Turns Out It’s a Not an Apple but a Joint a Day That Keeps the Doctor Away

H_Ko / shutterstock.com
H_Ko / shutterstock.com

For years, the American people have been told that apples were the superfood that would keep them from having to go to the doctor as frequently. Now, according to the American Medical Association (AMA) in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Health Policy, there might be something better.

According to the study, “significant improvements” in the quality of life for people with conditions like chronic pain and insomnia were reached with medical marijuana. These changes were “largely sustained” over time, too.

With the US still unable to conduct these studies despite over 75% of US states having at least some sort of medicinal program, the test was conducted in Australia. With 3,148 people involved in the study, they all were already prescribed medicinal marijuana for their eligible conditions.

Rating their wellness from 0-100 in general health, bodily pain, physical functioning, physical role limitations, mental health, emotional role limitations, social functioning, and vitality, the patients were surveyed every 45 days, with 15 follow-ups in total. Those consuming cannabis had a 6.6-18.31-point improvement, depending on the category.

As researchers from the Swinburne University of Technology, University of Western Australia, and Austin Hospital wrote “These findings suggest that medical cannabis treatment may be associated with improvements in health-related quality of life among patients with a range of health conditions.” In non-cancer chronic pain, 68.6% of patients reported improvements. Cancer patients 6%, insomnia 4.8%, and anxiety 4.2% improvement. These numbers might seem small, but they are significant when compared to other treatments.

“The use of cannabis as a medicine is becoming increasingly prevalent,” per the study. “Given the diverse range of conditions being treated with medical cannabis, as well as the vast array of products and dose forms available, clinical evidence incorporating patient-reported outcomes may help determine safety and efficacy.”

One thing they did not control but monitored was the dosing schedule and the amount that the participants were ingesting. However, the “estimated treatment effects were very similar,” thus providing a strong connotation to the level of help being present, just depending on tolerance. They did however contend that this lack of control makes it more difficult to make a general result claim. In conclusion, they see the need for more controlled high-quality tests to solidify and legitimize their results, but they are more than pleased with where they are.

However, they are not alone in their results.

The University of Colorado found a consistent use resulted in improved cognition as well as reduced pain in cancer patients and those receiving chemo. A separate AMA study also showed that those receiving medicinal cannabis for over a month we able to cut their use of opioids significantly. This coincided with another AMA study from late 2022 that showed a direct correlation between state cannabis legalization and reduced opioid prescriptions for cancer patients.

Studies like these have been proving what everyone besides the Reefer Madness crowd seems to understand; this is a powerful plant. It is a cash crop that rivals almost every other plant on the planet. From medicine that can be tailor-grown to your exact needs through selective reproduction to cloth for clothing to building materials, there is very little this plant cannot do for humankind.

Yet, for nearly a century the US has done nothing but demonize it.

It’s time for marijuana to be reclassified so it may undergo properly funded and certified laboratory testing. Without this kind of testing and better access to the plant, the American people are being short-changed.

As a nation, we are already contending with a flood of drugs from Mexico, and the opioid dependency problem here in the US grows worse by the day. Contrary to what many would like you to believe, Tommy didn’t get hooked on heroin because he tried pot in college. It was that broken arm that took forever to heal in his junior year. The prescribed medicine got him addicted and ruined his life as he became a junkie.

With prescription marijuana that is more accessible and easily studied, the country could see a real resurgence in getting back on the right path.