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Could Second-Hand Pot Smoke Make You Fail a Marijuana Test?

Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, October, 22nd 2014 by THCFinder
2nd-hand-mj-smoke-and-drug-testsMany people assume that simply being around pot-smokers and marijuana smoke isn’t likely to result in trouble during a drug test, and that has been the general scientific consensus.
 
But as weed has gotten more potent, scientists decided to investigate if secondhand smoke from strong strains of cannabis could lead to positive drug test results.  
 
Urine tests look for a metabolite, or bodily by-product of THC, the chemical that accounts for many of marijuana’s psychoactive properties. In recent years, many strains of marijuana have been bred to contain more THC.
 
So researchers paired several regular pot smokers and nonsmokers and put them in a sealed compartment together for an hour, while one smoked a joint containing a relatively strong strain of marijuana.
 
The 12 nonsmoking participants were then tasked with peeing into a cup 13 times over the next 34 hours. Their urine was tested for 9-carboxy-THC, the marijuana metabolite commonly measured in standard drug tests.
 
The results, published this month in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology, gives nonsmokers with weed-using friends reason to breathe easy. The scientists found urine levels of this metabolite surpassed typically detectable levels (50 nanogram per milliliter) in only one experiment participant, and this happened during a brief window four to six hours after exposure.
 
Using a more sensitive test, however, which is not usually employed in the workplace, scientists could detect blood THC levels above the 20 nanogram per milliliter in several participants in the hours after exposure. But these concentrations dipped below this threshold for all participants within 24 hours, according to the study, conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and elsewhere.
 
Positive tests are “likely to be rare” from secondhand smoke, the authors concluded, “limited to the hours immediately post-exposure, and occurring only under environmental circumstances where exposure is obvious.” Like, for example, sealing yourself in a car with several smokers for several hours and then peeing in a cup shortly thereafter.
 
When researchers ventilated the smoking chamber, thus making the smoke fumes less concentrated, the urine levels of THC’s metabolite did not come close to reaching the 50 nanogram per milliliter threshold for any participant. 
 

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No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ

Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, October, 22nd 2014 by THCFinder
marijuana-does-not-lower-your-iqA 2012 Duke University study made international headlines when it purported to find a link between heavy marijuana use and IQ decline among teenagers. Other researchers questioned the findings almost immediately: Columbia University's Carl Hart noted the very small sample of heavy users (38) in the study, leading him to question how generalizable the results were.
 
Then, a follow-up study published 6 months later in the same journal found that the Duke paper failed to account for a number of confounding factors: "Although it would be too strong to say that the results have been discredited, the methodology is flawed and the causal inference drawn from the results premature," it concluded.
 
Now, a new study out from the University College of London provides even stronger evidence that the Duke findings were flawed. The study draws on a considerably larger sample of adolescents than the Duke research - 2,612 children born in the Bristol area of the U.K. in 1991 and 1992. Researchers examined children's IQ scores at age 8 and again at age 15, and found "no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15," when confounding factors - alcohol use, cigarette use, maternal education, and others - were taken into account. Even heavy marijuana use wasn't associated with IQ.
 
"In particular alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline," the authors write. "No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change."
 
The UK study does find evidence, however, of slightly impaired educational abilities among the very heaviest marijuana users. This group of students scored roughly 3% lower on school exams taken at age 16, even after adjusting for confounding factors.
 

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Hemp Building Material Absorbs Pollutants And Improves Insulation

Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, October, 20th 2014 by THCFinder
hemp-helps-the-environmentHemp never ceases to amaze me. Hemp is great for making clothes. Hemp seed is a great food source. Hemp is better to make paper out of than wood, although as we continue to transition to digital formats, that need is becoming less prevalent, but still prevalent enough to be relevant nonetheless. I read an article not too far back that showed hemp is likely to be used to make more efficient batteries in the future. It appears that hemp is a stellar building material too, creating a material that absorbs pollutants while also improving insulation compared to petroleum products. Per Green Optimistic:
 
Just because a building has to be solid and tough, it does not mean that the materials used to construct it have to be hard-core polluting steel and concrete. Not long ago we drew your attention to eco-friendly cement, which can be used in the making of concrete, now it is time to move on to other eco-friendly materials. A team of scientists from University of Bath, UK, working under the HIVE project, has set their eyes on using hemp as a replacement to oil-based products in insulating materials.
 
