Marijuana Legalization Opponents Have No Leg to Stand On


Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

But opponents still have one trick up their sleeves, and it's proven to be a powerful and effective one: the notion that relaxed regulations on marijuana will lead to a rise in marijuana use among children and teens. Florida voters, for instance, will decide whether to legalize medical marijuana this November. Organizations opposing the measure have built their campaigns around fears about underage use.

The group Don't Let Florida Go To Pot greets visitors to its Web site with the above image, warning that medical marijuana will turn your child into a hoodie-wearing, pot-smoking thug.

More to the point, the notion that medical marijuana leads to increased use among teenagers is flat-out wrong. A new study by economists Daniel Rees, Benjamin Hansen and D. Mark Anderson is the latest in a growing body of research showing no connection -- none, zero, zilch -- between the enactment of medical marijuana laws and underage use of the drug.

The authors examined marijuana trends in states that passed medical marijuana laws. They tracked self-reported pot use by high school students in the years leading up to and following the enactment of these laws. They conclude that the effects of medical marijuana on teen use are "small, consistently negative, and never statistically distinguishable from zero."


 The chart above shows the trend in teen marijuana use, as measured by state Youth Risky Behavior Surveys, in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Vermont. The x-axis is standardized to track the three-year periods before and after each state passed its medical marijuana law. The lines are essentially flat.

The authors verified their work by running a number of regression tests and examining youth drug use data from other sources, too. They found that, if anything, passage of medical marijuana laws had a slight negative effect on teen use. In a forthcoming paper, Rees and Anderson hypothesize that this might be because "legalization allows suppliers to sell to adults with some assurance of not being prosecuted, while selling marijuana to a minor is still a risky proposition even with the legalization of medical marijuana."

There's little doubt that, like alcohol or tobacco, marijuana use can potentially be harmful to teens, particularly to heavy users. But this paper, like others before it, provides straightforward evidence that there is no link between medical marijuana laws and teen marijuana use.

The Rest of the Story: The Washington Post

Marijuana and Exercise Linked


Everyone knows exercise is good for the mind and body. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not just endorphins (the chemical which makes you feel good after an activity such as exercise) that make physical activity so great.

The medical community already knows the human body stores tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, in fat. However, a study by Drug and Alcohol Dependence shows that the THC-to-fat storage process can give exercisers an added boost, even up to 28 days after the consumption of marijuana.

As the body begins to burn fat, traces of THC are released back into the bloodstream, producing a mild effect similar to consuming a small amount of marijuana. THC blood levels increase by approximately 15% immediately after moderate exercise, but the increase is no longer present two hours after exercising.

Studies have also found that exercising actually activates the endocannabinoid system in the same way marijuana does. The endocannabinoid system is a group of lipids (types of fats) and cell receptors that cannabinoids (compounds like THC and CBD) bind to inside the body and is responsible for reducing pain, controlling appetite, and influencing mood and memory. Furthermore, researchers have found that human-produced cannabinoids increase as you exercise, causing you to feel a little “high.”

Via: Ma Marijuana

What are Terpenes and Terpenoids?


Ever wondered what gives your Blue Dream strain that fresh blueberry flavor & scent?

The answer is terpenes. Terpenes (TUR-peen) are a large class of organic hydrocarbons produced by a wide variety of plants, and are referred to as terpenoids when denatured by oxidation (drying and curing the flowers). They are the main building block of any plant resin or “essential oils” and contribute to the scent, flavor, and colors. Some are even known to have medicinal value.

Terpenes are the main class of aromatic compounds found in cannabis and have even been proven to interact synergistically with cannabinoids to provide for a range of different effects. While many people believe that it is the sticky glands of THC (delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol) that provide cannabis with its peculiar aroma, it is in fact the more unstable monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes that are responsible. In fact, it is the smell of the specific sesquiterpene, Caryophyllene oxide that drug dogs are able to detect when probing for cannabis.

Understanding the importance of terpenes allows for a true “cannasseur” to broaden their approach to searching for new strains based on smells and tastes, rather than purely effects.

In addition to cannabinoids, many terpenes are known to have their own pharmacological value as well. For example, alpha-pinene is an organic compound found in the oils of rosemary and sage as well as many species of pine trees. Pinene can increase mental focus and energy, as well as act as an expectorant, bronchodilator, and a topical antiseptic and has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to retain and restore memory. It was ALSO found at the highest level in the Green House Seed Company strain, Super Silver Haze.

Other terpenes such as limonene have relaxing effects and are found in anything with a citrus smell such as oranges, lemons, rosemary, and juniper. Limonene is known to have anti-bacterial, anti-depressant and anti-carcinogenic properties as well. It is thought to quickly penetrate cell membranes causing other terpenes to be absorbed more rapidly and effectively. Because of Limonene’s potent anti-carcinogenic and anti-fungal properties, it is thought to be the component protecting marijuana smokers from aspergillus fungi and carcinogens found in cannabis smoke.

Cannabis is also known for possessing a significant amount of the terpene beta-caryophyllene (BCP). According to Berkely Patients Care, this terpene is responsible for activating the CB2 receptor and acts as a non-psychoactive anti-inflammatory. Because it binds to a cannabinoid receptor, beta-caryophyllene is considered a cannabinoid. The terpene is in many legal herbs and spices and contributes to the spiciness of black pepper. It is also an FDA approved food additive, making it the first dietary cannabinoid.

Myrcene is another abundant terpene in cannabis, mainly sativas, and is a building block for menthol, citronella and geraniol. The terpene possesses muscle-relaxing, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects among other benefits. Myrcene also has an effect on the permeability of cell membranes, which allows for the absorption of more cannabinoids by brain cells.

Myrcene is also a very important chemical in the perfumery industry because of its peasant odor, which is described as clove-like, earthy, and fruity. It can be found in the essential oils of the bay tree, myrcia (where the name comes from), and mangos.

Much Much More at: Medical Jane

The United States Government Owns a Patent on Medicinal Marijuana


Patent No. 6630507, held by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, covers the use of cannabinoids for treating a wide range of diseases.

Under U.S. federal law, marijuana is defined as having no medical use. So it might come as a surprise to hear that the government owns one of the only patents on marijuana as a medicine. 

The patent (US6630507) is titled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” and was awarded to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in October 2003. 

It was filed four years earlier, in 1999, by a group of scientists from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

he patent claims exclusive rights on the use of cannabinoids for treating neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke, and diseases caused by oxidative stress, such as heart attack, Crohn’s disease, diabetes and arthritis. 

Cannabinoids are a diverse class of compounds that include many of the unique compounds found in marijuana. A number of experts, including CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, have noted the contradiction between federal marijuana law and the government’s patent.
“The United States government owns a patent on marijuana as a medical application… So we have a patent through our Department of HHS on marijuana as a therapeutic and we also schedule it as a Schedule I.”
It is easy to think of the patent as a patent on marijuana itself. However, this would be inaccurate, since the patent actually covers non-psychoactive cannabinoids (both synthetic and natural), meaning those that don’t cause a high. 

The patent also covers only a specific application of these cannabinoids and not the production or use of marijuana and cannabinoids overall.

Read More: Leaf Science
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