Those who know me personally know this title couldn’t be more true. Never having inhaled makes my commentary far more unbiased (unlike Dr. Gupta).
As far as marijuana is concerned, it really seems like there is a strange imbalance. Certainly any substance has positives and negatives (except broccoli and cauliflower, of course) and there are negatives associated with cannabis use. Addiction and lung damage (with smoking) top the list. When it comes to death, it is difficult to pin down the exact number of annual deaths, but it clearly ranges from 0 up to maybe 300.
300 annual deaths related to marijuana use (most indirectly).
Let’s put this in perspective:
- Many users of marijuana use it to help manage stress. Stress, as a cause of sleep disorders leading to the use of medication, has been linked to 507,00 deaths per year.
- Starting as early as 2009, the number of deaths from prescription drugs was FOUR times that of all illicit drugs. Opioids lead the charge.
- Almost 25 of high school students have been exposed to opioids.
If this isn’t enough to shift your opinion, INSURANCE PAYS FOR THIS ABUSE. Even with a prescription, anyone using medical marijuana is still paying out of his or her pocket.
So let’s take the argument about the “dangers” or “safety” of marijuana use and throw it in the garbage. It’s a useless argument in the shadow of drugs used to control anxiety and sleep as well as opioid abuse and deaths.
With that out of the way, we can have a discussion about the medicinal uses of this herb. I’ve covered some of them in the past, but the most notable is that cannabis seems to have some degree of control over the way we handle sugar and our risk of diabetes.
This particular study seems to have taken it a little further. Researchers looked at a group of 4657 men and women and queried them on past and current marijuana use. Here’s what they found:
- 579 were current marijuana users and 1975 were past users (that’s 55% for the math whizzes).
- Current marijuana use was associated with 16% lower fasting insulin levels.
- Marijuana users tended to have smaller waist circumferences.
- This was no relationship between frequency of use, just that the use was current.
Clearly, the evidence is pointing to the fact that this particular herb has medicinal properties, especially along the diabetic spectrum pathway. This actually may make sense; the “munchies” so stereotypically associated with marijuana use, may be the body’s reaction to hypoglycemia induced by the herb.
Now if only users would dig through the fridge for the broccoli…