Research Shows Cannabis Restores Memory and Could Reverse The Aging Process

One of aging’s most obvious signs is a decrease in cognitive function and learning ability. Usually, these issues express themselves in the form of memory deficiency. While this decrease in memory retention and recall is considered normal, it is often associated with more serious disorders, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Bonn and their colleagues from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem discovered a potential treatment to reverse aging in the brain.

In their research, which was published in the journal Nature Medicine, the team showed how that a cannabis-based treatment successfully reversed the biological state of the brains of mice 12 months and 18 months old. This is notable, as mice age remarkably fast and serve as a viable animal model when research potential treatments in humans.

The team used two-month-old mice as a control group. The older mice were given an active ingredient in hemp called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for a period of four weeks in non-intoxicating doses. Their tests revealed that mice who received THC displayed cognitive abilities as good as the control group mice.

Meanwhile, those older mice who received a placebo displayed the usual learning capacity and memory performance appropriate to older mice. The findings that stem from this are simply remarkable. “The treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals,” said researcher Andreas Zimmer, from the University of Bonn’s Institute of Molecular Psychiatry [emphasis added].

Resetting the Clock

This age-reversing effects of cannabis occur as THC imitates the effect of naturally produced cannabinoids in the body, which are crucial for some of the brain’s important functions. “With increasing age, the quantity of the cannabinoids naturally formed in the brain reduces,” Zimmer explained. “When the activity of the cannabinoid system declines, we find rapid aging in the brain.”

Furthermore, the researchers realized that cannabis reverses aging by making the brain cells in the mice younger. To this end, they saw that links between nerve cells increased and their molecular signature resembled those of young animals. “It looked as though the THC treatment turned back the molecular clock,” Zimmer added.

The treatment, once tested and proven to be effective in humans, could help improve the conditions of people suffering from dementia. This disease, which affects more than 47 million people worldwide, often leads to cognitive disabilities — memory loss and behavioral disorders — that hinder a patient from performing day-to-day tasks.

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Svenja Schulze, science minister of North Rhine-Westphalia,outlines exactly how helpful this study could be for future treatment in the elderly. “The promotion of knowledge-led research is indispensable, as it is the breeding ground for all matters relating to application,” he stated in the press release. “Although there is a long path from mice to humans, I feel extremely positive about the prospect that THC could be used to treat dementia, for instance.” To that end, Zimmer and his team are now preparing for human clinical trials.

The study adds to the number of potential benefits cannabis seems to have, particularly in treating neurological disorders. That said, as has been previously noted, much of this is still early work, and more peer review research is needed on the medical effects and uses of cannabis-based treatments before they can be deployed. Moreover, these studies use carefully controlled conditions, and as a result, similar benefits are not seen in individuals who use the drug recreationally.

Study Finds That Regular Consumption Of Marijuana Keeps You Thin, Fit And Active

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Here’s a new health-related adage to consider: Regular consumption of marijuana keeps you thin and active.

According to researchers at Oregon Health and Science University, people who use marijuana more than five times per month have a lower body mass index (BMI) than people who do not marijuana.

The researchers concluded:

“Heavy users of cannabis had a lower mean BMI compared to that of never users, with a mean BMI being 26.7 kg/m in heavy users and 28.4 kg/m in never users.”

The study also suggested that people who consume marijuana on a regular basis are more physically activity than those that use it sporadically or not at all.

Of course, this is not the first time scientific studies have reached this conclusion:

  • A study published last year in the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics suggests that regular consumers of cannabis have a lower BMI than those who do not use the drug.
  • A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that cannabis consumers have 16 percent lower levels of fasting insulin and 17 percent lower insulin resistance levels than non-users. The research found “significant associations between marijuana use and smaller waist circumferences.”
  • And data published in British Medical Journal in 2012 reported that cannabis consumers had a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes and a lower risk of contracting the disease than did those with no history of cannabis consumption.

