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Study Shows Cannabis Impairs Memory

Study Shows Cannabis Impairs Memory

A joint study recently released by two Universities recently provides new insight into how cannabis impairs memory. They discovered that habitual use of cannabis impairs memory in lab rats. The scientists dosed rats with the descriptively named WIN 55,212‐2 cannabinoid and they began struggling to identify and remember objects.
Universidade de Lisboa in Portugal and the University of Lancaster in the United Kingdom conducted the study. They looked into the long-term effects of cannabis consumption for new insights into reducing the side effects of cannabis. After analyzing the data, they recently published their results in the Journal of Neurochemistry.
The peer reviewed paper is part of a new wave of research looking into the effects of cannabis. It is part of a larger initiative to uncover the mysteries hidden in cannabinoids and our own bodies. The authors of this study also conducted another that shed light on how cannabis impairs the ability to recall memories.Readers interested in more information can check out their current white paper at onlinelibrary.wiley.com or their previous research at squ.pure.elsevier.com.

Habitual Use May Pose Risk

The study found that rats dosed with WIN 55,212‐2 didn’t recognize objects they had previously seen. But the drug didn’t affect their motor functions or anxiety level. Brain tissue tests also showed structural changes in brain regions important to memory and cognition.
This means that heavy or habitual use can have long-lasting impact on users. Most people understand that cannabis impairs memory. But this is one of the first times that scientists have proven the link between cannabinoids and memory.
The discovery adds to what we know about cannabis interacts with the functional mechanisms in the brain. It also sheds new light on the importance of the serotonin system in processing cannabinoids. This is one more step forward for patients suffering from a variety of diseases that affect memory.

Cannabis isn’t perfect

Despite the claims of hippies and spiritualists, cannabis can provide negative side effects. Not everyone wants to be blazed while using cannabinoids. Many patients prefer CBD instead of THC because it doesn’t produce a noticeable “high”. Finding a way to counteract the high could allow high THC consumption without the normal negatives.
One of the most iconic side effects of cannabis is how it impairs memory. Yet the mechanics of how this happens are complex and difficult to study outside the lab. With so many countries changing their stance of cannabis, researchers are finally able to see what all the fuss is about. The complex nature of cannabinoids means that single cannabinoids interact with a variety of brain systems simultaneously.
The study author Ana Sebastião cited the growing cannabis market and therapeutic use of cannabis as a main consideration as reported by Medical News Today. The author claims we should consider the downsides of therapeutic cannabis use and try to find ways to address them. After all, only understanding the nature of the risks of cannabis use will allow us to take action to avoid or prevent them.

The information in this article is designed to provide helpful information. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition. These are opinion pieces based on trusted sources.

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Study Finds Cannabis Effective for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia study sheds new light

A new study coming out of the University of New Mexico shows potential of cannabis to treat an especially difficult mental disorder. This is welcome news for sufferers of schizophrenia since there is little good news about the disease in the press. As one of the most complex neurological disorders known, there is precious little known about it.
Despite the poor understanding most people have of schizophrenia, teams across the world work to discover the mechanisms of the disease and try to find new treatments. The journal Medicines published a report recently on new research performed by two departments of the University of New Mexico. Jegason P. Diviant and Jacob M. Vigil lead the study testing the effectiveness of phytocannabinoids in treating schizophrenia.
The Department of Psychology and Department of Economics collaborated for the study and published their findings together last week. They looked at how neurotransmitters in the brain work in the presence of cannabis. Diviant and Vigil used a systemic approach instead of a targeted one and observed significant changes.

This is big news

For decades, doctors and patients alike believed that consuming cannabis reduced control over episodes. But it seems that at least some cannabinoids reduce neuroinflammation, a prime component of schizophrenic delusions. Cannabis also eased several other key components of the disease with no added health risks.
The big news is that the groups findings indicate that cannabinoids may provide effective control and relief from schizophrenic episodes. They even found evidence that it works when used in conjunction with certain standard treatments. But the researchers stopped short of declaring it an outright cure for schizophrenia.
The medical establishment is still coming to terms with the reintroduction of cannabis. Progress is slow but research like this is moving forward, offering the promise of new hope to suffering people. But these results contribute to a growing library of diseases that are treatable with cannabis.

More research is needed

According to the study authors, schizophrenia affects about 0.5% of the population and most sufferers are on chemical medications. But the complex nature of schizophrenia means that researchers and medical doctors have to look at the environmental, autoimmune, and neuroinflammatory causes simultaneously. When they do, cannabis proves to be an effective method of treatment by interacting with the endocannabinoid system.
Similar to a master network of chemical signals, the endocannabinoid system promotes mental and physical homeostasis. By infusing our bodies with specific cannabinoids (in this case phytocannabinoids) we can bolster our natural abilities and promote balance. As more research becomes public, it highlights the overall impact of the endocannabinoid system on an individuals health.
There is significantly more to learn about schizophrenia and how cannabis helps treat it. But we can all appreciate what this means for the medical world. For patients suffering from the various forms of schizophrenia, this is wonderful news. There may be a cannabis based treatment developed and released in the near future.

