Although cannabis is now legal in 28 states for medical purposes and eight states and the District of Columbia for recreation, conclusive evidence about the harms and benefits of cannabis use remains elusive.
In March 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine convened a committee of 16 health experts to conduct a comprehensive review of the current evidence available about the health effects of cannabis and cannabis-derived products. Their findings were released this month.
“From their review, the committee arrived at nearly 100 different research conclusions related to cannabis or cannabinoid use and health.”
The experts found conclusive evidence that cannabis and cannabinoids are effective in treating chronic pain in adults. They also found oral cannabinoids are effective in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and for improving patient-reported multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms.
Cannabinoids are active compounds found in the cannabis plant. Two specific kinds of cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is known for its psychoactive properties, but can also provide health benefits. CBD does not cause have psychoactive properties