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Tobacco is infinitely worse than Marijuana

Tobacco Is Much Worse Than Marijuana

Tobacco is a product that does a lot of damage. Marijuana is infinitely worse and it’s something that we do not want to encourage.” — Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.

Well Mr. Harper, the opposite is true. Tobacco is infinitely worse than Marijuana.  Despite being preventable, the leading cause of death in North America is due to tobacco.

A study, published in January 2012 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, tested the lung function of over 5,000 young adults between 18 and 30. After 20 years of testing, researchers found some buzzworthy results: regular marijuana smokers (defined by up to a joint a day for seven years) had no discernible impairment in lung activity from non-smokers.

In fact, researchers were surprised to find marijuana smokers performed slightly better than both smokers and non-smokers on the lung performance test. Why? The most likely explanation seems to be that the act of inhaling marijuana—holding each puff in for as long as possible—is a lot like a pulmonary function test, giving marijuana smokers an edge over their cigarette smoking counterparts. Researchers discovered that when it comes to the lungs, when it comes to marijuana smoking, results show that occasional marijuana use was linked to increased lung air flow rates and an increase in lung capacity.

People who smoke marijuana do not appear to be at increased risk for developing lung cancer,

Prohibitionists earnestly tell us that smoking just one joint “equals a pack of cigarettes.” Or maybe it’s 16, or maybe just four cigarettes; they seem a little unclear on the exact number. This fallacious conclusion is derived from a study by Dr. Donald Tashkin in which the UCLA researcher examined airflow resistance in the lungs of tobacco smokers compared to that in the lungs of marijuana smokers. Dr. Tashkin did find that daily pot smokers experience a “mild” increase in airflow resistance in the large airways, greater than that seen in persons smoking 16 cigarettes per day. But what they don’t tell you is that, ironically, Dr. Tashkin also found – in the largest study ever of its kind – other, more important markers of lung health, in which marijuana smokers did much better than tobacco smokers. People who smoke marijuana — even heavy, long-term marijuana users — do not appear to be at increased risk for developing lung cancer,

Dr. Tashkin said these results “were against our expectations.” Early on, when our research appeared as if there would be a negative impact on lung health, I was opposed to legalization because I thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects,” Tashkin says. “But at this point, I’d be in favor of legalization. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don’t think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm.” – Dr. Tashkin

We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use, Dr. Tashkin said. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”
Tar and carbon monoxide are some reason’s why tobacco and marijuana are dangerous. Tests have proven that the amount of tar and carbon monoxide in marijuana is about 2 times more then the amount of tar and carbon monoxide in tobacco’s. This would mean that 1 joint equals 2 cigarettes. But, marijuana smokers smoke fewer joints than people that smoke cigarettes. So if you look at the facts, it is true that marijuana contains more tar and carbon monoxide then cigarettes, but when you look at it in a real life situation you see that the cigarette smoker loses against the marijuana smoker.

People will not develop emphysema from smoking marijuana.

There have been no reports of lung cancer related solely to marijuana.

Where there are millions of people that we know of that died of lung cancer, solely from smoking cigarettes. Unlike tobacco, marijuana causes no problems with the lung’s small airway. That shows that people will not develop emphysema (chronic lung disease) from smoking marijuana. Marijuana smokers generally don’t chain smoke, and so they smoke less. (Marijuana is not physically addictive like tobacco.) The more potent marijuana is, the less a smoker will use at a time. Tobacco contains nicotine, and marijuana doesn’t. Nicotine may harden the arteries and may be responsible for much of the heart disease caused by tobacco.

THC is a bronchial dilator and a killer of cancer cells

Marijuana contains THC. THC is a bronchial dilator, which means it works like a cough drop and opens up your lungs, which aids clearance of smoke and dirt. Nicotine does just the opposite; it makes your lungs bunch up and makes it harder to cough anything up. THC may also encourage aging cells to die earlier and therefore be less likely to undergo cancerous transformation. THC has been found to reduce tumor growth in common lung cancer by 50 percent and to significantly reduce the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University, who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies. The researchers suggest that THC might be used in a targeted fashion to treat lung cancer. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm

THC inhibits tumor growth

Although the researchers do not know why THC inhibits tumor growth, they say the substance could be activating molecules that arrest the cell cycle. They speculate that THC may also interfere with angiogenesis ( the growth of new capillary blood vessels in the body), and vascularization (abnormal formation of blood vessels), which promotes cancer growth.

