Many patients who suffer from debilitating ailments and do not experience relief from traditional treatment programs often want to try medical marijuana, but might be concerned about the long term effect this could have on their health. Now, the results of one study published in JAMA Psychiatry might be able to ease these concerns, suggesting frequent use of marijuana might have a minimal effect on long term health. The study analyzed the health of over 1,000 New Zealanders from birth to age 38, and researchers found little difference between the health of marijuana users and those who abstained from marijuana use. The only difference noted was that marijuana users over the age of 20 were more likely to suffer from gum disease, something in which the researchers still can't determine a cause-effect relationship after ruling out for external factors. Co-author of the study Avshalom Caspi admits cannabis may be harmful, but not in every way possible. He says, "We need to recognize that heavy recreational cannabis use does have some adverse consequences, but overall damage to physical health is not apparent in this study."
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