The research is to cover the period of two years during which thousands of medical marijuana users will be examined for the positive and negative impacts of the drug on their health.
The Israeli Health Ministry has tasked the state’s National Institute for Health Policy Research to carry out an extensive study on the effectiveness and possible bad effects of cannabis on the users. As reported by Haaretz on Sunday, about 2,000 patients will be taken as sample for the study.
After its acceptance a few years ago, cannabis treatment gradually gained popularity in Israel. The Health Ministry is said to have registered approximately 15,000 users every week as well as gave approval for the 50 more during the same period. Despite this, doctors were not able to fully comprehend the effects of the drug on the patients. This is what the present survey aims to find out.
This comprehensive research work is being led by Pesach Schwartzman, who works at Ben-Gurion University as a professor of medicine. He says that there can be seen a lot of excitement among the people about the medical marijuana and they are optimistic about the usefulness of this botanical extract in relieving the symptoms of certain diseases. He expresses his concern that still we are unaware of many things about cannabis.
Schwartzman explained that the study has already been started, and the primary aim of the program is to explore the benefits of cannabis and determine its implications for the patients. In this way, it will be of great importance both for the patients and physicians. Besides finding out its positive and negative effects, the study will also focus on the capacity of the drug to induce addiction in the patients undergoing treatment. Yet another aspect of the research work is to get answer to the question, “Why do some patients tend to stop the marijuana medical treatment?”
The person leading the survey is of the view that there has been underreporting about the side effects of cannabis on the users, for example, the capacity of the drug to cause a psychotic episode in the individuals already suffering from some mental disorder. All these factors will be studied in detail.
According to a report, published last year, 2013 witnessed an increase of 30% in the users of medical marijuana.