Cannabis claims, studies, and concerns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — When it comes to cannabis, there are endless claims of physical and mental health benefits from using cannabinoid products.

The truth, however, is hard to discern. Since cannabis is so heavily regulated, scientists are often met with federal red tape and roadblocks to access the plants to study. As a result, most benefits claims are unproven.

Dr. Michael Budziszek, professor of Cannabis Cultivation at Johnson and Wales University, explained that “if we can get this plant here at the University and do research on it, we can provide more confidence to people in the industry about the effectivity of this plant. Dispel some misconceptions of this plant and really teach people about the benefits of this plant.”

According to the National Institute of Health, only a handful of studies have evaluated the use of cannabis in the United States.

Very little is known about the efficacy and side effects of commercially available cannabis products in the U.S. While more studies are advised, the NIH concludes cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain. They also found conclusive evidence of benefit to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea, and relief of symptoms associated with Multiple Sclerosis.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved three prescription meds based on cannabinoids to treat seizures from two rare forms of epilepsy and AIDS patients with wasting syndrome. Otherwise, there are no FDA approved uses for cannabis or its derivatives.

Budziszek explained the lack of scientific studies, “Without federal consent, we can’t really research on those and make definitive findings from these studies.”

Until more research is done, recreational consumers will have to read the labels carefully and discern what percentage of THC is comfortable for them. While no deaths have been recorded from THC, it is a toxin and should be used with caution and only by those of legal age.

Edibles that often look like brownies, gummy candies, cookies or chocolates present a concern regarding children. According to Children’s Hospital Colorado, accidental ingestion and subsequent overdose by children often require hospital admission due to the severity of symptoms.

The state of Connecticut’s website recommends storing edibles and cannabis products in the original packaging to know how much THC is in the product.

They advise using childproof containers and storing them up high -out of reach of children and pets. They also advise keeping the number to the national Poison Control Hotline at hand and call immediately if you suspect accidental ingestion. Poison Control Hotline 1-800-222-1222.

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