Science

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Africa: Cannabis Use Among Male African Pygmies Linked To Decreased Risk Of Infection

PygmyMarijuana[Pinterest]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Could using cannabis help protect against parasitic infection? A study from Africa seems to show that it does.

In a population of Congo Basin foragers called the Aka, 67 percent of men—but just 6 percent of women—use cannabis, and the practice seems to protect against infection with parasitic worms.

The large sex difference, which is also seen in tobacco use, might be a consequence, in part, of women's avoidance of smoking during childbearing years.

The results highlight the need for more research on the high rate of cannabis use in Aka men.

“Recreational drug use is rarely studied in hunter gatherers,” said Dr. Edward Hagen, senior author of the American Journal of Human Biology study. "In the same way we have a taste for salt, we might have a taste for psychoactive plant toxins, because these things kill parasites," he said, reports Science Daily.

“We’re intrigued by the possible link between cannabis use and parasitic worms, which resembles the self-medication behavior seen in numerous species.

"We need to be cautious, though, in generalizing from one study in a unique population to other populations,” Dr. Hagen, a Washington State University anthropologist, said.

The Aka, as one of the world's last group's of hunter-gatherers, offer anthropologists a unique window into a way of life covering some 99 percent of human history; they might also offer an alternative hypothesis explaining human drug use.

U.S.: President Obama Nominates Chuck Rosenberg To Head Beleaguered DEA

ChuckRosenbergDEA

DEA Increasingly Scrutinized as States Legalize Marijuana and Public Opinion Turns Against Failed Drug War

A senior F.B.I. official and former U.S. Attorney, Chuck Rosenberg, has been selected by President Obama as interim director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Rosenberg has served as the chief of staff to the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, for the past 18 months.

Outgoing DEA head Michele Leonhart announced her retirement last month in the wake of numerous scandals. She came under intense criticism for opposing the Obama Administration’s efforts to reform mandatory minimum sentencing laws, and for opposing the administration’s hands-off approach in the four states that have approved legal regulation of marijuana.

The DEA has existed for more than 40 years but little attention has been given to the role the agency has played in fueling mass incarceration, racial disparities, the surveillance state, and other Drug War problems. Congress has rarely scrutinized the agency, its actions or its budget, instead showing remarkable deference to the DEA’s administrators.

U.S.: Thursday, May 14 Town Hall On Teens And Drugs To Feature Expert Dr. Carl Hart

DrCarlHart(ColumbiaUniversity)

Dr. Hart Will Take Questions from Listeners

Dr. Carl Hart, Columbia University professor and the best-selling, award-winning author of High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society will join the Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele on Thursday, May 14, from 1 – 2 p.m., EDT for a discussion on how our current approaches to teaching our children about drugs fail – and actually make them more vulnerable to the harms of drug use.

Hart is also expected to explore the impact of drugs on the developing adolescent brain, as well as the myths and prejudices at the roots of drug prohibition.

Dr. Hart has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, Jon Stewart’s "The Daily Show," and other national media outlets. He is a dedicated scientist, activist and educator who has spent his career researching drugs and their impact on human beings.

His work addresses the rampant misinformation about drugs and their perceived harms, dispelling the prevailing myths that link crime, drugs and poor people of color.

Dr. Hart’s talk is the fifth in a series of quarterly telephone town halls sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance. The conversations seek to bring some of the most learned and influential people working in the field of drug policy before the general public so that together we can create an ever-more informed and shared understanding about drugs and society.

Study: Marijuana is effective in the treatment of chronic pain

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By Monica Pupo,
Hemp News Correspondent

Published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a recent study showed that the use of marijuana to relieve chronic pain is very common. Plus, patients reported greater relief with cannabis use than when using only opioid drugs.

The research included 1,514 people who live in Australia and received opioid prescription for treatment of non-malignant chronic pain. According to scientists, "Associations between demographics, pain, personal characteristics of each patient and the use of cannabis for pain."

The results showed that one in six - or 16% - had used cannabis for pain relief, and 6% in the previous month. Almost half (43%) of the sample had also used cannabis for recreational purposes.

A quarter of participants reported that would use marijuana for pain relief if he had access. Those who already use cannabis for pain on average are younger, reported higher pain intensity and greater pain interference in their daily lives.

The conclusion of the study shows that "cannabis use in order to relieve the pain seems common among people living with non-malignant chronic pain - and users report greater pain relief with the combination with opioids, than when the opioids are used alone."

Study: Study: Findings from the Pain and Opioids IN Treatment (POINT)

To read Monica Pupos blog, please visit http://maryjuana.com.br

Study: Daily Marijuana Use Doesn't Change Brains Of Teens Or Adults

Marijuana&TheBrain

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

It's a repeating pattern. Last year, the mainstream press gave lots of attention to a study suggesting that daily marijuana use could cause abnormalities in the brain. But now that new research, using better techniques, indicates that claim simply isn't true, it doesn't get nearly as much coverage.

The authors of the new study, "Daily Marijuana Use Is Not Associated with Brain Morphometric Measures in Adolescents or Adults," which was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that alcohol use was actually responsible for the brain changes found in previous studies, reports Ray Stern at Phoenix New Times.

An abstract of the study describes how scientists could not replicate recent research that claimed cannabis use "is associated with volumetric and shape differences in subcortical structures."

The MRI brain-scan reports of 29 adults and 50 adolescents who use cannabis daily were compared with MRI scans of the same numbers of adult and teen non-users of cannabis.

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