In the 2016 study, lead author Isabelle C. Beulaygue from the University of Miami concluded:

“There is a popular belief that people who consume marijuana have the munchies, and so [they] are going to eat a lot and gain weight, and we found that it is not necessarily the case.”

Researchers have not identified the reason behind the findings. But some suggest that those who consume cannabis regularly may be able to more easily break down blood sugar, which may help prevent weight gain.

The Marijuana Industry is Projected to Create More Than 250,000 Jobs by 2020

As more and more states begin to legalize marijuana use—despite the president’s opposition to recreational marijuana—you probably figured the new industry will create some jobs.

How many jobs will be created, however, may surprise you. The legal cannabis market is projected to create more than 250,000 jobs by 2020, according to a report from New Frontier Data.

That’s more jobs than are projected for transportation, agriculture, utilities, or the federal government, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

New Frontier’s data projections are based only on the states that have already passed legalization. It does not include other states—even those that will likely legalize marijuana use in the next few years.

The U.S. marijuana industry is expected to be worth more than $24 billion by 2025. It was estimated to be worth $7.2 billion last year.

“While we see a potential drop in total number of U.S. jobs created in 2017, as reported by Kiplinger, as well as an overall expected drop in GDP growth, the cannabis industry continues to be a positive contributing factor to growth at a time of potential decline,” said New Frontier CEO Aguirre De Carcer, according to Forbes.

Aguirre De Carcer added that the numbers “confirm that cannabis is a major economic driver and job creation engine for the U.S. economy.”

The industry already employs between 100,000 to 150,000 people.

When Will Marijuana Be Legal In Florida? Our State’s Medical Dispensary Rules Make Getting Treatment Difficult

Patients in Florida suffering from a variety of ailments will technically be eligible to use legal medical marijuana as a form of treatment on Tuesday. However, the state still has months to go before dispensary rules and regulations must be officially implemented, which could potentially leave patients without access to medical cannabis for quite some time.

On Election Day, 71 percent of voters approved Florida’s Amendment 2, a measure legalizing medical pot for people diagnosed with HIV, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, PTSD, ALS and a slew of other illnesses under a doctor’s prescription.

The state formerly passed legislation allowing low THC dosages of non-smokeable medical marijuana in 2014, but Florida’s Department of Health still has six months to update current dispensing rules to satisfy the new laws along with another nine months the department has to implement the new regulations. Only seven dispensaries are authorized to provide marijuana across the state under the former law, and only five weed nurseries are licensed to grow the plant in the state so far, so many Floridians could be without a place to purchase their legal medical marijuana until the end of 2017 or even 2018.

Along with the Department of Health dragging their feet to implement a new dispensing structure, local cities and counties throughout Florida are still fighting to keep dispensaries from popping up in their communities. Pasco and Manatee Counties have both requested bans on the drug in their communities, according to Sunshine State News, while Panama City Beach has suggested putting an all-out ban on growing, cultivation and dispensing for at least eight months while city and county officials study the plant and watch how it affects communities in other areas of Florida. Hillsborough County has already instituted a ban on medical marijuana, which will be in place until April.

“I suggest that we consider a moratorium on this until (the) state settles down on what their (laws) will be and the county does the same so we don’t do something and have to undo it three or four times,” Panama City Beach Councilman John Reichard said during a City Council meeting in early December.

Cannabis Water Is Here to Aid Your Workout Recovery

Exercising is all well and good but the next day, you often wonder if it was worth it. Your ankles ache. Your arms ache. How can something that felt so good and virtuous feel so deathly hours later?

Well, for some lucky gym-goers, that feeling might become a thing of the past.

Puration, a company which specializes in cannabis extractions, has created a CBD infused water.

Weed lovers aren’t usually known for their fitness prowess, but this stuff isn’t going to get you high. Like Rawligion’s delicious and wonderful hemp milk before it, this water is infused with cannabidiol (CBD).

CBD oil is made from hemp and doesn’t contain any of the psychoactive properties found in other cannabis compounds, like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). So you’re not going to get baked mid-bench press. That would definitely be a bad move.

Dalas-based Puration actively looks at how cannabis extraction can be used in wellness products, and their EverX line specializes in sports and fitness nutritional supplements.

They claim that CBD is ‘an ideal component of a pre and post workout regime’, as it works as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and as an assistant in muscle recovery.

So what effect does cannabis have on fitness training and exercise? And do any professionals actually use the stuff?

Well, American triathlete Clifford Drusinsky says that before setting off to training, he has 20mg of THC in a marijuana energy bar. By the time its effects kick in, he’s already in the middle of a swim, bike ride or run.

Why? McGill University professor Mark Ware tells Men’s Journal that ‘it may help some athletes get into a zone and put their bodies through very tough physical activity’ and may enable them to focus on repetitive training.

CBD oil reacts to the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system, which regulates the body’s homeostasis, or general state of balance – so impacts on mood, sleep, hormone regulation, immune response and pain.

But it can also simulate something very similar to endorphins which give you a runner’s high (that moment where, inexplicably, you start smiling even though your legs and lungs are dying). If endorphins help you push through the pain, it seems logical that endocannabinoids might be able to do the same.

The Definitive Ranking Of The 10 Best Thanksgiving Foods To Eat While High

Aside for spending time with your family, the best part of Thanksgiving by far is the delicious food. As good as all the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and everything else is, those of us who smoke weed can agree that it’s even better when you’re pleasantly—but not too—high. Below you’ll read a definitive ranking of the ten best Thanksgiving foods to eat while baked.

10. Cranberry Sauce

Personally, I don’t care for cranberry sauce. But if you’re blazed, staring at the can-shaped blob of gelatinous goo can be mesmerizing and provides a nice distraction when the conversation suddenly shifts to something terrible, like politics or your plans for the future.

9. Sweet Potato Anything

Anything with sweet potato is, in this blogger’s mind, a disappointment and a bit of a mystery. Why not just make everything out of regular potatoes? That said, its mushy consistency and orange hue are appealing, and keeps any dish with the vegetable in it from sinking farther down this list. 

8. Peas

Peas are okay flavor-wise, especially if they’re soaked in butter the way my grandmother prepares them. But they’re kind of difficult to eat when sober, much less when high, and they pale in comparison to other Thanksgiving sides.

7. Dressing

Dressing, or stuffing as heathens call it, has grown on me over the years. It’s a nice compliment for turkey and contains all sorts of flavors that are interesting to try to sort out while buzzed. But it’s low on this list because it’s objectively unpleasant to look at, even if you’re completely blitzed.

6. Green Bean Casserole

Fun to play with, if not exactly super tasty.

5. Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of the best foods to eat anytime, whether your perfectly sober or perfectly baked, which is one reason why it’s fourth on this list and not higher: You don’t need a special holiday to enjoy it. 

4. Pumpkin Pie

While I’m on the record as being mostly neutral about pies and I do not enjoy pumpkin, it’s important to recognize that many, if not most, people love pie with a passion that borders on lunacy. So in the interest in keeping the peace I’m putting the beloved pumpkin pie in the top 5.

3. Mashed Potatoes

Like mac and cheese, mashed potatoes are always delicious. But there’s something especially delicious about having them on Thanksgiving, when you can add them to the following two items to make a sort of Super Thanksgiving Sandwich.

2. Turkey

Turkey is the most iconic Thanksgiving food for good reason. While the myth that it makes you sleepy has been disproven, it will definitely make you tired when you eat a pound of it after smoking some of your favorite indica.

1. Crescent Rolls

I could eat hundreds of these tasty little rolls, which my family for some reason only busts out on Turkey Day. In addition to being wonderful to eat on their own, they are, as noted above, the perfect bread to pair with buttery, rich mashed potatoes and thick, juicy slices of turkey to create fantastic lil sandwiches.

Marijuana Businesses Across The Nation Fund Pro-Medical Marijuana Bid in Florida

Out-of-state-donors, including some prominent marijuana businesses, have pumped money into the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, underscoring the high-stakes fight in that state.

Of the three states – Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota – that could legalize medical marijuana on Tuesday, Florida is by far the largest market and offers out-of-state cannabis businesses potentially lucrative opportunities.

Denver-based social media company MassRoots, Denver edibles firm Allied Concessions Group and Washington State-based Privateer Holdings have all contributed funds to United for Care, the political committee supporting Florida’s medical cannabis campaign, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

In total, around $1 million has been donated to United for Care, some of that coming from businesses and activists in Washington D.C., New York and Colorado.

Amendment 2 would create a market for medical marijuana, allowing doctors to prescribe it for AIDS and cancer patients, among others.

Much of the funding behind opposition to Amendment 2 has come from anti-marijuana crusader Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has kicked in $1.5 million to the cause, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Why Is The DEA Is Still Clinging To Reagan-Era Hysteria Over Marijuana?

After delaying their decision for months, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) finally announced Thursday that it will not ease restrictions on marijuana, currently regulated under the strictest classification available.

The rest of the country may be moving on from the fears of “reefer madness,” but the DEA still has a long way to go.

The agency’s decision to keep marijuana classified in the same category as heroin was met with outrage, particularly from the scientific community where there is a growing consensus that the fears surrounding marijuana are baseless.

But the DEA telegraphed its intentions long before their formal announcement.

As recently as November, acting chief of the DEA Chuck Rosenberg called medical marijuana “a joke.”

“If you talk about smoking the leaf of marijuana — which is what people are talking about when they talk about medicinal marijuana — it has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine,” Rosenberg asserted, despite numerous studies to the contrary.

Rosenberg’s predecessor, Michele Leonhart, publicly pushed even more archaic views of marijuana. While being grilled in Congress in 2012, Leonhart refused to admit that crack cocaine, prescription pills, or heroin were more dangerous than marijuana. “I believe all illegal drugs are bad,” she maintained.

The tense and incredulous exchange between members of Congress and the DEA chief showcased the attitude gap between the politicians trying to move beyond the drug war and the agents tasked with enforcing it.

The DEA is increasingly at odds with state governments and even other federal agencies over its treatment of marijuana.

The agency’s stance hasn’t changed much since the 1980s, when hysteria over drugs was in full swing. Throughout the late 80s and early 90s, about 80 percent of Americans believed marijuana should be illegal.

Leonhart joined the DEA in 1980, just as the federal government was beginning to escalate the War on Drugs.

“Leading medical researchers are coming to the conclusion that marijuana, pot, grass, whatever you want to call it, is probably the most dangerous drug in the United States,” former President Ronald Reagan declared in 1980.

But public opinion — and medical research — has evolved drastically since then. Twenty-five states and Washington, D.C. have legalized pot for either medicinal or recreational use, and several more may vote to join their ranks in November. Nationally, a majority of Americans favor legalization.

The dramatic attitude shift has reached even President Obama, who said in 2014 he believes marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol.

But a week later, Leonhart told reporters the growing tolerance for marijuana use only “makes us fight harder,” and privately criticized Obama’s characterization.

The dissonance goes beyond rhetoric. During her confirmation hearings, Leonhart promised to ignore her own administration’s formal guidelines to ease up enforcement in states that have chosen to legalize medical marijuana.

True to her word, as the Obama administration publicly pledged to support state legalization efforts, Leonhart’s DEA cracked down on these same states. The agency has spent massive amounts of taxpayer dollars hunting down pot farms and destroying plants in states where it’s legal. It’s also made a point to intimidate businesses and providers.

Doctors who prescribed medical marijuana in Massachusetts reported they were being blackmailed and treated like drug dealers by DEA agents, who threatened to revoke the doctors’ federal prescription licenses if they did not sever ties to marijuana dispensaries.

Leonhart was ousted last year, not for enabling harassment of doctors or for rejecting the president’s agenda, but for failing to fix the agency’s “good old boy” culture, after revelations that agents routinely enjoyed “sex parties” with prostitutes provided by Colombian drug cartels.

Since Rosenberg took over the agency, DEA policy has taken some small steps to acknowledging the new reality in the U.S. In April, for the first time ever, the DEA approved marijuana smoking in a clinical trial to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. And even though the agency is closing its eyes to the research showing the current controls on marijuana make no sense, it will allow further study of the drug. Rosenberg has even cautiously conceded that he does think heroin is more dangerous than marijuana.

The Average Legal Marijuana User Spends $645 A Year On The Green Stuff

Before marijuana became legal in some states, you’d have to figure out on your own how much money you’d spend on weed. But now that recreational pot is a-okay in certain areas, it’s much easier to calculate those numbers.

According to a report from Headset Inc., a “cannabis intelligence company,” the average legal pot user is a 37-year-old man who spends around $645 a year on the green stuff, most often choosing buds over edibles and making his purchases every 19.5 or so days.

Millennials are the key audience here, which is unsurprising, with just over 50% of recreational pot consumers aged 21-34.

And where you buy your bud likely depends on your age, Headset found: older folks aren’t quite used to dispensaries, with fewer than 10% of the purchases in the report made by people older than 60. (Probably including that uncle who is always asking younger family members to find him some “wacky tobaccy,” even when your dad is sitting right there at Christmas dinner.)

And although customers in their 20s don’t spend as much each time they visit the dispensary — around $27 per trip — they come back more often than others, at every 16 days.

Who spends the most? Those with the most disposable income — the biggest median annual spenders are users in their 40s, who spent $823 in the last year and those in their 50s, $753.

“As you’re older, you might have more money to go and make bigger purchases,” Headset co-founder Cy Scott told Bloomberg. “The millennials might be out and about more; they can drop into [marijuana dispensaries] more often. Older people might just plan more.”

First Medical Marijuana In Florida Ready To Hit Market Next Week

The first medical marijuana store in Florida will open next week in Tallahassee following the authorization from the Florida Department of Health.

The name of Florida’s first medical marijuana store is Trulieve. According to the company’s CEO, Kim Rivers, they are happy to announce that Trulieve passed all inspections from growing, processing and dispensing medical cannabis. So far, six companies in Florida have received approval for marijuana cultivation for future distribution.

“We are most excited to get this much anticipated medicine to the patients of Florida,” added Rivers. Trulieve is the very first provider of medical marijuana in Florida to receive all the required formal authorizations.

By next week, Trulieve will sell low-THC cannabis products, which are designed to treat illnesses such as epilepsy. In August, the company will start selling higher THC cannabis products, which are meant for patients who have terminal illnesses, based on Florida law.

Surterra Therapeutics is the first company in Florida that received authorization to harvest medical marijuana. Reports said the company has marijuana stored in freezers located outside Tallahassee. Horticulturalists are in charge of facility maintenance where armed guards are protecting the said containers.

According to Surterra’s medical director, Dr. Joseph Dorn, Florida’s medical field is a “very exciting place” right now. The excitement is not just about a new medication but also the transformation of people’s mindsets toward patient treatments.

While the state has a very large support for medical marijuana, not all of Florida’s top policymakers back its legalization. One of them is Governor Rick Scott who has been vocal about his opposition to the legalization of medical marijuana, which he compared to other vices such as alcohol.

“Having seen the terrible [effects] of alcohol and drug abuse first-hand, I cannot endorse sending Florida down this path and I would personally vote against it,” said Scott a few years ago. But the people’s vote seemed enough to change Scott’s mind, who also signed the medical marijuana expansion in the state this year.

The legalization of medical marijuana is also popular outside of Florida. In a 2015 Harris poll, findings showed that 81 percent of U.S. citizens support its legalization across the country.

To date, there are 25 states and DC that have enacted law toward the legalization of medical marijuana, namely Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

In November, more states are expected to have a vote toward the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana.