Science

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Minnesota: Medical Cannabis Patients Report Benefits In Department of Health Study

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Majority of Minnesota Medical Cannabis Patients Saw Benefit in Program’s First Year

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Based on patient surveys and other data, a significant number of patients who used medical cannabis during the first year of Minnesota’s marijuana program reported benefits, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Less than a quarter of patients who participated in the study experienced negative side effects from cannabis.

The MDH study draws on data from survey results as well as enrollment, purchasing, and related health information to describe the experience of patients using medical cannabis from the program’s start on July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.

“Based on this evidence from the first year, Minnesota’s approach is providing many people with substantial benefits, minimal side effects, and no serious adverse events,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger.

Kentucky: University of Louisville Studying Industrial Hemp for Fuel

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By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

For a second consecutive year, the University of Louisville's Conn Center for Renewable Energy is planting industrial hemp at the school’s Belknap Campus. The university is planting two types of hemp and kenaf to research their potential as renewable energy resources.

The study will focus on the potential for the crops to fulfill energy needs and become a replacement source for biofuels, fibers and 3-D printer applications.

The research will be included in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.

Interim president of U of L, Greg Postel, stated that researchers are seeking "unusual answers to renewable energy questions."

“Having the crops grow on campus actually raises awareness about the research that we have going on at Conn Center,” said Assistant Director Andrew Marsh.

"What we do with this plant matter is actually convert it into substances that will help solve energy problems, so the mission of the center is to work on technologies to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, and this industrial hemp and kenaf planting is one of those research directions," said Marsh.

Many farmers in Kentucky believe hemp could help revitalize Kentucky’s agricultural sector, and the hope is the research at Conn will help students and scientists study the crop’s potential as a fuel.

Study: Long-Term Marijuana Use Linked To Changes In Brain's Reward's System?

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Sometimes you really have to wonder about the "scientific" studies which are being done on marijuana. Now there's a new one which says that because people who've smoked marijuana for years show more reaction to photos of objects used to smoke it than people who don't smoke marijuana when shown the same photos, that means cannabis "changes the reward system of the brain."

Researchers led by Dr. Francesca Filbey at the University of Texas at Dallas said they found that people who had used marijuana for 12 years, on average, showed "greater activity" in the brain's reward system when looking at pictures of objects used for smoking cannabis than when they looked at pictures of a "natural reward," their favorite fruits, reports Agata Blaszczak-Boxe at Fox News Health.

As if marijuana wasn't a natural reward, eh? It's no accident we have a human endocannabinoid system, people.

Study: Marijuana Doesn't Affect Physical Health, Except For Gums

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Chronic marijuana use has about the same impact on health as not flossing, according to an extensive new study.

A research team led by Madeline H. Meier of Arizona State University tracked the cannabis habits of 1,037 New Zealanders all the way from birth to middle age, to see exactly what effects marijuana has on common measures of physical health, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post. Those measures included lung function, systemic inflammation, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, body weight, blood sugar, and dental health.

After controlling for other factors known to affect health -- especially tobacco use and socioeconomic status -- cannabis use had no negative effect on any measure of health, except for dental health. People who smoked more marijuana had a higher incidence of gum disease.

Even after controlling for dental hygiene, such as likelihood to brush and floss, the relationship between marijuana use and poor dental health persisted.

U.S.: 'Cannabis Damages DNA' Claims Debunked By Leading Researcher

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

When a study was released last week claiming that marijuana use damages DNA, and that damage could be passed to one's children, of course it made headlines around the world. For many of us who have been acquainted with cannabis for a long time, the study sounded like nonsense, and now one of the field's leading researchers is calling "reefer madness" on the flawed study from Australia.

While the study from the University of Western Australia claims that smoking pot will give your kids cancer, cannabis has been shown in cell, animal, and limited human trials to prevent, halt, or kill cancer, researchers note, reports David Downs at East Bay Express. The study, released last week by Associate Professor Stuart Reece and Professor Gary Hulse at UWA, had the lengthy, scientific-sounding title, “Chromothripsis and epigenomics complete causality criteria for cannabis- and addiction-connected carcinogenicity, congenital toxicity and heritable genotoxicity,” and was published in the July 2016 issue of the journal Mutation Research.

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