The information provided in this article is designed to provide helpful information. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition. These are opinion pieces based on trusted sources.

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Israeli Study Shows Cannabis Safe for Elderly

A New Israeli Study

Tikun Olam clinics are the largest Israeli suppliers of medical marijuana. They partnered with Israel’s Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to study the effects of marijuana use on elderly patients.
Participants in the study predominantly use cannabis to treat cancer or severe pain issues. They also all consumed prescribed doses of only strains provided and developed by Tikun Olam. After closely studying 2,736 geriatric medical marijuana users between January 2015 and October 2017, researchers finally had the data they needed.
The Israeli researchers published their findings in early February 2018 in the European Journal of Internal Medicine. They found that 93.7% of participants in the study reported pain was reduced by 50% thanks to marijuana use. Many participants also reduced or even eliminated their dependence on prescription opioids.

Cannabis Medical Efficacy Proven

After six months of treatment, the israeli patients in the study reported that their overall pain level was reduced by half. But marijuana treatments are not without side effects. Luckily for those involved, the only real side effects researchers found were dizziness and dry mouth.
Yet the side effects were considered minor and never progressed beyond simple discomfort. The researchers were happy to find that patient dependence on pain medication including opioids also decreased while consuming cannabis. Since seniors make up a significant portion of the opioid using population, cannabis seems an ideal tool to battle the opioid epidemic.
Many pharmaceuticals that people take have a long list of terrible side effects. Some antidepressants cause depression and thoughts of suicide. Many pain treatments like Percocet and Oxycodone are also dangerously addictive.  Marijuana on the other hand, has proven to have no dangerous side effects, is non-addictive, is impossible to overdose on and helps recovering opioid addicts.
 

Still More Research Needed

Cannabis definitely seems like the safer alternative than opioids. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with the idea of cannabis. People in positions of power like Attorney General Jeff Sessions complain about the opioid epidemic sweeping across America yet seem to take every action possible to prevent its resolution.
Luckily for medical patients everywhere, research is still underway. Israeli organizations like Tikun Olam, Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem produce adds to the growing body of evidence proving cannabis is a miraculous plant. But we need more research to prove all the benefits of marijuana.
The researchers of this study note in their paper a need for more evidence-based research. Especially research data from double-blind, randomized controlled trials. They also note that the entire geriatric population stands to benefit the most from these studies since they consume the majority of opioid-based pain killers. Unfortunately, seniors also tend to be the most resistant to the idea of medical marijuana.

How do you feel about seniors using marijuana to treat pain? Would you ever participate in a study like this? Do you know anyone who has decreased or completely removed opioids from their life thanks to cannabis? Let us know in the comment section below!

MEDS Act Sponsored By Senator Hatch

MEDS Act Sponsored by Senator Hatch

Senator Hatch Introduces the MEDS Act.

MEDS Act
The Marijuana Effectiveness Drug Study Act (MEDS Act) was just sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah. If you have ever been to Utah, you might know that it is a highly religious state. The Mormon temples are proudly displayed and most stores are closed on Sunday. So it comes as no surprise that Senator Hatch is a dedicated Mormon.
But the Senator isn’t a blind follower. He sees the damage that opioid addiction causes and the good that cannabis can do. Especially as the U.S. grapples with spikes in teen overdose deaths rates. And the opioid crisis is causing a significant drop in U.S. labor force participation—particularly among American men. And Senator Hatch wants to stop it.
But the problem is bigger than just one state. The entire nation seems under the oppressive whip of opioid addiction. If you aren’t struggling with opioids, chances are you know someone who is. And most of them got hooked by their doctors.
Trump even declared the opioid crisis a national emergency and seeks solutions that will appease his base and his face. But Trump has yet to put forth a comprehensive sentence, much less a policy directing the nation on how to handle cannabis. And Hatch is much more pragmatic about his approach to dealing with this sensitive and rampant issue.

Senator Hatch has a plan for how to fight the opioid crisis.

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As part of his plan to combat the opioid epidemic, Hatch introduced the Marijuana Effectiveness Drug Study Act of 2017 (MEDS Act). The speech he gave during the introduction Wednesday, he couldn’t help but sneak in some weed puns.
He started his speech by saying “Mr. President, it’s high time to address research into medical marijuana. Our country has experimented with a variety of state solutions without properly delving into the weeds on the effectiveness, safety, dosing, administration, and quality of medical marijuana.”
Hatch wore his religion on his sleeve but showed his willingness to compromise when he said “it will surprise no one that I am strongly against the use of recreational marijuana. I worry, however, that in our zeal to enforce the law, we too often blind ourselves to the medicinal benefits of natural substances like cannabis.”

