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Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedLife News Network.

Medicinal cannabis reduces pain and need for opiate painkillers among cancer patients

 

Medicinal cannabis reduces cancer-related pain and the need for opiate-based painkillers, reveals a new comprehensive study of its use by oncology patients.

Pain, along with depression, anxiety, and insomnia, are some of the most fundamental causes of oncology patients’ disability and suffering while undergoing treatment therapies, and may even lead to worsened prognosis.

“Traditionally, cancer-related pain is mainly treated by opioid analgesics, but most oncologists perceive opioid treatment as hazardous, so alternative therapies are required,” explained author David Meiri, assistant professor at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.

“Our study is the first to assess the possible benefits of medical cannabis for cancer-related pain in oncology patients; gathering information from the start of treatment, and with repeated follow-ups for an extended period of time, to get a thorough analysis of its effectiveness.”

 

Need for alternative treatment

After talking to several cancer patients, who were looking for alternative options for pain and symptom relief, the researchers were keen to thoroughly test the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis.

“We encountered numerous cancer patients who asked us whether medical cannabis treatment can benefit their health,” said co-author Gil Bar-Sela, associate professor at the Ha’Emek Medical Center Afula.

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Vets warn cannabis users to make sure pets don’t consume the products

Some veterinarians say that the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey could lead to a dangerous situation for pets.

The vets are warning about potential “marijuana toxicosis,” which is when an animal inhales or ingests cannabis. This is not good for animals, which is why people are urging anyone consuming cannabis to be careful around their pets.
 
Dr. Ted Spinks runs the Animal Hospital of Sussex County. He says that he has seen an average of three to four cases of marijuana toxicosis per year.
 
“Dogs are curious. Cats are curious. And they eat it,” Spinks says.
 
“There’s no liver toxicity or kidney toxicity, but the symptoms could last 96 hours.”
 
Spinks says pets will eat the leafy buds but have also been known to go after easily ingested edibles and THC butter and oils.
 
Signs of marijuana toxicosis include dilated pupils, loss of balance or incontinence – mainly urination.
 
Health care officials say it is important for new marijuana users to recognize that animals can suffer from inhalation. Spinks warns pet owners to never blow smoke into an animal’s face.
 
“Don’t be childish because they could get secondhand smoke inhalation. Give them a well-ventilated area,” he says.
 
Spinks says that one advantage to legalization is that now pet owners will feel better admitting that their pets got into their stash.
 
“Before legalization, it was a little tricky. Owners didn’t want to admit they had cannabis in the home,” he says.
 
Spinks says if anyone sees their pet actually eat the marijuana, they have 30 minutes to induce vomiting. Anyone who is concerned should immediately contact a veterinarian.
 
 
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Inside the mind of a medical cannabis pharmacist in Utah

Utah is unique when it comes to cannabis, and the state’s program includes many unique exceptions not often seen across the rest of the country in states where medical cannabis is legal.

In Utah, dispensaries are referred to as pharmacies, and the method of which patients must apply for and obtain cannabis medicine differs. While the state of Utah is home to over three million people, only 15 pharmacies and eight cultivators are allowed to legally operate there.

Pharmacists are essential to the structure of Utah’s medical cannabis program, as they are legally the only way that medical cannabis patients can obtain cannabis products. Beehive Farmacy’s Pharmacist in Charge, Mindy Madeo, has been a pharmacist for over 20 years, but found a new calling to enter the cannabis industry after the state of Utah legalized medical cannabis. Madeo attended the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s cannabis program, which she will soon be graduating with a Masters of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics. It’s currently the only pharmacy school in the U.S. to offer such a degree, and furthermore, Madeo is one of the only people in Utah to have earned such a distinction.

Madeo took time to chat with High Times about what sets Utah apart from other states’ medical cannabis programs, the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), and what the future holds for patients.

The essential pharmacist

When Madeo began her entrance into the cannabis industry, she helped one of the pharmacies, called Wholesome, open up shop. While that pharmacy was a bit more business-focused, Madeo then moved on to Beehive Farmacy where she currently works as Pharmacist in Charge. Beehive Farmacy has two locations out of the total 15 that are allowed statewide, one in Salt Lake City and another in Brigham City. “It’s been really amazing,” Madeo said of her role. “The work I do every day is really like my dream. I’ve been doing it for two years and I still say I would do it even if I wasn’t getting paid.”

