence are critical periods of nervous system development, the use of cannabis or any psychoactive substance should be avoided before adulthood.

Related

Why Does Cannabis Cause Paranoia in Some But Helps Anxiety in Others?

Cannabis and Mental Health

  • Cannabis use can increase the risk of developing schizophrenia.
  • Individuals with schizophrenia and a history of cannabis use may show better performance on learning and memory tasks.
  • Cannabis use does not appear to increase the likelihood of depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
  • In individuals with bipolar disorder, near daily cannabis use may worsen symptoms.
  • Heavy cannabis users are more likely to report thoughts of suicide.
  • Regular cannabis use increases risk for social anxiety disorder.

OK, the first two points beg for a double-take. Cannabis use can increase the risk of schizophrenia, but those with both schizophrenia and a history of cannabis use show better performance on learning and memory tasks? What? Box 12-1, titled “Co-Morbidity in Substance Abuse and Mental Illness,” helps us start to digest this. Here are its three main points:

  1. Substance use may be a potential risk factor for developing mental health disorders.
  2. Mental illness may be a potential risk factor for developing a substance abuse disorder.
  3. An overlap in predisposing risk factors (e.g., genetic vulnerability, environment) may contribute to the development of both substance abuse and a mental health disorder.
Related

Cannabis and Depression

The report follows with a statement about why the relationship between mental health and substance abuse is so difficult. Substance abuse can affect mental health, mental health can affect substance abuse, and other variables can affect both. In their words:

Although the precise explanation is still unclear, it is reasonable to assume that co-morbidity between substance abuse and mental health disorders may occur due to a mixture of proposed scenarios. With this context in mind, however, it is important to note that the issue of co-morbidity directly affects the ability to determine causality and/or directionality in associations between substance use and mental health outcomes. This is a complex issue, one that certainly warrants further investigation.

Again we see the emphasis on more research. The nature of the link between cannabis use and schizophrenia was debated by scientists in the journal Nature in 2015 (look here and here for opposing views from scientists).

Summary

It will take some time to dissect this 400-page report in more detail. This report looks at a lot of human health issues and how they  may potentially be affected by cannabis use. While I don’t envy anyone tasked with such an enormous undertaking, I was somewhat disappointed to see that the report didn’t consider any basic research findings and instead relied on only human studies. While this allowed the committee to focus on studies directly related to human health, a large proportion of those studies are based on self-reported data that are correlational in nature. Occasionally, some of the language used to summarize their conclusions doesn’t adequately capture these important caveats.

A major emphasis of the report is that we need much more research. Unfortunately, doing the types of well controlled, large-scale clinical studies that we need to be doing is very difficult in the United States today. Given that this report, conducted by a cautious set of researchers, finds conclusive evidence that cannabis has legitimate medical applications, the federal government’s classification of cannabis as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, with “no currently accepted medical use,” must be considered untenable and inappropriate.

Nick Jikomes's Bio Image

Nick Jikomes

Nick is Leafly's principal research scientist and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University and a B.S. in genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been a professional cannabis researcher and data scientist since 2016.

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  • James Mantil

    Thanks for the overview and explanation Nick. It was very helpful in understanding just what the report actually said.

  • stephen Goldner

    Once again, an impartial government organized panel of experts has provided a tremendous service for our society. These National Academy of Science experts quickly and cost effectively parsed through all the noise created by partisans from all sides of the cannabis issue. This is government serving society “at it’s best” and I greatly appreciate our colleagues who took on this challenge and delivered true ‘fair and balanced’ reporting.

    Now that we have the clinical data sorted and evaluated, another panel can examine the animal and in-vitro studies to sort through the various cannabinoid mechanisms of action. That will require a different set of experts and take longer because there are so many more reports to evaluate.

    Kudos to NAS.

  • rwscid

    Definitely appreciated your work on this document. Thx

  • Theodore Frimet

    The Leafly article was well thought out, and had few omissions.

    Just a shout out about the corelative findings on cannabis use and schizophrenia…

    The report source doesn’t claim to have found that cannabis increases the risk of schizophrenia. It found that patients that have schizophrenia were crossed referenced with cannabis use. The sources of the “the report” date to 2016, as well as 2015, and 2011.

    Purveying pages 234 thru 235, of the report, any casual reader will find that the results of “use” are not diagnosis specific. My guess is that is educated talk for “it doesn’t cause schizophrenia”. My quote, of course.

