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Medical Marijuana Benefits and Legal Issues

September 11th, 2013 · No Comments

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, recently completed a documentary titled “Weed”, which discusses the value of medical marijuana. He stated that the public has been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years because marijuana was listed as a Schedule 1 substance and one of the most dangerous drugs that has “no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.” But in reality the Drug Enforcement Agency does not have the science to back it up.

Dr Gupta did express a concern that young people who are still developing their brains are likely more susceptible to harm from marijuana than adult brains. Some recent studies suggest that regular use in teenage years leads to a permanent decrease in IQ. Other research hints at a possible heightened risk of developing psychosis. He urged the youth to wait until their mid 20s after the brains are developed to try it.

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Cannabis Compound Helps Fight Cancer

February 2nd, 2013 · No Comments

Researcher Sean McAllister was studying the effects of Cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-toxic, non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant and teamed up with Pierre Desprez, a molecular biologist studying ID-1, the gene that causes cancer to spread and determined that Cannabidiol could “turn off” the gene and stop the cancer from spreading.

The pair of scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco have found that Cannabidiol works with many kinds of aggressive cancers – brain, prostate – any kind in which these high levels of ID-1 are present.”

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Tags: News - Addiction and Alternative Health

Marijuana Damages DNA

June 16th, 2009 · No Comments

Researchers from the Cancer Biomarkers and Prevention Group, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine and Karolinska Institute, Sweden, are reporting “convincing evidence” that marijuana smoke damages the genetic material DNA in ways that could increase the risk of cancer.

Marijuana (Cannabis) smoke contains 400 chemical compounds including 60 cannabinoids. Because of its lower combustibility than tobacco, it contains 50% more carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons including naphthalene, benzanthracene, and benzopyrene, than tobacco smoke.”

“The smoking of 3-4 marijuana cigarettes a day is associated with the same degree of damage to bronchial mucus membranes as 20 or more tobacco cigarettes a day,” the researchers state.

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Tags: Marijuana Addiction · News - Addiction and Alternative Health

Marijuana and Dangerous Driving

March 15th, 2009 · No Comments

In a recent report in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, thrill-seeking young men in their 20’s are more likely to drive under the influence of cannabis (DUIC) and engage in reckless driving,

“We observed that dangerous driving behaviours are interrelated. Individuals scoring high on impulsivity or sensation-seeking scales demonstrated an elevated risk of driving under the influence of marijuana,” states senior author Jacques Bergeron, a professor at the Université de Montréal’s Department of Psychology.

The study also found that men with self-reported DUIC tend to be associated with an increased risk of being involved in a car accident.

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Marijuana and Brain Damage

February 10th, 2009 · No Comments

Research appearing in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research shows that teenagers who are heavy users of marijuana are more likely than non-users to have disrupted brain development.

In the photo, the yellow areas in the brain of a heavy marijuana smoker show brain regions with the most significant abnormalities. These areas correspond with those under development during normal adolescent years. (Credit: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)

Pediatric researchers found abnormalities in areas of the brain that interconnect brain regions involved in memory, attention, decision-making, language and executive functioning skills. The findings are of particular concern because adolescence is a crucial period for brain development and maturation.

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Marijuana Potency is Higher Than Ever

July 12th, 2008 · No Comments

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently released a report that revealed the levels of THC – the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – has reached the highest-ever amounts since scientific analysis of the drug began in the late 1970s.

According to the latest data on marijuana samples analyzed to date, the average amount of THC in seized samples has reached a new high of 9.6 percent. This compares to an average of just under 4 percent reported in 1983 and represents more than a doubling in the potency of the drug since that time.

The image shown is referred to as a “steam roller” (peace pipe). The pipe is used by marijuana smokers. The smokers fill the bowl with cannabis, then put the hand over the end of the pipe nearest the bowl and the other end in the mouth. After lighting and inhaling until the chamber is filled with smoke, you then remove the hand and quickly inhale the collected smoke to have a stronger high.

“The increases in marijuana potency are of concern since they increase the likelihood of acute toxicity, including mental impairment,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Particularly worrisome is the possibility that the more potent THC might be more effective at triggering the changes in the brain that can lead to addiction.

The increased potency of marijuana available in the United States also corresponds with other troubling research showing links between marijuana use and depression. See this article on marijuana and depression.

“Pot” smokers are self medicating to feel better but it is a false feeling as long term brain damage is being done, especially with heavy users.

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Marijuana Worse Than Tobacco Cigarettes For Lung Cancer Risk

February 9th, 2008 · No Comments

cigarette-rollsSmoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, and scientists have warned of an “epidemic” of lung cancers linked to cannabis (marijuana).

In an article published in the European Respiratory Journal, the scientists said cannabis could be expected to harm the airways more than tobacco as its smoke contained twice the level of carcinogens, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, compared with tobacco cigarettes.

The method of smoking also increases the risk, since joints are typically smoked without a proper filter and almost to the very tip, which increases the amount of smoke inhaled. The cannabis smoker inhales more deeply and for longer, facilitating the deposition of carcinogens in the airways.

Marijuana addiction is becoming a real problem.

More information on this research:

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Marijuana Fog, Driving and Coping

October 17th, 2007 · No Comments

The immediate effects of smoking marijuana are mild euphoria and, often, drowsiness. Research shows that brain receptors respond to cannabis by releasing the feel-good neurotransmitter, dopamine. Cannabis’s effects on judgment, coordination, and short-term memory make it inadvisable to drive, to operate heavy machinery, or to try to learn anything new while under its influence. This is due to the high concentration of cannabis receptors in both the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory, and the cerebellum, the part of the brain that governs motor coordination. Moreover, these effects may actually last longer than those of alcohol.

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Marijuana More Harmful Than Cigarettes According To Research Study

August 3rd, 2007 · No Comments

A recent research report published in Thorax – An International Journal of Respiratory Medicine, stated that “one cannabis joint causes a similar degree of lung damage as between 2.5 and five tobacco cigarettes“.

The three year study by New Zealand’s Medical Research Institute (mrinz.ac.nz) found that longtime pot smokers can develop symptoms of asthma and bronchitis, along with obstruction of the large airways and excessive lung inflation.

Marijuana smokers had symptoms that included wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and phlegm – all of which were associated with tobacco smokers, except chest tightness.

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Marijuana and Psychosis

August 2nd, 2007 · No Comments

marijuana plant

Marijuana is the most frequently used illegal substance in many countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States and it seems to increase the chance of becoming psychotic, researchers report in an analysis of past research that brings up the old issue of whether pot is dangerous.

The new review suggests that even infrequent use of marijuana could raise the small but real risk of this serious mental illness by 40 percent.

Doctors have long suspected a connection and say the latest findings underline the need to highlight marijuana’s long-term risks. The research, paid for by the British Health Department, was published recently in the medical journal The Lancet. (thelancet.com)

“The available evidence now suggests that cannabis is not as harmless as many people think,” said Dr. Stanley Zammit, one of the study’s authors and a lecturer in the department of psychological medicine at Cardiff University.

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