Scientists studied the effects of long-term cannabis use over the course of 20 years found that marijuana could be linked to severe gum disease, but they found no other health risk, the Washington Times reports.
A research study led by Arizona State University asked a group of people between the ages of 18 and 38 from New Zealand to smoke at leisure and report the health ailments they felt was caused by marijuana. The medical team measured the participants blood pressure, lung function, and body mass index.
The results were published this week and indicate that long-term cannabis use can cause the likelihood of periodontal or gum disease, but no other medical ailments were reported by the study’s participants.
“The general lack of association between persistent cannabis use and poor physical health may be surprising.”
The study found that researchers found the sole risk of prolonged cannabis use to be gum disease and periodontal pain and diseases. They found that tobacco had some health benefits to your mouth, but did not find any dental health benefits to marijuana usage.
“We can see the physical health effects of tobacco smoking in this study, but we don’t see similar effects for cannabis smoking.”
The study enlisted participants born between 1972 and 1973 and documented their personal cannabis habits from early teenage years through middle adulthood. In the end, the study had about 1,000 people enrolled in the research study.
The study found that those who smoked for 20 years or more had no adverse lung function, immune disorders, or heart problems. The only issue they all seemed to have in common was gum disease or poor dental health.
Despite the research results, Arizona State University wanted to reassure pot smokers that cannabis is still relatively healthy to smoke. They wanted to investigate any risk factor so they could inform the public and to give awareness to the substance for being relatively safe to partake in.
“We don’t want people to think, ‘Hey, marijuana can’t hurt me,’ because research based on this same sample of New Zealanders has shown that marijuana use is associated with increased risk of psychotic illness, IQ decline, and downward socioeconomic mobility.What we’re seeing is that cannabis may be harmful in some respects, but possibly not in every way. 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.”
According to the research analysis, they concluded that cannabis is safe to partake in and isn’t “as dangerous” as some of the other narcotics on the market today. They wanted to make sure to point out that the study didn’t explicitly state that marijuana causes dental problems, but they found that regular cannabis usage increased the odds of a dental abscess and disease.
“These findings affirm what cannabis law reformers have known for some time: that the use of cannabis, even long-term, poses far few risks to health than do tobacco, and therefore it ought to be legalized and regulated accordingly.”
Arizona State University made sure it was clear that smoking marijuana doesn’t positively cause dental problems. They felt doctors should tell their patients that if they choose to smoke weed, it could put them in a higher risk factor for tooth loss and gum disease. The researchers felt they “owed” it to the smoker to be as informed as possible about the risks of using marijuana.
Cannabis smokers, have you noticed an increase in dental problems since you began using? Do you think it is related to marijuana? Voice your opinion about this controversial health study in the comments section below, and come back later for more trending news and updates.
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