Madeo explained how Utah’s medical cannabis program works for patients. Similarly to other states, patients must go to a doctor and obtain a recommendation for a cannabis card—but new patients can’t just go to a pharmacy to pick up their medicine right away. “It is required by law that every single patient that’s new to the cannabis program, has to sit down and have a consultation with the pharmacist. And that’s the unique thing. That’s the thing that no other state does,” Madeo explained.

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Medical marijuana product sales up 1.1% in April

Medical marijuana patients spent $24 million in April at the state’s 38 dispensaries to obtain 4,213 pounds, up from the 4,166 pounds sold in March. Hot Springs is home to two of the top five dispensaries for the amount of product sold.

Sales for the first four months of 2022 total $89.8 million, and 15,678 pounds, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).

“The amount of product sold increased slightly from March to April,” said DFA spokesman Scott Hardin.

“On average, patients in Arkansas are spending $22.45 million each month across the state’s 38 dispensaries to purchase approximately 3,919 pounds. State tax collection on medical marijuana also increased in April with $2.98 million in total ($2.46 million collected in March).”

The state also collects a cultivator privilege tax, which means tax revenue is not always tied to how much product is bought by consumers at dispensaries and the price for the product sold to dispensary customers.

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High THC Weed: A new form of reefer madness or worth the panic?

 

Many within the industry have claimed that proof backing the widespread risks of high THC levels are scant and more research needs to be done.

With the legislation on cannabis at the federal level set to be brought forward in the Senate, marijuana legalized states are now undergoing new research on the risks linked with high-potency cannabis products. Among the questions being asked is the possible link between these high-potency cannabis products and psychosis.

These latest high-potency cannabis products circulating the market are commonly called shatter or wax and are known to have THC levels as high as 85%-90%. Researchers, via comparison, affirmed that the THC levels in a usual joint two decades ago were approximately 5%. Considering this high level of THC, Colorado and Washington are now looking to include potency caps in their legislation.

During a forum held in January, Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of NIDA expressed her concerns that young adults are increasingly consuming high-potency cannabis. Volkow affirmed that she is worried about the negative effects of high THC concentration on mental health. She noted that the higher the THC levels, the higher the chances of psychosis. While the research is still ongoing, Volkow affirmed that another question waiting to be answered is if such psychosis can cause permanent schizophrenia.

Bethany Moore, during an interview with NBC News, asserted that the best way forward is to tackle these concerns through adequate labeling and testing. Apart from that, she believes states should only sell cannabis via licensed dispensaries to fully informed and legal adults. By selling cannabis only via legal dispensaries, Bethany claimed the activities of the illicit cannabis market will gradually fade.

According to several public experts, proponents of the cannabis industry are responsible for the problem of high-potency cannabis products now flooding the market. This is because most industry backers were only focused on legalizing cannabis without considering a market boom in cannabis concentrates.

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Consumption of alcohol and cigarettes by young adults declines following cannabis legalisation

A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health has found that the legalisation of cannabis leads to lower use of alcohol, cigarettes, and pain medications by young adults.

The study, conducted by researchers with the University of Washington assessed trends in alcohol, nicotine, and non-prescribed pain drug use among a group of over 12,500 young adults aged 18 to 25 in Washington State following the legalisation of cannabis.

The study said “contrary to concerns about spillover effects, implementation of legalised nonmedical cannabis coincided with decreases in alcohol and cigarette use and pain reliever misuse. The weakening association of cannabis use with the use of other substances among individuals ages 21–25 requires further research but may suggest increased importance of cannabis-specific prevention and treatment efforts.”

Cannabis is often theorised to be a gateway drug, leading to further substance abuse, yet the results of numerous studies suggest this is untrue. A 2020 study, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy surveyed medical cannabis patients about their alcohol consumption after obtaining a cannabis prescription. The study found that 44% of patients reported drinking less frequently on a monthly basis, 34% consumed fewer drinks per week and 8% said they drank no alcohol in the 30 days prior to taking the survey. Research also suggests that cannabis legalisation reduces the risk of death from opioids, a 2014 study found that annual opioid overdoses were 25% lower in US states where medical cannabis was legal.

