(Natural News) A team of Chinese archaeologists uncovered ten handcrafted wooden braziers at an ancient burial site in the Pamir Mountains. These religious-style incense burners can be dated as far back as 1,000 BC. The incense burners were collected from eight tombs in Western China’s 2,500 year old Jirzankal cemetery. They contained traces of burnt seed.
Ancient Chinese mourned the dead using high-THC cannabis strains
The contents of the burners were analyzed via mass spectrometry by researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Germany. The wooden braziers were found to contain a special strain of cannabis with a high THC concentration. This is the first piece of historical evidence showing that the ancient Chinese discovered, bred and/or traded cannabis for recreational and ceremonial use. At this time in history, societal elites got high to supposedly connect with ancestors or the gods. After testing the burnt strains, the scientists found a high concentration of cannabinol, a substance produced when THC is oxidized.
“There has been a longstanding debate over the origins of cannabis smoking, there are many speculative claims of ancient use,” said Robert Spengler at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. “This study provides the earliest unambiguous evidence for both elevated chemical production in the plant and also for the burning of the plant as a drug.”
Most cannabis residues uncovered by scientists up until this point was discovered to have a low THC content. The discovery of this high THC strain could indicate that Chinese farmers were aware of the euphoric properties of this phyto-chemical and knew how to breed cannabis for recreational purposes.
Scientists conclude that the cannabis was burnt in an enclosed space, in a mountain tomb, which allowed mourners to get high back in their day. Because the cannabis was found in wooden braziers closely associated with the Zoroastrian religion, archaeologists concur that the cannabis was used as part of religious activities. The ancient Chinese believed that the euphoric feeling could connect you with ancestors and the divine.
“Nearly all the braziers contain the bio-markers of cannabis and one brazier is severely burned, implying that the braziers were being used during funeral rituals, possibly to communicate with nature, or spirits or deceased people,” noted Yimin Yang at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
Megan Cifarelli, an art historian at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, noted that the cannabis burning in tombs served another purpose as well: masking the smell of decaying corpses.
Of course, these societies also took advantage of hemp’s other valuable uses. The hemp plant has been used by various societies over the past 4,000 years to make ropes, cloth, paper and oil. The cannabis found in this study could have been traded along the Silk Road, a trading route that once extended from East Asia to South Asia, Persia, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and Southern Europe. This passage enabled the Chinese to trade silk, spices, grains, apples, pistachios, walnuts and other crops from the East to the West.
“I think with this new study we can now actually place Cannabis in that list as well as being one of these crops that originates on these ancient trade routes,” commented Robert Spengler of the Max Planck Institute. The archaeologists also uncovered glass beads, wooden plates and bowls, pieces of silk, and a Chinese harp in the mountain tombs.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia and the B.C. Centre on Substance Use conducted over 5,000 interviews with 1,152 people who used heroin and other drugs and reported chronic pain at some point from June 2014 to June 2017.
The participants were largely from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and lead author M-J Milloy said the study aimed to discover “new interventions” that might “lower or address the risk of overdose” in heavy opioid users.
More than 12,800 apparent opioid-related deaths occurred in Canada between January 2016, when the federal government started tracking the data, and March 2019, according to the latest available statistics from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Milloy said chronic pain is one of the “driving factors” of the opioid crisis, adding that many who can’t get effective pain relief can turn to the black market for opioids.
“This is the population that’s really suffering the worst burden of mortality in the crisis,” he said. “And there’s been some work suggesting that cannabis might be beneficial in the overdose crisis. So we’ve really tried to use our data to figure out if that is true.”
What they found was that daily cannabis use was associated with significantly lower odds of daily illicit opioid use, suggesting cannabis may serve as a substitute treatment in people with chronic pain.
The story went viral online this week and was picked up in publications in Canada and overseas, including the Daily Mail and The Sun in the U.K.
While a spokesperson for the university says he receives no funding from any industry group, it is worth noting the cannabis company contributed $2.5 million to UBC and BCCSU for the professorship and research.
Milloy said the fact that his study looked at daily cannabis use raised a “valid concern” about the risk of addiction, but added it’s also linked to therapeutic benefits.
“A lot of people who are benefiting from cannabis are the people who are using it every day,” he said.
“We are very aware of the risk of harms. And I want to emphasize that none of us think that cannabis is a panacea or a silver bullet to knock out the overdose crisis. What we do think, though, is that it has tremendous potential.”
Conflicting research raises questions
A day after the UBC study was published, researchers at McMaster Universitypublished a review of almost 30 years’ worth of data in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that examined the use of cannabis as a replacement drug for people with opioid addictions.
Researchers looked at six studies involving 3,676 participants dating back to 1991 in an effort to determine the effects of cannabis use on opioid addiction during methadone treatment.
What they found was starkly different than the UBC study — there is no consensus among studies that cannabis use is associated with reduced opioid use.
“There’s a lot of hype and interest and hope that this could be a replacement. Could this be helping people with chronic pain or with opioid addiction?” said senior author Dr. Zainab Samaan, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster.
One year after legalization, some cannabis industry professionals say they are mostly happy with how British Columbia has rolled out recreational pot.
Tom Ulanowski, president of NextLeaf Labs, a cannabis processing company that partners with cultivators to provide contracting and wholesale services to the industry, says growing pains like licensing issues and product quality issues are to be expected.
“But overall, for something of this magnitude and something as new as this to be done on a federal level, I think its been pretty positive,” Ulanowski said.
Mike Babins, co-owner of Evergreen Cannabis Society, Vancouver’s first retail pot shop, says major challenges for cannabis business owners have been learning to work within the new federal and provincial legal cannabis systems, and dealing with customers who are used to buying pot illegally.
“Every day we get someone coming saying: ‘why should I buy this? I can get ounces from a guy for 100 bucks’ … but when they come back, nine out of 10 say, ‘wow, it’s amazing.’ And they switch,” Babins said.
Babins says he often hears on social media that the government is too slow to issue licences for cannabis shops. But he says the system is reasonable.
“I think a big issue is that a lot of people get their information from people who have ulterior motives and are very good at social media.”
Babins says getting a licence is a lot of work, but more often than not it’s the pot shops who drag their heels.
“We’re a year past legalization and there are many stores who are still happy to sell unlicensed products at a huge markup and not pay any taxes. And I understand that. It’s a lot of money that you make that way.”
Ulanowski says some provincial governments, like B.C., have begun to take measures to speed up the licensing process.
Studies shows 10% of users consume two-thirds of the weed in Canada
It’s been nearly one year since cannabis was legalized in Canada and a professor at the University of Northern British Columbia says knowing who is using it is important to develop sound policy aimed at reducing cannabis-related harms.
