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Medical Weed Is Safe, Longest Ever Study on Managing Pain with Pot Finds

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Jordan Pearson reports at Motherboard:

The results from the first and longest study ever conducted on medicinal cannabis use for chronic pain management are finally in: medical pot is safe to use. Nobody’s brain turned into a fried egg.

The study was conducted by researchers at McGill University in Montreal and followed 215 experienced smokers as they toked up 2.5 grams a day, as well as 216 non-smokers, for four years—between 2004 and 2008, with a follow up after one year. The participants, who all suffered from a wide range of noncancer chronic pains, were tested for lung function, underwent blood tests, and had cognitive abilities like memory examined. All adverse effects, from mild headaches to serious disorders, were reported by subjects.

In a paper describing the results of the study, published Tuesday in The Journal of Pain, the researchers write that the cannabis users reported less pain, better overall moods, and had no increased risk of serious adverse effects compared to the control group. Cognitive functions like memory, the researchers wrote, “improved in both groups.”

“The results suggest that cannabis at average doses of 2.5g/d in current cannabis users may be safe as part of carefully monitored pain management program when conventional treatments have been considered medically inappropriate or inadequate,” the authors wrote.

That’s not to say frequent smoking didn’t have any drawbacks at all. Compared to the control group the experienced smokers reported more non-serious adverse effects, such as dizziness and mild respiratory issues associated with smoking.

“Respiratory illnesses and other minor side effects are real risks, but they’re much more modest (in my opinion), than some of the risks that people believe exist,” Dr. David Casarett, a physician at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the measured Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana, wrote me in an email. “So this is a useful reality check.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 September 2015 at 4:44 pm

Posted in Drug laws, Medical, Science

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