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Combats acne and ageing! This new Niacinamide + hemp serum is causing shoppers to show off incredible before and after pics with visibly clearer skin

 

Most skincare products focus on a single issue, which could be clearing up breakouts or fighting the signs of ageing. 

But every so often, a hero product comes along that can multi-task like the new Hey Bud Niacinamide + Hemp serum.  And photos from real women across the States show that it can have a transformative effect on how skin looks in terms of clarity and tone.

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, this micronutrient offers many benefits. 

It is effectively used to combat acne due to balancing oil production and minimizes pigmentation, leaving the skin free from blemishes. 

It strengthens the skin's barrier by promoting the production of elastin and ceramides, which is effective against ageing. 

Hemp calms irritated and inflamed skin for smooth, soft results. 

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Feeling sleepy after smoking weed? Here’s what you can do

Fatigue can be a side effect of cannabis, one that can be difficult to control if you haven’t had experience with the drug.

There’s a reason marijuana is great for those struggling to get a good rest. The plant causes the body to naturally loosen up and relax, which is great for anyone looking to get some Zzzzs. But if you’re just looking to get high or relax a bit, fatigue is a side effect you want to avoid. 

Here are some useful tricks to help you counteract the sleepy effect of marijuana.

Change your setting

If you can’t go to bed or simply don’t want to, the most helpful thing to do is to change your setting. Go for a walk, start talking to a friend, eat something, preferably with protein to help you shake off the lazy feeling, or do something engrossing. A walk is particularly helpful for any and all occasions, exposing you to fresh air, new surroundings, and is something that can be done in almost all situations.

Stretching

Working out is one of the world’s best natural energy boosters, helping you sleep more soundly and decreasing your fatigue. It might be too much to ask of your body to go for a run while on a sleepy high, but some light stretches will do the trick, making you feel more present and helping you get out of your head a little bit.

Take a shower

If you’re at home or at a friend’s house and you start feeling that powerful marijuana-induced stupor, hop in the shower. This will help you relax and wake up, causing you to feel refreshed and ready to do something different.

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FDA warns about THC copycat edibles, children in serious danger

 

Thousands of new traders just like you are reaping the benefits of following this systemized options trading formula that allows Nic Chahine to earn a full-time living. 

About a month after a study led by researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health, revealed that “copycat” edibles can have levels of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC “that far exceed the limits set by state cannabis regulations” and may be easily confused for popular snack foods, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to all consumers about the accidental ingestion by children of food products containing THC. (Benzinga)

“Edibles are a popular and growing segment of the cannabis market. In states where cannabis use is legal, more than half (56%) of people who use cannabis consume edibles, with younger people more likely to do so,” reported NYU in a recent press release.

“These copycat cannabis products are a public health concern given that people—including children—could mistake them for snacks and accidentally consume them. From 2017 to 2019, U.S. Poison Control Centers handled nearly 2,000 cases of young children ages 0 to 9 consuming edibles.”

FDA further explains the problem

FDA said that THC edibles can be easily mistaken for commonly consumed foods such as breakfast cereal, candy, and cookies, and accidentally ingested, which can lead to adverse events, especially in children.

The agency further reiterated that some edible products are specifically designed to look like popular branded foods using similar brand names, logos, and package designs.

The FDA said is aware of reports of copycat products packaged to look like Cap’n Crunch, Cocoa Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Nerds Ropes, Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, and Trix, among others.

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Over 40? Smoking pot can lead to a heart attack

Frequent cannabis users have more risk of cardiovascular disease in middle age

Marijuana may be legal in 18 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam, but that doesn’t mean frequent use is healthy. New research led by Stanford Medicine scientists found smoking pot more than once a month can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack in middle age.

What’s more, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the component of the drug that gets you high, can cause inflammation in the cells that line blood vessels. It’s also blamed for atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fats in the artery walls of lab mice. The good news for people using marijuana to stimulate appetite, control nausea or dull pain: Researchers discovered genistein, a molecule that occurs naturally in soy and fava beans, can prevent the inflammation and atherosclerosis from occurring without taking away the feelings of being high. 