Russ Callaghan, medical professor at UNBC, is the lead author of an article in the forthcoming December issue of the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence that identifies who consumes the most cannabis in Canada.
Callaghan and a team of researchers looked at data from the federal government’s 2018 National Cannabis Survey to find out who are the biggest users and how that should inform public policy.
According the survey conducted prior to legalization — which did not distinguish between legal and illegal cannabis — 10 per cent of people use roughly 66 per cent of the cannabis in Canada. The data also showed males reported higher use than females and males aged 15-34 were the highest using subgroup.
Callaghan said the usage rates are similar to alcohol statistics which show the heaviest users consume a high proportion of alcohol in Canada.
Possible harms from cannabis use include impaired driving, lung cancer and personal injury, although he noted there is not a lot of evidence yet linking weed to non-traffic related injuries.
“We’ve legalized it so it’s a real large societal experiment,” said Callaghan in a phone interview on CBC’s The Early Edition, adding particular risks associated with edible cannabis products may become evident after they become legal this year.
With weed, as with alcohol, consumption rates can be influenced by prices and taxation, the availability of stores in a neighbourhood and their operating hours.
The study included a team of researchers from UNBC, the University of British Columbia, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria.
The anniversary of Canada’s recreational cannabis legalization arrives Oct. 17, just days before the federal election. Legalization was a Liberal campaign promise from the last election, so it’s timely to review how it’s worked out.
Consumers evidently like legalization. Statistics Canada just reported that July’s recreational sales hit $104 million.
So legal sales have roughly tripled. But illegal sales remain the majority.
By contrast, StatCan seems more optimistic. Its surveys ask users whether they buy at least some cannabis legally. It estimated that number at 47 per cent, or 2.5 million Canadians, for the first quarter of 2019. That’s up sharply from 23 per cent, or 954,000 people, in 2018’s first quarter.
Unfortunately, those estimates aren’t really plausible. The only people who could legally buy cannabis in March 2018 were Health Canada’s 296,702 registered patients. And just 132,975 did so. That implies StatCan’s estimates are three to seven times too high.
So while survey participants reported purchasing legally, they mostly didn’t.
One reason legal sales haven’t done better is a lack of retailers in some regions. British Columbia and Ontario were especially slow to open stores.
Product shortages have posed bigger problems. While there’s ample oil, producers until recently hadn’t processed enough dry products. And legal foods, drinks, vapes and lotions aren’t yet available.
Those shortages are predictable side effects of the government’s legalization strategy. It chose a regulated pharmaceutical approach, rather than the more hands-off approach many U.S. states have used.
That hands-off approach has several drawbacks, however. Ex-black-market producers don’t always prioritize consumer safety. Some reportedly fudge their product lab tests.
Yes, legalization has been a muddled mess of compromises and glitches. It still needs years of work. But at least it happened. And it’s taken a bite out of black markets. So it should be considered a typical Canadian success story.
Washington: As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, researchers are constantly uncovering positive aspects of the plant. A study by the University of Colorado suggests that cannabis can be used to increase the survivability of a heart attack. (Marijuana use and short-term outcomes in patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction) The study collected over 1.2 million medical records of acute myocardial infarctions (AMI) and among those records, it was discovered that 3,854 of those patients were cannabis consumers.
“Perhaps the most striking finding of our study is that marijuana use prior to AMI was associated with decreased in-hospital mortality post AMI,” writes the study authors
The study debunks the assumption that cannabis consumers would have more risk factors than non-consumers. Researchers noting that the cannabis consumers had a decreased risk of death, shock, or need to insert a balloon into a blocked artery.
The researchers mentioned that they do not exactly understand the scientific reasoning behind increased survivability. However, they speculated that the activation of cannabinoid receptor type 2/ CB2 found in the endocannabinoid system can provide therapeutic cardioprotective effects.
A new study conducted by the University of Texas at Dallas has found cannabis can improve a person’s health by enhancing the blood and oxygen flow, thus reducing the risk of blood clots and the possibility of a stroke.
The study conducted by Dr. Francesca Filbey and her team claims the “primary psychoactive ingredient present in cannabis —tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — relaxes arterial walls resulting in lower blood pressure and increased blood flow to tissues.”
Chronic marijuana use is associated with a decrease in HR, disappearance of orthostatic hypotension, increase in blood volume, and decrease in the circulatory responses to exercise which are consistent with reduced sympathetic and increased parasympathetic activity (18).
Image by Jacquie Kubin
Unfortunately, as many studies exist that claim habitual marijuana use can be detrimental to heart health. It is important that individuals contrast their own heart health against available information on the effects of cannabis, and CBD oil. Like choosing to use any medicine to treat your health issues, it is important to do your own research.
Nonetheless, a multitude of studies and empirical evidence concludes that cannabis can effectively treat other medical conditions. Positive benefits from THC and CBD use include assisting with cancer pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. Chronic pain from injury and lessening of epilepsy and multiple sclerosis symptoms.
Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, is promoted for a wide range of medical conditions. Recently, a review for doctors weighed the science behind the claims.
The Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils was published earlier this month in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It is not intoxicating, Health Canada said.
As of October 2018, the sale of dried cannabis, fresh cannabis, cannabis oil, cannabis plants and cannabis seeds are permitted under the the Cannabis Act.
As consumer interest in CBD grows ahead of the Oct. 17 legalization of cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals, here’s a primer to answer common questions about its health claims for seizures, pain and other conditions.
What is CBD approved to treat?
Epidiolex, a purified form of plant-based CBD, is the only CBD-related treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is used to treat severe forms of epilepsy. Epidiolex isn’t listed in Health Canada’s database of medications approved for use in this country.
Health Canada assigns a drug identification number (DIN) to all drug products evaluated and authorized for sale in this country. To qualify, a drug manufacturer needs to provide information including dosing, strength and how it’s taken.
“Currently, there are two cannabis-related drugs that have a DIN and are authorized for sale in Canada,” a spokesperson for Health Canada said in an email.
Nabilone, a synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, product is approved to treat nausea. THC is the main psychoactive component in cannabis that gives users a high.
The other drug with a DIN is Sativex, which is manufactured from whole botanical extracts and contains THC and CBD, according to Health Canada. Sativex is added to treatments aimed at relieving spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis. Spasticity is a muscle-control disorder.
No CBD-specific product has a DIN.
As well, no other “cannabis-related drug (including fresh or dried marijuana or cannabis oil) has been approved to be marketed as a drug for therapeutic use and sale in Canada,” Health Canada said.
