Table of Contents
Information about students and university
- Would you like to study marijuana management at University?
- Is Marijuana more popular than cigarettes amongst students?
Information about your health and marijuana
- Does Marijuana ruin your brain?
- Marijuana study may end painkiller addiction
- Are you more likely to experience depression, psychosis or asthma?
- Marijuana kills cancer cells? - an objective look at specifics
- Cannabis Arteritis - Why You're Not Going To Lose a Limb
- Can cannabis cure your migraines?
- Weed makes you skinnier?
Information relating students and university
Would you like to study marijuana management at University?
Well now you can, at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver! I recently posted an article facetiously entitled 'A degree in getting stoned.' But whereas that degree course examined the cultural significance of marijuana in a purely philosophical sense, the course in marijuana management, officially known as Introduction to Professional Management of Marijuana for Medical Purposes in Canada, offers a more practical and vocational syllabus. According to the prospectus (yes, I've looked) the course will be split into two main strands of study, 'Marketing Sales and Drug Development' followed by 'Plant Production and Facility Management.' And if you don't fancy relocating to Vancouver, fear not, you can take the course online. it is a fourteen week course beginning this Autumn, but it will set you back a hefty $1,249.
Marijuana more popular than cigarettes amongst students?
It might seem a fairly bold claim, but a study by the University of Michigan - optimistically entitled 'Monitoring the Future' - has found results that might suggest the idea is not that far-fetched. Admittedly, the sample group for this study was limited to college students, but their findings suggests that smoking marijuana was more common amongst that demographic than cigarettes. Just under 6% of those asked reported smoking marijuana everyday, or at least twenty times in the previous thirty days. In contrast, just 5% of people said they were heavy smokers. This reflects a large shift in the perception of both marijuana and tobacco in recent years, with 19% of those asked identifying as heavy smokers (of tobacco) in 1999. The results suggest that teenagers and young adults have absorbed the public health warnings about the dangers of cigarettes, whereas the rise in the number of marijuana users perhaps reflects changing attitudes towards marijuana, and specifically to the medicinal values of the drug. "It's clear that for the past seven or eight years there has been an increase in marijuana use among the nation's college students," said lead investigator on the study, Lloyd Johnston. "This largely parallels an increase we have been seeing among high school seniors.".
Information relating to affects that Marijuna has on your health
Weed doesn't ruin your brain (according to a new study).
There was once a study, quite a famous study, that suggested smoking marijuana could be responsible for damaging brain cells, and consequently decreased the intelligence of smokers. The study measured the IQ of high school students and found a certain correlation between IQ levels and marijuana use. It inferred from this that marijuana could, in essence, make you less intelligent. The study was used in anti-marijuana campaigns the world over. The irony? Well the study itself was pretty damn stupid. A new study saw psychologists assessing sets of twins over a decade. It found that whilst IQs declined in those who regularly smoked, it deteriorated at exactly the same rate in the twin that abstained. The study suggests that marijuana use and cognitive decline are more likely linked to social situations, that a struggling teen is more likely to turn to marijuana as a coping mechanism, but the marijuana itself is not the causal effect, rather the other way round entirely. When viewed from this new perspective (and though I'm biased a far more sensible perspective) it certainly argues with those old anti-marijuana campaigns. If anything, the fact it is used as a "coping mechanism" again recasts it as more medicinal.
Marijuana study may end painkiller addiction.
I'll be honest, writing about the medicinal values of marijuana sometimes feels like banging my head against a wall. The thing is, people who actively campaign for legalisation are already aware of these facts. Similarly, the people who make the rules are probably also aware of these facts (or at least they would have been made aware and choose to ignore it). The problem is, these two groups are a very small percentage of the population. I therefore think the main purpose of writing these articles is to try and educate the people who are unaware of the medicinal values of marijuana. The more articles people read and the more the information is spread the more powerful those on the right side of the campaign become. If more and more people see marijuana not as a recreational drug, but as a potential medicine to their own ailments, then the dichotomy of the debate changes, one person at a time. Anyway, excuse my waffling preface. In this instance I wanna briefly talk about marijuana as a viable substitute to painkillers. The thing is, there is currently a painkiller epidemic, and those addicted to painkillers are growing in number every day. According to The Centre For Disease Control 46 people die from prescription painkiller overdoses every day in the United States. Between 1991 and 2013, prescriptions for painkillers has increased by 172%. Now, I think it would be irresponsible of me to say that switching to marijuana would prevent this. Of course I'm not. I will, however, present the following information from the America Study in the Journal Of Pain: "In conclusion, this study suggests that the adverse effects of medical cannabis are modest and comparable quantitatively and qualitatively to prescription cannabinoids. The results suggest that cannabis at average doses of 2.5g/d in current cannabis users may be safe as part of carefully monitored pain management program when conventional treatments have been considered medically inappropriate or inadequate." You can infer whatever you want from this. All I wanna do is say there is evdiently a problem with painkiller addiction and it is a problem that seems to be growing year on year. Similarly, I wanna present an alternative option. I wanna ask a question. That's all. If enough people ask the question, you never know, we might get a good answer.