“As more states legalize the recreational use of marijuana, users need to be aware that it could have cardiovascular side effects,” Joseph Wu, M.D., professor of cardiovascular medicine and radiology and director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, says in a press release describing the research. “But genistein works quite well to mitigate marijuana-induced damage of the endothelial vessels without blocking the effects marijuana has on the central nervous system, and it could be a way for medical marijuana users to protect themselves from a cardiovascular standpoint.”

Frequent pot use can cause damage 

To determine the impact marijuana has on the heart, researchers analyzed the medical and genetic data of about 500,000 people between the ages of 40 and 69 in the UK Biobank study. Of those people, close to 35,000 reported smoking cannabis, with 11,000 reporting they smoked pot more than once a month. Researchers controlled for age, gender and body mass, which can have an impact on the heart, and found that those who said they smoked more than once a month were more likely than others in the study to have a heart attack. What’s more, the frequent marijuana users were more likely than those who abstained to have their first heart attack before the age of 50, known in the medical community as a “premature heart attack.” Having one before 50 increases the chances of subsequent heart attacks, heart failure and life-threatening arrhythmias later in life. 

The culprit for all these heart troubles: THC, which binds to the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), a receptor on cells in the human brain, heart and vasculature system. The receptor recognizes naturally occurring cannabinoids that regulate mood, pain, metabolism and immune function. But when a person uses too much pot, it prompts inappropriate activation of CB1, leading to inflammation and atherosclerosis. 

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CBD and horses: Where do we stand?

There are still very limited studies of the efficacy of CBD products in equines; here is a look at what a few have discovered.

CBD, also knowns as cannabidiol, is a compound found in the plant Cannabis sativa, commonly referred to as marijuana. Cannabis actually produces two compounds of interest, tetra-hydro-cannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

THC is popular with some people for its psychoactive effects, while CBD has shown to have some therapeutic benefits. Also of note, is “hemp”, which is the same plant, but a different cultivar, which mean the same plant is bred for specific qualities. In this case, hemp is grown and used largely for its commercial or industrial use, and is bred to only have 0.3% of THC (based on the USA Federal Farm Bill Act 2018 Sect 297A, hemp must have less than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and usually around 3% CBD, but some varieties may contain up to 25% CBD. In Canada, all cannabinoids are regulated under the Cannabis Act of 2018. Industrial hemp must have less than 0.3% THC, but there is no legal limit to the amount of CBD.

Because hemp is a fast-growing plant, it is also of interest as a potential useful product for horses, as either bedding and/or a high-fiber feed source. A byproduct of hemp is hemp seed oil, which generally only contains marginal amounts of CBD. It should be noted that hemp (or its oil) is not currently approved as a feed ingredient for horses in the US or Canada, although the Hemp Feed Coalition hopes to change that.

Cannabidiol has demonstrated numerous therapeutic benefits in people, including helping those with anxiety, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and others. In fact, the FDA of the United States recognizes CBD as a pharmaceutical drug for humans. In Canada, it is a controlled substance and Health Canada oversees its production and use for humans. If CBD is sold with a health claim, it needs to go through Food and Drug Regulations.

However, this becomes more complicated for its use with animals. CBD is not approved as a pharmaceutical therapy for animals, and yet it is also non-nutritional, often being called a nutraceutical. As we know, much of the nutraceutical industry is unregulated.

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Former NFL star Ricky Williams talks cannabis and mental health

 

“The nature of cannabis is it opens your mind. It got me thinking differently.”

Former National Football League (NFL) star Ricky Williams recently sat down with FOX Sports to talk about how cannabis impacted his mental health during his storied football career.

Williams, one of the greatest college football players of all time, played 11 seasons in the NFL. After his fourth violation of the league’s drug policy, Williams was suspended from the league for a year and went on to play the 2006 season with the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts.

Williams’ northern detour drew the ire of football legend Joe Theismann, who derided Williams as “a disgrace to the game.”

Williams addressed those comments in his interview with FOX.

“It was a little bit confusing. But the nature of cannabis is it opens your mind. It got me thinking differently,” Williams told FOX.

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U.S. overdose deaths total record 107,000 last year

Deaths caused by drug overdoses spiked to more than 107,000 in 2021, a year marked by the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic and a rise in fatal overdoses linked to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

The tainted drug supply in the United States continues to exact a grim toll as overdose deaths exceeded 107,000 in 2021, according to an estimate released on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in a statement that the most recent overdose numbers are “truly staggering.”

