Medicinal Marijuana vs Alcoholism


Due to the controversial nature of marijuana as an addictive substance itself,  the use of marijuana as a treatment for alcoholism is still heavily disputed. Given this, many studies have found that medical marijuana is not as addictive or harmful as other drugs like alcohol or opiates. In fact, there are several references to the use of cannabis as a substitute for opiates and delirium tremors which are associated with the withdrawal of alcohol addiction.

Delirium tremens, or “the DT’s,” is caused by the heavy, repeated and prolonged abuse of alcohol followed by an abrupt halt it’s use. Symptoms associated with the DT’s include nightmares, agitation, confusion, disorientation, visual and auditory hallucinations, fever, hypertension and diaphoresis. 

Alcohol withdrawal resulting in delirium tremens is most often treated with benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), or oxazepam (Serax). These drugs tend to have more side effects, less efficacy in regard to patient perception, and many cases can lead to a new form of dependancy.

 In the United States, cannabis was widely prescribed at the turn of the 19th century in the treatment of the DT’s until 1941 when the use and possession of cannabis became illegal under federal law. Fast forward over fifty years and the use of cannabis as an alternative to heavier medicines in the treatment of delirium tremens is slowly being considered by herbalists and doctors alike. 


In a an article by The Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, the use of cannabis to treat alcohol dependency was defined as,  “A Harm Reduction Approach” as the article’s subtitle explains. Although total abstinence is the true goal for those afflicted by addiction, this approach considers overall improvement of functionality and reduction of alcohol intake  measures of success when using cannabis as a treatment of alcoholism.

As it relates to addiction, the use of cannabis as a “replacement” for alcohol is still viewed by some to have efficacy in improving the lives of addicts. Overall, cannabis users tend to have more energy, less long term health issues, better sleep, appetite,  focus, social relationships and overall functionality.

The research supporting the treatment of alcoholism with cannabis is in it’s early stages, but shows signs of improvement. As always, you should do your own research and consult your doctor to decide if medical marijuana is right for you. 

Thank You: Whaxy

The Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis


Prohibition has spurred a lack of education surrounding the cannabis plant. This has led to countless rumors about what makes hemp different from cannabis. Everything from “hemp plants are male and cannabis plants are female” to “cannabis is a drug and the other is not” are incorrectly being preached as common knowledge to unknowing bystanders.  So, how are these terms supposed to be used? Let’s find out.

According to a 1976 study published by the International Association of Plant Taxonomy concluded “both hemp varieties and marijuana varieties are of the same genus, Cannabis, and the same species, Cannabis Sativa. Further, there are countless varieties that fall into further classifications within the species Cannabis Sativa.”

However, depending on how the plant is grown and utilized will determine which term is correct. For instance, the term cannabis (or marijuana) is used when describing a Cannabis Sativa plant that is bred for its potent, resinous glands (known as trichomes). These trichomes contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid most known for its psychoactive properties.

Hemp, on the hand, is used to describe a Cannabis Sativa plant that contains only trace amounts of THC. Hemp is a high-growing plant, typically bred for industrial uses such as oils and topical ointments, as well as fiber for clothing, construction, and much more.

Only products made from industrial hemp (less than 0.3% THC) are legal to sell, buy, consume, and ship. This single factor (0.3%) is how most people distinguish between what is classified as “hemp” and what is classified as “cannabis.” This limit has led to mass controversy (for good reason), which we will dive into a bit later. But first, let’s take a look at how hemp is utilized all over the world.

More About Hemp: Medical Jane

Legalizing Marijuana Constitutionally by the Numbers


 In the last half decade The United States of America has witnessed quite a shift in marijuana policies and public perception. There are currently 4 legal recreational marijuana states and the District of Columbia, 18 decriminalized marijuana states and 35 medicinal marijuana states with 10 of them being CBD specific. Those numbers are very important when it comes to Article 5 of the United States Constitution.

Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

The section I am interested in illustrating today is,”or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof

You see? There is no need to wait on the President to reschedule marijuana. Lobbying Congress is a waste of time and the Constitution can be amended with two thirds (33) of the states proposing and three quarters (37) ratifying.

No, the numbers are not there yet. Thirty five states with medicinal forms of marijuana is still short of a ratifying 37 and the legislatures cannot be counted on in each and every state but it’s getting closer.

What I am proposing is a simple change of focus. Stop lobbying and calling on the federal government for a solution and let’s spend our time working at the local level.

