A Closer Look: How Cannabis Impacts Health
Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States. Some of the claims made for or against marijuana are scientifically well-grounded and some are not. How can you tell which is which?
The following summarizes the major content of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report: The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research.2 The NASEM developed a report that reviews the current and existing science on cannabis use and its impact on people’s health. The report offers:
- An in-depth and broad review of the most recent research
- Nearly 100 research conclusions about the health effects of cannabis and cannabis-based products
- Recommendations to expand and improve cannabis research and data collection
Definitions to know
- Cannabis is a broad term. It describes the different products that come from the Cannabis sativa plant, including marijuana and cannabinoids.
- Cannabinoids are a group of active chemical compounds found in cannabis, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), that get users “high.”
For more information, please visit:
- National Academies of Sciences E, and Medicine,. The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: Current state of evidence and recommendations for research. Washington, DC2017.
- Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/.
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- Perkonigg A, Goodwin RD, Fiedler A, et al. The natural course of cannabis use, abuse and dependence during the first decades of life. Addiction. 2008;103(3):439-449; discussion 450-431.
- Silins E, Horwood LJ, Patton GC, et al. Young adult sequelae of adolescent cannabis use: an integrative analysis. Lancet Psychiatry. 2014;1(4):286-293.
- Hartman RL, Brown TL, Milavetz G, et al. Cannabis effects on driving lateral control with and without alcohol. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015;154:25-37.
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- Aronow WS, Cassidy J. Effect of marihuana and placebo-marihuana smoking on angina pectoris. N Engl J Med. 1974;291(2):65-67.
- Mittleman MA, Lewis RA, Maclure M, Sherwood JB, Muller JE. Triggering myocardial infarction by marijuana. Circulation. 2001;103(23):2805-2809.
- Sidney S. Cardiovascular consequences of marijuana use. J Clin Pharmacol. 2002;42(11 Suppl):64S-70S.
- Hall W, Degenhardt L. Adverse health effects of non-medical cannabis use. Lancet. 2009;374(9698):1383-1391.
- Lopez-Quintero C, Perez de los Cobos J, Hasin DS, et al. Probability and predictors of transition from first use to dependence on nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine: results of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011;115(1-2):120-130.