MMJ Impact of marijuana on memory may not be as harmful as some might think.

Published in the March issue of Addiction Biology, a team of Dutch scientists found no changes in the working memory abilities of heavy cannabis users who were monitored for three years. 

The study “adds to the literature showing that regular cannabis use may not necessarily impair brain functioning,” explains lead author Janna Cousijn, PhD, a researcher at the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Developmental Psychology.

Working memory is the active part of memory which plays a key role in learning. It involves the short-term use of memory and attention to store information over brief periods of time.

Previous studies show that marijuana can have a temporary effect on certain cognitive abilities, including memory and attention.

But while marijuana’s impact on the brain continues to be debated, there remains little evidence that its use results in long-term impairment.

Dr. Cousijn and her colleagues conducted the study on 49 young adults, 22 who were considered heavy cannabis users and consumed marijuana five days a week on average.

The researchers measured brain activity of the subjects during various cognitive tasks at the start of the study and three years later. At follow-up, both cannabis users and non-users showed no changes in measurements of working memory.

I believe that cannabis use may not necessarily affect brain functioning. However, certain risk-factors may increase the effects of long-term cannabis use,” concludes Dr. Cousijn.

MMJ Research THC Kills Cancer

From Compultense University in Madrid, Spain, Dr. Christina Sanchez has been studying the anti-tumor effects of THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis (marijuana), for over a decade. She delivers sound information that explains exactly how THC kills cancer cells entirely – without adverse effects to healthy cells.

Her research is an addition to other's work, such as British scientist, Wai Liu, an oncologist at the University of London's St. George's medical school. Liu's research also reveals how THC has 'potent anti-cancer activity,' and can significantly 'target and switch off' pathways that allow cancers to grow.

Liu points out that pharmaceutical companies spend billions on drugs that do the very same thing, while the cannabis plant does it naturally. In the following video, Dr. Sanchez explains exactly how THC does the dirty work of eliminating cancer cells by activating the body's own cannabinoid receptors, creating endocannabinoids. What's more, is cannabis can do this without any psychoactive effects.

"There's quite a lot of cancers that should respond quite nicely to these cannabis agents," Liu said. "If you talk about a drug company that spent billions of pounds trying to develop these new drugs that target these pathways, cannabis does exactly the same thing – or certain elements of cannabis compounds do exactly the same thing – so you have something that is naturally produced which impacts the same pathways that these fantastic drugs that cost billions also work on."

Read More: Sunny Skyz

MMJ Cannabidiol May Cure Alzheimer's

A team from Neuroscience Research Australia has published the first evidence suggesting that CBD may reverse the memory impairments of Alzheimer’s disease.

The results were presented at the Australian Neuroscience Society’s 2013 annual meeting and were published this week in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

“It basically brings the performance of the animals back to the level of healthy animals,” Dr. Karl told The Sydney Morning Herald in an earlier interview. “You could say it cured them, but we will have to go back and look at their brains to be sure.”

The researchers believe cannabidiol’s anti-inflammatory properties may combat the primary issue underlying the disease.

A “decrease in neuroinflammation will decrease neurodegeneration, one of the main triggers of Alzheimer’s disease,” explained Dr. Karl in an email.

“Furthermore, CBD has anti-oxidant and neuroprotective effects, which suggests that it might have potential as an early multi-modal drug target,” he notes, adding: “more comprehensive research must be carried out to evaluate CBD’s role in Alzheimer’s disease in detail.”

“CBD has anti-oxidant and neuroprotective effects”According to the team, CBD did not appear to cause any side effects in the mice and has been shown in other studies to promote the growth of new brain cells – a process known as neurogenesis.

While there have been case reports of improvements in Alzheimer’s patients who smoke cannabis, the researchers say the study was the first to investigate the treatment in a lab.

The next step is to examine the brains of mice and see if they also show physical improvements after CBD treatment.

Thank You: Stoned Society

GROW YOUR OWN MMJ When Do Marijuana Plants Start to Flower?

Of course, getting to the flowering stage is different for every plant. If you’re growing indoors, then you have control over when the plant will start flowering. If you’re growing outdoors, however, the plants will only start flowering once certain lightness and darkness quotas are met. Unless you’re using an autoflowering variety, then having a set amount of complete darkness every night is necessary to get the plants to flower. During vegetative growth, you might leave the lights on 24/7, but when the plants have matured enough, you’ll want to switch them to a 12/12 light to darkness ratio. That means, the lights stay on for 12 hours and they go off for 12 hours straight.

