By Jack Burns
We know it may seem counter-intuitive to what we already know about tobacco, but a steady stream of scientific research is revealing some surprising conclusions about cannabis. The latest research, published on December 27th, 2016, indicates that marijuana use does not run the same risk of stroke that tobacco does.
The study used a sampling of 49,321 Swedish men, born between 1949 and 1951 and were conscripted to military service at the age of 18 and 20. Their medical health questionnaire, completed upon conscription, served as the baseline data for the soldiers. And since Sweden’s healthcare system is nationalized, the national database was accessed to compare initial conscription data with longitudinal health data decades later.
Stroke data was analyzed from the 49,321 participants. The researchers concluded, “We found no evident association between cannabis use in young adulthood and stroke, including strokes before 45 years of age. Tobacco smoking, however, showed a clear, dose–response shaped association with stroke.” The conclusions may be a surprise to some, but probably not to cannabis users, whom many consider marijuana to be a good medicine.
In one related double-blind study, cannabidiol (CBD) was demonstrated to have helped research study participants reduce the number of cigarettes smoked daily. The study was conducted using 24 smokers. Twelve smokers were given a CBD inhaler and told to inhale the substance whenever they felt the urge to smoke. They were also not prevented from smoking. The other 12 were given a placebo inhaler and told to do the same.
The aforementioned research studies show promise, not only for users of marijuana to feel more comfortable about the use of their medicine, but also for smokers of tobacco, those who are the highest risk for stroke, cancer, and emphysema. According to the American Cancer Society, “Tobacco use kills more than 6 million people annually, 30 percent of whom will die from cancer-related diseases due to smoking. If current trends continue, tobacco use will kill 8 million people annually by 2030, 83 percent of whom reside in low- and middle-income countries.”
So, we at The Free Thought Project continually ask the common sense line of questioning. Why is tobacco legal and marijuana illegal? Why isn’t tobacco on the list of schedule I narcotics? Why, if after decades and decades of research on Tobacco, is it allowed for purchase in all 50 states by those 18 and older?
Of course, no one is advocating for outlawing a substance that makes people happy — regardless of the health effects — however, the hypocrisy in this scenario is rife.