He feels cannabis is a powerful ally in the fight.

Senator Hatch sees red tape as the big problem with cannabis today. He explained that there are no federal quality controls for marijuana-based medications. The MEDS Act would remedy that and establish standards for growing medicinal marijuana.
Bureaucratic red tape surrounding safety and efficacy prevent the kind of “rigorous scientific evidence” Hatch feels is still needed. He understands that there are many unique and powerful compounds in the cannabis plant. And the MEDS Act is his attempt at stimulating research into the potential of cannabis.
Like most of us, it took Senator Hatch a personal encounter to come around to cannabis. When a friend was faced with the choice between using weed and getting a risky brain operation, Hatch realized how important research into cannabis is.

Hatch isn’t a hippy.


He was quick to clarify that he wasn’t going to be advocating recreational consumption though. His very next words were “While I certainly do not support the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, the evidence shows that cannabis possesses medicinal properties that can truly change people’s lives for the better. And I believe, Mr. President, that we would be remiss if we threw out the baby with the bathwater.”
Senator Hatch wants to encourage research into potential medical uses for marijuana. The plan involves streamlining the research registration process. The goal is to make marijuana more available to the scientific and medical research communities.

The MEDS Act will make an impact if it passes.

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Ideally, the bill will sail through both houses, get signed into law and become a new foundational piece of legislation moving forward. But that seems like a pipe dream. There is plenty of cannabis reform legislation making the rounds right now and none of it has much support.
More likely, it will suffer the same fate as the other pro-cannabis legislation making the rounds in congress. Bills like the Compassionate Care Act and the Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act couldn’t find the support they needed to move forward.
These bills are stuck in a state of limbo, dead on the floor and unable to pass on. Mainly because there isn’t enough support to pass them or even to get them to a vote. This effectively makes them zombie legislation with little hope of actually passing.

Senator Hatch wants to do things right.

Smoke Sessions
The MEDS Act encourages commercial production of FDA-approved drugs derived from marijuana. It would also put pressure on the Attorney General (AG) to increase the national marijuana quota in a timely manner. It would do this by requiring the AG meet the nations changing medical, scientific and industrial needs for marijuana.
The bill would also include certain protections against abuse as well. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) would then have to develop and publish recommendations and best practices. These would include how to grow and produce marijuana for research.
But there is still a long road ahead. Even if the bill gets passed, there will be many edits, re-writes and last minute additions. Political opponents will try to dismantle the important protections and stall it out like past bills. It’s hard to tell how far this one will go. But we can at least hope it goes all the way.

What do you think about Senator Hatch and the MEDS Act? Do you think it will become law? Let us know why or why not in the comments below.

New Study Shows Women May Not Receive The Same Analgesic Effects From Cannabis As Men

New Study Shows Women May Not Receive the Same Analgesic Effects from Cannabis as Men

A new study performed by the Columbia University Medical Center shows that cannabis may be more effective at relieving pain for males than females. Most cannabis-based studies so far have been performed on animals rather than humans thus the information that we have can only be taken with a grain of salt until more studies are done including human-based trials.
The recent study performed by researchers at the Columbia University Medical Canter was conducted on 42 human subjects who classified as regular consumers of cannabis. The study was focused on observing the difference in potential pain-relieving effects of cannabis on male vs female patients. 21 men and 21 women participated in the study. The placebo-based trial required the participants to smoke marijuana (some smoked marijuana with THC while others were given a placebo form without THC) and then they immediately participated in a pain response test. The study showed that the pain felt by males was significantly lower than the pain felt by females despite the fact that women have a much higher overall tolerance to pain.
According to the researchers who performed the study, “These results indicate that in cannabis smokers, men exhibit greater cannabis induced analgesia relative to women.” They also feel that this study warrants the need for more in-depth research regarding gender-specific benefits that cannabis may offer. Luckily a recent decision by the federal government is going to allow for more research to be performed. Hopefully, over the course of the next few months and years, we will start to see a seen an influx in the amount of human based cannabis trials being performed.
While the study performed by researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center may have been human based it can also only be taken with a grain of salt as there are several different factors that could have influenced the results on this very small group of participants. Some of the factors that play a big part in the results of a study such as this include the participant’s tolerance to cannabis, the potency of the cannabis being utilized, the balance of cannabinoids within the cannabis being consumed and even factors such as the consumption method itself can all have effects on the outcome. What we can take from the results of this study is there is definitely a significant need for further research to be performed to allow us to truly understand the best ways to utilize cannabis for the medical benefits that it provides.
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