BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Researchers found that marijuana is only linked to gum disease, so that’s good news for all “vegetarians” out there. According to a new study on Mary Jane, long-term use of marijuana is not associated with significant health problems. However, some users might develop periodontal diseases, but that’s pretty much it.
The research was conducted in New Zealand. Scientists studied 1,037 New Zealanders from birth up to the age of 38. The group consisted of both marijuana users and non-users. The team then measured the physical health of the subjects, looking at lung function, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugar, systemic inflammation, body weight, and dental health.
Long story short, the analysis showed the same quality of health in both marijuana users and non-marijuana users, with the exception of gum disease.
The 1,037 study volunteers were born between 1972 and 1973, and about 700 of them admitted to using marijuana. Researchers looked at how the 20-year use of cannabis influenced the physical health of those individuals. But their physical health data proved that they weren’t at more risk of developing diseases than their counterparts who did not use marijuana.
Although there was an increased incidence of developing a periodontal disease, the study can’t prove that cannabis causes gum disease. But it can’t be associated with tobacco smoking, alcohol use or poor dental hygiene, either. The answer might lie in the fact that long-term marijuana use causes dry mouth, which can lead to gum disease.
The results came quite as a surprise for the team of scientists who were sure to find more evidence to give marijuana a bad rep. The findings are striking when looking at how tobacco leads to health decline. Tobacco use is associated with a wide array of diseases, because of its effect on lung function, cholesterol levels, glucose levels, periodontal health, and much more. This while marijuana is only linked to gum disease.
Although the data is reassuring for marijuana users, the team points at how pot users smoke just a few joints over the course of a day, but tobacco users can go through a whole pack or two of cigarettes in a day. This being said, the study might not be sufficiently relevant. A long-term use of more than 20 years has yet to be conducted. Marijuana may still have adverse effects on physical health if smoked for more than twenty years.
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