What is CBD commonly used for?
There are anecdotal reports from users of CBD helping with certain types of pain, such as nerve-related back pain.
“Chronic pain management continues to challenge patients and physicians alike, and investigation into potential therapies such as CBD and hemp oils is a promising area for the future of clinical pain management for both pain relief as well as addiction management,” Dr. Karen Mauck, an internist at Mayo Clinic, and her co-authors wrote.
Dr. Hance Clarke, director of pain services at Toronto General Hospital who wasn’t involved in the U.S. paper, said he starts by asking patients what symptoms they want to use CBD to treat.
It’s one of the first times in Canadian history where a medication has made it to the population without the science actually leading us there.– Dr. Hance Clarke, director of pain services at Toronto General Hospital
“The evidence has not caught up to the story that’s in the public,” Clarke said. “It’s tricky. It’s one of the first times in Canadian history where a medication has made it to the population without the science actually leading us there.”
Physicians need to work with patients to figure out what people are using, the levels in their body and what’s actually helped and what hasn’t.
“The world is looking to Canada over the next five to 10 years,” Clarke said. An evidence-based perspective on cannabis is needed rather than solely industry’s, he said.
CBD now is widely used by people for all kinds of disease, in particular anxiety, panic attack, bipolar disorder, depression. But we don’t know if CBD is really good for these kind of diseases.– Dr. Gabriella Gobbi
“CBD now is widely used by people for all kinds of disease, in particular anxiety, panic attack, bipolar disorder, depression,” said Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, the study’s author and a psychiatrist at McGill University’s faculty of medicine in Montreal. “But we don’t know if CBD is really good for these kinds of diseases.”
Only clinical trials in humans can show if CBD is really effective for an illness, Gobbi said.
In Canada, pharmaceutical companies are sponsoring clinical trials to test CBD products in people.
How do you know what’s in the product?
Depending on what part of the plant is extracted, different components will be present in the oil, the Mayo Clinic authors said. Their list of what clinicians should look for include:
Manufacturing standards certification, such as pesticide or herbicide testing.
European Union, Australian or Canadian organic certification.
Lab testing to confirm cannabinoid levels and the absence of heavy metals.
“We see variations from batch to batch where patients are doing well on something, and potentially the next time they seek that same product, potentially they’re not seeing the same effects,” Clarke said.
A research letter published in 2017 in JAMA found nearly 70 per cent of CBD extracts sold online were mislabelled.
“A lot of CBD oil can have very little or contain lots of THC, so you must be very careful,” Gobbi said. “We need more quality control.”
What side-effects have been reported?
In larger studies on CBD treatment for epileptic patients, it was associated with drowsiness, decreased appetite and diarrhea in up to 36 per cent of people, the Mayo Clinic authors said, adding the side-effects were less severe and frequent compared with a conventional anticonvulsant medication.
The FDA said its review of a marketing application for Epidiolex suggested potential for liver injury associated with CBD.
You can’t just self-treat.– Dr. Gabriella Gobbi
“You can’t just self-treat,” Gobbi said.
What about drug interactions?
The main drug interactions doctors and pharmacists look for are drugs, such as morphine, oxycodone, sleeping pills, antidepressants or antipsychotics, that already make you sleepy, confused or impair co-ordination.
“If you’re taking those medications to begin with and you use cannabis, we’d expect that those side effects would get worse,” said Kelly Grindrod of the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy.
People should talk to their physician, nurse or pharmacist to discuss potential drug interactions when determining whether to try CBD.
Maddie Brown, a registered practical nurse and cannabis consultant based in Ottawa, helps patients with medical cannabis prescriptions understand how CBD works and obtain it.
“I’m definitely most concerned about blood thinners,” Brown told CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art. “CBD can make Coumadin [a blood thinning medication] more potent.”
The general advice is to start low and go slow, especially if taking medications that are known to interact, Grindrod said.
Stunning new research has confirmed that cannabis has liver-protective benefits, and can even help prevent alcohol-induced liver damage. However, researchers caution that while cannabis may help keep your liver healthy, alcohol should still be consumed in moderation. While the benefits of cannabis for liver health are incredible, alcohol is still a dangerous drug. While it may be legal to drink once you’re of-age, that doesn’t mean that alcohol can’t be harmful to your health. It is easy to over-consume alcohol, even without binge drinking.
The daily recommendations for alcohol are far lower than one might expect: One a day for women, two a day for men. If you’re drinking more than that on a regular basis, evidence shows you’re at an increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke and several types of cancer. Science shows cannabis might help reverse that risk — but that isn’t a free pass for binge drinking.
Cannabis for liver health?
Many people use cannabis to treat current health conditions, including everything from seizure disorders to cancer. But new research shows that the compounds in cannabis may help prevent some health conditions, too. Specifically, research shows that regular use of cannabis may help prevent alcohol-induced liver damage. As Vice reports, researchers from the National Institute of Scientific Research at the University of Quebec recently conduced one of the largest surveys on the subject. After examining patient records from 320,000 people with a history of alcohol abuse, the team discovered that patients who smoked cannabis were less likely to have alcoholic liver disease.
Dr. Terence Bukong, hepatologist and lead study author, commented on the findings and stated, “We found that if people are using cannabis in the dependent manner, they actually are much more protected from alcoholic liver disease.”
The difference was astounding: Bukong and his team found that patients who drank heavily and did not use cannabis had a 90 percent chance of developing alcoholic liver disease. Conversely, patients who were heavy drinkers and “light users” of cannabis had just an 8 percent chance.
The risk of alcoholic liver disease in heavy drinkers was lowest in “dependent” cannabis users, who boasted a 1.36 percent risk. To put it simply, the reduction in risk of liver disease among heavy drinkers who smoke weed is remarkable. However, that is no excuse to binge drink. While it appears cannabis can help protect your liver, there are still other concerns to be had.
What kind of damage does alcohol do?
Alcohol is easily the most socially accepted “drug” on the market. Most people don’t even consider it a drug at all. But it also has the potential to be extremely damaging. While the average drinker may think they imbibe with moderation, statistics show that nearly half of American adults who drink are drinking too much.
“These findings suggest that not only do many people who drink, drink amounts associated with health consequences, but that without intervention they are likely to continue to do so,” study leader Richard Saitz, professor at Boston University of Public Health, said.
