Latest science shows there is no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ

From Alternet

Moderate cannabis consumption by young people is not positively associated with changes in intelligence quotient (IQ), according to data [2] presented this week at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual congress in Berlin, Germany.

Investigators at the University College of London analyzed data from 2,612 subjects who had their IQ tested at the age of eight and again at age 15. They reported no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15 [3] when confounding factors such as subjects’ history of alcohol use and cigarette use were taken into account.

“In particular alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline,” the authors wrote in a press release cited [3] by The Washington Post. “No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change.” Continue reading

Cannabis May Have Eased Breast Cancer Symptoms of 2,500 yr old Siberian Ice Princess

Screen shot 2014-10-17 at 7.34.45 PMVia IFL Science A 2,500-year-old mummy was extracted from the Altai Mountains in Russia in 1993. As it had been encased in permafrost and protected from the elements, the body was in exceptional condition. The mummy was identified as a female who died in her early 20s. Her body was decorated in tattoos that were still visible on her well-preserved skin and she was buried with meat, ornate clothing, and accessories. These clues indicate that she was a woman of importance during her life, leading to her nickname as the “Altai Princess.” She was identified as belonging to the Pazyryk culture.

Over 20 years after her discovery, researchers have found that the ice princess was plagued with metastatic breast cancer and may have used cannabis to self-medicate as a way to relieve the painful symptoms of her condition. The findings were published in the journal Science First Hand.

Recent MRI scans of the Altai Princess revealed that she had a host of maladies throughout her life. She showed signs of osteomyelitis, a bone infection, from her younger years. Increased bone density is an indicator of this illness. Nearer to the time of her death, her bones also showed signs of damage that hint that she fell from a height, such as falling off of a horse. As the Pazyryk people routinely rode horseback, this wasn’t altogether unexpected. However, there was one big surprise: the Altai Princess also had breast cancer which had spread throughout her body.  Continue reading

In Biased New Australian “Study”, Researcher Claims Marijuana Causes Mental Disorders, Loss of Intelligence

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Surprise, surprise: When you summarize the results of 20 years’ worth of the most anti-marijuana studies you can find, you get anti-marijuana conclusions. In what is being touted in sensationalistic press accounts as a “definitive study,” an Australian is claiming that his investigation into 20 years of marijuana research shows that cannabis is addictive, causes mental health problems and is a gateway to hard drug use.

Professor Wayne Hall, a drug advisor to the World Health Organization and specialist in addiction at the University of Queensland in Australia, said that heavy, daily use of pot can also lead to car crashes and unhealthy babies. He arrived at this conclusion by hand-picking the most anti-marijuana studies from the past 20 years and passing them off as a “definitive new study.”

For those of us who are actually familiar with scientific studies of cannabis, all of this may sound rather odd, since double-blind, gold standard studies have already shown that marijuana is at worst mildly habit-forming; other such studies have thoroughly debunked the “gateway theory” that claims pot leads to harder drugs; and yet more such studies have shown that babies born of pot-smoking mothers tend to be healthier and have higher levels of cognition than babies of mothers who used no illegal substances at all.

Hall’s “findings,” based on his interpretations of cherry-picked government-funded anti-marijuana studies from the past 20 years rather than performing any actual new research, were published in the October 6 issue of the journal Addiction.

His conclusions are that people who drive after smoking pot are more than twice as likely to be in a car accident, and that teens who toke up regularly are twice as likely as adults to have impaired brain function and mental disorders, reports Meredith Engel at New York Daily News.

Hall’s described connection between marijuana use and schizophrenia is also very suspect scientifically, since the best research we have in that regard shows that Live Science.

Hall said that because overdosing on marijuana is “rare” (actually, even according to Hall’s study itself, it has never happened to anyone, ever, in history — yeah, I’d say that qualifies as “rare”), “many view it as safer.” But he said the “long-term effects” should not be discounted.

Hall said that efforts to discourage new users, especially young ones, should be undertaken by the government in as many ways as possible, reports Alice G. Walton at Forbes. “Regulation of cannabis should learn from experiences with alcohol and tobacco and use in limiting the number of heavy users by using taxation, limiting promotion of cannabis use and restricting where cannabis can be sold and by whom,” Hall said.

