Marijuana Legalization = Less Pain Killer Deaths

America has a major problem with prescription pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin. Overdose deaths from these pharmaceutical opioids have approximately tripled since 1991, and every day 46 people die of such overdoses in the United States.

However, in the 13 states that passed laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually. 

“The difference is quite striking,” said study co-author Colleen Barry, a health policy researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The shift showed up quite quickly and become visible the year after medical marijuana was accepted in each state, she told Newsweek.

In the study, August 25 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers hypothesize that in states where medical marijuana can be prescribed, patients may use pot to treat pain, either instead of prescription opiates, or to supplement them—and may thus require a lower dosage that is less likely to lead to a fatal problem.

As with most findings involving marijuana and public policy, however, not everyone agrees on a single interpretation of the results. 

It certainly can be said that marijuana is much less toxic than opiates like Percocet or morphine, and that it is “basically impossible” to die from an overdose of weed, Barry said. Based on those agreed-upon facts, it would seem that an increased use in marijuana instead of opiates for chronic pain is the most obvious explanation of the reduction in overdose deaths.

 Read More: Newsweek

MMJ Medicinal Marijuana vs Sickle Cell Anemia

The news: San Francisco General Hospital is making strides in developing a marijuana-derived treatment for sickle-cell anemia, a blood disorder that affects over millions worldwide, including 10% of African Americans in the U.S. It causes severe pain throughout the body. The condition is currently treated using opiate painkillers, but researchers believe that CBD, one of the compounds in marijuana, could cure the disease without the dangerous addictive, often lethal qualities of pharmaceutical painkillers.

A safer alternative. Rather than administering cannabis intravenously or through smoke, the study used vaporized cannabis extracts, specifically, oils that are high in CBD. After administering CBD to lab mice with sickle cell anemia, doctors discovered that the mice had far less pain and inflammation, reducing the need for high doses of opiates. That could mean that tens of thousands of human patients will be relieved from their ailments without having to turn to corrosive opiate drugs.

Long road until now. It’s making great headway now, but the study was delayed for over a year by the FDA because they wanted to ensure that CBD vapor wouldn’t be harmful to lab animals like mice and dogs. That seems rather ridiculous considering that the FDA has approved animal testing for countless chemical pharmaceuticals and held up a study because they were worried that a plant derivative would harm lab mice. Protecting lab animals is not part of their testing protocol.

Despite the needless hurdles, the trial is underway. Researchers are making progress on a treatment for sickle cell anemia that doesn’t have the potential to devastate the patient’s life like opiate painkillers do. It’s yet another example of cannabis effectively treating pain and outmoding the widely prescribed pharmaceuticals. For patients, it’s a new era of treatment options, but it poses a challenge to pharmaceutical companies, who are doing what they can to slow it down. But if discoveries like this keep coming up, they’ll have a hard time convincing the public otherwise.

GROW TIP ScrOGing your way to Better Yields

 What is ScrOGing? Actually, the term is ScrOG, which is the shortened form of “Screen of Green”. Still confused? Simply put, to ScrOG is to force the lower growing buds of your marijuana crop to the plants’ canopy by way of light optimization.

A screen is used to force your crop to grow low and dense, forming a canopy of buds at the screen level; thus, the term “Screen of Green”. This practice will yield more usable product for those of you who grow indoors. Sounds good, right? Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Screen the plants

Secure a screen 20” to 25” above your plants. It should be made of sturdy material and have 2” x 2” open squares throughout. The idea is to limit the plant’s height while encouraging the formation of buds.

Step 2: Remove colas

When the cannabis reaches about 10” in height, snip off the colas located at the very top of the plant. This forces the stem to form new branches.

Once the new branches begin to peek through the holes of the screen, carefully manipulate each one into a separate hole away from the main stem. Doing so encourages horizontal growth, making the crop denser. Take some landscape tape and tie the spread-out branches to the screen in order to train them to grow laterally. The result you want to achieve is a dense canopy running along the screen.

Step 3: Prune

Before the plants reach the top of the screen, snip off the small lower branches and any side shoots growing at the bottom. This process allows the marijuana plant to concentrate its growth efforts on the top where the buds will form.

Step 4: Force flowering

Force your marijuana plants from the vegetative stage into the flowering stage by putting them on a lighting schedule. Twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness will push your crop’s energy into producing flowers or buds. Some growers choose to force flowering just before the plants shoot up through the screen. The flowering stage can take any where from eight to eleven weeks, depending on the strain.

Step 5: Secure branches to screen

As the marijuana plants continue to thrive, train all branches to grow horizontally by attaching them to the screen. Again, use landscape tape to secure them. Be very gentle in this process to avoid damaging the flowering tops. Any breakage that may occur can thwart the growth patterns. Make sure the air is well ventilated below the canopy otherwise you risk the formation of mold in your dense crop.

The process of ScrOGing is ideal for indoor grown cannabis crops, especially if your space is limited. HPS lights are best but fluorescent bulbs will also work. The method is simple to implement and can result in a much larger yield of traditionally grown marijuana.