Compounds found in cannabis have been shown to kill numerous cancer types including: lung cancer, breast and prostate cancer, brain cancer,  leukemia and lymphoma, glioma, skin cancer, and pheochromocytoma. THC in marijuana has well-defined anti-tumoral effects that have been shown to inhibit the growth of a variety of cancers in animal models and tissue culture systems.

Lead 210

Scientists do not really know what it is that causes malignant lung cancer in tobacco. Many think it may be a substance known as Lead 210. Of course, there are many other theories as to what does cause cancer, but if this is true, it is easy to see why no case of lung cancer resulting from marijuana use alone has ever been documented, because tobacco contains much more of this substance than marijuana.

Here are some facts for us all to consider:

Fact 1: Deaths from Use

Tobacco = 5,000,000 annually
Marijuana = 0 ever.

Fact 2: Medical Uses

Tobacco = 0
Marijuana = Over 100 various medical uses

Fact 3: Toxins

Tobacco = 4,000, over 69 are known to cause cancer
Marijuana = 0

Fact 4: Addiction

Tobacco = 75% of people that smoke nicotine related products are highly addicted
Marijuana = 9% of the population that uses cannabis can become addicted

Fact 5: Cancer

Tobacco = 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking cigarettes
Marijuana = A Marijuana-derived compound forces cancer cells to freeze and prevents them from spreading

So we can conclude that marijuana is much SAFER than tobacco. Comparing the two, smoking cigarettes increases the risk of lung diseases and lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and high blood pressure.

Bottom line, use a Vaporizer.

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Sources:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/marijuanatar.asp

http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2012/01/11282/marijuana-shown-be-less-

damaging-lungs-tobacco

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1277837/

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/new-study-suggests-risks-

marijuana-use-have-been-overestimated

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060526083353.htm
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/large-study-finds-no-link/
https://patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com/marijuana-info/marijuana-and-your-lungs-recent-studies/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-truth-about-pot/

Roger’s Bud Facts

Here are some interesting facts about marijuana you may not have known:

In 1876, the Sultan of Turkey gave marijuana to the United States as a gift. By 1880, Turkish smoking parlors were opened all over the northeastern U.S. – http://brainz.org/420-milestones-history-marijuana/

A pot smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response. – http://dangerousminds.net/comments/how_much_pot_would_it_take_to_kill_you

Research has found that THC (the main active component of marijuana), has a growth-inhibiting effect on the cancer cells in liver. – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21475304

THC and CBD, marijuana’s primary cannabinoids, are both cancer killers.

Research has found that smoking cannabis/pot in your teens can lead to a decline in I.Q., but similar effects were not seen in those who started smoking as adults. – http://www.nature.com/news/drop-in-iq-linked-to-heavy-teenage-cannabis-use-1.11278

In 2008, a British man was sentenced to four years in jail in Dubai after Customs officers found 0.003 grams (0.0001 ounces) of cannabis in a cigarette stub stuck on the sole of one his shoes.

A recent study proved that cannabis aids both lung and breast cancer-and does not cause any form of cancer. It only cures.

In Bhutan, marijuana grows wild and is more common than regular grass. However, virtually no one smokes it. Instead it is the number one source of feed for pigs. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXJwNSkdTH0&feature=youtu.be&t=4m11s

Studies have proven that the high from cannabis is very comparable to that of a runners high.

There are four people in the US who not only can get legal marijuana, but the federal government sends it to them, free. – http://nowiknow.com/license-to-toke/

he first two drafts of the United States Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper.Before its ban, hemp was a common cash crop for family farms in early America.

The NBA does not test athletes for marijuana use in the off season.

Cannabis is the largest cash crop in the U.S., exceeding corn and wheat combined – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cash_crop#United_States

Although cannabis is illegal in Australia, there’s a town in New South Wales revolving almost only around weed selling and weed tourism where cannabis is both sold and grown openly. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nimbin,_New_South_Wales

In North Korea, distribution, possession and consumption of cannabis is very legal, and is recommended as a healthier alternative to tobacco. “Visitors tell stories of marijuana plants growing freely by roadsides.” – http://bigbudsmag.com/communist-cannabis-is-north-korea-a-legal-marijuana-state/

Marijuana seeds are a source of all amino acids. They are one of only a handful of substances that man can sustain off indefinitely with no other food and provide all known amino acids. – https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Marijuana_Cultivation/Fundamentals/Parts_of_the_Plant#Seeds

The University of Mississippi operates the United States’ only legal marijuana farm, on behalf of the government. – http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/12037857

US, Canadian and Australian consumption of cannabis per capita is more than double that of the Dutch, despite it being legal in Netherlands. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annual_cannabis_use_by_country

Cannabis grew rampantly in Brooklyn around 1951 before being eradicated by the Sanitation Department – http://brooklynology.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/post/2011/01/28/White-Wings-and-Dream-Stuff.aspx

Marijuana triggers neurogenesis. Layman’s terms: It leads to brain cell growth.