Drinking too much on a regular basis is bad for your health. While research shows that cannabis can help prevent some of the damage booze does to your liver, it is not a cure-all and damage to the liver can still occur. Additionally, there are other health consequences of high alcohol consumption to be concerned about. For example, over-consumption can cause damage to your heart and inflame your pancreas. It can also increase your risk of multiple cancers, including liver, throat and stomach cancer. Drinking too much can also inhibit your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to infection. In other words, don’t start drinking more with the hopes cannabis will keep you healthy.
Ever since legalized recreational marijuana has become a reality in America, the powers that be have been brainstorming new ways in which to prosecute the legal marijuana user. Obviously, driving stoned is high on the list of no-nos, but the police state will exponentially increase now that cops will soon have marijuana breathalyzers.
As there are now 33 states with some form of legal marijuana, the government has been chomping at the bit for ways to find out how much THC you have in your system. Because THC metabolizes far differently than alcohol, this has presented a challenge to the authorities. Until now.
Current THC testing procedures have relied on blood, hair, and urine samples which test only for the presence of THC. Merely having THC in your system, however, is no way of indicating impairment.
Interdisciplinary researchers in Pitt’s Department of Chemistry and the Swanson School of Engineering claim to have overcome these limitations by using carbon nanotubes in their breathalyzer. The THC molecules in your breathe reportedly “bind with the tubes and alter their electrical properties, while sensors detect levels of the compound with an accuracy comparable to, or better than, mass spectrometry, the gold standard for THC detection.”
“The semiconductor carbon nanotubes that we are using weren’t available even a few years ago,” said Sean Hwang, lead author on the paper published in the journal ACS Sensors. “We used machine learning to ‘teach’ the breathalyzer to recognize the presence of THC based on the electrical currents recovery time, even when there are other substances, like alcohol, present in the breath.”
The main question which is most controversial here is the rate at which the body metabolizes THC and the ability of a breathalyzer to determine just how high a person is. This is the problem researchers admit they are dealing with now.
Despite claiming the device is nearly ready for mass production, Ervin Sejdic, a professor of electrical and computer engineering who’s also at the university, to build the prototype, admits they have no way of telling how stoned someone is with their breathalyzer.
With alcohol, you can figure out impairment by measuring the amount of alcohol in someone’s blood, which you can determine from a Breathalyzer using the “blood to breath,” or “partition,” ratio. Make that translation from breath to blood to brain, and you have a relatively accurate sense of how drunk someone is.
“So when it comes to these marijuana breath tests, that’s the million-dollar question right now,” says Chris Halsor, a Denver lawyer who focuses on issues around legal cannabis.
Is there a ratio that links the amount of THC in someone’s breath to the amount in the person’s blood — and then to exactly how stoned that person is?
No, says Sejdic. The correlation “is basically missing, from a scientific point of view.”
So, there you have it. We have a device that can tell police that you have THC in your system, but it cannot tell them how high you are nor is there any standard for what denotes being stoned. Rest assured that the police state is still salivating over the existence of this breathalyzer.
The good news is that the report indicates there are still plenty of tests to conduct before cops have these in their hands. However, their mere existence most assuredly foreshadows more checkpoints in our future.
“In legal states, you’ll see road signs that say ‘Drive High, Get a DUI,’ but there has not been a reliable and practical way to enforce that,” said Dr. Alex Star, whose lab developed the prototype. “There are debates in the legal community about what levels of THC would amount to a DUI, but creating such a device is an important first step toward making sure people don’t partake and drive.”
As stated above, it is certainly never a good idea to drive while impaired. But comparing driving after smoking weed with driving while under the influence of alcohol is most assuredly apples to oranges. Rest assured that the amount of THC in a person’s system to denote a crime will be highly debated over the next few years.
Despite having no set limit on the amount of THC to constitute impairment, police have already been conducting similar stops but with mouth swabs. As TFTP reported last year, the Massachusetts State Police are testing a saliva swab to detect if people are driving under the influence of cannabis. State police have recently tested roughly 170 people at sobriety checkpoints and drug treatment clinics with these swabs, but even they doubt that the tests will hold up in court.
Boston is not alone either—there have also been similar programs announced in Colorado, California, Kansas, and Michigan.
What’s more, as TFTP previously reported, legal weed appears to be making drivers safer. According to a recent report from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, deaths from traffic accidents in Nevada have dropped by over 10 percent in the first year that marijuana was legalized in the state for recreational use.
Prior to legalization in Nevada, between July 2016 and May 2017, 310 people died in traffic accidents, but in the year since legalization took effect, between July 2017 and May 2018, that number was reduced to just 277.
Similar numbers have been seen in other states that have implemented legalization. A study published by the American Public Health Association found that states with legal medical cannabis have lower rates of traffic fatalities than states with full prohibition.
Although correlation does not automatically mean causation, it does seem that legalization is actually making the roads safer, debunking many of the claims that DUI would increase. Critics of marijuana typically cite statistics of how often people test positive for marijuana after car crashes. However, what these assessments usually leave out is the fact that these people often have numerous other drugs in their system, usually alcohol or opiates, which both have a much greater impact on motor skills.
About the Author
Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Minds.
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill decriminalizing marijuana use in New York.
(ZH) — For years, New York State has lagged behind its progressive-minded peers in the area of marijuana prohibition. As states like California, Massachusetts, Vermont and even Maine passed bills legalizing the drug, members of the New York State legislature simply haven’t been able to overcome minor differences in ideology to pass a legalization bill of their own, leaving New York with some of the most draconian marijuana laws in the northeast.
But that’s all about to change – sort of. On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill decriminalizing marijuana use a little over one month after the legislature failed to reach an agreement on a bill that would have legalized sales. But the decrim bill is the next best thing, supporters insist, arguing that it will help eliminate the racial disparities in arrests and sentencing, since it eliminates the hated “public view” loophole (which allows a cop to arrest a suspect who willingly takes a bag of marijuana out of his pocket, placing it in “public view”) while also making possession of anything up to one to an ounce punishable by a max fine of $50. Possession of between one and two ounces will be punishable of a fine up to $200, eliminating the possibility of jail time, regardless of an individuals criminal record.
The state assembly and Senate passed the decrim bill more than a week and a half ago.
Proponents of legalization still see decrim as insufficient, since users still wouldn’t have a legal source for marijuana, allowing criminal organizations to still profit off it.
Ten states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana, though DC and Vermont don’t allow sales.
Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize once Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs the recently passed legalization bill into law. Another 14 states have only decriminalized.
After signing the bill, Cuomo praised the legislation for helping to eliminate a source of discrimination against communities of color, according to NBC New York. Proponents estimate that as many as 600,000 New Yorkers will benefit from the legislation (which also provides for expunging past marijuana convictions).
“Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long, and today we are ending this injustice once and for all,” Cuomo said.
“It’s not legalization,” he said on public radio previously. “But it is decriminalization and it’s a major, major accomplishment.”
Cannabis produces pain-relieving molecules that are 30 times more potent at reducing inflammation than aspirin.
(TMU) — Medical marijuana is fast gaining credibility as a valid pain relief treatment, with data from various studies attesting to the medical and health benefits of cannabis as a viable alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.
And now, researchers have uncovered a new reason why: the cannabis plant produces pain-relieving molecules that are 30 times more potent at reducing inflammation than aspirin.
What makes the discovery so groundbreaking is that it could carve a new path to natural pain relief medications that would save patients who suffer chronic pain from the risks of addiction associated with opioid-based pain killers.
According to the team of researchers at Canada’s University of Guelph, they found out how the two important molecules—cannflavin A and cannflavin B—were produced through a combination of genomics and biochemistry.
The two cannflavins, known as “flavonoids,” were identified in 1985 when scientists proved that they had benefits which could fight inflammation at a gram-for-gram rate of about 30 times that of aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid.
However, prohibitionist laws in Canada prevented further research into the potent anti-inflammatory qualities of the molecules.
But with Canada joining the growing bandwagon of countries legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, molecular and cellular biology Professors Tariq Akhtar and Steven Rothstein were able to resume an analysis into cannabis and how it produces cannflavins.
“Our objective was to better understand how these molecules are made, which is a relatively straightforward exercise these days.
There are many sequenced genomes that are publicly available, including the genome of Cannabis sativa, which can be mined for information. If you know what you’re looking for, one can bring genes to life, so to speak, and piece together how molecules like cannflavins A and B are assembled.”
Their full findings, which were published in the peer-reviewed journalPhytochemistry, offer an exciting opportunity to create new natural health products with equal or greater power than traditional synthetic or opioid-based pain relievers.
“There’s clearly a need to develop alternatives for relief of acute and chronic pain that go beyond opioids.
These molecules are non-psychoactive and they target the inflammation at the source, making them ideal painkillers.”
The research comes amid the ongoing opioid crisis in North America which has largely been driven by large pharmaceutical firms such as Purdue Pharma, the company responsible for making the OxyContin narcotic pill, incentivizing or misleading doctors and patients about the dangerous and addictive nature of strong painkillers to boost company profits.
In recent years, drug overdose deaths have reached monstrous proportions, with 65,000 fatal drug overdoses taking place in 2017 alone. Many who abuse the pills have prolonged addictive fixations on opioids, with the hardest-hit age group ranging from 25 to 34 years old. Out of that age group, 12,325 died in 2017, among whom two-thirds were men.
Professor Rothstein, however, hopes that his team’s latest discovery can help make a powerful difference in people’s lives.
“Being able to offer a new pain relief option is exciting, and we are proud that our work has the potential to become a new tool in the pain relief arsenal.”
First off, they are not allowed any tax deductions or credits for business expenses which can mean effective federal tax rates of as high as 90 percent. Hemp producers are luckier since recent changes to the law now allows them to deduct ordinary business expenses for tax purposes on condition that their products contain no more than 0.3 percent THC.
Second, most banks and financial institutions will not touch them with a 10-foot pole, meaning they have to pay their taxes in cash and not through checks or electronic means.
Yet, they continue to tough it out, making an important mark where they are officially recognized. According to the Tax Policy Center, states with marijuana taxes are obligated to put a portion of their funds toward important social programs ranging from education programs in Colorado and Nevada to administrative costs in California and crime reduction in Alaska.
(Natural News) Many parts of the United States are still stuck in the stone ages when it comes to their antiquated stance on cannabis (marijuana), and the World Health Organization (WHO) has a message for them all: stop prohibiting it already!
Not only is the WHO recommending that legislators take a “more rational” approach to laws dealing with cannabis, but the international agency is also stressing the fact that, contrary to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) official position on the matter, cannabis is medicinal.
The WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) recently made an official proposal that cannabis be rescheduled – constitutionally speaking, it should be de-scheduled entirely – in light of new scientific findings demonstrating an extensive array of medical benefits.
Last fall, the committee held its first formal discussion on cannabis laws since the advent of the International Drug Control Conventions in 1961. This one discussion brought to bear the obvious: that it’s basically a crime against humanity to keep cannabis illegal.
“The Committee recognized the public health harms presented by these substances, as well as their potential for therapeutic and scientific use,” reads an official press release from the committee following the meeting.
“As a result, the Committee recommended a more rational system of international control surrounding cannabis and cannabis-related substances that would prevent drug-related harms whilst ensuring that cannabis-derived pharmaceutical preparations are available for medical use.”
It’s time for all countries, states, and municipalities to finally “free the weed”
Among the emerging research in favor of ending cannabis prohibition is a 2015 study which found that cannabis is at least 114 times safer than alcohol, as well as a study published last year which found that nobody has ever died from using cannabis.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people die annually from drinking toxic alcohol, which damages the liver and other vital organs from normal use.
We also now know that in states were cannabis is legal, opioid use is way down – as opposed to prohibition states where abuse of opioids and other damaging drugs is on the rise.
Studies also show that cannabis is highly beneficial for the brain and nervous system, helping to slow brain aging and even reverse it.
Cannabis really is God’s medicine – and the Bible supports this claim
This and so much more proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that cannabis really is nature’s medicine – the literal fruit of one of God’s seed-bearing plants, which he declared to be goodin Genesis 1:29.
“These recommendations are of monumental importance as they may lead to the overcoming of barriers to research, enhance access of patients to cannabis-based medicine, and allow free commerce of cannabis products internationally,” stated Ethan Russo from the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute in response to the WHO’s new official position on cannabis.
Michael Krawitz, a global policy adviser at the non-profit cannabis advocacy group FAAAT, agrees, having told Newsweek that the WHO’s placement of cannabis in the 1961 Convention was a “terrible injustice.”
“The WHO has gone a long way towards setting the record straight,” he’s quoted as saying in response to the news.
“It is time for us all to support the World Health Organization’s recommendations and ensure politics don’t trump science. Advocates thank the WHO Experts for their work, and WHO leadership for consistently defending the medical needs of our world.”
To learn more about the many health benefits of medical cannabis, including its potential role in the natural treatment of cancer, be sure to check out MarijuanaToday.news.
