Top US drug official says there’s no evidence occasional marijuana use is harmful to adults

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As with anything, moderation is the key to marijuana use

With the rise of the adult-use cannabis market in different states, many people are concerned about what the repercussions could be. While it is true that some think marijuana could be a harmful drug for people, the director of the country’s leading federal drug research agency differs. She says that to date, she has not been able to obtain evidence to show that occasional adult use of marijuana is harmful.

Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), who was recently seen in an interview with FiveThirtyEight, gave her views on this controversial issue. Hearing these statements from a top US drug official is definitely an admission that should be acknowledged, especially when it is known that the agency has historically gone to great lengths to highlight the potential risks of cannabis use.

“There’s no evidence to my knowledge that occasional [adult] marijuana use has harmful effects. I don’t know of any scientific evidence of that,” Volkow said. “I don’t think it has been evaluated. We need to test it.”

On the other hand, Volkow also said she found it interesting and surprising that research has indicated that marijuana users tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI). Volkow said that although she did not expect this finding, it is known that a high BMI, particularly as you get older, can have negative effects, so it is an issue that should be studied further.

While this may not explicitly mean that the NIDA director supports marijuana commercialization efforts, it is certainly an encouraging announcement for advocates to see a federal health official’s belief that adults who occasionally use cannabis do not suffer serious harm.