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Study Links Usage of Social Media to Teen Mental Health Issues

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A recent study has found a correlation between increased social media use and a rise in teen mental health issues, particularly depression and anxiety. The findings raise concerns about the potential negative impact of social media on adolescent well-being and highlight the need for further research and intervention strategies.

Scrolling Through Sadness: Study Links Social Media to Increased Depression and Anxiety in Teens

The pervasive presence of social media in the lives of teenagers has long been a source of concern for parents, educators, and mental health professionals. A recent study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science has added to these concerns by providing further evidence of a link between increased social media use and a rise in mental health issues among adolescents.

The research tracked a large cohort of teenagers over several years and discovered a significant association between the time spent on social media platforms and the development of symptoms related to depression and anxiety. Teenagers who reported higher levels of social media engagement were more likely to experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness, along with increased social anxiety and fear of missing out (FOMO).

Researchers have proposed several mechanisms that might explain this association. These include social comparison, exposure to cyberbullying, and the viewing of unrealistic life portrayals on social media, which can lead to negative self-esteem, body image issues, and feelings of inadequacy. Additionally, the constant connectivity demanded by social media can result in sleep disturbances, social isolation, and a reduction in face-to-face interactions, all of which can exacerbate mental health problems.

Interestingly, the study also noted gender differences in how social media impacts mental health, with teenage girls appearing more vulnerable to the negative effects of social media, potentially due to greater pressures around appearance and social status.

Why It Matters

Adolescence is a critical period for social, emotional, and cognitive development. The increasing prevalence of mental health issues among teenagers poses a significant public health challenge. Understanding the factors contributing to this trend is crucial for developing effective prevention and intervention strategies. The findings of this study underscore the importance of raising awareness about the potential risks associated with excessive social media use and the promotion of healthy online habits among young people.

The impact of social media on mental health is a multifaceted issue with various contributing factors. Individual personality traits, coping mechanisms, and social support systems also play significant roles in determining one’s vulnerability to mental health challenges. It’s important to avoid overgeneralization and recognize that not all teenagers experience negative consequences from social media use. However, the study’s findings emphasize the need for increased awareness and proactive measures to safeguard the well-being of young people in the digital age.

Potential Implications

This research highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to address the impact of social media on teen mental health. Educational programs that foster digital literacy and critical thinking can help teenagers navigate the complexities of the online world more effectively. It is also essential for parents, educators, and mental health professionals to maintain open lines of communication to identify and assist teenagers who are struggling with mental health challenges.

Moreover, there is a pressing need for social media companies to take responsibility for the influence of their platforms. They are called upon to create safer online environments and to implement strategies that reduce the potential harms associated with their use. This includes tackling issues like cyberbullying, promoting responsible content, and providing resources for users who experience mental health difficulties.

Source: News Medical



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Lemon Cherry Gelato Strain: An In-Depth Guide

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Lemon Cherry Gelato is a distinctive cannabis strain that offers a delightful combination of flavors, potent effects, and versatile benefits. Whether you’re a seasoned cannabis enthusiast or a medicinal user, this strain offers something for everyone. Its cultivation can be a gratifying experience for those looking to add a high-quality, flavorful strain to their garden. As always, consume responsibly and ensure your growing practices comply with local cannabis regulations.



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Does Francis Ford Coppola Consume Weed

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His talent created Apocalypse Now, the Godfather movies and now Megalopolis – but does he consume marijuana?

He is a legend in the film industry and directed Apocalypse Now and the Godfather. He burst on onto the scene in the 1960s and 70s and brought in a new generation of movies. Known as one of the greatest directors of all time, he also went on to make a name in the wine industry. Displayed at one of the wineries are some of his five Academy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, two Palmes d’Or, and his British Academy Film Award (BAFTA). With all the creativity and pressure, does Francis Ford Coppola consume weed?

RELATED: Vinyls and Marijuana Go Together

The 60s and 70s were when weed came out of the closet and from New York to LA creatives, artists, celebrities and every day people tried a little. “Turn on, tune in, drop out” was the counterculture-era phrase popularized by Timothy Leary in 1966. The talented director was able to reflect the past and embrace the new with his film.  It was one of his early successes, Apocalypse Now, which  marijuana burst into the open. There are great clips of Dennis Hopper stoned on set.

Megalopolis could be the last major project film for the director, and it has taken him 40 years to get it made.  His unique approach is again make headlines with the team sharing he has spent hours on end smoking plenty of cannabis while everybody waited.

