Marijuana has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
to be used as a medicine. The uncertain purity and dosages of smoked and edible
marijuana are not likely to be consistent with good pharmacologic medical practice.
And most users of “medical” marijuana have no relevant medical condition that
merits its use.
However, a comprehensive evaluation of the potential benefits of marijuana carried
out by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine considered
medications containing synthetic THC to be of value in treating severe pain,
spasticity, nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and to stimulate appetite
in patients with wasting syndrome—severe, involuntary weight loss—due
to AIDS. These studies found that cannabinoids were associated with an increased
risk of short-term adverse events included dizziness, dry mouth, nausea,
fatigue, sleepiness, euphoria, vomiting, disorientation, drowsiness, confusion, loss
of balance, and hallucination.
A 2019 review of the medical use of marijuana in the JAMA concluded that. “…
most studies of the efficacy of cannabinoids on pain are for neuropathic pain, with
relatively few high-quality studies examining other types of pain. At best, there is
only inconclusive evidence that cannabinoids effectively manage chronic pain, and
large numbers of patients must receive treatment with cannabinoids for a few to
benefit, while not many need to receive treatment to result in harm.”
As noted by Volkow and colleagues in the New England Journal of Medicine,
“…the effects of a drug (legal or illegal) on individual health are
determined not only by its pharmacologic properties but also by its
availability and social acceptability. In this respect, legal drugs (alcohol
and tobacco) offer a sobering perspective, accounting for the
greatest burden of disease associated with drugs, not because they
are more dangerous than illegal drugs but because their legal status
allows for more widespread exposure. As policy shifts toward
legalization of marijuana, it is reasonable and probably prudent to
hypothesize that its use will increase and that, by extension, so will
the number of persons for whom there will be negative health consequences.
There is a reasonable concern that the trajectory of a burgeoning marijuana industry
could mimic that of tobacco, with the industrial production of readily available
low-cost products, false claims of benefits and risk, and marketing to youth. There
is also concern that under an onslaught of lobbying to protect corporate interests,
regulation will lag, as it did with tobacco. The marijuana industry already has an
advocacy organization—the National Cannabis Industry Association—to protect
and advance its corporate interests.”
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.