Staci Gruber Ph. D. and Director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) explained in a report released by McLean Hospital,
Staci Gruber Ph. D. and Director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) explained in a report released by McLean Hospital,
On March 7, 2016, an amendment was put forth by Senator Greg Evers to add PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis in Florida. Of the 40 Florida State Senators, 36 of them voted. One of the Senator’s had been “excused” for the day due to a family issue, the Senate President, Andy Gardiner and two other Senator’s declined to vote. The result was an 18/18 split decision, a majority would have been needed for the amendment to pass. Sadly, PTSD was not added as a qualifying condition in Florida.
I contend that over half of our Senators failed not only civilian sufferers of PTSD, but our Veteran brothers and Sisters on that day. They had an opportunity to provide real assistance and they refused to do so.
Cannabis is an effective treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, this is not opinion, there is Scientific data to back this claim. There is also a plethora of “anecdotal” evidence supporting my assertion. Anecdotal evidence, to me, is just a fancy way of saying that something actually works in living, breathing, humans.
You see, when someone suffers from catastrophic symptoms such as: a heightened level of alert; when they re-experience their trauma through nightmares and flashbacks; when they are “triggered” by certain images, sounds, or smells; when they live their lives avoiding certain people, places or things out of fear; when they can’t relax; when they can’t sleep and they tell me something helps them, I believe them.
When enough people tell me that cannabis helps them “handle” these symptoms better and allows them to carry on with the activities of daily living that those who are not afflicted with this condition take for granted, I believe them. Not only do I believe them, I want to help them gain safe and legal access.
How I wish that our lawmakers in Florida could step outside of themselves and extend this same courtesy to the Floridians around them who are suffering, many of us in Silence.
You see, if they did, perhaps Drew Winkler, the 26 year old Iraqi War Veteran from Crestview Florida would still be alive today. Sadly, he’s not. Drew took his own life on Memorial day, June 2nd, 2016.
Drew became another “statistic”, one of the 22 Veterans daily, who complete suicide. Another sufferer of PTSD, another casualty of the “War on Drugs”. Are we really going to continue to send these men and women into harms way only to deny them access to a plant that they are telling us helps them cope more effectively when they return?
Are we going to accept our politicians “playing Doctor” as they decide who should receive cannabis as a treatment and who should not? Are we going to accept politicians statements before Committee meetings up at the Florida State Capital such as: “Well, I have a hard time refuting that PTSD is very frequently over diagnosed” in our Veterans, as Representative Matt Gaetz so callously commented in his address to his fellow lawmakers. Is he even qualified to “refute” such claims, I mean he’s not a Mental Health Professional, or even a Medical Doctor. How would he know about Mental Health conditions being overly diagnosed? Because the Speaker of the House told him so? This was the response I received from him when I asked him where he got his information from.
I did not know Drew but I still grieve his death, maybe more so than other “strangers”, because I failed too. I failed to convince 21 Senators in the State of Florida that cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for PTSD. I failed to convince them to vote “yes” and now a man is dead. Do I blame myself for Drew’s death, no, not really. I understand that I can’t be held accountable for someone else’s decision, but I do acknowledge my failure. I will carry it forward with me in my quest to reform antiquated, archaic, oppressive and destructive laws.
I can’t help but wonder, when will enough finally be enough? When will we decide, collectively that #Twenty22Many is unacceptable? When will we finally be ready to #StopTheHarm?
“He had sent text messages to his family, assuring them he loved them. At 5:06 a.m., he made one last post to his Facebook page.
“1 of 22 per day … (why) can’t they just help us … goodbye”
The number 22 refers to the number of veterans who reportedly commit suicide every day.”
If you were to take a guess as to what is it the fastest-growing demographic of U.S. pot users, you might say millennials, but you would be wrong. It is, to the surprise of many people, senior citizens.