This British Colonial Report Offers a Rare Glimpse Into India’s Historic Cannabis Cuisine
THICK, SUGARY, AND CREAMY, RICH with saffron and almonds, bhang thandai is so sweet that at first it’s hard to pinpoint the drink’s secret ingredient. After a sip or two, however, the telltale taste lingers: spicy and slightly musky, it’s the signature whiff of cannabis. After a few minutes, the high comes, dreamy as the rainbow play of Holi colors. An Indian festival staple, drunk especially during North Indian Holi celebrations, bhang thandai is part of a long history of South Asian cannabis culture.
William Brooke O’Shaughnessy could have given you a bhang recipe or two. In early 1830s England, O’Shaughnessy, a young Edinburgh graduate, had gained recognition as a clever chemist. But when he found himself unable to acquire his license in London, he followed in the footsteps of many a young British lad unsure of his next step, and hightailed it to the colonies.
At that time, India was still controlled by the East India Company; it wouldn’t be officially “transferred” to the British crown until 1858. But in the colonial capital of Calcutta, British elites, often in collaboration with elite classes of Indians, had embarked on a grand scholarly mission. Their aim was to learn everything possible about the subcontinent, from its history and languages to its flora and fauna, in order to better understand—and thus, better control—the Indian population. O’Shaughnessy, the bright, young Irish physician, was no different. Upon his arrival in Calcutta, he took up a post at the Medical College Hospital, where he turned his attention to studying a unique aspect of Indian medical and culinary culture: cannabis.
At the time, cannabis use was uncommon in England, and British colonials regarded the drug with suspicion. They had long feared that cannabis could cause madness, and 19th-century colonizers considered its use a threat to colonial power. “Murderous assaults by individuals under the influence of Indian hemp have been somewhat frequent,” declared one Bombay newspaper in 1885. As a result of this violent influence, an Allahabad newspaper opined, “The lunatic asylums of India are filled with Ganja smokers.” This was true, but not necessarily because the drug caused madness. Instead, officials running “native-only” colonial asylums sometimes admitted Indian people suspected of being habitual ganja smokers for the mere fact that the system regarded them as unruly.
But British colonials were interested in anything that could yield knowledge about the colonized population. So in the 1830s, O’Shaughnessy set out on a rigorous program of research, detailing his inquiries in his 1842 The Bengal Dispensatory. Drawing from interviews with Indian colleagues, The Bengal Dispensatory provided—among descriptions of hemp plants and hemp-related literature in Sanskrit, Arabic, and Persian—several cannabis recipes detailed enough for an ambitious home chef to attempt today.
The success story of one woman who replaced her pills with plants.
Sharmila Clee; Photograph by Ceasar Ron
After drug use caused Sharmila Clee’s parents to lose custody of her and her siblings in 1998, Clee said she was squarely against anything related to drugs or alcohol, including cannabis.
“An anti-drug and alcohol mantra became my identity for years,” she said.
Once her parents and extended biological family’s rights were terminated, Clee and her siblings were put up for adoption. She and her sister were separated from their special needs brother, who needed extended care.
“It was difficult finding a home willing to take in three children with a history of trauma,” Clee shared. “My experience started my passion to become the best social worker in the world, and help other children like us.”
Her brother was eventually returned to her biological parents; Clee started experiencing panic attacks soon after.
“I was barely managing, receiving calls in the middle of the night from my brother, with reports of our dad drunk and violent,” she recalled. “I was three hours away at college and felt powerless, but it propelled me to move forward with vengeance and purposes, after witnessing so much social injustice—in the world, then through the eyes of my brother.”
Clee learned to push down her feelings of panic and anxiety by numbing herself with a Valium habit that began in the Fall of 2001 while at graduate school. She was diagnosed with latent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She remembers it disrupting her studies with random visions of her turbulent childhood, yet, she says, she managed to pull A’s in all subjects.
Her goal of climbing the corporate ladder was achieved. But she found that her new bureaucratic life was not all she had hoped for. She dreaded the monotony of wearing suits, the grueling commute, and her life in a cubicle.
Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Southern California
Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states as of November 2018. Yet the federal government still insists marijuana has no legal use and is easy to abuse. In the meantime, medical marijuana dispensaries have an increasing array of products available for pain, anxiety, sex and more.
The glass counters and their jars of products in the dispensary resemble an 18th century pharmacy. Many strains for sale have evocative and magical names like Blue Dream, Bubba Kush and Chocolope. But what does it all mean? Are there really differences in the medical qualities of the various strains? Or, are the different strains with the fanciful names all just advertising gimmicks?
I am a professor in the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy. I have lived in California a long time and remember the Haight-Ashbury Summer of Love. While in graduate school, I worked with professor Alexander Shulgin, the father of designer drugs, who taught me the chemistry of medicinal plants. Afterwards, while a professor at USC, I learned Chumash healing from a Native American Chumash healer for 14 years from 1998 until 2012. She taught me how to make medicines from Californian plants, but not marijuana, which is not native to the U.S. Currently, I am teaching a course in medical marijuana to pharmacy students.
If there is one thing about marijuana that is certain: In small doses it can boost libido in men and women, leading to more sex. But can marijuana really be used for medical conditions?
What are cannabinoids?
New research is revealing that marijuana is more than just a source of cannabinoids, chemicals that may bind to cannabinoid receptors in our brains, which are used to get high. The most well-known is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana is a particularly rich source of medicinal compounds that we have only begun to explore. In order to harness the full potential of the compounds in this plant, society needs to overcome misconceptions about marijuana and look at what research clearly says about the medical value.
The FDA has already made some moves in this direction by approving prescription drugs that come from marijuana including dronabinol, nabilone, nabiximols and cannabidiol. Dronabinol and nabilone are cannabinoids that are used for nausea. Nabiximols – which contain THC, the compound most responsible for marijuana’s high and cannabidiol, which does not induce a high – are used to treat multiple sclerosis. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is also used to treat some types of epilepsy.
Marijuana, originally from the Altai Mountains in Central and East Asia, contains at least 85 cannabinoids and 27 terpenes, fragrant oils that are produced by many herbs and flowers that may be active, drug-like compounds. THC is the cannabinoid everyone wants in order to get high. It is produced from THC acid – which constitutes up to 25 percent of the plant’s dry weight – by smoking or baking any part of the marijuana plant.
THC mimics a naturally occurring neurotransmitter called anandamide that works as a signaling molecule in the brain. Anandamide attaches to proteins in the brain called cannabinoid receptors, which then send signals related to pleasure, memory, thinking, perception and coordination, to name a few. THC works by hijacking these natural cannabinoid receptors, triggering a profound high.