Marijuana users no more likely to experience depression, psychosis or asthma, study says
There seems to be a link between Marijuana and depression, a certain correlation than transcends short term bursts of paranoia, and instead aligns chronic use with long term susceptibility to paranoia. Similarly, a correlation exists between smoking marijuana and both psychosis and asthma. But what, exactly, is this correlation based on? It is a held belief, usually propagated by anti-drugs campaigns, but a new study has called into question the science behind this assertion. Succinctly put, the study suggests that no matter how much marijuana you did in your youth, it will not come back to haunt you as an adult much at all. The study, performed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, track the health of teenage, males classified as "chronic" smokers of Marijuana, over the course of two decades. First surveyed at 14 years old, 408 young men were tracked up until the 36th birthdays. Even though a large percentage smoked the drug regularly every week, they were no more likely to experience depression, psychosis or asthma than non-smoking males of the same age. "What we found was a little surprising," said Jordan Bechtold, the lead researcher of the study. "There were no differences in any of the mental or physical outcomes that we measured, regardless of the amount of frequency of marijuana used during adolescence." The study is limited, not only in size of group and length of time, but also in that only males took part. But that said, the results certainly challenge long held and propagated beliefs. What are these inextricable links based on, exactly?
Marijuana kills cancer cells? - an objective look at specifics
There is a lot of talk about how marijuana can help treat cancer cells and how smoking it alleviates pain. Is it the cannabinoids that kill the cells? Doesn't smoking cause cancer in the first place? Are oils the way to go? There are more questions than there are answers, but certainly, there is a growing belief that cannabinoids are ONE option as a treatment of cancer - or at least to help with the pain - that more and more people are exploring. I think it would be irresponsible of a seed company to state facts. Our interest is subjective and we're not medically qualified. It is important to be careful when listening to people who are pro-cannabis, just as it is important when listening to people who are strongly anti-cannabis! That said, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has just updated its website to include the following information about marijuana. I'm simply gonna post the updated information here for you. NCI stated: "A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells. Studies in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors." The full list provided by the National Cancer Institute follows: Cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells. Cannabinoids may protect against inflammation of the colon and may have potential in reducing the risk of colon cancer, and possibly in its treatment. A laboratory study of delta -9-THC in hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) cells showed it damaged or killed the cancer cells. The same study of delta-9-THC in models of liver cancer showed that it had anti-tumor effects. Delta-9-THC has been shown to cause these effects by acting on molecules that may also be found in non-small cell lung cancer cells and breast cancer cells. A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells. Studies of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors. A laboratory study of cannabidiol in human glioma cells showed that when given along with chemotherapy, CBD may make chemotherapy more effective and increase cancer cell death without harming normal cells. Studies showed that CBD together with delta-9-THC may make chemotherapy such as temozolomide more effective. These studies are considered by the NCI as preclinical. They were all done using animals. According to them, no clinical trials of cannabis use for the treatment of cancer in humans have been published. Delta-9-THC and other cannabinoids stimulate appetite and can increase food intake. Cannabinoid receptors have been studied in the brain, spinal cord, and nerve endings throughout the body to understand their roles in pain relief. Cannabinoids have been studied for anti-inflammatory effects that may play a role in pain relief.