42% of people in Canada have tried marijuana at least once.

There is zero evidence that marijuana causes significant lung damage.

Marijuana has been in an “official” state of prohibition since 1937-s Marijuana Tax Act (in the United States). Because, among other reasons, it made white women desire black men.

Colorado and Washington legalized cannabis for recreational use this past October. They have estimated tax revenues of over $550 Million from this legalization.

Over the last decade, the NYPD has spent 1 Million Hours Making 440,000 Marijuana Arrests.

The last four presidents, including Barack Obama, have all admitted to smoking cannabis.

Since Nixon declared the “War On Drugs” in 1971, over a trillion dollars have been spent on it. It takes the average person under an hour to find drugs in a new city.

BEER & MARIJUANA are cousins: beer’s hops are in the
same family of flowering plants as marijuana.

Study after study has found that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.

Legalizing marijuana would generate $8.7 billion in federal and state tax revenue per year.

Marijuana has been legal for personal use in Alaska since 1975, and it’s still legal today.

The “SEX Party” in Australia is looking to legalize marijuana, euthanasia, censorship, abortion, and tax the church.

A Marijuana-derived compound forces cancer cells to freeze and prevents them from spreading.

George Washington grew Marijuana in his farm.

Medicinal Marijuana is Considered Kosher in Some Cases by Judaism.

MARIJUANA is legal and is not even classified as a drug in North Korea.

California was the first U.S. state that banned Marijuana a century ago.
Uruguay became, in 2013, the first country in the world to make it legal to grow, sell and consume marijuana.

In the U.S., a sentence of life in prison without parole was given for trying to sell US$10 of marijuana to an undercover officer.

In 1949, the U.S. Military created a synthetic version of Marijuana called “Dimethylheptylpyran.” Just 1 mg can have effects lasting for 3 days.

Legal marijuana is the fastest-growing industry in the U.S. in 2015.

The U.S. government’s “official expert” on Marijuana from 1938 to 1962 once testified in court, under oath, that he had smoked marijuana and it turned him into a bat.

The first recorded use of Marijuana was in China, over 4700 years ago.

789 grams of 2,700-year-old marijuana were found in a Chinese tomb in 2008.

In India, it is not uncommon to consume marijuana in milkshake form.

Bob Marley was buried with his red Gibson guitar, a Bible open to Psalms 23 and a bud of marijuana.

The first arrest for Marijuana possession and selling in the U.S. occurred in Denver, Colorado on October 2, 1937.

In the Netherlands, there are dozens of public facilities where you can bring recreational drugs including marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy to test if they are safe.

Marijuana is the most common illegal drug used in the United States. Approximately 100 million Americans have tried marijuana at least once, and more than 25 million have smoked it in the last year.

Worldwide, it is estimated that about 162 million adults use marijuana at least once per year, and 22.5 million use the drug daily.

The first e-commerce transaction to take place on the Internet was the sale of cannabis – http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/apr/19/online-high-net-drugs-deal
In Colorado, medical marijuana dispensaries outnumber Starbucks locations 3 to 1 – http://cannabisnews.com/news/25/thread25864.shtml
Carl Sagan wrote a paper under the pseudonym Mr. X advocating for Marijuana use. His identity as Mr. X was not revealed until after his death – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/carl-sagan-marijuana_n_3367112.html

After Tupac was cremated, his ashes were mixed with marijuana and smoked by members of his hip-hop group, Outlawz. – http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/young-outlawz-admit-smoking-tupac-shakur-ashes-mixed-marijuana-1996-article-1.950906

Cigarettes Kill 443,000 people a year-in the United States Alone. Vending machines kill 10 people a year. That’s 443,010 more than cannabis has ever killed.