“I never took any drugs in my life at all except for some grass,” Coppola said. “I found that the effect that the grass would have on me is interesting. One, it would make me extremely focused, so if I was trying to evaluate a script or write a script, I wasn’t thinking of all the things where my feelings were hurt about this or I was worried about that.”

He added, “I’m sure grass affects different people in different ways. For me, I tended to be very focused. If I smoked a joint, I couldn’t fall asleep. I’d want to work. And often, I stayed up all night trying to rewrite a script.”

RELATED: How To Microdose Marijuana

A savoy businessman, he turns his passion into money. His love of wine had made him money with two wineries, his love of beauty and travel has brought him a luxury hotels and his love of cannabis has brought him into the industry. Coppola launched Sana Company in partnership with Humboldt Brothers in 2018 and released the brand known as The Grower’s Series.

 



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Can lemon-smelling weed cause less anxiety than others?

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Top study takeaways:

  • Ever eat mangos to help you get higher? Maybe pound some lemonade to prevent anxiety
  • Test subjects who vaped lots of the terpene limonene with their weed reported lower anxiety in a small study

Leafly Ph.D Nick Jikomes dissects the hype new study on the smell molecule limonene below. Report your findings in the comments section.

The “entourage effect” is the idea that the psychoactive effects of cannabis result from a combination of different plant molecules. The idea is widely used in the cannabis industry to help explain the distinct effects that cannabis strains are reported to have–each one contains a different combination of THC, terpenes, and other compounds. These claims have been largely theoretical, with limited empirical evidence to show that specific combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes reliably induce measurably different effects in humans.

A new study, however, investigates whether the common cannabis terpene limonene, when consumed together with THC, results in different effects compared to THC on its own.

A bit of limonene is in many weed varieties

Limonene is one of the most abundant terpenes found in commercial cannabis. Cannabis strains with the highest limonene levels typically contain between 1 to 3% limonene by weight. Commercial THC-dominant cannabis flower today often has THC content in the 20-25% range, meaning that the most limonene-rich strains will have a roughly 20:1 ratio of THC to limonene. 

Limonene is found naturally in many citrus fruits. On its own, it has a pleasant, citrus aroma. A limited number of animal studies have observed anti-anxiety effects in rodents given limonene. Similar observations have been made in human studies, although they had small sample sizes or lacked important controls. Given that anxiety is a common side effect of THC—especially when relatively large doses are consumed—it has been hypothesized that limonene may be able to mitigate these effects. If true, this would suggest the possibility that THC-dominant strains high in limonene might be less likely to elicit anxiety than those with lower limonene content. 

Vaping limonene and THC—for science!

A robust terpene profile in weed adds to the flavour and overall experience. (MysteryShot/Adobe Stock)
(MysteryShot/Adobe Stock)

In this new study, researchers at Johns Hopkins administered different combinations of THC, limonene, and a placebo of distilled water to twenty human subjects in a double-blind trial. Each person participated in several separate vape sessions where they received one of the following:

  • Limonene alone (1mg or 5mg)
  • THC alone (15 mg or 30 mg)
  • THC + limonene together (15 or 30 mg THC + 1 mg limonene)
  • THC + limonene together (15 or 30 mg THC + 5 mg limonene)
  • THC + limonene together (30 mg THC + 15 mg limonene)
  • Placebo (distilled water)

The subjects were healthy adults who used cannabis intermittently. A hand-held Might Medic vaporizer (made by Storz and Bickel) was used for administration. Subjects consumed 15 and 30 mg doses of THC because, based on previous research, those doses often trigger small (15 mg THC) to moderate/large (30 mg THC) psychoactive effects, with the larger dose expected to trigger more side effects like anxiety. Researchers assessed participants using standardized questionnaires. One of these, the “Drug Effect Questionnaire,” asks subjects to rate various subjective drug effects on a 0-100 scale. Another, the “State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S),” assessed their anxiety/distress levels before and after drug administration. Researchers also tracked heart rate, blood pressure, and plasma levels of THC and limonene. (For more details on the study methods, including the standardized procedures, check out the paper itself.)

What did they find? Did the presence of limonene affect the subjective effects of THC, or reduce side effects like anxiety and paranoia?

