More quick hits
UPDATE: See our more recent critique of this publication.
Hormone replacement therapy is used to reduce some of the symptoms of menopause. Although it can reduce problems like osteoporosis, hot flashes and depression, hormonal treatments come with risks including an increased likelihood of stroke and heart attack. Among those who use hormone therapy, scientists tend to believe there is a “critical window” where hormone replacement can reduce depression and the worsening memory associated with menopause. A new study from researchers in Xi’an, China, indicates that activating CB1 may prolong this window.
The elderly are the fastest growing population of cannabis users. But how do hospice workers feel about their patients using cannabis? A recent survey by pharmacists at the University of Maryland asked palliative care practitioners about their opinions on cannabis use among hospice patients. Over 90% of workers support the use of cannabis, but most physicians did not recommend cannabis to their patients.
Robert Randall was the first U.S. citizen to legally access cannabis based on medical necessity since the start of prohibition.
Phytocannabinoids consistently confuse scientists because of the multiplicity of their actions. CBD, for example, binds to a handful of neurotransmitter receptors, as well as hormone receptors, ion channels, and a variety of enzymes. Receptors without a known endogenous ligand are called “orphan” receptors.
It has been known for some time that CBD acutely increases anandamide levels. The enhancement of
If THC makes people forgetful while they’re high, one might reasonably expect that blocking the CB1 receptor that mediates the high will promote focus and the ability to learn. But is this true?
It’s increasingly recognized that the runner’s high, which used to be attributed to endorphins, is conferred partly by endocannabinoids in the brain. In response to the stress of exercise, the brain produces anandamide, “the bliss chemical” which provides that feeling of elation along with pain reduction and health benefits.
Many prohibitionist arguments are being flipped on their heads. CBD’s anti-anxiety effects have replaced much of the reefer madness mentality. Rather than causing lung cancer, marijuana appears to have anti-cancer activity, if anything. And in spite of the gateway theory, whereby casual cannabis use supposedly escalates to heroin, we find that cannabis helps to treat pain and reduce opiate use.
Throughout history, cannabis has been described as a treatment for hundreds of different conditions. If scientists find it hard to believe cannabis can do so much, they may chalk up the results as just a placebo. But the placebo effect is powerful. It accounts for roughly half of the efficacy of opioids and antidepressants.
A major benefit of legalization is regulation (at least in theory). Cannabis in a legal market can be held to safety standards such as the absence of dangerous pesticides. While autonomous community-enforced regulation can exist without government intervention, this does not happen at the global scale which the cannabis industry has reached today. So how well are governments doing with their pesticides regulations?