Connect with us

All about Cannabis

Cannabis & Hospitalization

Published

on


Cannabis and hospitalization go hand-in-hand, according to a new study. Cannabis consumers are 22 percent more likely to visit emergency rooms and require hospitalizations. Led by researchers at Unity Health Toronto, they surveyed 4,800 cannabis users over 12 months. They compared the data with 10,000 people who had never used cannabis.

Despite the observational nature of the study, the lead author of the study, Dr. Nicholas Vozoris, told CTV that:

“Our analyses are adjusted and controlled for all of these other factors, making it less likely that the other factors explain the positive emergency department visit and hospitalization finding.”

Observational vs. Experimental Research 

Among the reasons for hospitalizations or ER visits, cannabis users reported acute trauma (15%) as the most common cause. Followed by respiratory problems (14%) and gastrointestinal issues (13%).

But the study was observational and therefore unable to say that cannabis use causes higher hospitalization rates. This was a correlational study. Despite the lead researcher’s claim, this study did not test a specific intervention against a control group. All they did was look at the data on particular groups and then form a conclusion.

Observational research can give us insight into what types of connections exist between lifestyle and risks of a specific disease. But all they can do is show correlation. Even the researchers admitted as much, given their small sample size. They said further research is needed to confirm the “possible link between all-cause mortality and respiratory illness.” 

Cannabis & Hospitalization Study Bias 

Cannabis & Hospitalization

Because this was an observational study with no control group, the claim that the study controlled for other factors of hospitalization, like alcohol use, opioid use, prescription drug use, underlying mental health or medical conditions, is patently false. 

The study did not compare rates of ER visits and hospitalizations among cannabis consumers to rates among users of alcohol, opioids, prescription drugs, or other substances. The lead researcher, Dr. Vozoris, said he’s unaware of existing research comparing these rates.

Vozoris hopes this study will inform the public that cannabis is not risk-free. But what exactly has this study proven, if anything at all? 

The Problem with the Cannabis & Hospitalization Study 

Dr. John Ioannidis, a professor at Stanford University, criticizes observational study research. In his paper, “Why Most Published Research Findings are False,” he explains that “research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.”

And that seems to be the case here.

There’s nothing in this study to indicate why cannabis users would have higher rates of hospitalization and ER visits.

Suppose there are factors the researchers haven’t considered. The only way to truly determine a cause between two variables is to do an experimental study like a randomized control trial. Plenty of observational studies can confirm that cannabis users have higher hospitalization rates. But, without randomized control trials, this correlation tells us nothing.

It’s like the correlation between Nicolas Cage movies and swimming pool drownings. No serious researcher would publish a paper highlighting this correlation, concluding that more observational research was needed, and then remind people that “Nicolas Cage movies aren’t risk-free.”

That’s essentially what has happened here. 

That’s why studies like this always call for “further research.” All they have to do is claim a possible connection between cannabis and hospitalization. But with observational research, it is impossible to say x causes y. If anything, “further research” will increase the number of studies claiming a relationship between cannabis and hospitalization, muddying the waters for researchers doing real science.





Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All about Cannabis

What are the most active ingredients in hemp and cannabis?

Published

on

By


Delta-9 THC is the most common active ingredient in cannabis. And CBD is the second most common on the market today. But are THC and CBD the first and second most active ingredients in cannabis?

Two cannabis ingredients more active than D9-THC

CBN (cannabinol) and delta-8 THC, byproducts of THC-acid or CBD, lightly agonize CB1 receptors with less activity than delta-9 THC.

Pharmacologists use a binding efficacy measure to deduce a molecule’s activity on a receptor. At CB1 receptors, D9-THC is nearly two times more active than a minor variant of itself known as THCv. Albeit an agonist in small doses, THCv (tetrahydrocannabivarin) is more commonly known as a neutral CB1 receptor antagonist. Neutral antagonism and inverse agonism is still activity, though.

Different types of activity at receptor sites. Courtesy of Coll, A. 2013. (1)

Infamously, a minor ingredient in cannabis chemovars known as THCp is thirty-three times more active than D9. (2) However, hexyl-THC is also present in cannabis with an unknown affinity and efficacy. (3)

THCp is the most potent ingredient in cannabis, with hexyl-THC in second place. Yet, more research needs to confirm hexyl-THC’s affinity at CB1 receptors. Furthermore, THC-oct, also known as THCj, has not yet been seen in cannabis but is more active than THCp given its longer side chain.

The most active ingredient in hemp

CBD partially binds to and agonizes the therapeutic human cannabinoid receptor, CB2. But let’s not forget about one terpene and ingredient in most hemp and cannabis chemovars, b-caryophyllene — a full CB2 receptor agonist. B-caryophyllene does not directly affect CB1 receptors, whereas CBD works as a Negative Allosteric Modulator (NAM) at CB1 receptors. That means CBD changes how THC’s stone feels, reducing part of the CB1 receptor’s spectrum.

