A new study published in May by The New England Journal of Medicine illustrated the results of the first test that used marijuana to treat one particular form of severe epilepsy in children. The study found that there is a component of cannabis – one that does not provide users with a high – that reduced the number of seizures in these children.
However, as it stands, all we have right now is a handful of analyses that have truly studied marijuana in depth. This past January, a U.S. advisory committee concluded that the lack of scientific information we have at our disposal about marijuana poses a risk to the public's health, and that we should be doing more to learn more, especially as the continues to be legalized throughout the country for both medicinal and recreational means.
This statement came on the heels of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's decision back in 2016 to leave marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which makes it comparable to heroin and LSD insofar as its federal legality. The problem is that because marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug, scientists find it incredibly difficult to study because of the struggles involved with getting federal approval for the research.
Despite the fact that we have so little information on marijuana, over two dozen states now allow it to be used for medicinal purposes. While federal regulators have not approved marijuana for medicinal use, they have allowed for man-made, chemically similar medicines to be used to treat the loss of appetite in people with AIDS, as well as for the treatment of the nausea and vomiting that accompany chemotherapy.
In a nutshell, here are some positives that we have come to learn about marijuana:
However, smoking marijuana may also lead to negative effects that may outweigh its potential benefits, such as:
As it stands right now, there's not enough to say for sure if marijuana can have the following benefits: