As the debate over the health effects of marijuana rages on, one new study suggests that frequent marijuana use may have a minimal effect on the long term health of users.
Published in JAMA Psychiatry, the study looked at the health of over 1,000 New Zealanders from birth to age 38. Looking at over a dozen different measures of health, researchers found almost no difference between marijuana users and non-users, except that marijuana users of 20 years or more were found to have a higher instance of gum disease.
Having ruled out other factors, such as diet or hygiene, researchers are unsure as to why marijuana users see higher rates of gum disease.
“What we’re seeing is that cannabis may be harmful in some respects, but possibly not in every way,” said Avshalom Caspi, the study’s co-author. “We need to recognize that heavy recreational cannabis use does have some adverse consequences, but overall damage to physical health is not apparent in this study.”