One of the common questions relevant to the debate on medical marijuana use and legalization is, “How does cannabis affect mental illness?” To understand this question fully, it is necessary to understand some basics about the field of research, to assess the available evidence surrounding this question, and to consider the possible application of marijuana in treating symptoms of mental health conditions.
Many studies have found that people who consume cannabis tend to be more likely to have various types of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and psychotic disorders. As a result of these studies, people have incorrectly inferred that marijuana use causes mental illness.
However, this assumption stems from a basic misunderstanding of research results; namely, the fact that correlation does not imply causation. You may have heard this before. So what does it mean, and why does it matter?
Correlation is a link or association that… Continue reading
Researchers in Canada say that smoking cannabis to relieve chronic pain is not only safe, but effective as well. We knew that, but in case you needed scientific evidence, here it is.
The study followed 215 adults (141 of these adults were current users and 58 of them ex-users) who used medical cannabis for an entire year and a control group of 216 chronic pain patients who didn’t use medical cannabis at all.
These participants were patients from seven different clinics in Canada, all suffering from some form of chronic non-cancer pain.
The participants using cannabis received flower that contained 12.5% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis) and were given the option to use the leaf however they see fit: vaping, edibles and smoking were all possible options. Most of the participants chose inhalation or vaporization, presumably because it’s easier.
After the one-year study, patients reported a significant… Continue reading
As cannabis is becoming more and more mainstream, opinion polls show growing support of marijuana legalization in the U.S. and all over the world. Research confirms that cannabis and its derivatives could help us win the war on prescription drugs abuse, relieve PTSD for veterans, soothe epileptic seizures, maintain healthy insulin level, cope with chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.
Still, the stigma persists. Many people see cannabis users as lazy, unsuccessful, and potentially troubled human beings. Where does this dated stereotype come from? We could cast the blame upon television, movies, or newspapers, but we could also act mature and admit our own responsibility for the unfavorable image.
So the questions that have to be answered are: What marijuana enthusiasts do wrong? And more importantly, what can we do differently to look better in the eyes of society?
Firstly, we need to act responsibly. Period. It means no “marijuana is… Continue reading
The unique nature of cannabis is demonstrated partly by the special characteristics of its smoke. Unlike virtually all other forms of smoke, which impair lung function, cannabis smoke may actually improve it.
That being said, vaporizing cannabis is clearly the superior alternative to smoking cannabis, as it provides the medicinal compounds of marijuana without the negative side effects of smoke (such as carcinogens and other cancer-causing chemicals).
Regardless, many studies have shown that cannabis use may benefit asthma patients and enhance general lung function by acting as a bronchodilator, rather than a bronchoconstrictor. In fact, a new study in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics provides yet further evidence of how cannabinoids could help protect the lungs.
How THC and THC-V Benefit the Lungs
Using guinea pigs, the study measured the ability of cannabinoids to inhibit bronchoconstriction induced by inflammatory proteins. The cannabinoids… Continue reading
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear want a Frankfort judge to dismiss a lawsuit calling for the legalization of medical marijuana in Kentucky.
In a motion filed Monday in Franklin Circuit Court, Bevin’s attorneys said medical marijuana is a “political question” that should be decided by the General Assembly, not a judge.
“Since at least 2014, the legislature has debated billsadvocating for the lawful use of medicinal marijuana in every legislative session,” attorney Barry Dunn wrote for the governor’s office. “The General Assembly will consider legalizing medicinal marijuana again in the 2018 session. It is solely within the General Assembly’s constitutional powers to determine whether to make medicinal marijuana lawful.”
Also, Dunn wrote, the state Supreme Court has ruled that Kentuckians do not have have a constitutional right to possess marijuana. And federal drug laws — which classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance,… Continue reading
A powerful Congressional panel approved a proposal to increase military veterans’ access to medical marijuana on Thursday.
By a vote of 24 to 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment that would allow doctors in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) to recommend medical cannabis in states where it is legal.
Under a current internal V.A. administrative directive, federal policy is “to prohibit V.A. providers from completing forms seeking recommendations or opinions regarding a Veteran’s participation in a State marijuana program.” That policy technically expired on January 31, 2016, but it remains in effect in practice until such time as the department institutes a new one replacing it.
The amendment approved by senators — now attached to the budget bill that funds V.A. — would prevent the department from spending any money to enforce the internal prohibition on doctor-recommended cannabis in legal states.
The… Continue reading
The legal weed market appears to be impacting booze’s bottom line.
Consumer trend data compiled by OutCo and Monocle Research finds that many California twenty-somethings, post-legalization, are switching from beer to pot. Marketers surveyed 2,000 cannabis consumers in seven major California cities, and one-third of millennial respondents said that they are choosing cannabis over beer. One out of five acknowledged substituting weed for wine, and 14 percent admitted consuming herb rather than hard alcohol.
Older respondents, including baby boomers, also reported making the switch from booze to pot. According to the survey, 20 percent of Gen Xers and eight percent of boomers similarly acknowledged substituting pot in place of alcohol.
The findings provide further credence to a December 2016 report from the Cowan & Company research firm which determined that beer sales by major distributors – including Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors – have “collectively underperformed” over… Continue reading