10 Exciting New Research Studies On The Effects of Cannabis
It’s been an exciting 12-months for cannabis research. Check out these 10 cannabis studies published within the last year.
1. Cannabis Users Have a Better Chance of Surviving a Heart Attack
Brief Overview: After comparing the hospital records of more than a million heart-attack patients, researchers from the University of Colorado discovered that those who had used cannabis in the past were significantly less likely to die during hospitalization. Patients with a history of cannabis use were also significantly less likely to experience shock or require an intra-aortic balloon pump than patients without.
2. Cannabis Leaves are Effective Against Staph Infections
Brief Overview: It appears that crushed cannabis leaves can effectively fight against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a cause of Staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics and hard to treat. Researchers from Saaii College of Medical Science and Technology and the University of Gour Banga in India tested the antimicrobial properties of crushed cannabis leaves infused into an ethanol-based tincture. They found the leaves are even more effective when combined with common guava and an evergreen coniferous tree called Thuja orientalis.
3. Myth that Cannabis is a Gateway Drug Again Debunked
Brief Overview: That common misconception that cannabis will lead to the use of serious drugs? Research findings published by LiveStories found no connection between having used cannabis and the eventual use of more dangerous and addictive substances like alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, and heroin. It’s not the first study to debunk the myth.
4. Medical Cannabis Can Help Combat the Opioid Epidemic
Brief Overview: Providing patients with a legal avenue for cannabis appears to lead to a significant drop in prescription opioid use. Researchers from the University of California San Diego and Weill Cornell Medical College looked at whether there is a correlation between medical cannabis legalization and prescription opioid use over a 21-year period. They found legalization led to a nearly 30% drop in opioids, suggesting the patients were opting to treat their pain with cannabis instead.
Brief Overview: The appetite-stimulating properties of cannabis are well-documented, but last year researchers from Washington State University were able to identify how its compounds alter eating behavior. With their animal study, they discovered that cannabis triggers a surge in ghrelin, a hormone responsible for signaling to the brain when it’s time to seek out more food.
6. Medical Cannabis is Gradually Replacing Anti-Anxiety Medications
Brief Overview: Anxiety is common in today’s society, and it appears that a growing number of patients are opting to use medical cannabis instead of traditional meds to treat the issue. A team of Canadian researchers found that 30% of medical cannabis patients discontinued their use of anti-anxiety drugs within two months of starting with their cannabis treatment. After six months, that value jumped up to 45%.
7. Legalizing Cannabis Makes the U.S. Southern Border Safer
Brief Overview: Cannabis advocates have a new argument they can utilize in their pursuit of legalization: Ending marijuana prohibition makes communities safer. An analysis from the Cato Institute found that smuggling over the U.S. Southern Border has significantly dropped as more states have legalized cannabis. Over a five-year period, Border Patrol seizures fell 78%. The findings suggest that legalization leads to less business for cartels and a subsequent reduction in smuggling-related violence.
8. Frequent Cannabis Use Does NOT Adversely Impact Brain Structure
Brief Overview: Using cannabis regularly appears to have no association with brain morphology. A team of 20 investigators from 13 institutions across Australia, the U.S., and the UK examined MRI scans of more than 1,000 young adults and middle-aged men to assess whether habitual cannabis use leads to decreases in gray matter volumes in the brain. They found no such relationship.
Brief Overview: Providing legal access to medical cannabis can improve the health and employment prospects of older adults. After researchers at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Temple University compared medical cannabis laws to more than 100,000 survey responses from adults 51 years and up, they found that those who qualified for medical cannabis experienced significantly less pain and were able to work more hours.
10. Legal Medical Cannabis Users Consume Less Alcohol
Brief Overview: A market research report from Chicago-based High Yield Insights found that adults who use cannabis and live in a state where it’s legal consume 21% fewer cocktails and 20% fewer beers than those who use cannabis but live where it’s illegal. Their report also found legal cannabis use to be associated with reductions in prescription anxiety, pain, and depression medications.