Cannabis Arteritis - Why You're Not Going To Lose a Limb
Social media was awash a few days ago with stories detailing Cannabis Arteritis and how a man in Australia is losing his limbs because he was a daily cannabis smoker. The walls of his arteries has been coated by plaque from reduced blood pressure caused by smoking, this in turn meant that he couldn't heal properly and ended up losing his big toe. Cannabis Arteritis can of course happen, and it appears that this guy is one of the unlucky ones who managed to come out of it. It's not going to make you lose your leg though, unless you also happen to be diabetic and use the munchies to satiate your natural craving for kilos of sugar (though at that point you probably have some bigger problems on your hands). The man lost a toe, but it's unlikely that even with the worst symptoms of Cannabis Arteritis that anyone would manage to do further damage to their body without it being caught by a doctor first. That being said, we shouldn't ignore all the possibility of health effects from cannabis. A lot of the arguments for medical cannabis is that we haven't done all the research on cannabis and thus it is important to use it when it shows to be useful, but the reverse is true, the lack of research means we don't know everything about this plant. It might not be as harmless as we first thought. The cannabis movement tends to resist any accusation that cannabis is harmful as propaganda, probably because they've had it directed at them from an early age. It's important to stand up for cannabis when it comes to reefer madness, but we shouldn't be too quick to oppose well researched studies. Only by being reasonable and forward thinking can we actually hope for reasonable drug law reform.
Can cannabis cure your migraines?
Cannabis has been a well known anecdotal treatment for migraines for a long time, even Queen Victoria herself was said to be very fond of using cannabis tinctures for her menstrual cramps and migraines. For a long time we haven't really known why cannabis treats migraines well, and we have't actually known all that much about what causes migraines. A recent study from Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Studies at the University of Colorado looked at the effects of both eating and inhaling cannabis on people who suffer from migraines, with the results confirming what people had been suggesting for a long time. In the study of 121 people, the average number of migraines reduced by 50% each month, with 40% of those in the study reporting positive effects. 20% of the people in the study claimed the medical cannabis helped to prevent their migraines, while 11.6% of people said that they thought the marijuana had prevented their migraines completely. Inhalation was most likely to give the fastest effects and stop migraines in their tracks, with edible cannabis taking somewhat longer and tended to induce sleepiness. Of course, cannabis is made up of a profile of over 400 active compounds and the next step is to work out which of these cannabinoids and strains are the best way to treat migraines. While it is hard to study the effects of cannabis at the moment, advances in testing will mean that in the future, there may be specific strains just for combatting migraines or other illnesses. Does cannabis work to treat your migraines? Do you use it for anything else? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.
Weed makes you skinnier?
This MIGHT be a Christmas miracle, insofar as new research has brought to light some pretty miraculous information. Essentially, the study shows that marijuana users have lower BMIs and a reduced risk of obesity. It sort of makes sense, too, right? I mean, I don't wanna be reductive and reduce a post to stereotypes, but if you'll allow me to pedal out the tropes then there is a mysterious dissonance there. When I spend an evening stoned, two things almost always happen: I wanna eat more and I wanna spend a lot of time on my sofa. Now I know not all stoners are like that, but if you take that image (which has a certain element of truth in it) then it makes you pose the question… why are more stoners not obese? If you were to spend a disproportionate amount of time sitting on the sofa, with the munchies, then how come you never think of the archetypal stoner as being especially overweight? There are of course exceptions to the rule, but there is also something of a mystery to the image… So how can this be explained? Well, firstly, it has a lot to do with marijuana kick-starting the metabolism. THC contains a hormone called Grehlin. Grehlin is often known as the 'hunger hormone' which explains why weed gives you the munchies, but it also stimulates the metabolism meaning those who regularly smoke marijuana also have the compounds to break down food quickly. The point at which it helps you lose weight is when extra Grehlin outstrips the extra food you intake. The second key factor is the lower "Fasting Insulin Levels" found in marijuana users. In studying over 4,600 test subjects, researchers found that regular marijuana users had fasting insulin levels up to 16% lower than their non-using counterparts. I want to try and avoid too much scientific jargon, but essentially, lower Fasting Insulin Levels in the blood stream reduces the conversion of carbohydrates into sugars. I am of course not saying that you will lose weight if you smoke weed. That would be an idiotic thing to claim. I am, however, saying that these studies explain, to an extent, why marijuana users are less likely to be overweight than non-users. It is a further example of how marijuana can have certain health benefits, and yet another reason why we must look at the medicinal benefits of the drug and conduct proper research into it.