Survey respondents believe drug can alleviate various ailments, even as scientists call out for more research
Americans believe marijuana is helpful in treating a variety of health problems despite a lack of available evidence supporting it, a new survey observed.
The results, to be published in the upcoming issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, prove the most respondents believe smoking marijuana can help with pain management and then MS. Just under half believe it can alleviate insomnia, nervousnes and depression, ailments for which marijuana’s efficacy and safety have not been established by scientists.
” They believe things that we have no data for ,” said the study’s lead author, Dr Salomeh Keyhani, a professor of general internal medicine at the University of California San Francisco medical school.
Of the 16,000 respondents to the online survey, 14.6% said they had employed marijuana in the past year, lower than in the country at large, according to a 2017 survey.
In the US, marijuana’s unique legal situation complicates efforts to study and obtain accurate information about the drug’s harms and benefits.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the agency responsible for drug law enforcement, marijuana is a schedule I drug, meaning that it has serious hazards and no medical benefits. Other drugs in this category include heroin and LSD.
This restricted status makes it difficult for scientists to study marijuana, especially its health benefits.
” We need better data ,” Keyhani said.” We need any data .”
She attributes the gaps between public perception and proved science largely to commercialization of the narcotic in several US countries, which has led to advertising and media coverage.
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