Does Researching Casual Marijuana Use Cause Brain Abnormalities?

Last week, a study was published that claimed to establish a link between casual marijuana use and abnormalities in the brains of recreational users. Intrigued by a claim made by one of the paper’s authors in the wave of ensuing press coverage, UC Berkeley computational biologist Lior Pachter decided to take a closer look.

From 109.com In reading the news last week I came across multiple reports claiming that even casually smoking marijuana can change your brain. I usually don’t pay much attention to such articles; I’ve never smoked a joint in my life. In fact, I’ve never even smoked a cigarette. So even though as a scientist I’ve been interested in cannabis from the molecular biology point of view, and as a citizen from a legal point of view, the issues have not been personal. However reading a USA Today article about the paper, I noticed that the principal investigator Hans Breiter was claiming to be a psychiatrist and mathematician. That is an unusual combination so I decided to take a closer look. Continue reading

Marijuana Rated Most Effective for Treating Fibromyalgia

From National Pain Report

April 21st, 2014 by Pat Anson, Editor
Medical marijuana is far more effective at treating symptoms of fibromyalgia than any of the three prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the disorder.

That is one of the surprise findings in an online survey of over 1,300 fibromyalgia patients conducted by the National Pain Foundation and National Pain Report.

The FDA has approved only three drugs – Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella — for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Although they generate billions of dollars in annual sales for Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Forest Laboratories and other drug makers, most who have tried the medications say they don’t work. Continue reading

Whoopi Goldberg: My vape pen and I, a love story

Cannabist columnist Whoopi Goldberg is a fan of the vape pen, which she says "changed my life. No, I'm not exaggerating." Seen here: A selection of vape pens. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

Cannabist columnist Whoopi Goldberg is a fan of the vape pen, which she says “changed my life. No, I’m not exaggerating.” Seen here: A selection of vape pens. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

 “I took a sip. It was beautiful. And my pen and I have been together ever since.”

By , The Cannabist Staff

My vape pen and I maintain a mostly private relationship. Sure, I’ll sometimes show my pen to a friend or share her with a close confidant. But mostly it’s just she and I working through my pain. And her ability to help me live comfortably with glaucoma makes her one of the more important figures in my day to day.

When I show her to a friend, the reaction 99 percent of the time is: “Holy shit, where did you get this and how can I get me one?” They’re seriously that blown away by my vape pen. And they should be. She’s that amazing. Continue reading

No, Weed Won’t Rot Your Brain

The ‘marijuana will rot your brain’ debate: neurological differences don’t necessarily mean impairment

From Boing Boing
There’s a new study out that’s being touted as proof that marijuana makes you dumb. But, while the results do show differences in the brains of people who smoked pot, the conclusion about what that means is seriously flawed, writes Maia Szalavitz at The Daily Beast.

Most of the time, it’s difficult to explain why scientific research or a conclusion about research results is flawed. That’s not the case here. You only have to understand two concepts: “normal” and “healthy”.
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From Daily Beast

Can casual marijuana use damage the brains of young adults? A new study says yes—but its participants suggest otherwise.

All across the Internet, headlines are screaming Buzzkill and Marijuana Makes Young Brains Go to Pot. But a new study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, does not in any way prove that casual marijuana use is bad for your brain.

In order to understand why, all you need to do is actually read the research—and be able to think a bit critically. You don’t need to know anything particular about fMRI or any other scary acronyms and you don’t need to know your amygdala from your Shatner’s Bassoon. You don’t even need to know any statistics.

Continue reading