Marijuana Today - Medical Uses and Adverse Effects of Marijuana

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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Arthritis pain: Could CBD help relieve symptoms of the inflammatory joint condition?

Arthritis causes swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Severe forms of the condition can result in chronic pain, affecting everyday activities. Could CBD be the answer to cushion the impact of arthritis?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical naturally found in cannabis plants.
The controversial compound doesn’t cause the “high” usually associated with cannabis (marijuana) – that’s a feeling produced by THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
In 2016, a study looked at how a CBD product affected rats who had arthritis.
For the experiment, researchers applied CBD gel to rats suffering from arthritis on four consecutive days.
Some rats were administered 0.6mg of CBD gel per day, while others received 3.1mg of CBD gel or 6.2mg of CBD gel each day.
Findings reveal that 6.2mg of CBD gel was a high enough dose to reduce the rats’ pain and swelling.
The researchers notes reduced inflammation and overall pain in the rats’ affected joints.
And they discovered that administering a much higher dosage of CBD gel (62.3mg) had similar outcomes to the rats that received 6.2mg of CBD gel.
This highlights how receiving larger dosages doesn’t equate to less pain, but CBD gel does reduce pain overall.
The thought behind these findings is that the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of CBD could potentially help people with arthritis.
Before CBD can be heralded as a pain relief treatment for arthritis, much more research must be done – especially on humans.
Medical website Healthline states topical CBD products don’t enter the bloodstream.
However, it adds certain side effects of CBD are possible. These include:
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in weight
Additionally, CBD may interact with certain over-the-counter drugs, prescribed medications and dietary supplements.
Arthritis Foundation has a list of other natural remedies that could help manage the painful condition.
Acupuncture – a Chinese practice that involves inserting thin, small needles through the skin at specific points – is designed to stimulate the nerves and activate the body’s natural painkillers.
Another practice is Tai Chi. This martial art is well regarded as the gentle flowing movements, deep breathing and meditation has been shown to reduce joint pain.
Yoga has also been shown to decrease joint pain and stiffness, according to the charity.
Drug treatments are popular in treating arthritis pain.
Three common types of drugs used to treat arthritis pain are: painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroids.
These are all used to control the painful symptoms of arthritis and will not cure the underlying cause of the disease.
Side effects are possible from medications and can be discussed with the GP.
All the Credits - Source & Original Story Belongs to Express
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The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a memo answering common questions about the use of CBD products for safety-sensitive workers.
On Tuesday, the DOT shared a notice intended to clear up confusion about the use of CBD products by safety-sensitive employees in the transportation industry, including pilots, train engineers, and truck drivers.
DOT issues warning about use of CBD products


DOT reminds workers that it is never acceptable for safety-sensitive employees who are subject to drug testing regulations to consume marijuana.
Workers are also warned to use caution if they do decide to consume CBD:
“Since the use of CBD products could lead to a positive drug test result, Department of Transportation-regulated safety-sensitive employees should exercise caution when considering whether to use CBD products.”
Quick Survey
The notice outlines three major points about the use of CBD by safety-sensitive workers:
  • The Department of Transportation requires testing for marijuana and not CBD. 
  • The labeling of many CBD products may be misleading because the products could contain higher levels of THC than what the product label states. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently certify the levels of THC in CBD products, so there is no Federal oversight to ensure that the labels are accurate. The FDA has cautioned the public that: “Consumers should beware purchasing and using any [CBD] products.”  The FDA has stated: “It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.”*  Also, the FDA has issued several warning letters to companies because their products contained more CBD than indicated on the product label.
  • The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation, Part 40, does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason. Furthermore, CBD use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed marijuana positive result. Therefore, Medical Review Officers will verify a drug test confirmed at the appropriate cutoffs as positive, even if an employee claims they only used a CBD product. 
All the Credits - Source & Original Story belongs to CDLLIFE
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How much marijuana can you legally drive with in your car in Michigan?