Three limonene-dominant hype strains

A photo of Connected Gelonade — Lemon Tree and Gelato. (David Downs/Leafly)
Gelonade. (David Downs/Leafly)

And the results come in

I recently spoke with the lead author of the study, Dr. Ryan Vandrey of Johns Hopkins University, about how his team designed the study and built in important controls. For one: test subjects received the real deal molecules, not some burned-up version.

“We made sure that when we heated it at this temperature, this device, we didn’t convert these things into something else,” Dr. Vandrey explained. “So we were very careful to get our dosing methods secure, and to work with this. We opted for inhalation and vaporization in particular, so we know that our doses are being delivered fully and completely.”

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Consumption of THC went as planned. The control placebo containing 0 mg THC did not cause substantial subjective effects, anxiety or paranoia, or changes in heart rate. Consumption of 15 or 30 mg of THC did trigger these changes, with the higher dose producing larger effects on average.

“We picked two doses of THC, 15 milligrams and 30 milligrams, which to the occasional cannabis user will get people moderately high at pretty dang high,”

Dr. Ryan Vandrey, Johns Hopkins University

Related

How to order weed delivery online with Leafly

But did consumption of limonene together with THC lead to different effects compared to the same dose of THC alone? Yes—if you’re limonene-maxing.

When limonene was administered alone, without THC, its effects did not differ compared to the placebo.

But with co-administration of THC and limonene, however, the team saw differences compared to THC alone, but only at the highest dose of limonene (15 mg).

Compared to 30 mg of THC alone, consumption of 30 mg THC + 15 mg limonene resulted in lower subjective ratings for “anxious,” “paranoid,” and “unpleasant drug effect.”

Subjective ratings of “anxious” and “paranoid” were less than half of those seen with 0 mg limonene.

Subjective ratings of “anxious” and “paranoid” were less than half of those seen with 0 mg limonene.

Although the result was statistically significant at the highest limonene dose (20 mg), the sample size (n=20) was small and it’s not clear if most subjects saw this effect, or a small minority experienced large differences.

The presence of limonene did not influence physiological measures like heart rate, nor did it lead to differences in the intensity of THC’s subjective effects or blood levels of THC.

“That’s important… because it suggests that limonene isn’t somehow interfering with THC absorption. It’s not somehow changing the pharmacology. It’s not blocking THC’s ability to bind to the cannabinoid receptor,” Dr. Vandrey told me.

Did test subjects detect any lemon?

image-of-cannabis-judge-smelling-weed
(AdobeStock)

Because limonene has a taste, smell, and influences vapor quality, blinding may have been an issue, especially at higher doses of limonene.

Put another way, if subjects could taste or smell this terpene, or noticed that the vapor felt different, it could have colored their experience.

According to Dr. Vandrey, however, the team’s drug delivery design minimized the subjects’ ability to discern what they were consuming via taste or sight.

“We did everything to maintain the blind in this study,” he said. “The drugs were sealed inside of the vaporizer, but they couldn’t see it, they couldn’t smell it or anything like that.”

Weed’s entourage effects remain hard to pin down

While the results of Vandrey’s study proved statistically significant, the size of the effect was quite modest. Co-administering THC with 15 mg of limonene resulted in decreases of anxiety, but not 1 mg or 5 mg of limonene.

It’s important to note a key caveat: Subjects were not consuming whole-plant cannabis products like those we can buy in dispensaries. They were only consuming specific combinations of THC and/or limonene.

The modest effects they saw were only seen with 30 mg of THC with 15 mg limonene, which is a 2:1 THC:limonene ratio. This is not a combination found in commercial cannabis flower. Expect a roughly 20:1 THC:limonene ratio for even the most limonene-rich strains.

Taken at face value, the results of the Johns Hopkins study indicates maxing out on limonene may reduce The Fear.

However, they do not demonstrate that limonene-rich, THC-dominant cannabis purchased from a dispensary contains enough limonene to accomplish the same goal.

If limonene or other cannabis terpenes can indeed reliably modulate the effects of THC in commercially-available cannabis products, future research will have to focus on them. Such products contain more complex mixtures of THC and a variety of terpenes and other molecules, many of which are present at low levels. Does the “entourage effect” really explain all the effects of weed? Researchers will need to carefully measure the effects of real-world stuff to know for sure.

For more detail on this study, listen to my full conversation with Dr. Ryan Vandrey. Mind & Matter is a science column by Nick Jikomes, PhD focuses on how psychoactive drugs influence the mind & body. It is inspired by the long-form science podcast, Mind & Matter.

What do limonene strains do to you? Sound off in the comments below.



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