Hexyl-CBD is, however, also present in cannabis. (3) With a longer-side chain, hexyl-CBD is more active than its common cousin, according to studies in mice. And a renowned study documented the discovery of CBDp and THCp in chemovars from the Italian government a year earlier — but only tested the latter. (2)

Cannabimimetic activity

At the end of the day, efficacy and affinity at CB1 or CB2 receptors still cannot deduce the ‘activity’ of a cannabinoid. Cannabidiol is broad, affecting a large umbrella of biological mechanisms. The promiscuous cannabinoid, therefore, is often descriptive of CBD.

Then again, it is one of the most thoroughly studied cannabinoids. And more research on CBG (cannabigerol) has come to light in recent years, with CBC (cannabichromene) and other ingredients still in the background.

CBD protects the endocannabinoid known as anandamide, which partially activates the CB1 receptor agonist. Likewise, ibuprofen and chocolate protect anandamide. In contrast, CBG protects 2-AG, an endocannabinoid that functions as a full CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist. Not surprisingly, drugs that protect 2-AG face delays due to their more broad cannabimimetic effect.

Furthermore, CBG and CBGa are both more potent COX-2 inhibitors than CBD, but not necessarily CBDa. The plant produces acidic phytocannabinoids, whereas COX-2 enzymes degrade the endocannabinoids.

What is the second most active ingredient in cannabis?

That question depends on many factors, and researchers can only make estimations at this time.

  • Efficacy at CB Receptors — Hexyl-THC (given THC-oct/THCj does not occur naturally.)
  • Activity at CB1 Receptors respective to abundance in current chemovars — CBN (cannabinol)
  • Activity at CB2 Receptors respective to abundance in current chemovars — Beta-caryophyllene
  • General cannabimimetic — THCa (with full spectrum extract) (4)
  • Most sites affected — CBD

Opining that CBD is the second most active ingredient in cannabis exposes two problems in cannabis science and endocannabinology. Firstly, the quantified answer to photodynamic activity is not straightforward. Secondly, the answer is not known.

Let us know in the comments what you think defines a cannabinoid’s activity level. And check out this story to learn more about hexyl-THC.

Sources

  1. Coll, Anthony. (2013). “Are melanocortin receptors constitutively active in vivo?”. European journal of pharmacology. 719. 10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.04.051.
  2. Citti C, Linciano P, Russo F, et al. A novel phytocannabinoid isolated from Cannabis sativa L. with an in vivo cannabimimetic activity higher than Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabiphorol. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):20335. Published 2019 Dec 30. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56785-1
  3. Linciano P, Citti C, Russo F, et al. Identification of a new cannabidiol n-hexyl homolog in a medicinal cannabis variety with an antinociceptive activity in mice: cannabidihexol. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):22019. Published 2020 Dec 16. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79042-2
  4. De Petrocellis L, Ligresti A, Moriello AS, et al. Effects of cannabinoids and cannabinoid-enriched Cannabis extracts on TRP channels and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1479-1494. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01166.x





Source link

Continue Reading

All about Cannabis

RIP Olivia Newton-John: Medical Cannabis Advocate – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

Published

on

By


Olivia Newton-John, the Grammy Award-winning singer, died this week at 73 years old after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. While she was known as one of the stars of Grease, the Australian singer/actress was also a medical cannabis advocate.

And her use of medical cannabis may have extended his life. Diagnosed in 1992, Olivia battled breast cancer for over 30 years.

Olivia Newton-John: Medical Cannabis Advocate 

In a Facebook message, Olivia Newton-John’s husband said she “passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California,” surrounded by family and friends.

“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years, sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer,” the post states. It also asks that interested fans send the foundation a donation in place of flowers.

In a September 2018 interview with High Times, Olivia Newton-John said she was consuming cannabis as part of her treatment. She called it a “magical, miracle plant.”

Olivia Newton-John

“My husband’s a plant medicine man so he grew cannabis and made tinctures for me for pain and inflammation,” she said. “The pain was the hardest thing. I can walk, but I can’t go long distances.” 

Medical cannabis, she says, “helped me a lot with pain because I don’t like taking prescription drugs.”

“I really believe the cannabis has made a huge difference,” she told 60 Minutes Australia in 2019. “If I don’t take the drops, I can feel the pain, so I know it’s working.”

“People have this vision from the ’60s of people just sitting around and getting stoned. It’s not about that. This plant is a healing plant. I think we need to change the vision of what it is because it helped me greatly and it helps with pain and inflammation.”

“I’m totally off painkillers, I’m totally off morphine, and I attribute that to the cannabis because it was able to take over with the pain,” she told You Magazine in March 2021.

The late singer and actress also called cannabis “kind and compassionate.” “It’s what should be available for everybody to use,” she said.

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre

Olivia Newton-John’s experience with medical cannabis led her to create the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre in Melbourne in 2012.

