The Health Breakthroughs that Mattered in 2016

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Don’t Fear the Reefer
Nate Brown / Getty Images7/10

Don’t Fear the Reefer

Yes, marijuana is still illegal in many states, and yes, the Drug Enforcement Agency still classifies all extracts of the plant, including the non-high-inducing cannabidiol, as a Schedule I drug. Yet while nobody’s negating pot’s potential downsides, such as muting memory, triggering the munchies, and exacerbating symptoms among those plagued by anxiety, a recent JAMA study showed that longtime tokers did not have worse lung function, bigger waistlines, or higher blood pressure than people who never used marijuana. And according to the most comprehensive research review ever done on pot, cannabis can combat post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and even addictions to opiates or alcohol. Marijuana is even finding favor as a training aid among über-athletes. 

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