What’s the newest medical cannabis research in 2022? There has been a lot of news about medical cannabis since we have, as a nation, come to realize that cannabis can actually have a positive impact on health. Yet, like a lot of new industries, technology, or research, oftentimes our hopes for positive change outpace the actual research that examines how effective these new fields actually are.
There are a ton of claims on the internet about the positive health effects of cannabis and, unfortunately, a lot of them are unfounded or not fully supported by science. Scientists and researchers simply have not had enough time to fully examine cannabis’ impact on our lives.
That said, there has been a lot of exciting research that has come out in the last decade—a lot of it promising—and those who do use medical marijuana often self-report substantial benefits from doing so.
Today, we want to present a few of the more recent findings in cannabis research—we’ll take a look at recent research from the Journal of Cannabis Research on how cannabis has been used to help pain and has been marketed as snake oil cures for COVID-19.
Cannabis and Pain – Recent Medical Cannabis Research 2022
Published on January 11, 2022, researchers analyzed over one thousand responses to a survey about cannabis use by people treating chronic pain with cannabis. The survey was self-reported, meaning pain levels, changes, and experiences are all dependent upon the individuals answering the survey. Out of 1087 participants, all reported some decrease in pain. Those using both non-inhalation and inhalation types of cannabis together reported the highest reduction of pain, with non-inhalation reporting the second highest reduction of pain, and inhalation reporting the lowest reduction of pain.
There is little direct research on the effects of cannabis on chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP), but a team of scientists in September 2021, did a metanalysis of scientific literature to see if they could find any trends on treating this CMP with cannabis. Using three databases, they found numerous surveys and reports about cannabis and how cannabis reduces CMP, 49 in total, and found that cannabis caused “only minor adverse effects.” Some surveys recorded that patients even reported improved psychological well-being. While metanalysis does a good job of taking stock of trends, deeper research into cannabis’ impact on CMP is still needed.
Cannabis as Snake Oil-Recent Medical Cannabis Research 2022
Unsurprisingly, new industries impact our sense of excitement and expectation—humans often embellish or overestimate how impactful new things will be on daily life, and cannabis is no exception. In December 2021, researchers conducted a metanalysis of warning letters issued by the US FDA to various marketing firms, news agencies, and cannabis retailers about their claims about how capable cannabis is in treating various ailments related to COVID-19.
Of all the letters sent, all of them were because of unapproved products, misbranding, or claims that lacked scientific substantiation. All of these violations were linked to websites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Linkedin, and emails. 1/3 of complaints were about how cannabis acted as an anti-viral against COVID-19—there is no evidence that cannabis can treat COVID-19!
Conclusions Recent Medical Cannabis Research 2022
What can we take away from this new research? Oftentimes it is hard to tell exactly: research is an ongoing process, and we cannot make conclusions off on just a few studies. Unfortunately, doing just that causes a lot of misinformation to spread, and news that cannabis can treat COVID-19 gets picked up and passed around because of its sensational nature—yet there is no solid evidence that this is the case.
As more and more research is conducted we hope our greatest expectations will be validated but it is hard to know exactly what will come up. Be patient and be skeptical: there is a profit incentive for some people to make claims about cannabis that simply are not true.
As your experience with cannabis grows and you pay attention to how it affects you, you will have your own interpretations of how you should use it, but statistical trends and individual experiences are not the same, so be careful and, as they say, enjoy responsibly!
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