Medical Marijuana: What the Research Shows

One of the central issues in the debate over the medical-marijuana question on Tuesday’s election ballot is whether scientific research confirms that marijuana can offer health benefits.

So far, marijuana has not been approved as a medicine by the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA requires clinical trials in hundreds, then thousands, of human patients to determine benefits and risks, and not enough have been done yet on marijuana, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Legal restrictions and variability in the concentration of the plant’s psychoactive chemicals also make it difficult to study, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a federal research agency.

Here are some research findings on marijuana:

A study released this year found patients’ cannabis use increased their risk of prescription opioid abuse. Published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in January 2018.

Another study found significant reductions in opioids prescribed to

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