A new research study published today in the American Journal of Medicine found that current marijuana users had significantly lower fasting insulin, were less likely to be insulin resistant (a pre-diabetic state), and were more likely to have high HDL (good cholesterol). (Read the study here.)
Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) has been used for centuries to relieve pain, improve mood, and increase appetite. Outlawed in the United States in 1937 and further restricted under the Controlled Substances Act by the Nixon Administration, marijuana use has continued to increase. There are an estimated 17.4 million current users of marijuana in the United States. Approximately 4.6 million Americans smoke marijuana daily or almost daily. With the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado and the legalization of medical marijuana in 19 states and the District of Columbia, US public opinion has moved toward less stringent laws.
In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Joseph S. Alpert of the University of Arizona College of Medicine calls on the federal government to open the doors of medical research to marijuana, allowing free investigation of the drug. Study details after the jump.