Between 2013 and 2014, the number Americans over 55 who use marijuana has risen from 2.8 million to 4.3 million, according to a report by CBS news.
Among the 55 and older segment of the population, cannabis consumption is up 53 percent. This is most likely due to people seeking an alternative to prescription drugs that is safer and with fewer side effects.
Although seniors make up only 14 percent of the U.S. population, they use over 30 percent of the nation’s prescription drugs.
It’s ironic that while seniors could really benefit from cannabis use, they remain largely a demographic that is the most opposed to the reform of cannabis laws. It is very possible that because so many seniors vote, they have the power to end marijuana prohibition.
Read more here: blog.sfgate.com
In a letter to senators, the Drug Enforcement Administration stated that it plans to decide whether marijuana should be reclassified under federal law in “the first half of 2016.”
In response to a letter from the DEA, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and seven other Democratic senators urged the federal government to facilitate research into marijuana’s medical benefits. However, the Senator’s letter doesn’t indicate whether it will reclassify marijuana as less dangerous.
In the U.S. there are five categories, or schedules, that classify illegal drugs or chemicals that can be used to make them. Schedule I is reserved for drugs the DEA considers to have the highest potential for abuse and no “current accepted medical use.” For decades, marijuana has been classified as Schedule I, along with heroin and LSD. Rescheduling marijuana wouldn’t make it legal, but it might ease restrictions on research and reduce penalties for marijuana offenses.
“DEA understands the widespread interest in the prompt resolution to these petitions and hopes to release its determination in the first half of 2016,” the DEA said in the 25-page letter.
The letter describes in great detail the marijuana supply available at the University of Mississippi, the federal government’s only sanctioned marijuana garden.
According to the letter, the Food and Drug Administration has completed a review of the medical evidence surrounding the safety and effectiveness of marijuana and has forwarded its rescheduling recommendation to the DEA. The letter didn’t state what the FDA recommended.
If demand for research into marijuana’s medical potential were to increase beyond the University of Mississippi’s supply, the DEA said it may consider registering additional growers.
Previously, the DEA has been asked to reconsider marijuana’s classification. In 2001 and 2006, the DEA considered petitions, but it decided to keep marijuana a Schedule I substance.
The DEA’s response is signed by several senators. All but one are cosponsors of a bill introduced in 2015 that is deigned to sharply reduce the federal government’s ability to crack down on state-legal medical marijuana programs while at the same time is encouraging more research into the substance.
Tom Angell, founder of Marijuana Majority, a marijuana reform group, said there was “absolutely no reason marijuana should remain in Schedule I.”
“Almost half the states in the country have medical cannabis laws and major groups like the American Nurses Association and the American College of Physicians are on board,” Angell said in a statement. He also stated that the Obama administration should use its authority to make the change “before this president leaves office.”
To learn more, check out this article at huffingtonpost.com.
It’s not uncommon for people to use marijuana before bedtime, whether it be out of habit or for medical reasons.
There is much research on marijuana and sleep. There are many strains which will provide an insomniac or anyone else, a good night’s sleep.
In addition to relieving insomnia, marijuana seems to be beneficial for sleep in other ways. The reason may be because the chemicals in marijuana, known as cannabinoids, actually mimic the activity of chemicals found naturally in the brain.
The endocannabinoid system, is made up of these chemicals and their biological pathways, which are responsible for regulating sleep, along with other things.
Here are 5 important ways marijuana can benefit sleep:
A small study published in 1973, showed that THC (tetrahydrocannabidiol) reduced the time it took for 9 subjects with insomnia to fall asleep by over an hour on average. However, it was also noted that too high of a dose could have the opposite effect.
In another study in 2013, THC was found to ease falling asleep in healthy subjects.
2. Longer Length of Time sleeping
Some studies have also revealed that taking either THC or CBD (cannabidiol) before bed could cause an increase in overall length of time sleeping.
However, it was noted that higher doses of THC could cause a “hang over” feeling in some subjects when they woke up.
3. Deeper Sleep
Another way that cannabis effects sleep involves its impact on the sleep cycle. Some studies have shown that THC can increase the amount of slow-wave sleep, also known as deep sleep, that a user experiences during his or her time asleep.
This is important, since deep sleep is thought to play a major role in the body’s restoration process that happens during sleep.
Also, many experts believe that the most damaging effects of sleep deprivation result from a lack of slow-wave sleep.
4. Shorter REM Sleep
Reduction in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is another way marijuana affects the sleep cycle. Many people who smoke or consume cannabis before bed report a lack of dreaming, which only occurs during REM sleep.
Some researchers might view less REM sleep as a negative effect of marijuana use, though they are still not sure what purpose REM sleep actually serves.
There is something known as the “REM rebound effect” that occurs in people who quit after using marijuana on a frequent basis. These people often report an increase in dreaming and restlessness during sleep, though this effect tends to wear off within days or weeks, depending on the person.
5. Improved Breathing
Approximately 25% of men and 9% of women suffer from a disorder called sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is characterized by disrupted breathing during sleep, and has been linked to a number of serious conditions, including but not limited to diabetes and heart problems. A large portion of sleep apnea sufferers remain undiagnosed and untreated.
Those who seek treatment are typically given a CPAP mask, which must be worn every night. Many of those often give up on wearing this device.
Researchers are currently testing THC as an alternative mode of treatment and some of the results look promising. For many, consuming cannabis, whether it be via smoking or the edible route, would be much more pleasant than wearing a bulky device.
Source: The Health Cure
Has anyone ever told you that you shouldn’t drink and smoke weed at the same time? That may not be the best advice. Ignore it and you might protect your liver.
A recent study conducted at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana acts as a safeguard from alcohol. It actually blocks the development of fat around the liver that can build up from binge drinking. This layer of fat very often leads to conditions like cirrhosis.
The study was conducted using mice which were given CBD before being injected with ethanol. The results showed significant evidence that the compound acted as a shield that protected the liver from what is called alcohol-generated oxidative stress-induced steatosis, which is a fatty liver cause by too much alcohol.
So, it might pay off to smoke or eat an edible prior to a night out on the town. Or better yet, just to drink in moderation or not at all.
To learn more, check out this story at gq.com.
Good news if you like marijuana and mangoes!
Consuming mangoes has been shown to maximize the high people get from marijauna as well as its duration. This delicious fruit can add a tasty and tropical spin to your cannabis experience. But how is it that mangoes provide a boost to the already pleasant high that marijuana provides? There is definitely science behind it.
Mangoes contain a natural organic compound or terpene, known as myrcene. In marijuana, terpenes are found in the same glands of the plant as THC and CBD.
There are two ways that these organic compounds help the body process THC: by increasing the potency and allowing for a quicker, longer high. By adding to the myrcene terpenes already present in the bud, mangoes can enrich the high of weaker strains and complement the high of stronger ones.
Once you eat a mango, the fruit’s terpenes enter your bloodstream. When you smoke marijuana, the THC consumed interacts with these terpenes in a way that increases the level of your high. More research is needed, but many people will attest that mangoes do indeed increase and prolong the high that they get. The terpenes from the THC seem to attach to the myrcene terpenes that are already in your bloodstream, increasing their duration and affect on the brain.
Eating mangoes and consuming marijuana together can also give you a high more quickly. Just one more reason to enjoy this delicious fruit as a compliment to cannabis.
To learn more, check out this story at merryjane.com.
Marijuana has become legal throughout 23 states, and the number of deaths connected with marijuana overdoses is significant: 0.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the rate of absolutely zero deaths from a marijuana overdose has remained constant according to figures released last month.
Though Americans aren’t dying as a result of marijuana overdoses, the same can’t be said for a range of other substances, both legal and illegal.