Even Hall had to admit that marijuana “is not as harmful as other illicit drugs such as amphetamines, cocaine and heroin, with which it is classified under the law in many countries, including the USA,” reports Agata Blaszczak-Boxe at LiveScience.

But that didn’t stop Hall from saying, “If cannabis is not addictive, then neither is heroin or alcohol,” according to the Daily Mail.

If you’re still deciding if you should trust this guy, here’s what he said next; weigh it carefully: “It is often harder to get people who are dependent on cannabis through withdrawal than for heroin — we just don’t know how to do it,” Hall claimed.

The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council funded the study, reports Sean Kinney at Daily Rx.

- See more at: http://hemp.org/news/node/4105#sthash.MCRBiTNy.OLxMvDcP.dpuf

 

Mom facing jail time for giving son high-CBD Rick Simpson oil to stop seizures

Several states in the country have passed laws which allow the use of medical marijuana in recent years. Some laws, like in California or Michigan, cover a wide array of illnesses and/or disorders. Others, like Florida’s “Charlotte’s Web” law, are more focused on neurological disorders like epilepsy or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Regardless of the laws, parents across America are turning to medical marijuana as treatment for their children suffering from neurological diseases, and many are experiencing remarkable results.

Angela Brown, from Madison, Minnesota, is one of these parents.

Her 15-year-old son, Trey, suffered a traumatic brain injury during a pick-up baseball game with his friends three years ago. Since then, Trey has had severe headaches, muscle spasms, and seizures to the point that he couldn’t go to school and began punching and cutting himself, according to Valley News Live.

“It just hurts in my brain everywhere,” Trey said. “I really can’t explain the pain.”

“No mother should have to hold their child so they don’t hurt themselves. He didn’t want to live” said Angela, who calls the medical marijuana a lifesaver.

Last year, the Browns traveled to Colorado, where they used medical cannabis as a treatment.

Within an hour of Trey using the medical marijuana, Angela said she could tell a difference. “Once it hit his system, Trey said the pressure in his brain was relieved,” she told the Huffington Post. “You could literally see the muscle spasms stopping. He felt amazing.”

“I felt better; the pain went away,” said Trey.

But when Trey’s school found out that cannabis oil was responsible for his recovery, they were none too pleased.

“It was a week later when my mom called and said, ‘The cops are looking for you,’” said Angela.

Officials confiscated the oil and charged Angela with “child endangerment and causing a child to need protection,” reported Valley News.

Despite the fact that Minnesota has passed a law similar to the Charlotte’s Web law, Angela is facing up to two years in jail and a $6,000 because the law doesn’t go into effect until next year.

Angela and her defense attorney, Michael Hughes, rejected a plea deal and will be taking the case to trial.

“The prosecutor’s version of this is that a good mom allows her child to be in pain, to self-harm, and attempt to take his life,” Angela said. “I guess that’s a good mom in his eyes.”

Without the cannabis oil, Trey’s symptoms have returned. “He’s got the muscle spasm, the pain, everything back to where it was before,” said Trey’s father, David Brown.

Strains of medical marijuana like Charlotte’s Web, which are low in THC and high in cannabidiol and don’t get the users “high” like other strains, have proven to be a miracle drug for patients who don’t respond to other forms of treatment. Until the out-dated and inhumane laws are changed, countless patients like Trey will continue to suffer and parents like the Browns will be labeled as criminals for simply trying to help their children.

 

Amy is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow her on Twitter @AEddings31.

92% of patients say medical marijuana works

From The Washington Post

A 2013 survey in the New England Journal of Medicine found that nearly 8-in-10 doctors approved the use of medical marijuana. Now, a wide-ranging survey in California finds that medical marijuana patients agree: 92 percent said that medical marijuana alleviated symptoms of their serious medical conditions, including chronic pain, arthritis, migraine, and cancer.

The data come from the California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a representative health survey of 7,525 California adults produced by the Public Health Institute in partnership with the CDC. Researchers found that in total, five percent of California adults said they had used medical marijuana for a “serious medical condition.” Continue reading