The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a comprehensive report today acknowledging that "conclusive or substantial evidence" exists for cannabis' efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain, and sharply criticized longstanding federal regulatory barriers to marijuana research – in particular "the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance" under federal law.
The cannabis plant and its biologically active constituents, known as cannabinoids, possess an impressive safety profile compared to other conventional therapeutic agents. According to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, marijuana possesses an estimated dependence liability of less than ten percent. (Others have acknowledged that pot’s true dependence potential is likely even lower.) This percentage is approximately the same as anxiolytic drugs like Xanax and Valium and far lower than that of many other licit prescription drugs or recreational substances, like alcohol (15 percent) and tobacco (32 percent).
Less obesity and greater workforce participation are just two of the many benefits. Access to medicinal cannabis is improving Americans’ quality of life in ways few advocates could have initially predicted. As the number of people utilizing marijuana grows, so too does our understanding of its societal benefits. Here are some of the latest scientific findings:
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