    And having read this report, and recalling one or two that were similar in nature (maybe this is just a re-hash – lol)…Here is a quote from the report:

    “It is important to note that the present review does not include findings from controlled laboratory studies.”

    They are simply in the same camp, as those of us that quote common view stories of how people benefit from cannabis use.

    You can publish statistics, or simply have a discussion.

    And I find that this forum provides the best of both worlds.

    https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24625/the-health-effects-of-cannabis-and-cannabinoids-the-current-state

  • Mac

    I am left wondering why the study didn’t relate the historical allegations that marijuana use contributed to men growing breasts or a lower sperm count.

  • Will Kersten

    Great resource, thank you. I appreciate you pointing out the weaknesses and caveats of the study—well done. http://www.willkersten.com

  • Lynn Su

    Very interesting article. I’m of the opinion that smoke, no matter from what source, is not good to be inhaled. A simple truth that I often find ignored.

    • Rothers Langley

      they are talking about the medical benefits that includes edabiles

      • Sue Lynn

        Smoking is included in this study too. Edibles are fairly new to the general public. Most people are smokers. Just saying that smoke is smoke.

        • TheShapeOfThings

          Yes I know. I commute by bicycle. Nothing takes my breath away like being passed by an older model diesel truck. I do smoke marijuana while riding without that problem and I ride over 5000 miles a year.

        • Rothers Langley

          l really think they should separate these studies. Opnion.. any kind of smoke is harmful l know l was a 2 pack aday guy..until l had open the chest stuff removed. shortness of breath. Therefore edabiles should be studied
          separately.

          • lovingc

            Cannabis and tobacco are completely different from each other. They do not share any of the same compounds. The nicotine in cigarettes is what causes the cancers. The smoke from cannabis is anti inflammatory and causes no cancers.

          • TheShapeOfThings

            Nicotine is not causing cancer. Nicotine is what makes tobacco addictive. Smoking embalming fluid that is added causes cancer. Ammonia is added to cigarettes to make all the other chemicals burn within the same temperature range which ensures that all the added chemicals are released into the users system with each puff. The added chemicals are where most carcinogens are.

    • That is an “OPINION” not a fact. There is no proof that cannabis smoke is dangerous–in fact it has a reputation for being a great expectorant when smoked, releasing phlegm from the body. Smoking in a chain-smoking manner might cause problems, but the amount of tobacco smoked is crucial. More than a few cigarettes daily is when the problems begin. During the colonial days, they put cannabis flowers or hashish in a non-burnable bowl and covered themselves with a blanket over the bowl, breathing in the cannabis smoke for health, taking big swigs of cannabis smoke to cure maladies.

      • Sue Lynn

        Now that sent me off researching. And like so many subjects, you can find information that agrees and disagrees. Logically, I would say smoke is a lung irritant.

        • TheShapeOfThings

          You might want to refrain from calling your thought process logic. You have unshakable beliefs that you are working feverishly to prop up. That is not logic.

        • TheShapeOfThings

          Smoke testing involves blowing smoke into the sewer lines to reveal places where odors may be escaping the sewer system, according to a release from the WSA. During the testing, gray smoke may exit through vent pipes on roofs of homes, roof leaders, yard drains and leaks in the sewer line.

          According to a release from the WSA announcing the testing, the smoke is made for this purpose and has a distinctive but not unpleasant odor. It is NON-TOXIC, LEAVES NO RESIDUE OR STAINS, IS SAFE FOR PLANTS AND ANIMALS, AND CREATES NO FIRE HAZARD

      • eileen

        A 2011 systematic review of the research concluded that long-term marijuana smoking is associated with an increased risk of some respiratory problems, including an increase in cough, sputum production, airway inflammation, and wheeze – similar to that of tobacco smoking (Howden & Naughton, 2011). However, no consistent association has been found between marijuana smoking and measures of airway dysfunction. Occasional and low cumulative marijuana use has not been associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function (Pletcher et al., 2012); the effects of heavier use are less clear.

  • originalone

    I may be repeating myself here, but the U.S. government has restricted if not interfered with most research on cannabis, so though this study has its pluses – non biases – there’s still that problem. Israel has been compiling research upon research on cannabis for years, without the restrictions the U.S.Government has hampered such in the U.S.A. Considering the progress the issue has taken, especially in the present time frame here in the U.S., the resistance appears to be lessening. Of course, the time to celebrate still may be a ways – even a long ways – off.

  • TheShapeOfThings

    I have a very long history with PTSD starting as a young child. I am 52. I do not drink often. I average one good drunk every year or three but mostly avoid it. A small piece of valium would help me sleep at night but the process of getting it is far worse than not getting them at all. Marijuana stops or significantly reduces my anger in under 5 minutes. Without it, I would not be. I have been robbed at least 20 times trying to get a little amount of this plant. However, I can drink the poisoned water, eat the poisoned food and breath the poisoned air while reading about the kurds being gassed with all the chemicals that were produced by the companies that made marijuana illegal to corner the market with their manufactured products. As much as I appreciate the look of nylons on a fine pair of legs, I do not need them. I served my time, I spent my 17th Christmas in basic training, I am a retired city firefighter and because of this country, a criminal.

    • TheShapeOfThings

      In Rhode Island, 88 facilities reported 460,542 pounds of chemicals released — an increase of 101,908 pounds, or 28 percent. The top 10 chemicals released by Rhode Island into the environment in 2015 were: ammonia, methanol, nitrate compounds, copper compounds, toluene, xylene, zinc compounds, n-butyl alcohol, antimony compounds and copper.

  • Stephen Stillwell

    “If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on when it comes to cannabis, it should be that we need to do the research necessary to inform ourselves about its health effects.”

    Here is a big fat fucking begged question, I disagree, so therefor this be bullshit

    We know, without a doubt, that cannabis is easily as safe as any over the counter medicine, much safer than most

    We know from the prohibitionists favorite Meier distortion of the Dunedin cohort findings, that when about a thousand individuals were monitored for twenty years, about half used cannabis, and half did not, the half that used started out a couple points above the non-users, lost about a point, and ended up about a point over the non-users.

    It is shown that about three percent were found to be cannabis dependent at several intervals, and demonstrated the eight point loss in IQ that they claim demonstrates cause, but since these few scored higher on the Arithmetic, block diagram, and picture completion subtests, it is more likely that these people have divergent thought disorders, and the IQ losses in the more social aspects of intelligence are as likely caused by the social rejection of prohibition, and the criminalization of a plant they have a genetic predisposition to seek out.

    None of the evidence establishes a compelling reason to regulate cannabis in any way

    None of the concerns would warrant any more than a warning on any over the counter medicine, and the accidental poisoning of children doesn’t even demand warnings on toxic houseplants

    No one ever provided proof of any harm caused by cannabis when it was criminalized. It is unreasonable, as well as hateful, to demand proof of some greater safety than water to end the baseless prohibition.

    Thanks so much for your kind indulgence

  • lovingc

    It seems as if these people left out one of the best sources for published papers on cannabis, they never heard of that small middle eastern country called Israel? There is plenty of information available all over the world. Leaving out the work done in Israel is criminal. THC was discovered there and many health benefits have been shone by their research. Including cures for cancer and many other inflammatory diseases.

    • TheShapeOfThings

      They give it to soldiers to PREVENT ptsd. America uses stress to conrol citizens. Allowing citizens relief from what is essentially torture is not an American best business practice. It dulls the, Hey look out, the terrorists want to cut your head off, we must kill all the terrorists, ploy.

  • Fionna

    Hi,
    Medical Cannabis saved my life!! I’m 44 yrs old, I just lost my Beloved Husband last January 2016! Prior to that I spent the last 5 yrs in bed having 6 back surgeries 😔 They were at a loss of what to do with me other than dope me up for the excruciating amount of pain I was in daily! We are talking 90mg 12hr morphine 2x a day, 30/60 mg fast acting morphine every 4/6hrs along w/muscle relaxers, depression,anxiety,nerve damage pain medicine & I can keep going😱 My husband’s sister brought me to a Cannabis Dr. & I have weaned off of over a page of medications 👍 I was able to show My Amazing Husband a month & a half before he suddenly passed away, that I could walk with a cane or holding his arm😇 No more ugly walker or wheelchair 😇 I just wish I would’ve known about this miracle years ago, so I would’ve had so much more time with my husband & to have been able to have been the wife & mother I lost over those 5 yrs I spent in bed! And the worst part is I don’t remember, so many things are a blur because I was so drugged up on all the narcotics!!! I am constantly doing research on what strains help me better than others!! It is all about trial & error & in the medical field they shouldn’t talk because it’s the same way for the medications they prescribe along with all the possible side effects!! Thanks for reading my story 😉

    • Wes Johnston

      Thanks for sharing your story, Fiona. God Bless You! Your story touched me deeply.