The CDC estimate exceeds the previous record for the number of overdose deaths set in 2020 by 15% and represents the equivalent of a death caused by drug overdose in the United States approximately every five seconds. The new record continues a trend of an increasing number of overdose deaths that has plagued the nation for more than twenty years, largely fueled by the nationwide opioid epidemic.

Deaths involving synthetic opioids also up

Last year, the number of overdose deaths involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids surpassed 71,000, a 23% increase over 2020. Deaths involving cocaine also increased by 23%, while deaths involving methamphetamine and other stimulants rose by 34%.

Fentanyl is often used by illicit manufacturers in counterfeit prescription opioids, making the drugs’ dosage and risk of overdose uncertain. CDC officials also noted that other drugs are often cut with fentanyl by unscrupulous dealers, who often leave their customers unaware of the danger.

“The net effect is that we have many more people, including those who use drugs occasionally and even adolescents, exposed to these potent substances that can cause someone to overdose even with a relatively small exposure,” Volkow said, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

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Thailand to give away 1 million free cannabis plants for home cultivation

Thailand residents may also grow “as many cannabis plants” as they wish at home for medical purposes.

Let the planting begin. Thailand’s government leadership signaled optimism regarding the country’s recent shift in medical cannabis reform with a massive plant giveaway.

Thailand Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said he will offer households 1 million cannabis plants for free in a May 8 Facebook post. Furthermore, beginning on June 9, Thailand residents will have the freedom to grow “as many cannabis plants” as they like in their own homes for medical purposes, according to Charnvirakul.

The Nation Thailand reports that the homegrown cannabis must be grown for medical purposes. Licensing will not be required for home cultivation, unlike commercial cannabis and hemp companies in the country.

“This will enable people and the government to generate more than 10 billion baht [$288,846,200 per year] in revenue from marijuana and hemp,” Charnvirakul said.

“Meanwhile, people can showcase their cannabis and hemp-related products and wisdom and sell their products nationwide.”

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Cannabis, heart disease, and a soy-derived supplement that may help

Researchers are still learning about the health impacts of cannabis. Derivatives of cannabis may have many health benefits. However, researchers are still learning how to balance these positives with potential health risks.

A recent studyTrusted Source published in the journal Cell examined the adverse cardiovascular effects of cannabis and found a particular impact on cardiovascular health.

However, the researchers also found that the compound genistein may help decrease these harmful effects.

Cannabis use is becoming increasingly popular, especially for recreational purposes. But researchers are still seeking to discover the full medicinal benefits of cannabis.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source notes that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the compound in cannabis that produces mind alterations and impaired mental functioning. Specifically, the main compound that causes these effects is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC). In contrast, the cannabidiol (CBD) compound of cannabis doesn’t cause this sort of impairment.

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationTrusted Source (FDA) has approved the use of Epidiolex, which contains CBD. People can use this drug as a seizure treatment. The FDA has also approved the use of two medications with synthetic THC: Marinol and Syndros. Both of these medications can control nausea and stimulate appetite.

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Cannabis use in people with multiple sclerosis

What misconceptions surrounding cannabis use would you like to dispel?

There are some misconceptions I would like to point out.

First, it is often said that cannabis is not addictive or that it is psychologically addictive but not physically addictive. While it’s true that it is not very addictive, you can become addicted to it.

Second, it would be extremely difficult to die from an overdose. However, like any other drug, it is possible to use too much, either tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)- or cannabidiol (CBD)-heavy strains, which may lead to serious side effects.

Third, CBD will not produce the psychoactive effects of THC, but it may alter your mood, which is why CBD should be described as non-intoxicating, but not as non-psychoactive.

Fourth, pure CBD products still contain 0.3% THC, which can result in a positive drug test.

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What smoking marijuana every day does to you

Understand the pros and cons.

A few weeks ago, New Jersey became the latest state to allow recreational marijuana dispensaries. Customers stood in line for hours for their first chance to legally purchase a substance many said helped them with various things from relaxation to the relief of chronic medical conditions. There is evidence that marijuana can be medically beneficial. But marijuana, like every substance, affects people differently. Here are five things that smoking marijuana every day may do to your body. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

Marijuana May Improve Chronic Pain

"The most common use for medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control," writes Peter Grinspoon, MD, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

"While marijuana isn't strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age." Cannabis may be effective for nerve and muscle pain. It has also been studied for the relief of headaches, insomnia, and fibromyalgia.

