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Research finds weekly use of marijuana doesn’t compromise physical health

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With dozens of states passing some form of cannabis legislation in the past decade, more people than ever are using marijuana for either medical or recreational purposes. According to recent research, regular cannabis use has a minimal effect on a user’s physical health. The study adds to the growing body of research on how marijuana affects pulmonary, cardiovascular and other biological functions. Since federal law has made it virtually impossible for researchers to study cannabis for the past few decades, most of the research on the effects of regular cannabis use is quite new. This recent study, whose findings were reported in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal, sought to investigate the effect of regular (once a week) cannabis use on physical health. The results indicated that the plant didn’t have detrimental effects. The research involved data from roughly 300 pairs of twins which was sourced from the University of Colorado Boulder’s “Colorado Adoption/Twin Study of Lifespan Behavioural Development and Cognitive Aging” study. This is an ongoing study of cognitive aging in twins from infancy to adulthood to determine how different influences in childhood and adulthood affect cognitive functioning. The researchers specifically tracked factors that influence declines, maintenance or boosts in cognitive abilities. Jessica Megan Ross, the study’s lead researcher, and her team looked at how these factors affected dizygotic twins, who share 50% of their genes, and monozygotic twins, who share 100% of their genes. They also drew data from a larger study that has been assessing twins and siblings on a yearly basis from birth into early adulthood.

After analyzing the data, the researchers  found that the increased use of marijuana during adolescence wasn’t necessarily associated with reduced physical activity or exercise in adulthood. Furthermore, they found that increased use of cannabis as an adult isn’t necessarily associated with regular appetite loss either.

Comparing data between siblings showed that the frequent use of cannabis as a teen was associated with less exercise in adulthood.

However, the comparison of the pairs of monozygotic twins revealed that regular cannabis use in adulthood was associated with a lower resting heart rate, suggesting shared family factors could be responsible for the association between adolescent cannabis use and infrequent exercise in adulthood.

The researchers concluded that there was a minimal connection between using cannabis once a week and negative physical health outcomes for adults aged 25 to 35. They also noted that this didn’t apply to adolescents and adults who used cannabis more than once a week.

Ross added that while their research did not reveal a connection between regular cannabis use (once a week) and poor physical health, regular use could have side effects, including the development of a cannabis use disorder.

There is growing evidence that marijuana isn’t as bad as prohibitionists say it is, and such research findings may indirectly boost the sales of entities such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX), which makes equipment that can be used to grow cannabis and other plants.

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