NORML reviews the top news stories of 2015.
The enactment of statewide laws permitting the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes is associated with an annual reduction in obesity-related medical costs, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Health Economics. Researchers reported, “[T]he enforcement of MMLs (medical marijuana laws) is associated with a 2% to 6% decline in the probability of obesity. … Our estimates suggest that MMLs induce a $58 to $115 per-person annual reduction in obesity-related medical costs.”
Current consumers of cannabis are 50 times less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome as compared to those who have never used the substance, according to findings published online ahead of print in The American Journal of Medicine. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat, which are linked to increased risk of heart disease and/or type 2 diabetes, among other serious health consequences.
A history of cannabis use is associated with a lower likelihood of obesity and diabetes, according to population-based data published in the journal Obesity. Authors concluded: “In this large cross-sectional adult survey with high prevalence of both substance use and obesity, cannabis use in the past year was associated with lower BMI, lower percentage fat mass, lower fasting insulin, and HOMA-IR. … The inverse association observed in our work supports evidence from a larger proportion of previous cross-sectional and follow-up investigations.”
Preclinical study data published online in the scientific journal Nutrition & Diabetes reports that tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) — a naturally occurring analogue of THC — possesses positive metabolic effects in animal models of obesity. Researchers concluded: “Based on these data, it can be suggested that THCV may be useful for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes (adult onset diabetes), either alone or in combination with existing treatments.”
Subjects who regularly consume cannabis possess favorable indices related to diabetic control as compared to occasional consumers or non-users, according to trial data published today online in the American Journal of Medicine. Commenting on the study, Editor-in-Chief Joseph S. Alpert, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, said: “These are indeed remarkable observations that are supported, as the authors note, by basic science experiments that came to similar conclusions.”