In 2015, according to the CDC, over 17,000 people in the United States died from overdosing on drugs like heroin and cocaine. Over 26,000 people died from overdosing on prescription drugs, including prescription painkillers and tranquilizers.
The CDC’s findings show that opioid overdose levels rose so sharply in 2014, approximately 14% from the previous year, that it described the levels as “epidemic.”
Sadly, Alcohol, an even more accessible substance, is killing Americans at a rate not seen in over three decades. According to a Washington Post analysis of federal data, the more than 30,700 Americans who died from alcohol-induced causes last year doesn’t include alcohol-related deaths like drunk driving or accidents. If these statistics were included, the death toll would be more than two and a half times higher.
According to a widely cited 2006 report in American Scientist, “Alcohol is more lethal than many other commonly abused substances.” The report also notes:
“Drinking a mere 10 times the normal amount of alcohol within 5 or 10 minutes can prove fatal, whereas smoking or eating marijuana might require something like 1,000 times the usual dose to cause death. “
Although marijuana, like many substances, has the potential to be abused and lead to dangerous behaviors like drugged driving, there is not a single fatal overdose on record. Ingesting too much could lead to a bad experience, though still not as detrimental or even nearly as damaging as overdosing on alcohol or other drugs.
American attitudes toward marijuana for both therapeutic and recreational uses are changing. But legalization is still vigorously opposed by groups like the pharmaceutical industry, which stands to lose big if people seek out medical marijuana for treatment. Police unions also oppose marijuana, since they would lose federal funding for the war on drugs.
All humans possess a built-in endocannabinoid system which acts as a homeostatic (the tendency of the body to seek and maintain a condition of balance or equilibrium) regulator. Cannabis acts on and affects this system. Research suggests that certain cannabinoids found in marijuana, like THC and CBD, may have significant mood-stabilizing properties. This could be potentially beneficial for patients with bipolar disorder.
Studies have shown that THC, under certain conditions, can have anti-anxiety as well as antidepressant effects, resulting in improvements in mood and overall well-being in normal subjects as well as in patients suffering from pain, multiple sclerosis or cancer. CBD seems to counter the psychoactive effects produced by high doses of THC and may also possess anti-anxiety, hypnotic and anticonvulsant properties.
Researchers have also identified a link between marijuana use and cognitive improvements in patients with schizophrenia. This might explain evidence of similar improvements in subjects with bipolar disorder.
A number of recent studies have set out to determine the effects of marijuana use on patients with bipolar disorder and have provided some interesting results.
Researchers at the University of Oslo in Norway published the results of a study conducted on 133 bipolar patients. What they found was that patients who used cannabis regularly actually performed better than non-users on tests of verbal fluency and learning, although improvements in learning were not statistically significant.
In another study, researchers at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in New York found that regular marijuana use was linked to higher levels of attention, processing speed and memory among the 200 bipolar patients that the researchers followed over a nine year span.
This could be potentially good news for the many patients taking prescribed pharmaceutical medication for bipolar disorder who would prefer something natural. This could one day, hopefully in the not too distant future, be a reality for them.
To learn more, check out this story at curebank.info.
States that Legalize Cannabis see a big reduction in price. States where recreational marijuana use is legal also have cheaper prices. the price of an ounce ranges so widely from that someone who smokes an ounce a month can move from Tampa to Portland, Ore., and save enough money for a year’s worth of Xbox online to enhance the experience.
In four states where pot has been legalized or decriminalized–Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska–the price of an ounce has fallen below $300, compared with the nationwide average of $324, according to TreePrice.com, a site where users can anonymously submit the cost of weed in their area purchased either from the black market or legally through a dispensary.
In Washington D.C., where marijuana became legal for recreational use in March but where commercial sale is still illegal, the price of an ounce of weed still costs $346.
It’s pretty obvious that legalization is squeezing out the black market, which is bad news for drug cartels and good news for law-enforcement who want to focus on violent crimes.