Rastafarians are legally allowed to possess marijuana in Italy due to it being a ‘sacrament’ to the religion. – http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/07/10/us-italy-marijuana-

After alcohol, marijuana is the most popular recreational or mood-altering drug used worldwide.

Just under 40% of high school students in the U.S. report using marijuana at least once in their life, and 20% report using it regularly.

There are over 200 slang terms for marijuana in the popular vernacular. Some of the more common nicknames include pot, grass, weed, hash, and ganja.

The cannabis plant can grow in nearly any environment and averages one to two inches of growth per day and up to 18 feet total in ideal conditions.

Cannabis seeds were used as a food source in China as early as 6000 B.C.

The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug occurred in 2737 B.C. by Chinese emperor Shen Nung. The emperor documented the drug’s effectiveness in treating the pains of rheumatism and gout.

Marijuana’s effects on teenage girls’ brain is much more serious than the very moderate effects on the teenage male – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432811004360
During Prohibition, Pharmacies sold “Medicinal Whiskey,” much like today’s Medicinal Marijuana. – http://coloradorestlessnative.blogspot.ca/2010/01/medicinal-whiskey-and-loophole.html
The word “canvas” is derived from the word “cannabis” because canvas used to be made from hemp fiber. – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=canvas

The first law in the American colonies regarding marijuana was a 1619 law that actually required farmers to grow the hemp plant. Once harvested, hemp was useful for clothing, sails, and rope.

Marijuana production and trafficking make up the world’s largest drug market and the substance can be grown in almost every country. The United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC) has data on 172 countries and territories known to grow marijuana.

Paraguay is believed to be the world’s largest producer of marijuana.

According to the UNODC, there are several countries worldwide where greater than 8% of the population are said to use marijuana. Among those countries are the United States, Canada, England, Spain, France, South Africa, and New Zealand.

From 1850 to 1942, marijuana was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia as a useful medicine for nausea, rheumatism, and labor pains and was easily obtained at the local general store or pharmacy.

In 2003, Canada became the first country in the world to offer medical marijuana to pain-suffering patients.

Legalization would save Canada an estimated $14 billion per year.

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References

Abel, Ernest L. 1980. Marihuana: The First Twelve Thousand Years. New York, NY: Plenum Press.

Booth, Martin. 2003. Cannabis: A History. London, England: Doubleday.

Chapkis, Wendy and Richard Webb. 2008. Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine. New York, NY: New York University Press.

Leggett, Ted. “Why Should We Care about Cannabis?” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Accessed: November 29, 2008.

Robinson, Rowan. 1996. The Great Book of Hemp: The Complete Guide to the Environmental, Commercial, and Medicinal Uses of the World’s Most Extraordinary Plant. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.

U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. “Marijuana Facts & Figures.” Accessed: February 10, 2009.

World Drug Report 2008. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Accessed: December 2, 2008

 

Once and for all, Marijuana is not a gateway drug!

Marijuana prohibition, not marijuana is the gateway to hard drugs

While most people who use harder drugs like heroin have used cannabis, only a small proportion of people who use cannabis go on to use hard drugs. However, buying cannabis brings you into contact with the illegal drugs trade, making it more likely that you will be exposed to other drugs .The surging debate surrounding the legalization of marijuana has brought with it the resurrection of the “gateway theory,” which alleges that experimenting with marijuana leads to the use of harder drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

It is ‘prohibition of marijuana,’ not marijuana, that is the gateway.

Some people still believe weed is a “gateway drug.” On the contrary, it is the policy of drug prohibition–not the drug per se–that creates a gateway into a criminal underworld of crime and contaminated products.  A new survey shows that nearly half of voters (46%) believe marijuana use leads to use of harder drugs. Thirty-seven percent (37%) do not see marijuana as a “gateway” drug.

http://www.druglibrary.org/SCHAFFER/library/studies/iom/IOMReport.htm

In 2006, the University of Pittsburgh released a study

( http://scienceblog.com/12116/study-says-marijuana-no-gateway-drug/ )   in which researchers spent 12 years tracking a group of subjects from adolescence into adulthood and documented the initiation and progression of their drug use. The researchers found that the gateway theory was not only wrong, but also harmful to properly understanding and addressing drug abuse:
“This evidence supports the likelihood that someone will transition to the use of illegal drugs is determined not by the preceding use of a particular drug but instead by the user’s individual tendencies and environmental circumstances.”

