News-in-Transition

Saturday, 10 February 2018

By Anna Hunt

Scientists are continuously discovering new ways that cannabis can benefit human health. Typically, researchers publish these discoveries in peer-reviewed journals. Yet, most cannabis research never makes its way into mainstream news. In the public eye, these studies go unnoticed.

Here are five examples of cannabis research that warrant our attention.

1. Cannabis May be a Potential Alternative to Opioids

Opioids have recently received a fair share of scrutiny, and for a good reason. Thomas Gilson, the medical examiner for Cuyahoga County, Ohio, stated:

“If you look at how many people die in the country from opiate overdose, we’re looking at the same number of casualties as the entire Vietnam conflict.”

Could cannabis be a safer treatment for pain, without the high risk of overdose?

New cannabis research from Israel examined the safety of cannabis use among the elderly. The researchers administered cannabis treatment to 2,736 patients, with a median age of 74.5.

Research participants answered an initial questionnaire. During the study, two-thirds of the participants took cannabis for pain, and another 60.8% for cancer. After six months of cannabis treatment, the researchers administered another questionnaire.

Here are the findings, as published in February 2018 in the European Journal of Internal Medicine:

After six months of treatment, 93.7% of the respondents reported improvement in their condition and the reported pain level was reduced from a median of 8 on a scale of 0-10 to a median of 4. After six months, 18.1% stopped using opioid analgesics or reduced their does.

Our study finds that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe and efficacious in the elderly population. Cannabis use may decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids.

This research shows that cannabis has promise when it comes to offering an alternative to opioids.

2. Cannabis May Protect Alcohol Users from Liver Disease

We’ve all heard that drinking too much alcohol compromises liver health. Do the observed anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis also affect the development of liver disease?

A group of researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School set out to “determine the effects of cannabis use on the incidence of liver disease in individuals who abuse alcohol.” In their study, they analyzed discharge records from the 2014 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project – Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS)

They studied four phases of liver disease in 319,000 patients, who had a past or current history of abusive alcohol use. The stages include: alcoholic steatosis (AS) or alcoholic fatty liver; steatohepatitis (AH) or non-alcoholic fatty liver; cirrhosis (AC); and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or essentially liver cancer.

The researchers concluded:

Our study revealed that among alcohol users, individuals who additionally use cannabis (dependent and non-dependent cannabis use) showed significantly lower odds of developing AS, AH, AC and HCC. Further, dependent users had significantly lower odds than non-dependent users for developing liver disease.

Given these findings, one can’t help but wonder why alcohol is legal and cannabis isn’t.

3. Cannabis May Help Ward Off Dementia

One of the biggest anti-cannabis arguments is that it impairs our cognitive abilities. Yet, is cannabis really all that bad for the brain?

According to recent animal research published in May 2017, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has a beneficial influence on the aging brain. Researchers tested the learning, memory, orientation and recognition skills in laboratory animals. They found that 18-month-old mice given THC demonstrated cognitive skills equal to 2-month-old controls. On the other hand, the placebo group showed cognitive deterioration normal in their age group...

Read more: Natural Blaze

 

Calendar of Events

Group distant healing events planned for 2018:

20 March - Equinox

21 June - Solstice

22 September - Equinox

21 December - Solstice

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