Marijuana May Exacerbate Mental Health Issues

Marijuana is renowned for being a relaxant, but in some people, it can have the opposite effect,  causing anxiety, paranoia, and even panic attacks, or exacerbating other mental health issues.

"Marijuana use can cause cognitive impairment and should be used with caution if you have a mental health condition," says the Mayo Clinic.

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Medicinal cannabis prescriptions are mostly going to young people

 

It’s been more than five years since Australia first introduced a medicinal cannabis program, and a new study has shed light on who exactly gets those scripts.

As reported by The Guardian, researchers from University of Sydney revealed a bunch of juicy statistics around who is being given prescriptions, and for what conditions. It found that chronic pain was the most common reason for medical cannabis being recommended to patients, accounting for 61 percent of prescriptions. Anxiety made up 16 percent of scripts, and sleep disorders 5.6 percent.

The study also shows that pre-pandemic, the age group receiving prescriptions ranged from 45 to 52-years-old. But since 2020, prescriptions are predominantly going to a much younger group, aged 20 to 31.

Queensland was the site of over 51 percent of medical cannabis prescriptions, despite Queenslanders only making up about a fifth of the population.

Sara MacPhail, who authored the study, says that further research is needed to work out why a disproportionate number of scripts were being written in the Sunshine State, and why it’s mostly younger people that are being prescribed the medication.

Interestingly, doctors are generally prescribing flower-based cannabis to patients with anxiety, even though there isn’t a robust body of research showing the flower-based form of the cannabis plant effectively treats the condition.

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How the pandemic became a bonanza for Florida’s medical marijuana industry

Rising anxiety and worsening chronic health conditions led to a surge in demand for cannabis that businesses have capitalized on. But thanks to state law, the industry is dominated by just 22 companies.

The pandemic has triggered a medical marijuana boon in Florida.

Over the past two years, the number of people with medical marijuana cards has more than doubled, hundreds more doctors have become licensed to qualify patients, new dispensaries have opened almost weekly and a wide variety of new products have become available.

With anxiety levels rising and chronic health conditions deepening during the numerous COVID-19 waves, more Floridians are seeking cannabis as a medical treatment and the industry has found a way to get it to them.

“We have a lot more people coming in and asking for medical marijuana, but I am also seeing an uptick in the severity of underlying problems,” said Dr. Paul Weisman, who operates ZC Concierge Cannabis Centers in South Florida.

“People have a lot of disabling anxiety right now, a lot of severe sleep disturbance from their anxiety and a lot of chronic pain for conditions that weren’t treated during the pandemic.”

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It’s possible to ‘factory reset’ your brain to get rid of different disorders, according to study

A new study claims to erase and manage conditions like anxiety and alcohol abuse via gene editing.

The brain has control over most things in our body. This pivotal organ is responsible for our moods, memories, thoughts, and so much more. Now, a new study suggests that it could be possible to give your brain a “factory reset,” as if it were an iPhone, and that this could help get rid of conditions like alcohol abuse and anxiety.

The study, published in the journal Science, focused on localizing the region of the brain responsible for the development of alcohol abuse and anxiety, showing how gene editing can erase or control people’s predisposition to these diseases.

Researchers from the University of Illinois based this study on previous findings that linked binge drinking in adolescence to altered brain chemistry, which could impact the way these people regulate their emotions, resulting in higher odds of having anxiety or alcohol abuse. The goal of their study was to use modern gene editing and figure out if these effects could be reversed.

The study was conducted on rats that were exposed to alcohol in their adolescence. Once the rats reached adulthood, researchers measured their levels of anxiety and their desire for alcohol by conducting different tests, including maze experiments and having them choose between different liquids.

Researchers highlighted the importance of adolescent drinking, which can lead to alcohol abuse later on and, more concerning, psychiatric disorders. They found that those who drink during their adolescence have less of a protein known as Arc. The gene-editing process is called CRISPR-d Cas9, and consists of cutting out DNA and allowing it to naturally replenish itself.

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