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Cannabis studies of 2018: Reviewing the most prominent findings

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Cannabis studies of 2018: Reviewing the most prominent findings

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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The year 2018 saw scientists discover things about cannabis that left the world in awe of the leafy green plant. It was also a year when politicians discovered that the general public really does like the idea of cannabis reform.

Based on the results of a survey by Pew Research Center, 62 percent of Americans supported legalization in 2018. With one in five Americans now residing in an adult-use legalized state, it’s clear that scientific discoveries are promoting more people to try pot.

Here we are, two months deep into 2019 and the industry’s growth rate is most certainly not slowing down. If the findings of last year’s cannabis studies are anything to go by, the coming year looks set to be very exciting for the pharmaceutical industry at large.

Let’s take a look at some prominent findings of cannabis from research/studies carried out in 2018.

Cannabis Provides Safe and Effective Pain Relief to Seniors

Individuals aged 65 and above represent the fastest-growing cannabis consumer demographic. Notwithstanding, seniors are still largely against cannabis legalization.

Changing their opinion is important and thanks to the results of a study published in February 2018 in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, 93 percent of over 900 elderly Israeli patients – 75 percent of whom hadn’t even tried cannabis before – experienced relief from chronic pain after using medical cannabis for a minimum of six months.

Cannabis Amplifies Pain-Relief from Opioids

Cynics who might have previously thought that cannabis was a “gateway drug” can eat their words, after plenty of data has suggested quite the opposite.

For example, a study published in Neuropsychopharmacology back in February of 2018 revealed how the plant could actually improve pain relief for opioid users; thus helping to wean them off the addictive medications.

“Cannabinoids combined with opioids produce synergistic antinociceptive effects, decreasing the lowest effective antinociceptive opioid dose (i.e., opioid-sparing effects) in laboratory animals,” wrote the researchers.

Cannabis Can Enhance Sexual Pleasure

Weed could be the perfect ingredient for couples keen to spice things up in the bedroom. In fact, three separate studies published last year revealed how cannabis consumption may bolster sexual pleasure and frequency.

Researchers at St. Louis University in Missouri carried out the first two studies. Out of hundreds of female study subjects, three percent said cannabis destroyed their sex lives, nine percent did not express an opinion and 23 percent said it made no significant difference.

Meanwhile, a whopping 65 percent said that cannabis enhanced their sex lives, pleasure, and physical intimacy.

Researchers at Stanford University gleaned information from the National Survey of Family Growth to conduct the third study. Tens of thousands of people’s data was analyzed for the study. Men reported a 22 percent increase in sexual frequency when they used cannabis on a weekly basis, whereas females reported 34 percent more sex. Consumers who used the plant more than once per week reported even higher rates of sexual frequency.

Cannabis Consumption May Reduce Methamphetamine Use

People addicted to methamphetamine could soon be finding relief in cannabis. In September of last year, a study was published by researchers at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University.

What they discovered was that the plant’s non-psychoactive constituent cannabidiol (CBD) – when delivered to rats in doses of 80mg per kilograms of body weight – reduced the rodent’s desires “to self-administer methamphetamine and relapse to methamphetamine-seeking behavior following abstinence.”

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Cannabis studies of 2018: Reviewing the most prominent findings