Watch the Video and Read More at: I Love Growing Marijuana

Marijuana and Anxiety

Anxiety and marijuana have a complicated relationship, but different types of cannabis may play a role.


Many people who use marijuana say that it helps relieve anxiety. On the other hand, there are just as many who report feeling more anxious after using marijuana. Although the exact details remain a mystery, a possible explanation may lie in the specific chemical make-up of cannabis.

As most marijuana users are aware, not all cannabis is the same. There are a wide range of strains of cannabis available, and many are believed to have unique effects on their user.

What makes different strains unique from one another is their active chemical ingredients, also known as cannabinoids. Although clinical research is lacking, knowing the differences between strains and how they affect anxiety can be helpful.

The two most common chemicals in cannabis are THC and CBD. Although most strains contain both compounds, levels of THC and CBD tend to vary from strain to strain. Interestingly, research shows that the two chemicals can have opposite effects on anxiety.

THC is responsible for the marijuana high and is also strongly linked to feelings of paranoia, especially when taken in high doses. This is because THC activates an area of the brain responsible for fear — the amygdala.

CBD, on the other hand, is believed to counteract the mind-altering effects of THC. What’s more, studies have shown that when taken on its own CBD can lower anxiety in both healthy and anxiety-prone individuals.

The reason why marijuana is often associated with anxiety may be because most varieties of cannabis are specifically bred to be rich in THC. The way CBD and THC are produced within the plant causes strains with high THC to have less CBD (and vice versa).

High CBD strains have only recently become popular among cannabis consumers, due in part to growing awareness of the compound’s medical effects. As a result, there’s a strong chance that any marijuana you obtain will have more THC than CBD.

Other components in cannabis may also contribute to its effect on anxiety. Besides THC and CBD, cannabis contains over 60 different cannabinoids along with a variety of aromatic compounds known as terpenes.

Certain terpenes in cannabis have been found to possess anti-anxiety properties. Still, most of these chemicals are only present in trace amounts and little is known about their overall impact on marijuana users.

Read More: Leaf Science

The Benefits of CBN Cannabinol

Cannabis is widely used as a sleep-aid for those who suffer from insomnia and cannabinol is the reason why. By all accounts, CBN is the cannabinoid responsible for the sedative effects of cannabis. Because of this, I tend to reserve high-CBN strains for night use.

Another use for cannabinol as an anti-bacterial. According to a Italian study from 2008, cannabinol “showed potent activity against MRSA” when applied as a topical. Topical uses also have shown promise in treating burns and psoriasis.

The research on cannabinol (CBN) is still lacking, but some early studies have suggested it could stimulate bone growth. If that’s the case, it would be helpful in treating osteoporosis. It could also help those with broken bones to recover more quickly.

When searching for the perfect strain, it’s important to know what you’re getting. This is why lab-testing should never be overlooked. Testing facilities like Steep Hill Lab in California give patients a complete cannabinoid profile of their medicine. It’s always a good idea to check a strains profile before making a decision.

Because cannabinol is a production of degradation, it’s not usually found in high concentrations (in a collective). High levels of CBN are usually related to poor storage methods. If cannabis is stored in an airtight container of some sort, it’s unlikely that a lot of THC would convert to CBN.

Luckily, not all is lost if you’re searching your collective for a sleep-aid. The simple solution would be to allow you’re medicine to age a bit. When exposed to the air, the THC will begin to degrade and convert to CBN, a great way to fight insomnia.

More on CBN at: Medical Jane

MMJ vs Leukemia

As we know, a growing number of studies have suggested a link between cannabis and cancer. Anecdotal success stories of people using the plant to treat their ailments are popping up with increased prevalence and cannabis is gaining ground as a viable treatment for cancer.

In November, two Canadian researchers published a case study in the journal Case Reports in Oncology that adds to the scientific literature on cannabis. It suggests that cannabis extracts could help treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the white blood cells that can cause death in a matter of a few weeks if left untreated. With that said, combination therapy is the most common form of treatment.

More than 94 percent of children affected with the disease are still in remission after 5 years. The same can only be said of 30-40 percent of adults.

Still, a 14-year-old patient from Canada suffered from an overly aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and traditional treatments were unsuccessful after 34 months. A standard bone marrow transplant, aggressive chemotherapy, and radiation therapy were revoked and treatment was deemed a failure.

In turn, the family started their child on a cannabis extract regimen. Specifically, they chose to administer whole-plant cannabis extracts orally, much like the method popularized by Rick Simpson (RSO).

Yadvinder Singh is the author of the Canadian case study. According to his observations, cannabis extracts offered an effective treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In fact, he noted that there were “indications of dose-dependent disease control.”

Double-blind experiments with a much larger sample size will be necessary before the entire medical realm is in agreement with Dr. Singh. Still, more case studies are greatly encouraged. If nothing more, they provide documented evidence to the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Thank You: Medical Jane

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