DETROIT – We get a lot of questions about Michigan’s marijuana laws through our 4YI form, where you can ask us anything about Michigan and/or Metro Detroit and we will do our best to return with the answer(s).
For instance, we’ve done our best to answer questions about legally growing marijuana at home -- see that here. Now that marijuana is being sold legally in the state, we’re seeing a lot of questions about how much you can buy at once and how much you are allowed to drive around with in your car.
Question:
"If I’m on the way home from buying (marijuana), how much can I legally have in my trunk? I often buy from several favorite shops in Ann Arbor and am curious!” -- Anonymous
Answer:
The answer is no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana. If you are at least 21 years old in Michigan, you are allowed to have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana (not more than 15 grams of marijuana may be in the form of a marijuana concentrate, such as edibles) in your vehicle. It doesn’t matter if it’s in your trunk or not, although you probably want to keep it somewhere concealed. The trunk is not a bad idea.
As for what police might be looking for if they pull you over, this is straight from Michigan State Police:
  • Drivers cannot operate, navigate, or be in physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road recreational vehicle, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana.
  • Drivers cannot consume marijuana while operating, navigating, or being in physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road recreational vehicle, or motorboat. Drivers and/or their passengers are prohibited from smoking marijuana within the passenger area of a vehicle upon a public way.
  • Drivers and passengers cannot transport marijuana into Canada (against federal law).
  • Police officers will be looking for impairment based on driving, personal observations of the driver, and how a driver performs on standardized and/or nonstandardized field sobriety tests. Based on these three stages of an investigation, a police officer may request a chemical test. If a driver refuses to submit to a chemical test, his/her license will be suspended pursuant to Michigan’s implied consent law. Under this law, all drivers are considered to have given consent to the test when they apply for and renew their driver’s license.
  • Quick Survey
  • The penalties for operating under the influence of marijuana are the same as operating under the influence of alcohol. These penalties can include up to 93 days in jail, up to a $500 fine, license suspension, six points on a person’s driving record, and more. There are heightened penalties if a driver has minors in the vehicle.

Businesses can’t sell you more than 2.5 ounces at one time

If you’re buying marijuana from a licensed shop, you should know Michigan law actually prohibits that shop from selling you more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a single transaction.
“A marijuana retailer is prohibited from making a sale or transferring marijuana to an adult 21 years of age or older in a single transaction that exceeds 2.5 ounces, except that not more than 15 grams of marijuana may be in the form of marijuana concentrate,” reads the law.
All the Credits - Source & Original Story Belongs to ClickOnDetroit

Monday, February 17, 2020

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Something Amazing Was Discovered Hiding Inside Marijuana

You might think that by now marijuana would have been completely analyzed for any possible psychoactive ingredients. To date, almost 150 cannabinoids have been identified in the marijuana plant.
We do not know what all of them actually do in the body, but that has not concerned scientists because the levels of these other molecules are so low. The assumption was that the other cannabinoids were precursors to the two most interesting molecules, CBD and THC. The pharmacological dogma that has been written into the textbooks for decades is that THC produces euphoria.
In recent years, agricultural genetics research has made great progress in breeding plants that produce high amounts of CBD or THC. The assumption has been that these are the only two interesting molecules worth enhancing. Thus, today we have strains of cannabis that produce very high levels of both or either of these molecules.
Recently, two new exciting molecules have been discovered in a marijuana plant. They are variations on the familiar CBD and THC molecules; they have been named cannabidiphorol (CBDP) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP).  THCP appears to be thirty times more effective than THC at stimulating the brain’s type one cannabinoid receptor, CB1. This receptor is responsible for producing the euphoria, or the high, associated with marijuana. This means that THCP is thirty times more potent than THC. Therefore, although the level of THCP in the marijuana is quite low, its ability to stimulate CB1 receptors and produce euphoria is quite powerful.
THCP was discovered in one particular variety of marijuana, the Italian FM2 variety. The authors of the study suggested that it is reasonable to predict that other cannabis varieties may contain even higher levels of THCP. Variations in the level of THCP in different marijuana variants might explain why people report such varying levels of psychotropic effects with different plants. The authors of this study expressed excitement that their discovery of such an extremely potent THC-like cannabinoid may shed light on several pharmacological effects not ascribable solely to THC. This makes sense given that the overall experience of marijuana is due to the aggregate effects of all of the molecules in the plant.
Future studies will likely investigate health benefits in THCP and CBDP. The discovery of these new compounds in a medicinally important plant will lead to the development of plant variants that produce higher levels of THCP and CBDP. Once that occurs, we will all discover the benefits and risks of these novel molecules that have been hiding inside marijuana. 
© Gary L. Wenk, Ph.D. Author of Your Brain on Food, 3rd Edition, 2019 (Oxford University Press)
All the Credits - Source & Original Story Belongs to Psychology Today
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The Single Most Important Marijuana-Use Statistic


Putting aside the growing pains that the marijuana industry has encountered over the past year, it's still expected to be one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet over the next decade. Though estimates are all over the board, Wall Street is looking for annual weed sales to catapult from $10.9 billion in 2018 to between $50 billion and $200 billion worldwide on an annual basis by 2030. This is why North American pot companies have aggressively expanded their capacity, and why investors piled into marijuana stocks over the years.
However, not all growth in the marijuana space is necessarily the same. Statistics show that there are certain demographics that cannabis companies are going to want to pay especially close attention to. In fact, there's one marijuana-use statistic that stands head and shoulders above the rest.