It’s important to note that flowering will only occur in situations where the plant receives total darkness for approximately 12 hours. If you interrupt the darkness period even for a few seconds, you may trick the plants into thinking they’re getting more light. It should also be noted that certain varieties have “thresholds” of darkness that need to be passed. That is to say, 12 hours might not work for some plants. You might even be able to get away with a smaller length of time in the dark (say, 10 hours), and you may even need to provide as much as 14 hours of darkness.

If you’re growing outdoors, then you may be at the mercy of the of the Earth’s tilt. Varieties that have extra-long darkness thresholds will have to stay outdoors for a longer period of time. If applicable, you can but a blackout sheet over the plants so that they get the recommended amount of darkness, but that won’t always work. Downoad the free marijuana grow bible for more tips.

Once the actual flowering process begins, you’ll start to notice distinct changes in plant growth and behavior. Male plants will differentiate themselves from female plants by creating pollen sacs rather than pistils. Male plants often tend to grow larger, earlier so that they can drop their pollen onto the female pistils and promote reproduction. Both males and females will have internodes that extend. Male flowers are rather small and they have a yellow, red, purple, or pale green color to them. Female flowers are characterized by two hairy, white stigmas that are designed to catch the male pollen. Over time, the female flowers will begin forming clusters that are referred to as “buds.”

Read More: I Love Growing Marijuana

STUDY Medicinal Marijuana and Osteoporosis

In 2009, a group of researchers from the University of Edinburgh (UK) published a study in the journal Cell Metabolism that sheds light on the mechanism underlying treatment. It suggests that activation of the CB1 receptor is primarily responsible for the benefits of cannabis in the case of osteoporosis.

Age-related osteoporosis is considered to be the most common bone disease. Over time, it causes the bones to weaken, putting them at an increased risk to be fractured. Little is known about what causes the condition, but it involves decreased bone formation and the accumulation of fat in the bone marrow compartment.

With that said, the University of Edinburgh research team investigated whether the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in the condition. They used two groups of mice as models, one of which included rodents with no CB1 receptors.

According to their results, mice that were absent of CB1 receptors suffered from age-related osteoporosis, despite an increase in bone mass. The same group experienced a reduction in bone formation as well as increased fat accumulation in the “bone marrow space.”

Offering his take is the lead author of the study: Ayman Idris, Ph. D, “the CB1 receptor is therefore unique in that it regulates peak bone mass through an effect on osteoclast activity, but protects against age-related bone loss by regulating adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation of bone marrow stromal cells.”

Read More: Medical Jane

MMJ Medicinal Cannabis and Asthma

Does the idea of using medical marijuana to treat asthma symptoms leave you scratching your head? Due to the fact that the most popular method of recreation-ally consuming cannabis is smoking, it may seem like an unlikely medical treatment for a respiratory condition. Any doctor will tell you that smoking cigarettes is not a good idea for asthma sufferers (or for anyone, really), but the evidence is showing that cannabis may have beneficial effects for those with asthma or other respiratory conditions—even when smoked.

Asthma is a lung disease that causes a person’s airways to narrow and swell during an attack, which leads to wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing. If not managed, attacks can be fatal. Asthma often becomes evident in children and there is no cure for the disease, though treatment can keep complications to a minimum. For many people symptoms are limited, but in the U.S. over 3000 people still die from asthma-related causes every year. Management of the disease is complicated by the sudden onset of the attacks— they can be triggered by everyday activities like exercise—and the fact that they are being increasingly linked with allergies.

Even in the medical community, there has long been debate over whether or not cannabis is helpful for asthma patients when smoked. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease and cannabis is a known anti-inflammatory, so could the benefits outweigh the smoking risk? Studies on the pro side cite THC’s ability to dilate respiratory passages and inhibit coughing as factors that make it beneficial for some patients. Turns out, cannabis actually does the opposite of tobacco smoke in that it expands, rather than constricts bronchial passageways.

However, while there seems to be almost universal agreement that THC opens up airways, this information has always come with the warning that smoking may have adverse health effects, including tissue inflammation and throat irritation. Over the long term, this can lead to impaired overall lung function—the last thing an asthma sufferer wants to worry about. But the results are mixed; one large 20-year study found that moderate cannabis smokers with asthma actually improved their lung function without suffering the lung damage that is seen in cigarette smokers.

Even doctors have been surprised to see their patients get almost immediate relief from asthma attacks after smoking cannabis. The response can be as effective as the most commonly prescribed inhalers but without the complications of corticosteroids, which can include high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression among other severe side effects. So what’s the asthma patient who wants a steroid-free treatment option to do?

Read More: Leafly

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