Apr 212014
 April 21, 2014
NORML Responds To Latest Media Frenzy Over Pot And 'Brain Damage' Fears

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director The mainstream media launched into a reefer mad frenzy this week after researchers from Harvard University in Boston and Northwestern University in Chicago published the results of a neuroimaging study assessing the brains of a small cohort of regular marijuana smokers and non-users. The brain scans identified various differences between the two groups in three aspects of brain morphometry: gray matter density, volume, and shape. These differences triggered dozens of high-profile media outlets to lose their collective minds. Here’s a sampling: CNN: Casual marijuana use may damage your brain Financial Post: Study proves occasional marijuana use

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Apr 182014
 April 18, 2014
Neuropsychological Deficits: Fact And Artifact About Marijuana Tests

By Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D State University of New York at Albany Chair, NORML board of directors A new study claims to show small deficits on neuropsychological tests in college students who started smoking marijuana early in life. It might get a lot of press. Prohibitionists love to bang the drum of marijuana-related cognitive deficits, so I’d like NORMLites to know how to make sense of this sort of research. The recurring themes in this literature involve several alternative explanations that never seem to dawn on journalists. These results often arise from artifacts of the study rather than physiological effects of the plant.

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Apr 162014
 April 16, 2014
What Are The Active Ingredients In Medical Marijuana?

By Robert Bergman The medicinal and psychoactive effects that we associate with marijuana are caused by unique chemical structures called cannabinoids found in the actual plant. To date, there have been 86 cannabinoids identified in nature and others have been synthesized chemically. The major psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is delta-g-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC (although other naming systems refer to it confusingly as delta-t-THC). Other cannabinoids, in addition to THC, have medicinal or psychoactive elements. Cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabavarin (THCV), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), delta-8-THC, cannabicyclol (CBL), cannabitriol (CBT), and cannabielsoin are among the many different naturally-occurring cannabinoids. Most

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Apr 162014
 April 16, 2014
Frequent Marijuana Users Less Likely To Engage In Problematic Alcohol Use

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director Those who report consuming cannabis two or three times per week are less likely to engage in at risk drinking behavior, according to data published online in The American Journal of Addictions. Investigators from Sweden’s Lund University, Department of Clinical Sciences, analyzed data from a nationwide survey on alcohol and drug use conducted by the National Institute of Public Health. Over 22,000 respondents between the ages of 15 and 64 participated in the survey. Researchers reported that frequent cannabis consumers (defined as having used cannabis two or three times per week) were less likely to engage in

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Apr 022014
 April 2, 2014
Higher Potency Marijuana Doesn't Predict Dependence

Researchers in the Netherlands have concluded that the THC potency of marijuana used by consumers does not reliably predict their risk for marijuana dependence.  The amount of THC consumed, whether from low-potency or high-potency sources, also did not tend to indicate a person’s chance of marijuana dependence. Peggy van der Pol, a doctoral candidate at the Trimbos Institute of the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction and her team decided to investigate the commonly held belief that marijuana smokers who use higher potency varieties will adjust their smoking pattern to use less marijuana. The researchers looked at 98 young

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Can You Overdose On Marijuana?

 Posted by at 6:49 AM on March 24, 2014  Marijuana Science
Mar 242014
 March 24, 2014
Can You Overdose On Marijuana?

By Robert Bergman Fatal cannabis overdose in humans is a thing that simply doesn’t exist. The scarcity of cannabinoid receptors in the medullary nuclei (the part of the brain that controls respiratory and cardiovascular functions) is largely the reason why there have been no reports of fatal cannabis overdose in humans, Nevertheless, heavy doses can produce certain unpleasant reactions. In some rare cases, moderate doses could result in acute panic reactions characterized by anxiety, paranoia, self-consciousness, loss of self-control, wild racing thoughts, and disorientation. Fortunately, these reactions tend to subside with a few hours with no medical treatment required. Sufferers

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Mar 182014
 March 18, 2014
Inhaled Marijuana Mitigates Parkinson's Disease Symptoms

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director Inhaling whole-plant cannabis provides symptomatic relief in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to observational trial data published in the March/April edition of the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology. Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that results in tremor, slowed movement, and muscle rigidity. Investigators at Tel Aviv University, Department of Neurology evaluated Parkinson’s disease symptoms in 22 patients at baseline and 30-minutes after inhaling cannabis. Researchers reported that inhaled cannabis was associated with “significant improvement after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinsea (slowness of movement). There was also significant improvement of sleep and pain

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Mar 162014
 March 16, 2014
Pediatric Epilepsy And CBD Seminar With Dr. Bonni Goldstein

There has been a significant increase in CBD legislation recently across the country. While I don’t like the idea of CBD only legislation, I recognize that CBD is needed by many people, and the quicker we can get it in patient’s hands the better. I get questions all the time from patients in non-medical marijuana states asking if CBD would help them or someone that they care for, especially for those suffering from epilepsy. CBD has proven to be a very effective medicine for those suffering from epilepsy, and if you suffer from epilepsy or know someone that does, I

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Can Dabs Be Safe?

 Posted by at 6:47 AM on March 3, 2014  Marijuana Science
Mar 032014
 March 3, 2014
Can Dabs Be Safe?

In this interview with Steep Hill Halent Labs Founder & COO, Addison Demoura, will answer some of the Cannabis testing industry’s most timely and concerning questions, like: What is the problem with only testing for THC? Are concentrates safer than simply smoking with a lighter? Where are we going in terms of state regulation as legalization spreads? What are the main things you deserve to be aware and mindful of, as you choose how & where to get your personal, or collectives cannabis products tested? If you want to get the biggest, smoothest hits from a vape pen, and look

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Can Marijuana Kill You?

 Posted by at 9:20 AM on March 1, 2014  Marijuana Science
Mar 012014
 March 1, 2014
Can Marijuana Kill You?

By Mitch Earleywine A recent headline reads: “Can Marijuana Kill You? German Scientists Say Yes.” The article focuses on a study of two (count ‘em, two!) young men who died while they had detectable levels of THC in their blood. I take a lot of pleasure in this kind of melodrama. If prohibitionists are stooping this low, we must really be frightening them. (It’s not completely pharmacologically ridiculous. Marijuana does increase heart rate. In fact, it can jack up heart rate almost as much as an espresso or energy drink. Maybe if you already had a weak heart and a coffee and

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