Tetrahydrocannabivarinic acid, another cannabinoid, can constitute up to 10 percent of the dry weight. It is converted to another compound that probably contributes to a high, tetrahydrocannabivarin, when smoked or ingested in baked goods. Potent varieties like Doug’s Varin and Tangie may contain even higher concentrations.
Medical properties of marijuana
But not all cannabinoids make you high. Cannabidiol, a cannabinoid similar to THC, and its acid are also present in marijuana, especially in certain varieties. But these do not cause euphoria. The cannabidiol molecule interacts with a variety of receptors – including cannabinoid and serotonin receptors and transient receptor potential cation channels (TRP) – to reduce seizures, combat anxiety and produce other effects.
Many different varieties of marijuana are on the market and are alleged to treat a range of diseases. The FDA has no oversight for these claims, since the FDA does not recognize marijuana as a legal product.
Strains of marijuana are grown that produce more THC than cannadidiol or vice versa. Other varieties have abundant monoterpenoids. How do you know that the strain you choose is legitimate with probable medical benefits? Each strain should have a certificate of analysis that shows you how much of each active compound is present in the product you buy. Many states have a bureau of cannabis control that verifies these certificates of analysis. However, many certificates of analysis do not show the monoterpenoids present in the marijuana. The analysis of monoterpenoids is difficult since they evaporate from the plant material. If you are looking for a strain high in myrcene or linalool, ask for proof.
Marijuana can improve several conditions, but it can also make others worse and can have nasty side effects.
As recreational use has become more widespread, marijuana hyperemesis syndrome is becoming more of a problem in our society. Some people vomit uncontrollably after smoking marijuana regularly. It can be treated by rubbing a cream made from capsaicin, from chili peppers, on the abdomen. Capsaicin cream is available in pharmacies.
For some of these conditions, studies show that eating or topically applying marijuana products rather than smoking is recommended.
Clearly, more research is needed from the scientific community to help guide the appropriate, safe use of marijuana. However, the FDA does not recognize the use of medical marijuana. This makes funding for research on marijuana difficult to find. Perhaps the cannabis industry should consider funding scientific research on marijuana. But conflicts of interest may become a concern as we have seen with drug company-sponsored studies.
Jesus Christ healed the sick using medical marijuana, researchers claim
“Entheogen – a term coined by Professor Ruck – refers to any substance used to induce spiritual experiences. The use of entheogens such as cannabis, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms has been linked to the formation of nearly all the world’s religions, so it’s perhaps no surprise that cannabis likely played a role in the birth of Christianity.”
(NaturalNews) Although some may find the idea a bit challenging to their traditional religious beliefs, there is ample historical and scientific evidence that Jesus Christ was a cannabis user and that he used the plant to heal the sick.
In 2003, High Times published an article written by Chris Bennett titled “Was Jesus a Stoner?” which explored the likelihood that cannabis was a key ingredient in the “anointing oil” used by Jesus and his followers in rituals and for healing purposes.
Bennett’s argument was backed by scholarly works that provided scientific evidence supporting his assertions. Since the article appeared, other researchers have examined and debated the theory, with many agreeing that it has merit.
From the original High Times article:
“Christ” is the Greek translation of the Hebrew “Messiah.” In modern English, this term would be translated as the “anointed one.” The title “Christ” was only placed upon he who had “God’s unction upon him.“
This holy anointing oil, as described in the original Hebrew version of the recipe in Exodus (30:22-23), contained over six pounds of kaneh-bosem, a substance identified by respected etymologists, linguists, anthropologists, botanists and other researchers as cannabis, extracted into about six quarts of olive oil, along with a variety of other fragrant herbs. The ancient anointed ones were literally drenched in this potent mixture.
Kaneh-bosem = cannabis?
Kaneh-bosem certainly does sound like the modern day term cannabis, and there is little doubt that hemp was widely used by the Hebrew culture in those times.
As reported by High Times, Carl P. Ruck, professor of classical mythology at Boston University, wrote:
“There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion…. There is no way that so important a plant as a fiber source for textiles and nutritive oils and one so easy to grow would have gone unnoticed… the mere harvesting of it would have induced an entheogenic reaction.”
Ritual and medicinal use of cannabis
Entheogen – a term coined by Professor Ruck – refers to any substance used to induce spiritual experiences. The use of entheogens such as cannabis, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms has been linked to the formation of nearly all the world’s religions, so it’s perhaps no surprise that cannabis likely played a role in the birth of Christianity.
It’s easy to understand the role, considering the near-miraculous healing properties of the plant. We are now beginning to rediscover the myriad medicinal uses for cannabis – remedies that have been known for thousands of years, but which have been forgotten amidst the government-created anti-marijuana hysteria that has existed in the United States for more than half a century.
Fortunately, those attitudes are changing now, and the Christ–cannabis connection debate is perhaps an example of an overdue reexamination of some of our collective beliefs that have been clouded by propaganda.
What would Jesus do?
Those familiar with the history of the outlawing of marijuana in the U.S. are well aware that this was a direct result of pressure by corporate interests. Then later, of course, the failed War on Drugs went into full swing, and punishing marijuana users and dealers became big business for law enforcement and run-for-profit prisons.
Cannabis and the hemp plant in general offer us a cheap, effective and renewable source of a great number of beneficial products – some with almost miraculous properties – but since there is little profit in it for Big Pharma and other big business interests, the progress toward legalization has been slow and met with bitter opposition every inch of the way.
One might wonder, what would Jesus think about that?
From The Guardian:
Quoting the New Testament, Mr Bennett argues that Jesus anointed his disciples with the oil and encouraged them to do the same with other followers. This could have been responsible for healing eye and skin diseases referred to in the Gospels.
“If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient anointing oil _ [sic] and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be considered anti-Christ,” Mr Bennett concludes.
Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii’s democratic congresswoman and one of many entrants in the crowded 2020 presidential race, is already turning heads thanks to her anti-interventionist foreign policy approach and progressive stance on a variety of issues, making her an outlier among establishment Democrats.
If her pre-campaign messaging and campaign launch speech are any indicator, the potential presidential contender has no intention of backing down – especially when it comes to her strong advocacy of medical marijuana and harsh criticisms of the criminal justice system and pharmaceutical industry.
Declaring her formal entrance into the Democratic Party presidential primaries, Gabbard issued a rousing call to end the for-profit prison industry, which has seen private corrections corporations rake in profits while shirking prisoners’ and immigrant detainees’ food, health care, and other essential services while exploiting incarcerated people as essentially slave labor.
“We must stand up against private prisons, who are profiting off the backs of those caught up in a broken criminal justice system,” Gabbard said.