Just one opinion

CJ

Sources:
The National Archives
NORML: Decriminalization Medicinal

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Edible Marijuana is Breaking Into the Mainstream



Recreational marijuana is both illegal and controversial in most of the country, and its relationship to food does not rise much above a joke about brownies or a stoner chef’s late-night pork belly poutine.

But cooking with cannabis is emerging as a legitimate and very lucrative culinary pursuit.

In Colorado, which has issued more than 160 edible marijuana licenses, skilled line cooks are leaving respected restaurants to take more lucrative jobs infusing cannabis into food and drinks. In Washington, one of four states that allow recreational marijuana sales, a large cannabis bakery dedicated to affluent customers with good palates will soon open in Seattle.

Major New York publishing houses and noted cookbook authors are pondering marijuana projects, and chefs on both coasts and in food-forward countries like Denmark have been staging underground meals with modern twists like compressed watermelon, smoked cheese and marijuana-oil vinaigrette.

“It really won’t be long until it becomes part of haute cuisine and part of respectable culinary culture, instead of just an illegal doobie in the backyard,” said Ken Albala, director of the food studies program at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco.

Two problems, however, stand in the way: First, it’s hard to control how high people get when they eat marijuana. And second, it really doesn’t taste that good.

Still, what if chefs could develop a culinary canon around marijuana that tamed both its taste and mood-altering effects, and diners came to appreciate dishes with marijuana the way one appreciates good bourbon? Paired with delicious recipes and the pleasures of good company, cannabis cookery might open a new dimension in dining that echoes the evolutions in the wine and cocktail cultures.

Read More: The New York Times

THC Tetrahydrocannabinol vs Alzheimer's Disease



Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease through multiple functions and pathways. Interestingly, findings also indicate that cannabis isn’t only effective in the treatment, but also the prevention of Alzheimer’s.

Scientists at the University of Southern Florida conducted their study by giving one group of rats a constant dose of a cannabis derivative for three consecutive weeks and nothing to a second group of rats. Follow-up memory tests conducted on the rats indicated the treated rats did better than the control rats in learning and remembering how to locate the concealed platform. The results indicate cannabis may be effective in preventing memory loss.

According to the American Academy of Neurology, those afflicted with this disease experience problems in behavior, memory and personality changes as well as a decline in cognitive abilities such as decision-making, language skills and problems recognizing family and friends. Symptoms develop slowly over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with everyday tasks. 

Other cognitive abilities such as swallowing, walking or controlling bladder and bowl due to inflammation around the brain decline as the disease progresses over time. Minor infections are also common in incapacitated patients. Typically, treatment regarding daily health regiment routines become particularly difficult to deal with because Alzheimer’s patients are unable to understand and participate in their own treatment.

Previous studies have shown that cannabinoids in cannabis are anti-inflammatory and also act as anti-oxidants, which prevent contamination of cells including brain cells. They also organically interact with communication systems in the body to bring customary balance. Chuanhai Cao, PhD, the lead author of the study, was on a mission to further illuminate the therapeutic qualities of THC as an effective drug to slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s as THC lowers certain markers of the disease.

“THC is known to be a potent antioxidant with neuroprotective assets, but this is the first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels, inhibiting its aggregation, and enhancing mitochondrial function,” he said.

Currently Dr. Cao’s laboratory at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute is investigating the effects of a medicinal cocktail that includes THC and caffeine as well as other organic compounds in a cellular model of Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers stress that at the low doses studied the therapeutic benefits of THC appear to reign over related risks of THC toxicity and memory loss.

Read More: Cannabis Now Magazine

STUDY Pot Smokers have less Inflammation



People who smoke marijuana may have lower levels of inflammation compared with people who have never smoked it, according to new research on one marker of inflammation.

In the study, researchers examined data from more than 9,000 people on their history of marijuana use and their levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), one marker of inflammation that is frequently linked with people's risk of heart disease.

About 40 percent of the people in the study said they had never smoked marijuana, while 48 percent reported having smoked the drug at least once in their lifetimes, but not in the past 30 days. About 12 percent (1115) said they smoked marijuana recently, or at least once in the past 30 days. The researchers found that the people who smoked in the last month had lower CRP levels than those who had never smoked the drug. 

The new evidence "points toward possible anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis smoking," the authors wrote in the study, published online Nov. 28 in the Journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

However, the researchers remain cautious about the possible implications of their findings, as previous research on CRP levels and marijuana use in people has been scarce and the results of other studies have been inconsistent.

Read More: Live Science

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