Thank You For (Pot) Smoking: AMA Gives Weed The Nod
For decades, the medical establishment was anti-marijuana. This bias stemmed from government propaganda that had no basis in scientific fact. But in tandem with changing public opinion, physician attitudes have dramatically reversed course. These days, doctors increasingly embrace cannabis as a valuable and versatile medicine.
Before the severe risks of tobacco smoking became widely known in the early 1960s, doctors routinely appeared in advertisements that touted the health benefits of cigarettes. From the 1930s to the 1950s, the doctors in these ads strongly recommended smoking cigarettes and sometimes thanked you for being sufficiently health conscious to light up.
At the same time, medical professionals denounced marijuana as a Satanic weed that caused madness, murder, and mayhem. This equation has been flipped on its head. Today, marijuana is the hero and tobacco is the villain.
The latest case in point: a new study published on May 9 by the powerful (and politically conservative) American Medical Association (AMA) found that the use of medical marijuana generates “significant improvements” in quality of life for people with ailments such as chronic pain and insomnia. What’s more, the study found that these beneficial results are “largely sustained” over time.
The AMA and other physician groups have subsequently underscored that these findings are of major medical and social import.
The clinical study involved 3,148 people in Australia who were prescribed medical marijuana for the treatment of certain conditions that are resistant to conventional therapies.
The study is only the latest in a growing body of medical research that shows the efficacy of marijuana to remedy chronic conditions.
In the AMA’s Australia study, eight “wellbeing indicators” were gauged. For each one, marijuana alleviated symptoms, with few adverse side effects.
Patients were asked to rate their wellness in eight categories on a scale of 0-100 at different stages of treatment. Those categories were general health, bodily pain, physical functioning, physical role limitations, mental health, emotional role limitations, social functioning, and vitality.
After administering the survey to the patients about once every 45 days, for a total of 15 follow ups, the study found that participants who were consuming cannabis reported average improvements of 6.6-18.31 points on that 100-point scale, depending on the category.
The study was conducted by a partnership of three prestigious medical research facilities in Australia, under the aegis of the AMA: the Swinburne University of Technology, University of Western Australia, and Austin Hospital.
The researchers 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.
“The use of cannabis as a medicine is becoming increasingly prevalent. 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.”
The doses, delivery devices, and type of marijuana products that patients used greatly varied. Regardless, the “estimated treatment effects were very similar.”
“This study suggests a favorable association between medical cannabis treatment and quality of life among patients with a diverse range of conditions,” the researchers asserted.
As evidence continues to mount that marijuana confers a multitude of medical benefits, Twitter recently lifted its ban against cannabis advertising:
The times, they are a-changin’. A recent Gallup poll shows more Americans now smoke marijuana (via pipes, bongs and joints) than tobacco cigarettes. This poll was the first time that Gallup found pot to be more popular than tobacco, and it serves as yet another reminder that marijuana is rapidly becoming a mainstream product.
In another recent study conducted by the University of Iowa, states with medical marijuana programs have lower insurance premiums than those that don’t. The basic reason? People in those states tend to switch from alcohol to marijuana, which translates into fewer accidents, deaths, and health problems.
Big Pharma waits in the wings…
The list of studies that portray marijuana in a favorable light is vast and continues to expand. What’s especially remarkable about these findings is that marijuana remains banned on the federal level. But not for long.
Major bills are pending in Congress to federally legalize marijuana. And when that happens, the marijuana industry will explode on the upside, with Big Pharma on board.
If you want to tap the massive profits up for grabs, I urge you to read my new book: The Wide World of Weed and Psychedelics. The product of years of painstaking research, my book is available for sale. Click here to order your copy.
John Persinos is the chief investment strategist of Marijuana Profit Alert. To learn more about his cannabis-oriented investment service, visit this URL.