One of the primary arguments given by federal drug regulators about why it would be unwise to lower the Schedule I classification of marijuana is that the drug has not been well enough studied to know whether it has legitimate medical benefits. Of course, there are many people who use it as medicine who would beg to differ. Beyond that, it’s something of a Catch-22 because the Schedule I listing makes it next to impossible for scientists to get a hold of it, let alone conduct clinical trials. That means researchers must explore other ways of examining the drug’s risks and benefits.
Recently, an analysis published in the journal Cancer Medicine revealed that a history of marijuana use among patients admitted to the hospital was correlated with lower rates of heart failure, cardiac disease and cancer deaths. This conclusion was based on analysis conducted by researchers at Colorado State University, the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Alabama, who looked at the health outcomes of nearly 4 million hospitalized patients.
Patients who tested positive for marijuana were more likely than those who didn’t have a history of using the drug to be admitted for a stroke. However, they had much lower odds of suffering from cardiac disease or heart failure. They had especially good survival rates when it came to various types of cancer, and their survival rates overall were better than non-users. Continue reading