The one cannabis-use statistic you need to know

In July 2019, Gallup released its latest breakdown regarding what percentage of Americans smoke marijuana. Considering that a record-tying 66% of Americans want to see marijuana legalized, and the U.S. is projected to be the largest cannabis market in the world by annual sales, the data contained within this national survey is invaluable to weed-based companies. 

The Single Most Important Marijuana-Use Statistic


Though the confidential national usage rate has remained fairly steady between 2015 and 2019 (it was 12% in 2019), it was the age breakdown of the usage statistics that cannabis CEOs are really eyeing. When broken down by age, the 2019 marijuana-use rate in the U.S. was as follows:
  • Age 18 to 29: 22%
  • Age 30 to 49: 11%
  • Age 50 to 64: 12%
  • Age 65+: 3%
On one hand, there's no surprise here that older Americans are less likely to be regular cannabis users. Seniors have historically had a more adverse view of cannabis than younger adults, so this data provides even more evidence to this fact.
But what really stands out is just how many younger adults regularly use marijuana. Based on this survey, young adults are pretty much twice as likely as millennials, Gen X, and late-born boomers to use cannabis products. Not only does this mean that younger adults are the future and would-be focus on the marijuana industry, but it's important to note that young adults are also considerably more likely to use higher-margin derivatives, such as edibles, vapes, and infused beverages, than older adults. This makes younger consumers an important cog to the future profitability of cannabis stocks.

Investors will want to know these three derivative-focused marijuana stocks

While there's no doubt that every single marijuana stock throughout North America will be focused on producing a number of high-margin derivatives targeted at this burgeoning younger base of consumers, there's a trio of names you'll want to follow especially closely when it comes to derivative production.
In my view, it's basically a no-brainer to consider extraction-services companies, such as MediPharm Labs (OTC:MEDIF)The Valens Company (OTC:VLNCF), or Neptune Wellness Solutions (NASDAQ:NEPT). These are companies that take cannabis and hemp biomass and process it to yield the resins, distillates, concentrates, and targeted cannabinoids used in the production of high-margin derivatives. Not to mention, extraction-service companies may also offer white-label service and production, thereby reaching the consumer on a more direct basis.
MediPharm Labs and Valens are both solely focused on the Canadian market, which has shown similar marijuana-use rates among younger adults. MediPharm should ultimately have 500,000 kilos of peak annual processing capacity, with Valens aiming for 1 million kilos per year on a run-rate basis. The thing is, both companies began processing hemp and cannabis biomass a little over a year ago, but they're already generating no-nonsense profits on a quarterly basis, without the aid of one-time benefits.
If you want a more U.S.-focused processor, then Neptune Wellness Solutions would be the better choice. Through its acquisition of SugarLeaf in 2019, Neptune boosted its peak annual run-rate processing capacity from 200,000 kilos (in Canada) to about 1.5 million kilos. SugarLeaf's 24,000-square-foot facility in North Carolina should be a long-term boon for Neptune. 
While growers do provide a more direct investment opportunity in the cannabis space, extraction companies are at the heart of the derivative movement -- a movement that speaks loudest to young adults.

Yes, there are short-term risks associated with derivative pot products

On one hand, there's little doubt that derivatives are going to represent a major growth driver for North American cannabis companies over the long run, and that young consumers are the future of the cannabis industry. But this doesn't mean that there aren't risks in the short term.
In Canada, supply issues have, and will continue to be, a persistent problem. Since traditional cannabis flower sales commenced in our neighbor to the north on Oct. 17, 2018, supply shortages and/or bottlenecks have been ongoing. These supply problems have been especially notable in Ontario, the country's most-populous province. Having initially operated with a retail license lottery system, Ontario only opened 24 dispensaries by Oct. 17, 2019, the one-year anniversary of recreational weed sales. That's approximately one store per 604,000 people, which is far too few for a province of its size. Even with changes in place, it'll be a while before there are sufficient retail channels in place throughout Ontario (and Canada) to reach consumers.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., high tax rates in select recreationally legal states have made it virtually impossible for legal producers to compete with black-market products. For example, California, the largest marijuana market in the world by annual sales, saw its cannabis revenue decline by $500 million in 2018, the year that adult-use weed sales commenced. Since derivatives sport even higher price points than traditional dried flower, the gap in pricing with black-market products is even more pronounced.
While there are resolutions to the issues the North American cannabis industry is contending with, it's going to take time for these fixes to take shape. That means patience is needed by investors as marijuana companies work through these early stage growing pains.
All the Credits - Source & Original Story Belongs to FOOL

