Can Marijuana (CBD) Help Football Related Head Trauma?

From Raw Story February 8, 2016

NFL players experience the residual effects of brain injuries long after they retire from competing professionally. With each passing year, more and more football players are added to the list of those suffering from chronic brain injuries, yet federal medical marijuana policies, along with the NFL’s drug rules, forbid players access to marijuana for therapeutic purposes. The devastating and permanent consequences of chronic brain injuries will continue to affect the league unless the rules surrounding medical marijuana are updated to address the increasing rates of these injuries, says a former football player.

“If cannabis is implemented and [the NFL] can lead the science on this, they can resolve this brain injury situation in a big way,” said former NFL player Kyle Turley, the co-founder of Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, an organization that includes other outspoken retired players.

In 2015, researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 96 percent of the NFL players’ brains they examined. The condition was discovered in 79 percent of high school, college, semi-pro and professional football players studied, According to Boston University’s CTE Center, the disease is a progressive degenerative condition found prevalently among athletes with a history of receptive brain trauma, particularly in retired professional football players and boxers. The negative effects, which can begin within months, years, or decades after the last brain trauma, include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and progressive dementia.

“The NFL’s policy against medical marijuana is stupid and counterproductive,” said Dale Gieringer, director of the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “There’s no doubt NFL players would be better off with medical access to marijuana.”

Marijuana can be grown with rich strains of its second leading ingredient, cannabidiol (CBD), which has demonstrated neuroprotective neurogenic effects, which means it can be used as a brain healing drug. Meanwhile, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) ingredient in marijuana that’s responsible for its characteristic high can be dialed down so that the drug’s euphoric effects barely emerge. CBD provides relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, and spasms without the stoned effect. It has demonstrated benefits for those with a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, multiple-sclerosis, chronic pain, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and epilepsy.

The high-inducing effects of THC have cast a long shadow over the benefits CBD could offer a patient or player, and has contributed to the delay in legalizing medical marijuana, according to Dr Bonni Goldstein, the medical director of Ghost Group, which specializes in treating pediatric seizures with medical cannabis. California was the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana; since then 23 more states allow doctors to prescribe marijuana as a therapy. Because the NFL is considered a non-profit organization, the federal government has the last say when it comes to their drug policies. Even if players sought to use CBD-rich strains of medicinal marijuana from a doctor in a legalized state to ease head injuries in between games, they’d be denied, fined, and subject to further penalties.

“Marijuana is not nearly as addictive as alcohol or even nicotine and caffeine for that matter,” Goldstein told Medical Daily. “It makes no sense. We can no longer talk about medical marijuana as if it’s the same as street pot. It’s a challenging thing when there’s still a stigma in the medical community.”

Radical Rant: Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton on Marijuana

hightimes.com

By Russ Belville · Tue Feb 02, 2016

The first of the presidential nominating contests is complete. The Iowa Caucus was held last night and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton eked out a 0.3 percent win over her challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Clinton picked up 28 delegates to Sanders’ 21 delegates, with three of those delegates coming by way of Hillary winning three coin flips in three precincts that had come up tied.

The real winner last night, though, was marijuana consumers who would be far better off under a President Sanders, who now has the political momentum, than under a President Clinton.

Hillary Clinton maintains a perspective on marijuana better suited for 2000 than 2016. She still believes the jury is out on medical marijuana, saying, “I don’t think we’ve done enough research yet.”

Apparently over 29,000 studies on the government’s PubMed database just aren’t “enough research yet.”

Though she’s warmed up a bit to medical marijuana, her idea of reform is to move cannabis from Schedule I (a deadly dangerous drug with no medical use and high potential for abuse, like LSD and heroin) down to Schedule II (a deadly dangerous drug with medical use and high potential for abuse, like cocaine and meth).

Senator Sanders, meanwhile, has a perspective on marijuana suited for 2016 and beyond. “The time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana,” Sanders told students at George Mason University last year.

More than three-in-five (77 percent) of Millennial Democrats (born ’81-’96) agree with Senator Sanders, as do almost two-thirds (63 percent) of Millennial Republicans. Three-in-five Gen-X Democrats (’64-’80) and two-thirds (66 percent) of Boomer Democrats (’46-’64) also agree that marijuana ought to be made legal.

Hillary Clinton is also the Democrat in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry, as noted by Marijuana Politics blogger Romain Bonilla:

Despite naming the pharmaceutical industry as one of her greatest “enemies,” Hillary Clinton has received more money from drug companies than any other candidate this cycle. Pharmaceutical manufacturers donated more than $340,000 for her 2008 presidential bid – and in just the first six months of her 2016 campaign, Clinton has received over $160,000 from drug companies. To top it off, Big Pharma giants Pfizer and Proctor & Gamble each have donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation. And that’s likely just the tip of the iceberg, as Clinton enjoys the support of numerous Super PACs whose finances are notoriously obscure.

Big Pharma doesn’t want to see the spread of legalized marijuana competing with some of its best-selling prescription drugs. Of the top 10 most advertised drugs on television, medical marijuana competes with #2 Lyrica (neuropathic pain), #5 Humira (anti-inflammatory), #6 Latuda (depression), #7 Xeljanz (anti-inflammatory), #8 Celebrex (pain reliever), and #9 Abilify (depression).

With a President Hillary Clinton on their side, Big Pharma needn’t worry about adjusting the nearly $1 billion in ad buys for those six drugs. As a Schedule II drug, you’d still need to “ask your doctor if prescription cannabis is right for you” and Big Pharma will certainly have pills, sprays, and inhalers of cannabinoid medicines at the ready.

With a President Bernie Sanders, Big Pharma shareholders recoil at the thought of you planting your own medicine in your back yard without any approval needed from a doctor, a pharmacist, or a government.

Scientific American: CBD may be effective treatment for those with drug-resistant epilepsy

Source

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Charlotte Figi, an eight-year-old girl from Colorado with Dravet syndrome, a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy, came into the public eye in 2013 when news broke that medical marijuana was able to do what other drugs could not: dramatically reduce her seizures. Now, new scientific research provides evidence that cannabis may be an effective treatment for a third of epilepsy patients who, like Charlotte, have a treatment-resistant form of the disease. Continue reading

Marijuana does not lower IQ and can reverse cognitive decline, according to recent studies

Image: Marijuana does not lower IQ and can reverse cognitive decline, according to recent studies

Marijuana has been paraded as the drug that makes you dumb. This caricature is rapidly loosing merit in 21st century. Multiple studies attest that cannabis does not lower IQ and can bolster cognitive performance.

In the first study of its kind, scientists investigated the long-term effects of marijuana use in teens, comparing IQ fluctuations in twin siblings who either used or refrained from marijuana for 10 years. After taking various environmental factors into consideration, the scientists found no connection between marijuana use and a lower IQ.

“This is a very well-conducted study… and a welcome addition to the literature,” Valerie Curran, a psychopharmacologist at the University College London, told sources. Her colleagues deduced “broadly the same conclusions” in a separate non-twin study with more than 2,000 British teenagers published this month in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Previous studies that associated marijuana with cognitive decline, like memory loss and low IQ, only analyzed a “snapshot” in time, explained statistician Nicholas Jackson of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, head author of the study. This makes it impossible to determine which came first: the drug use or the cognitive decline.

To navigate around these hurdles, scientists began investigating large groups of teenage drug use over time. The first study found a significant decline in IQ between the ages of 13 and 18 in heavy marijuana users than those who scarcely, if ever, used marijuana before the age of 18. However, the authors of the study acknowledged that they failed to consider other factors that may have lowered IQ, such as a teen’s family environment or whether they dropped out of school.

An effective way to address this problem is with identical twin studies. In the recent study, researchers reviewed 789 pairs of adolescent twins enrolled between the ages of 9 and 11. Over 10 years, the team administered five intelligence tests and confidential surveys about the use of marijuana, opioid painkillers, cocaine and binge drinking.

Although marijuana users lost about four IQ points, so too did their abstinent twin siblings. “Our findings lead us to believe that this ‘something else’ is related to something about the shared environment of the twins, which would include home, school, and peers,” Jackson said.

Furthermore, twins who reported daily marijuana use for six months or more did not show any change in their IQ compared to teens who tried marijuana fewer than 30 times. This is a “clear indication that cannabis is unlikely to be the cause of any IQ decline,” said Claire Mokryz, a Ph.D. student in Curran’s lab.

In fact, other studies suggest that marijuana can actually boost cognitive performance. One of the latest discoveries about cannabinoids, a class of chemical compounds in marijuana, is their ability to act as an antioxidant in the brain.

According to German researchers, cannabinoids are capable of cleansing and repairing damaged brain cells. In addition, they increase the production of new brain cells, which contradicts years of conventional understanding about how the brain ticks. Furthermore, cannabinoids fuel mitochondria in the brain, the powerhouses of energy responsible for proper cell function.

These discoveries suggest that cannabinoids could be used to mitigate brain inflammation, which leads to cognitive decline, neural failure and brain degeneration. By providing these receptor sites with cannabinoids, patients may be able to treat and reverse brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.

The medicinal benefits of marijuana continue to mount. However, the authors of the twin study do not encourage teenagers to smoke pot. “This does not mean that heavy use in adolescence is problem-free,” said Jackson. “We desperately need more research on the effects that marijuana has on the brain.”

Sources include:

(1) ScienceMag.org

(2) NaturalNews.com

Rick Simpson: healing cancer with cannabis

Ganja Yoga

editor’s note: i fully endorse this video. it is a bit advanced, but her instructions are spot on, so even beginners could try this session.

According to a study published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine, one of the top reasons people try yoga is to relieve stress. Coincidentally, the same is true about marijuana. Those in favor of the marijuana-and-yoga partnership claim that marijuana is a useful tool to help students reach a deep state of relaxation and connection to their environment.

Dee Dussault, cannabis-enhanced yoga instructor in San Francisco, said, “I believe in such classes because cannabis provides additional pain relief, anti-inflammation, relaxation of body and mind, and entry into alternate states of consciousness. These aspects enhance the many benefits of yoga and meditation practice.”

“Cannabis turns off areas of the brain related to cognitive functions that keep us in linear, mental orientation and turn on parts of the brain related to creativity and nervous system relaxation. When coupled with a conscientious yoga practice, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”… read more

The Top 10 Reasons to Try Medical Marijuana

 Thanks to Green Flower Media for this post

Micro Dosing Content

Now that we’ve brought cannabis out of the shadows and into the light on a national scale, more and more people are giving medical marijuana a try for the first time.

For many, however, this is not an easy decision to make. The stigma is still quite heavy, and there is still a lot of confusion after so many decades of propaganda and misinformation.

Bringing medical cannabis into the equation often involves a lot of research, dialogue, and careful consideration – basic due diligence we should apply prior to the use of any medication.

So if you or somebody you know is perhaps on the fence about whether or not to give cannabis a try, here are 10 points you might want to consider.

1.) Cannabis is safer than you might think.

cannabis grinder

We are still hearing some of the old myths from public figures and media channels about the dangers of cannabis. It’s a gateway drug or it makes you lazy or you’ll end up ruining your life. Continue reading

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