Crossing the Line

Turning to a criminal underground results in otherwise law-abiding citizens crossing that boundary between the legal and the illegal. It gives buyers a level of comfort in a world outside the law. Criminal organizations have no reason to check ID. Why should they? It’s no more illegal to sell to minors than to adults. A criminal enterprise also has no reason to ensure purity, or grade and label potency. Why bother? A customer who gets a bad product has no recourse–and may in fact end up dead. Survivors can’t report problems to the FDA or a consumer protection bureau so there is no removal of bad dealers over time.

You aren’t likely to be able to find a heroin dealer if you can’t even score weed. Compared with pot dealers, sellers of hard drugs tend to be even less trusting of customers they don’t know, in part because they face greater penalties. But if you’ve proved yourself by regularly purchasing marijuana, dealers will happily introduce to you to their harder product lines if you express interest, or help you find a friend of theirs who can.

Once the customer has entered the “shop,” there is every incentive to up-sell to higher margin products. The customer who comes to a Honda dealership asking for a Civic might be encouraged by a rational dealer to look at the Accord. A customer asking for marijuana might rationally be encouraged to try heroin or cocaine or meth. Marijuana being schedule I is absolutely insane. We have states that have legalized it recreationally and medically, people have used it for thousands of years medicinally, and no one has died from it. So what’s the message the DEA and federal govt are sending to young, impressionable people? If marijuana is a schedule I drug but is safe, maybe the other drugs are too. Since certain drugs are taken less seriously, people are more likely to abuse them and not keep their addiction in check.

In the criminal world, conversations about the risks of marijuana for developing brains or the risks of heroin for everyone do not take place. Only in a legal regulated environment can such educational efforts occur.

Of course, in theory, people could protect themselves by never using any mind-altering substances, but that is not a realistic expectation. Like cats are attracted to catnip, we as a species, might have certain predispositions , an inclination to seek out substances that provide relaxation or alter mood or consciousness,  provide euphoria.

Just like prescription pills and tobacco, alcohol is seen as more socially acceptable in society because the government approves of it. However, all substances are more dangerous than marijuana. If anything, alcohol is the gateway drug. Alcohol use precedes marijuana use, and so does tobacco. Is alcohol and tobacco the real gateway drugs?

Instead of making policy predicated on the assumption that humans are able to be ‘perfect’ and that we can achieve a drug-free World, it’s far better to acknowledge who we are as a species, have our faults, and develop ways to manage these problematic substances–and legalization is a prerequisite for regulation.

Stop using the criminal law in a futile attempt to prevent drug use. Instead, legalize, regulate, educate and manage. Let’s save all the money now spent on drug arrests, prosecution and incarceration. Prosecute only underage sales. Stop the failed policy of prohibition. Close that gateway to the criminal underworld.

It is the policy of drug prohibition that is the gateway to harder drugs.

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Sources:

http://www.jsad.com/doi/abs/10.15288/jsa.1992.53.447

https://books.google.ca/books?

hl=en&lr=&id=N5HAU639wnMC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=marijuana+is+not

+a+gateway

+drug&ots=KCruESaLbZ&sig=XqEn0VEocfL8_ywlkKaieFBGLzY#v=onepa

ge&q=marijuana%20is%20not%20a%20gateway%20drug&f=false

http://www.jstor.org/stable/40325834?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S037687169700032X

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1360-

0443.2002.00280.x/abstract;jsessionid=2B40B5B6503986667D3A47B4E1

B1D4C6.f03t04?
userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09595230500126698

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10826089209047353

http://www.theguardian.com/science/sifting-the-evidence/2015/mar/03/is-

cannabis-a-gateway-drug
http://www.druglibrary.org/SCHAFFER/library/studies/iom/IOMReport.htm

http://scienceblog.com/12116/study-says-marijuana-no-gateway-drug/

Marijuana helps with Stress

Stress Kills You

Here are some alarming stress statistics, 44% adults feel more stressed than they did 5 years ago, 1 in 5 adults experience ‘extreme stress’ causing shaking, heart palpitations, depression. Work stress causes 10% of strokes. Stress is the basic cause of 60% of all human illness and disease. 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments. Stress increases your risk of heart disease by 40%, heart attack by 25%, and stroke by 50%. 40% of stressed people overeat or eat unhealthy foods. 44% lose sleep every night. Stress related ailments cost Americans $300 billion every year in medical bills and lost production. So it seems stress is a serious problem. If It feels like stress Is killing you, that’s because it is. When you feel ‘frazzled’, so do your organs and cells.
Marijuana and its derivatives have profound effects on a wide variety of behavioral and neural functions, ranging from feeding and metabolism to pain and cognition.