      • Fionna

        Your so welcome 🙏 My journey is to let people know how it saved my life!! So in hopes I can help someone else believe that it can save them as well!! The Medical Benefits from Medical Cannabis are absolutely amazing!!! The more research that is done, the medical benefits just keep going!! Thank you for your kind words & I’m so happy you enjoyed my story!! Have a wonderful day!

  • Open Minds

    What a joke of a report. Not once do they mention the Endocannabinoid System which is the reason why cannabis works as a medicine. Moreover, using dronabinol is not the same as using a whole plant extract. What a joke…

  • GradedA++

    Hahahahhah
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  • nitin khan

    Very nice blog of Medical Cannabis Report. Excellent explanation with the help of colorful images and points.
    http://www.medicinesbymailbox.co.uk/

  • Cannabis is a highly flexible drug. Saying cannabis research is generically like saying food research, so imagine research concluding on whether or not food is healthy (e.g. junk food and vegetables are absurdly equal in such research).

    Three critical scientific factors are left out of apparently all cannabis research, and therefore such research does not conform to the scientific method, so is not really science.

    1. Intake Method Differential

    Human studies only seem to focus upon smoking cannabis, but without comparing other intake methods (e.g. vaporization), such research cannot conclude if the cannabis is (for prime example) negatively affecting the user, or the act of smoking something is.

    While smoking is still dominant, given the huge intake efficiency boost from vaporization (so saving the user A LOT of money) and more positive health impact, it is reasonable to conclude that vaporization will overtake smoking, so at least factoring in vaporization is key.

    2. Precise Intake Amount

    Measuring cannabis intake in joints (or such) is ludicrous. Joint size can vary dramatically, and the content of the joints can vary equally dramatically (the latter covered in the last factor).

    Absolute precision is needed here, because intake amount is significant in terms of health impact.

    Researchers demonstrate no ability to achieve anywhere near that precision up to this point.

    3. Strain Differential

    Due to the large number of cannabis compounds (which can be manipulated genetically and/or by growing techniques), strain effects (at least psychologically) can vary dramatically between strains (to the point where two strains can feel like different drugs), which is why there are hundreds (if not thousands) of strains available.

    We need to see results connected to precise strain profiles. It is not even enough to compare Blue Dream with Granddaddy Purple (and so on), because strains with those names can vary significantly.

    I understand that science is being politicized to the point of humanly tragically muddying science.

    I understand there are likely honorable scientists doing the best they can with the atrocious limits imposed by an outrageously mass destructive prohibition that the mainstream media refuses to righteously challenge on behalf of the people’s right to know.

    I understand that the scientific method is certainly (so purely) the completely logical advancement of understanding, so the spin doctors and liars abusing the term science will eventually lose out to the dominating consensus that the scientific method cannot be allowed to become muddied selfishly into irrelevance.

    To say more research is needed is somehow an understatement.

    What is conclusive, however, is cannabis prohibition is demonstrably ineffective (e.g. no “drug free” prison system, and no correlation between usage statistics and toughness of drug laws), destructive (millions of non-rights-infringing, so innocent, people having their lives ruined to varying degrees — including horrific and deadly ones), expensive (billions of taxpayer dollars wasted annually), unwarranted (the fact is no experimental science concludes any harm in cannabis use), and (speaking of rationality) — if you agree that the Commerce Clause cannot possibly be a rational basis for illegality — undeniably unconstitutional (i.e. ironically illegal).

    We live in the “land of the free” to be whoever our oligarchy (too often corruptly) tells us we can be, despite the critical value and national obligation to uphold the unalienable right to liberty that is synonymous with harmless liberty — e.g. responsibly using cannabis.

    That right is critical in order to prevent logically the worst form of abuse (at least due to its mainly broad scope of destruction) — the abuse of law.

    To ensure that right is realized, selfish discrimination (e.g. race, gender, sexual preference, recreational drug choice, and so on) of any kind must (at least judicially) finally end, and evidence needed to judicially ban some activity must be conclusive (not pathetically weakly suggestive at best) in order to prevent that worst form of abuse to actually protect the children and the rest of us.