“I have seen the incredible beauty of the plants and their healing abilities… if I hadn’t had that experience, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you about kinder therapies… your body wants to heal itself,” she once told the Daily Mail

“That’s why I’m excited to start this foundation.”

Olivia Newton-John spent years lobbying the Australian government to legalize medical cannabis. Politicians legalized medical cannabis in 2016, but not without restrictive rules and regulations many patients criticize as overly bureaucratic. 

30 Years Battling Cancer

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John’s cancer resurfaced in 2017, a third time since her original diagnosis in 1992. But, as she told the media:

“When you’re given a cancer diagnosis or a scary honest diagnosis, you’re suddenly given a possibility of a time limit. If somebody tells you, ‘You have six months to live,’ very possibly you will because you believe that. So for me, psychologically, it’s better not to have any idea of what they expect or what the last person that has what you have lived, so I don’t, I don’t tune in.”

Staying positive certainly helps. But so does medical cannabis. While Newton-John used it to ease her symptoms, research shows cannabis also has anti-tumour properties.

As well, several studies suggest cannabinoid therapy reduces breast cancer cell proliferation.

Unfortunately, cannabis’s anti-cancer properties weren’t enough to save Olivia Newton-John. Things might have been different if she had started cannabinoid treatment with her first diagnosis in the early 90s.

But we at least have her repertoire of songs and performances. And through her celebrity, she was able to promote cannabis-based medicines and therapy.

Without Olivia Newton-John’s intense lobbying efforts, would the illiberal Australian government have ever legalized medical cannabis?

Rest in peace, Olivia Newton-John. Medical cannabis advocate.





Source link

Continue Reading

All about Cannabis

Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Cyberattack  – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

Published

on

By


The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is the victim of another cyberattack, this time leaving retailers unable to process or get their orders delivered.

Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Latest Cyberattack

Unlike the previous May 11 cyberattack, the OCS said customers’ information wasn’t compromised. Instead, the August 5 attack targeted the OCS’s third-party distribution centre, Domain Logistics.

In a statement, the OCS said: “However, out of an abundance of caution to protect OCS and its customers, the decision was made to shut down Domain Logistics’ operations until a full forensic investigation could be completed.”

The OSC Monopoly

Despite the Ontario Cannabis Store’s reassurances, the cyberattack likely affects customers who shop online on the OCS website. As for the roughly 1,333 cannabis stores across Ontario – they have no choice.

The OCS holds a government-backed monopoly on cannabis distribution. However, bureaucrats only “check the work” of Domain Logistics. Contracted by the OCS, Domain Logistics is a private company. Although so-called “public-private partnerships” are the norm in contemporary Western society, historically, economists have labelled state-business relationships of this nature as a kind of economic fascism.

Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Cyberattack Means Free Shipping

Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Cyberattack 

The shelves may empty at your favourite cannabis shop this week as the OSC says the cyberattack will result in delays “until further notice.”

But, “as a goodwill gesture,” the OCS will waive retailer delivery fees until September 30. They will also waive at least one $500 processing fee per store between September 1 and March 31, 2023.

Why retailers are even paying a $500 “processing fee” to begin with is a better question.

The OCS and Domain Logistics have not mentioned how soon deliveries will restart. 

Are Distribution Centres Necessary? 

The latest cyberattack on the OCS brings up an excellent question. Are distribution centres even necessary? A farm-to-table approach is becoming popular across the country. As well, many alcohol-based distribution models don’t require distribution centres.

When Canada first legalized cannabis, IBM Canada suggested governments track cannabis using a blockchain system. Blockchains perform as effective peer-to-peer ledgers. If we minimize most of what OCS does, Ontario wouldn’t need the central distributor.

Can the OCS handle this task without a blockchain? Tracking the movement of cannabis products throughout the Ontario economy is a momentous task. Outside of funnelling more taxpayer money into the black hole, the OCS needs some radical readjustment to make itself efficient.

A blockchain model tracks cannabis using a built-in redundancy. It increases system reliability without a high cost to Ontario taxpayers.

If Ontario must have the OCS, which will inevitably be a victim of another cyberattack, then OCS headquarters should house the blockchain servers. Its responsibilities should consist of assigning various tokens for licensees. A blockchain can use individual tickets to track cannabis sales from the LP to the retail store.

Treating Cannabis Like Alcohol & Tobacco

Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Cyberattack 

Governments treat cannabis in Canada like alcohol and tobacco. A social evil that they permit. Ergo, the government’s strict rules, taxes, fees, and regulations are justified. But after yet another cyberattack on the Ontario Cannabis Store, does anyone still believe this fairytale?

With legalization, the Ontario government (first under the provincial Liberals, then Conservatives) created an entirely new regulatory body. They built and leased cannabis-specific storage facilities and central warehousing locations. All of it is unnecessary and costly to cannabis consumers and Ontario taxpayers.

And this is what they have to show for it: yet another OSC cyberattack.





Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 The Art of MaryJane Media