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DOES SMOKING MARIJUANA VS VAPING THC OIL MAKE A DIFFERENCE? EXPERTS WEIGH INDOES SMOKING MARIJUANA VS VAPING THC OIL MAKE A DIFFERENCE? EXPERTS WEIGH IN



Whether you prefer to smoke weed or vape THC oil to get your high, what is undeniable is that each method produces different effects — and not all of them good. But in the battle of smoking vs vaping, experts suggest there may be a third, potentially better way to consume marijuana.

In the United States, marijuana is the second-most commonly used psychotropic drug. Over 122 million people in the US have tried weed at some point in their lives. About half of all 30 to 50-year-olds use it regularly, according to 2017 statistics. The same is true for teens, too. Smoking pot is legal for recreational use in 11 states, and several others are looking to make it legal in the next year.

Cannabis has to be heated for the cannabinoids in the plant to have a psychoactive effect — a process called decarboxylation. But other than that, how it is consumed is up to the user: You can smoke it, you can vape it, dab it, eat it, or even pop it in a pill.

Quick Survey

The majority of users either smoke weed or vape THC oil. Smoking involves burning the dried plant, while vaping THC oil involves vaporizing an extract from the plant and inhaling the vapor. Both these methods offer good absorption and fast — but not long-lasting — effects.

Until recently, smoking was the preferred method of consumption overall, but vaping THC oil is on the rise, especially among teens, according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse for Teens. The number of 12th graders vaping THC nearly doubled between 2018 and 2019, according to the data.

Each method has its champions, but is one better than the other for both your brain and your body?


Inverse spoke to two scientists about the different effects of smoking weed versus vaping THC oil on your health, and asked: Which method gets you more high?


SMOKING MARIJUANA'S TOLL ON HEALTH


When smoking a joint, the joint releases carcinogenic chemicals — compounds that cause cancer — as it burns. The human lung is not equipped to breathe in the byproducts of combustion. As a result, smoking marijuana can lead to respiratory inflammation (symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, altered pulmonary function tests, cough, phlegm production, and more).

This irritation is similar to the effects of smoking cigarettes, but the science is inconclusive as to whether smoking marijuana is linked to the myriad long-term health problems that smoking cigarettes is. A 2015 review found little evidence that smoking weed is linked to increase risk of lung cancer — one of the top long-term consequences of cigarette use. But it did not take heavy consumption into account — meaning the question remains open.

There is some evidence that smoking marijuana every day over a long period of time could put men at higher risk of testicular cancer, however. A December 2019 study found that a daily habit over ten years was linked to a 36 percent increase in the odds of developing testicular germ cell tumors, which are involved in 95 percent of all testicular cancer cases.

VAPING THC OIL AND HEALTH


Vaping THC oil offers an alternative to combustion, avoiding the side-effects tied to burning. But a 2015 paper suggests that the potential differences between smoking and vaping weed may not be as great as those between vaping and smoking tobacco.

But while we do not fully understand the risks of vaping THC oil, that DOES NOT mean that vaping THC oil is not risky at all. In the past two years, the US has witnessed an outbreak in lung problems linked to vaping products. As of February 2020, there were a total of 2,758 recorded cases of what is now commonly called "popcorn lung," and a total of 64 deaths as a result of vaping-related illness.


“I DON'T DON'T MEAN TO SOUND PARANOID... BUT WE DON'T HAVE THE DATA."


In December 2019, US officials concluded that a chemical additive called vitamin E acetate, often used in THC oil for vapes, is likely responsible for these illness.

That, say the experts, is no surprise.

“With e-liquids there is more opportunity to adulterate the product,” Tory Spindle, a post-doctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins Medicine tells Inverse.

“That was why a lot of this acute illness was happening. Whenever you introduce more constituents, you are inhaling more things, and that is generally not going to be a good thing.”