Continuing, she added that “a system that puts people in prison for smoking marijuana while allowing corporations like Purdue Pharma, who are responsible for the opioid-related deaths of thousands of people, to walk away scot-free with their coffers full.”
Purdue Pharma, the company responsible for making the OxyContin narcotic pill, was recently exposed in court filings by the Massachusetts attorney general to have deliberately conspired to mislead doctors and patients about the dangerous and addictive nature of the opioid in hopes of maximizing company profits.
“This so-called criminal justice system, which favors the rich and powerful and punishes the poor, cannot stand.”
Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran and member of Congress since 2013 who previously served as a state legislator in Hawaii and city council member in Honolulu, has long been a supporter of progressive cannabis laws and opponent of federal prohibition laws.
Last year, pro-legalization political advocacy committee National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML PAC) hailed Gabbard as a leader in the fight for criminal justice reform and the decriminalization of marijuana on a federal level.
In their endorsement of the congresswoman from Hawaii, the group laid out her extensive work demanding sensible cannabis policies:
Gabbard has also drawn a sharp nexus between the demands of Big Pharma lobbyists and continued prohibition laws. Last year, she shredded then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for rescinding the Obama-era Department of Justice memo, or Cole Memorandum, that instructed federal prosecutors to not enforce federal prohibition laws in states that legalized marijuana, characterizing the move as one which would “exacerbate an inhumane, ineffective system that tears families apart.”
“Sessions’ actions to protect the bottom lines of the for-profit private prison industry, and Big Pharma whose opioids and drugs flourish in part due to the marijuana prohibition, while trampling on states’ rights and turning everyday Americans into criminals is an injustice,” she wrote on Twitter.
And in a 2017 statement calling for an end to federal prohibition, Gabbard demanded that the government “work for people like veterans and healthcare advocates instead of pharmaceutical lobbyists who will continue to push dangerous and addictive painkillers even amidst an opioid epidemic.”
Gabbard isn’t the only contender to call out the pharmaceutical industry’s role in stalling marijuana legalization and criminal justice reform.
Recent entrant and New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillebrand has also blasted Big Pharma, noting:
“To them, it’s competition for chronic pain, and that’s outrageous because we don’t have the crisis in people who take marijuana for chronic pain having overdose issues … It’s not the same thing. It’s not as highly addictive as opioids are.”
I cover AI, cybersecurity, culture, drugs, and more.
May 8, 2017
Despite your average Shaggy and Scooby-style stereotypes, researchers believe that cannabis could actually help to sharpen our minds later in life.
Researchers at the University of Bonn and Hebrew University have discovered that low, regular doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the main active ingredients or cannabinoids found in marijuana, may help to keep our brains from ‘slowing down’ as we get older. Published today in the journal Nature Medicine, the German study revealed that while younger mice suffered a performance drop under the influence of THC, the psychoactive chemical gave older mice a considerable performance boost, even putting them on par with younger mice who’d abstained.
To test the chemical’s effect on brains of different ages, researchers put mice that were two months, one year, and 18 months old on a daily regimen of THC over the course of a month. The mice were then tested on their abilities to recognize familiar objects, and to navigate a water maze in known and new configurations.
As has been similarly observed with humans, younger animals excelled at the tests when ‘sober’ but tended to struggle significantly under the influence of THC. “Mature” and “old” mice, on the other hand, struggled with tasks as consistent with their brain ages at first, but saw a huge increase in performance with THC infusions that raised their skill level up to young-mouse (drug free) standards and continued for weeks afterward. Meanwhile, The Guardian reported, “None of the mice displayed the strange effects one might expect from doses of THC.”
“The fact that Big Pharma has been a driving force behind marijuana prohibition is hard to ignore — especially when it comes to the number of opioid manufacturers that have spent thousands of dollars fighting against medical marijuana.”
The fact that Big Pharma has been a driving force behind marijuana prohibition is hard to ignore — especially when it comes to the number of opioid manufacturers that have spent thousands of dollars fighting against medical marijuana. The plague of opioid addiction has struck the United States hard, leaving countless numbers of overdoses, deaths and destroyed families in its wake. And yet, the people who pushed these highly addictive drugs onto the unsuspecting public are suddenly playing martyr, spending nearly a billion dollars to keep opioids on the market and fight cannabis legalization, under the alleged pretense of public safety. It just doesn’t add up, does it?
Studies have shown that medical cannabis can help reduce opioid abuse and save lives, but to Big Pharma, profits are always more important than people. Indeed, if the pharmaceutical industry was actually concerned about human health, as they proclaim to be, lobbying and bribing politicians wouldn’t be at the top of their agenda. As Allen Frances, Professor Emeritus at Duke University, contends, “Recent history makes clear that Pharma owns Washington and also many state capitals. It invests twice as much on marketing and lobbying as it does on research and is much better at buying politicians than producing better products.”
In addition to helping people overcome their addiction to opioids, research has shown that medical cannabis can help prevent more addiction by providing pain patients with a safer alternative to begin with.
It’s obvious that Big Pharma has more than just keeping marijuana illegal in mind, however. Awareness about the addictive and dangerous nature of opioids is growing — and as more people wake up to the fact that Big Pharma’s opioid painkillers are deadly, the industry is undoubtedly looking to find a new cash cow.
There are many indications that Big Pharma is looking to take over the cannabis market. For example, Insys Therapeutics — an opioid manufacturer that’s come under fire for their unscrupulous marketing and sales tactics — secured DEA approval for synthetic marijuana in March.
Further, Insys Therapeutics spent $500,000 last summer to fight cannabis legalization in Arizona. Over a nine-year period, the pharma industry as a whole spent $880 million to fight cannabis reform and keep opioids flowing freely. If they actually opposed legalizing marijuana, why are they trying to patent a synthetic? The company doesn’t care about cannabis; it cares about protecting their profits.
And it’s not just Insys Therapeutics; countless companies are looking to secure their place in the marijuana market. Corporate behemoths like Monsanto and Bayer are also reportedly looking to patent cannabis.
It’s no secret that legal weed is immensely profitable; as Waking Times reports, the state of Colorado reported that their yearly sales had already topped $1 billion in October — and those sales are expected to rise dramatically as the holiday season draws near.
The race to take over the cannabis market is on and Big Pharma is doing their best to lead the charge — especially when it comes to synthetics. But, there is no synthetic that can even come close to the real plant; in fact, Big Pharma’s bogus synthetic versions of the plant may even be dangerous.
Big Pharma has had their hand in preventing cannabis legalization for years — and now, they’re trying to take over the marketplace. [Related: Read more stories about medical marijuana at CBDs.news.]
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone