Weed may save people from brain injury.

Study: Marijuana May Lead To Less Brain Deaths

Weed may save people from brain injury.

Weed may save people from brain injury.

Given the alarming number of professional football players who are suffering from massive brain injuries, the National Football League needs to read up on a recent study by researchers at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California.

Dr. David Plurad, one of the study’s authors, tells Reuters that the death rate after traumatic brain injury was lower among people who tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the active ingredient in marijuana) than among people who tested negative for it.

“This data fits with previous data showing that (THC) may be neuroprotective,” Plurad said. “We included the presence of alcohol in our statistical analysis, and it didn’t turn out to be as protective as the presence of the marijuana.”

Plurad and his team reviewed data on 446 adults treated at Harbor-UCLA for traumatic brain injuries. All had been tested for THC. While 11.5 percent of those with negative THC test died, only 2.4 percent of people who tested positive for THC died. When the researchers accounted for age, gender, injury severity and type, people who had THC in their systems were about 80 percent less likely to die.

Marijuana’s therapeutic effects are worth further study given pot is easily available, cheap compared to prescription medication, and may some medical benefits, Plurad said.

John Kelly

Chronic Marijuana Users Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms, Addiction Specialist Claims

John Kelly

John Kelly

A Massachusetts addiction treatment provider claims his study on 127 teenage chronic marijuana users proves pot is addictive. Dr. John Kelly, a psychiatrist from Massachusetts General Hospital and lead author of a recent study on the issue, tells Medical Daily: “Absolutely, no doubt about it.” What the article doesn’t tell you is that Kelly is also program director for Addiction Recovery Management Service, an outpatient treatment and recovery support service for families and youth ages 15-25.

In other words, he stands to profit from parents who believe junior’s pot habit deserves a trip to rehab. Kelly’s study profiled 127 teenagers aged 14 to 19 who were being treated at an unnamed outpatient substance abuse clinic, according to Medical Daily. He selected 90 who identified marijuana as the primary substance they abused and concludes 84 percent of them met the criteria for dependence. He determined this by guaging their increased tolerance to marijuana and unsucccessful attempts to reduce or stop using weed. His study also found two-fifths of teenage participants experienced withdrawal symptoms when abstaining from marijuana, one of the biggest signs of addiction.

Kelly told Medical Daily that the teenagers in his study exhibited irritability, anxiety, problems sleeping, and cravings. “The withdrawal symptoms are similar to sedative withdrawal. You’ll see more hyperactivity, restlessness, and sleep problems,” Kelly said.

Yet, the same article notes that Kelly estimated that about only eight to 10 percent of the population may be at risk of marijuana addiction, which is close to the same percentage of people who end up becoming alcoholics because they drink.


Medical Marijuana States Have Lowered Opiate-Related Deaths

medical marijuana could be an alternative to painkillers, researchers suggest.

medical marijuana could be an alternative to painkillers, researchers suggest.

In news pill manufacturers would rather have you forget, a recent Penn University study found that medical marijuana states have 25 percent fewer opioid-related deaths than states that still have a complete ban on pot.

Led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the study identifies opioid analgesics as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, which are prescribed for moderate to severe pain, and work by suppressing a person’s perception of pain. The study, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine publication, examined the rate of deaths caused by opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2010. Results reveal that on average, the 13 medical marijuana states had a 24.8 percent lower annual opioid overdose mortality rate after the laws were enacted than states without the laws, indicating that the alternative treatment may be safer for patients suffering from chronic pain related to cancer and other conditions.

Even more startingly: Approximately 60 percent of all deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses occur in patients who have legitimate prescriptions. Additionally, the proportion of patients in the United States who are prescribed opioids for non-cancer pain has almost doubled over the past decade, indicating the need to do a more focused examination on the safety and efficacy of these and other treatment options, the Penn researchers concluded. They suggest that medical cannabis could be prescribed as an alternative to opiods.

Lead researcher Marcus Bachhuber cautioned evidence for the pain-relieving properties is limited. but that pot may provide relief for some individuals. “In addition, people already taking opioids for pain may supplement with medical marijuana and be able to lower their painkiller dose, thus lowering their risk of overdose,” Bacchuber said.

Additional results of the study show that the relationship between lower opioid overdose deaths and medical marijuana laws strengthened over time; deaths were nearly 20 percent lower in the first year after a state’s law was implemented, and 33.7 percent lower five years after implementation.

While safer treatment of chronic pain may help to explain lower rates of overdose deaths, medical marijuana laws may also change the way people misuse or abuse opioid painkillers,
Bacchuber added. That’s because marijuana and opioids stimulate similar areas in the brain’s pathways.

The authors suggest that as more states implement medical marijuana laws, future studies should examine the association between such laws and opioid overdoses to confirm their findings.


Nueroscientist: All You Need Is A Little “Vitamin Weed” To Look Younger

Forget the chemical peels. Ditch the botox treatments. There is a relatively easier and safer way to rejuvenate your face. Apparently, cannabis oils, or “Vitamin Weed,” can work wonders on the skin, making it look and feel younger. In an interview with Reset.me, a site providing accurate journalism on psychedelics and natural therapies for treating illnesses, nueroscientist Michele Ross says,”vitamin weed is the vitamin we are all missing.”

“Cannabis is the key to unlocking preventative medicine,” Ross explains. “It helps protect your DNA from damage so it can actually slow down the aging process. I had wrinkles before. They have gone away. Everything looks better since I started consuming cannabis on daily basis.”

She takes Rick Simpson Oil on a daily basis to achieve endocannabinoid homeostasis, Ross tells Reset.me founder and journalist Amber Lyon. Acting as your brain’s natural marijuana, Endocannabinoids play a major role in overall health including the regulation of appetite, anxiety control, blood pressure, bone mass, reproduction, and motor coordination.

Deficient cannabinoid levels may be the underlying cause of numerous health conditions alleviated by cannabis, Ross says. After a career as a drug researcher for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Ross is now a medical marijuana advocate.