Stress Kills Brain Cells – The endocannabinoid system

Stress is a killer—at least for brain cells. A new study shows that a single socially stressful situation can reduce the production of endocannabinoids in the brain, reducing production of newly created neurons in the hippocampus, the brain region involved in memory and emotion. Although most of the brain stops growing by adulthood, new nerve cells are continually generated in the hippocampus, where they are essential for learning. Scientists have long known that chronic stress can inhibit this process by which neurons are generated and lead to depression. Stress shrinks the brain. Chronic stress leads to depression. Marijuana’s cannabinoids can replenish this shortfall of endocannabinoids, therefore, no depression.

Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids and Stress

Endocannabinoids are chemicals in the brain that are quite similar to the chemicals known as cannabinoids in marijuana. Endocannabinoids are involved in appetite, memory, mood, and pain sensations. They’re also involved in the psychoactive effects that weed has on us, as well as brain functions like cognition, behavior, and emotions. Among its various functions, the endocannabinoid system naturally regulates anxiety and stress levels. It does this through the release of chemicals that belong to the same class of chemicals found in marijuana: (endo)cannabinoids. In small doses, weed high in the cannabinoid CBD’s, relieves anxiety. Marijuana can act as a sedative and improves mood by reducing anxiety. The natural endocannabinoid system regulates anxiety and the response to stress by dampening signals in the brain. Marijuana regulates both anxiety and the body’s fight-or-flight response. When a person is exposed to chronic stress, or severe emotional trauma, there can be a reduction in the production of natural endocannabinoids. When this happens, anxiety levels tend to increase. Using marijuana can reduce this anxiety because the effect of its cannabinoids on the cannabinoid receptors in your body makes up for the reduction in the production of natural endocannabinoids.

Weed has a calming and relaxing effect

Most common reason people use cannabis is rooted in its ability to reduce feelings of stress, tension, and anxiety. Significant numbers of people may be self-medicating with weed in an attempt to reduce excessive anxiety. Weed is not dangerous as is alcohol, and it’s a peaceful drug: It has a calming and relaxing effect that must be associated with decreased anxiety.

A new study highlights the drug’s potential anxiety relief effects. Researchers at Vanderbilt University discovered cannabinoid receptors in an emotional hub of the brain in mice, which monitors anxiety as well as the flight-or-fight response. The authors state this is the first time that cannabinoid receptors have been found in the amygdala, the amygdala is an almond shaped mass of cells located deep within the temporal lobe of the brain. It is involved in many of our emotions and motivations, particularly those that are related to survival. The amygdala is involved in the processing of emotions such as fear, anger, and pleasure. It “could be highly important for understanding how cannabis exerts its behavioral effects,” Dr. Sachin Patel, senior author of the study, said in a press release. “We know where the receptors are, we know their function, we know how these neurons make their own cannabinoids,” Patel continues. “Now can we see how that system is affected by stress. It might fundamentally change our understanding of cellular communication in the amygdala, which has shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions.”

The use of cannabis in the treatment of anxiety disorders such as chronic stress was first described by ancient Indian medical literature, which said that cannabis helped its user to be “delivered from all worries and care” (Da Orta 1563). Regular marijuana users report that marijuana helps to reduce their anxiety levels. Studies show that the endocannabinoid system – the body’s natural cannabinoid system – plays a major role in regulating anxiety as well as the growth of new brain cells (neurogenesis), which is believed to improve anxiety levels.

On the other hand, paranoia and anxiety attacks are some of most commonly reported side-effects of marijuana use, especially in new and infrequent users. Indeed, studies have revealed a complex link between cannabinoids and anxiety, suggesting that marijuana’s effect on anxiety depends on both the dosage taken as well as the type of cannabinoids that are present. Today’s marijuana strains were bred to have very high levels of THC with low levels of CBD and CBG, thus the anxiety and paranoia. The weed we use today is not like the leaf of the sixties. Users who claim they get paranoid when they smoke weed would tell a different story if they smoked a reefer with high levels of CBD’s . Most studies involve pure THC which fail to accurately portray the effects of marijuana on anxiety, since cannabis contains over 60 different cannabinoid compounds. Studies have found CBD to play a major role in regulating anxiety and have even suggested that it may be a more effective treatment than THC for anxiety disorders. The first study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6285406) to document CBD’s effect on anxiety was published in 1982. The study found that CBD could block the anxiety provoked by THC among 8 healthy test subjects, implying that CBD-rich marijuana strains may be a better option for relieving anxiety.

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– The Endocannabinoid System and the Brain
Annual Review of Psychology
Vol. 64: 21-47 (Volume publication date January 2013)
First published online as a Review in Advance on July 12, 2012
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143739

– http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6285406

– http://www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/S0896-6273%2814%2900017-8

– http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306142803.htm

– Cannabinoids Ameliorate Impairments Induced by Chronic Stress to Synaptic Plasticity and Short-Term Memory http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v38/n8/full/npp201351a.html

– Cannabinoid Receptor Activation Prevents the Effects of Chronic Mild Stress on Emotional Learning and LTP in a Rat Model of Depression http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v39/n4/abs/npp2013292a.html

Marijuana and Osteoporosis

Approximately 15 million Americans and Canadians over the age of 50 have osteoporosis and 80% of them are women. An additional 34 million have low bone mass which predisposes them to developing osteoporosis. New research is now revealing that the endocannabinoid system plays a significant natural roll in the development of bone mass, leading to the question of whether or not medicinal cannabis can play a roll in fighting osteoporosis.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a degenerative skeletal disease characterized by a deterioration of bone tissue. The word osteoporosis means “porous bones,” and is associated with the aging process. It is a condition in which our bones lose their mineral content and mass, becoming more fragile and prone to fractures. Any bones can be affected, but the hip and spine are the most vulnerable. Patients with osteoporosis are at risk for suffering multiple fractures and other serious disabilities. Medications commonly prescribed for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis come with side effects. Biphosphonate medications such as Boniva, Fosamax, Reclast and Actonel are commonly prescribed for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, however, they come with side effects, the most common being nausea, upset stomach and inflammation of the esophagus. In addition, some patients experience bone, joint and muscle pain, cardiac arrhythmias, and a rare side effect called osteonecrosis (bone damage) of the jaw. Given the severe side effects of prescription drugs, a safe alternative is obviously being sought. And that safe alternative is cannabis.

Endocannabinoids and bone

Substances made in the body called endocannabinoids which are produced mainly in the brain, are present also in the bone. These substances bind to and activate two receptors, CB1 and CB2. Researchers discovered a high level of CB2 receptors in bone, and that this is required in order to preserve normal bone density. Researchers studied the skeletons of genetically engineered mice ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19656492 ) lacking the CB2 receptor. As they aged, these CB2-deprived mice developed severe osteoporosis, similar to that which appears in humans. Osteoporosis is the most widespread degenerative disease in developed countries and can lead to multiple fractures, disability and complications, and even death. The scientists’ findings have thus assigned, for the first time, a physiological function to CB2 in preserving bone density and showed that it stimulates bone building and reduces bone loss. This indicates that a cannabinoid (Marijuana based) anti-osteoporotic type drug that not only will help with Osteoporosis, but strengthen bones and promote faster healing of broken bones. The results show not only that the CB2 receptor is essential for the maintenance of a normal bone mass; they also open up completely new possibilities for therapy.

Marijuana accelerates bone healing

Researchers are particularly interested in looking at the effects of marijuana on bone healing, because pot use and broken bones are both fairly common. The researchers had previously found that cannabinoid receptors can stimulate bone formation. In the new study, the team injected rats that had broken thighbones with either CBD alone, or a combination of CBD and THC. The researchers found that CBD enhanced bone healing by strengthening the cartilage “bridge” that forms when a bone is on the mend. This cartilage gradually mineralizes and hardens into new bone. In rats treated with CBD, this collagen tissue was stronger, and the collagen molecules more tightly cross-linked with one another, compared to rats not treated with the marijuana compound. What this means, researchers wrote online May 10 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research ( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbmr.2513/abstract ) , is that the healed bone in CBD-treated rats is less likely to break in the future compared to the healed bone in untreated rats. In fact, the treated bone is between 35 percent and 50 percent stronger.

In summary, it appears that the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for the prevention of osteoporosis may be a safer and more effective treatment than standard pharmaceuticals. In addition, cannabis can enhance the healing process with bone fractures.

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Sources

http://bigbudsmag.com/using-medical-marijuana-to-battle-osteoporosis/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19656492

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbmr.2513/abstract