To be more precise, the guys decided to focus on hemp-lime and hemp fiber. Building materials made of these were found to have perfect insulating properties, they absorb moisture from the air, and can control the internal temperature of the building. To make the material suitable for construction, all that is needed is to mix the hemp with lime-based binder and turn it into highly resistant to fire and decay building panels.
 
Building with hemp materials is a win-win every way you look at it. It helps the environment, it’s cost effective, and it’s efficient. Petroleum based building materials are harmful to the environment, get more expensive all the time, and don’t work nearly as well as hemp based products. I can’t wait until someday when I can afford to build a house made out of hemp!
 

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Can Smoking Marijuana Can Protect You From Ebola?

Category: Culture | Posted on Fri, October, 17th 2014 by THCFinder

can-smoking-weed-protect-you-from-ebola

Not a day has gone by in the last few weeks without a mention of Ebola. Having made its way into North America, Ebola has become reached the top of the “to fear” list, making many worry that it will only be a matter of time before the disease dominates the continent. Effective vaccines and treatments for Ebola have yet to be discovered, though one may be hiding in plain sight: cannabis.

Cannabinoids in marijuana have gained more and more of a reputation as a way to control and aid one’s immune systems, specifically with diseases that target a body’s natural defense measures against viruses, like HIV. Dr. David B. Allen, medical director of Cannabis Sativa, Inc, and Brad Morehouse, founder of NewCure.org, both believe cannabis can combat Ebola in the same way.

First, a rundown on what Ebola is and does, so everyone understands the argument. Ebola is a virus that targets the RNA (which creates proteins) in cells, takes over, then begins to replicate itself. The virus is able to hide itself from virus killing cells by creating indivisibility cloak-like surface proteins, which makes fighting Ebola especially difficult for the body.

Another consequence of Ebola being an RNA virus is that it makes each strain unique to the individual infected, thus making the creation of a widely applicable vaccine incredibly difficult.

What makes Ebola deadly is the way in which one’s immune system reacts as time goes on. Aside from creating hemorrhaging and leaking between cells, Ebola primarily kills when a person’s body releases a massive amount of enzymes (a cytokine storm) and an overabundant, and fatal amount, of immune cells being activated.

That’s where marijuana comes in as a potential saving grace to those afflicted with Ebola. As Joe Martin points out, cannabis is contains natural antiretrovirals and is also an anti-inflammatory able to reduce the harm to the body caused by a cytokine storm.

Dr. Allen also notes that cannabis has already become a legitimate regulator of immune system processes for those infected with HIV, with the same processes being applicable to Ebola. Being a natural virus killer, Allen also notes how cannabis can prevent the other harmful consequences of Ebola, namely hemorrhaging and cell leaking.

Strong evidence suggests that cannabis can be a positive treatment for those suffering from Ebola, but all of which should be taken with a grain of salt. These are hypotheses, based on research involving other viruses, and not proven fact. Still, the argumentation is enough to warrant a clinical trial. Worst to worst, Ebola sufferers will smoke a bit of weed, which won’t make things worse…we hope.

Source: http://www.mtlblog.com


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After California decriminalized marijuana, teen arrest, overdose and dropout rates fell

Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, October, 16th 2014 by THCFinder
mj-decriminalized-crime-and-more-dropsA new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice adds to the growing body of evidence that legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana does not lead to any number of doomsday scenarios envisioned by legalization opponents. Looking specifically at California, where full marijuana decriminalization went into effect on Jan. 1, 2011, the report finds that "marijuana decriminalization in California has not resulted in harmful consequences for teenagers, such as increased crime, drug overdose, driving under the influence, or school dropout. In fact, California teenagers showed improvements in all risk areas after reform."
 