The lack of government regulation and oversight into what goes into e-liquids and THC-oil concentrates means it is hard to draw conclusions on their long-term effects on health. The fact that the market for vaping moves much quicker than the research on it “is not ideal,” Spindle says.

“We don't have long term data. It is probably better than lighting something on fire and inhaling the smoke,” Mitch Earleywine, professor at the University of Albany, tells Inverse.

But there is a catch:

“Nobody has two year follow-up data on any of that," he says.

"It is distinctly possible that come 2022, we are going to find out, oh shit, this glycerin was not a good idea," he says. "I don't mean to sound paranoid... but we don't have the data.”


DOES SMOKING OR VAPING GIVE A STRONGER HIGH?



On this question, vaping THC oil is the likely winner, the experts say.

“The oils, so those butane hash oils and the dabbing, because they are such a high concentration of THC, of course it's bound to get more into your blood faster,” Earleywine says.

“But we're talking about, you know, 15 seconds versus 30 seconds.”

There is also a clear distinction between purchasing a 90 percent concentration THC oil instead of a 23 percent concentration THC plant. Depending on which you consume regularly, it may affect how consumers build their tolerance.

“You are going to get a whole lot of THC into your bloodstream really quickly," with vapes, he says. "The impact will be really dramatic, but it looks like you probably would develop tolerance more rapidly too.”

A synthetic high could also change the psychological side effects of marijuana.

“The natural flower is much less likely to create [paranoia] because it has those other cannabinoids," Earleywine says.

Vape oils, meanwhile, are "literally synthetic versions or extracts that no longer have other cannabinoids in there that might be keeping some of the more aversive parts dampened," he says.


IS IT BETTER TO SMOKE OR VAPE THC? THE ANSWER IS NEITHER


The experts agree on one thing: Smoking or vaping THC oil are neither as good as VAPORIZING THE PLANT.

Vaporizing weed is different to vaping with a pen — you instead burn the cannabis plant in a vaporizer, releasing the chemicals from the plant into air, and then inhale it. By doing so, you bypass the burning effect of joints, and you bypass the other, potentially harmful chemicals that are often packed into vape cartridges.

Earleywine tested the health implications of vaporizing weed in a 2015 study, and found that smokers with respiratory irritation had better lung function after switching to a vaporizer.

“We had folks improve their lung volume and how quickly they can force air out of their lungs in just a month — that I was really gung-ho about.” he says.

Vaporizing, Earleywine thinks, is "probably the healthiest way to get quick consumption of cannabinoids."

"I wish folks would use the vaporizer rather than the vape pens.”

The same goes for the high — vaporizing the bud may have a stronger psychotropic effect, Spindle says.

In 2018, Spindle conducted a small study comparing the subjective drug effects of smoking or vaporizing weed, finding that THC's effects were stronger when vaporizing.

Vaporizing had a stronger impact than smoking on participants' cognitive functions. They also reported feeling higher and had more difficulty performing routine tasks. This was especially true for people new to marijuana, which may also increase their levels of anxiety or paranoia.

So what is better? Vaping, smoking, or vaporizing the bud?


“Depends on what your end goal is,” Spindle says. But what little evidence there is points to vaporizing the bud as a worthwhile alternative, Earleywine says.

As the social and legal landscape around marijuana shifts, the future of marijuana consumption is hard to make out. Edibles may also be a good potential substitute to combustion and e-liquids, but their delayed effects and difficulties in dosage is making them still quite hard to harness.

“My hope would be that the portable vaporizers, the machines that actually do use the whole plant and heat it up but don't light it on fire… I feel like that is the way we should go,” Earleywine says.

“If socially it could become more acceptable and kind of hip to have a vaporizer we would be much better off from a public health perspective," he says.


All the Credits - Source & Original Story Belongs to Inverse
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1,400 marijuana plants inside a building in Northern California

A man was arrested in West Point, California after authorities discovered 440 pounds of illegal marijuana inside a building, the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office said.
More than 1,400 marijuana plants were seized Thursday when deputies served a search warrant and found that a large shop building adjacent to a home had been turned into a grow house, the sheriff's office said.

 1,400 marijuana plants inside a building in Northern California

Zhong Li, 36, was arrested there and is now facing illegal marijuana cultivation and other drug charges. He's been held at the Calaveras County Jail on a $100,000 bail. It's unclear whether Li has retained an attorney.

The building had "dangerous electrical modifications" and was unsafe to occupy, the sheriff's office said, citing the county's code compliance office.
All the Credits - Source & Original Story Belongs to Edition CNN