Most notable in the above table is the drop in school dropout rates. Recent studies have suggested links between heavy marijuana use and low school completion rates. But many experts question the direction of causality in this relationship, suggesting that there could be any number of confounding factors that account for this relationship. While it's still early in California's decriminalization experiment, the numbers above should suggest we cast a skeptical eye on claims of plummeting academic achievement in a post-legalization world.
 
In fact, as the report authors write: "By a variety of measures, California’s teenage behaviors actually improved dramatically after marijuana was effectively legalized — improvements that occurred more weakly or not at all among older Californians and among teenagers nationwide."
 
Now of course this doesn't address causality, and these numbers shouldn't be taken to imply that decriminalization caused these declines. But they do show, pretty clearly, that in the two years since full-scale decriminalization went into effect, California's kids are still all right. The sky hasn't fallen. And they add to a mounting body of research that shows, for instance:
 
that teen drug and alcohol use continues to fall, even as more states decriminalize marijuana and make it available for medical purposes;
that states with medical marijuana laws haven't seen any uptick in teen marijuana use;
that states with medical marijuana have actually seen decreases in prescription drug overdoses;
that Alaska, where personal marijuana use has been de facto legalized for nearly 40 years, is completely average on a variety of economic and demographic indicators;
and that traffic fatalities have fallen in Colorado since legalization there.
By contrast, there is little evidence of increased social harms in states where marijuana has been decriminalized. The one credible study I'm aware of is a DEA report finding that more Colorado drivers involved in car crashes are testing positive for marijuana use. But a bucket of salt is needed here: unlike alcohol, inactive marijuana metabolites remain in the body long after consumption - days or weeks, depending on frequency of use. But the presence of metabolites doesn't necessarily indicate you were high at the time of the test - only that you got high some time in the days or weeks prior.
 

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Local Cannabis Shops Boost Econom

Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, October, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
local-cannabis-shops-boost-economyThe cannabis industry is set to make people a lot of money. From the trimmers to the growers to the dispensary owners, the leaves of the plant aren't the only green things flying around these days. There's hundreds of millions of dollars sitting out there waiting to be made and since Colorado made the move to legalize two years ago, they've really begun to see how the weed business is benefiting them in more ways than ever imagined.
 
Revenue wasn't something that people doubted but the amount of it wasn't expected. Raking in well over a million dollars in taxes within the first few days of the legal cannabis stores, people were shocked at how much money a single plant could make a state in such a short amount of time. And the money just keeps coming. With Denver being one of the hottest marijuana tourist spots in the US, surpassing even California in the "Places Stoners Want To Visit", it's no surprise that added benefits are coming from the pot shops located in the mile high city.
 
The Colorado Harvest Company is a marijuana shop in Denver and Tim Cullen, the co-owner, recently commissioned a study to find out how much his company was making Denver financially. Jack Strauss from the University of Denver helped to do the study and found that Cullen's two shops have generated more than six times the sales of average retail stores in the city. Not to mention the pot shop had eight times the economic impact as the regular retail shops. If we're going to talk about jobs here as well, we can't neglect to mention that Cullen's two storefronts manage to employ seven times more than an average retail store. Add in the fact that the average wage of the marijuana business is more than $17 an hour. That's more than most people working hourly jobs and that's just the average.
 
With more money going in to the economy, more people get to make more money as well. The benefit of the recreational cannabis shops is incredible. These companies are more apt to pay employees well and to put back in to the community in a positive way. Considering how much money has been put back in to the city of Denver, it would be silly to limit the potential of the recreational shops. Cannabis can fix a lot of the problems that the deterioration of society has caused. People just need to realize it's real potential.

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