The brains of marijuana users are different
Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, November, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
Earlier this year, one study suggested that even casual marijuana use could cause changes to the brain. Another found that marijuana use was also associated with poor sperm quality, which could lead to infertility in men.
But marijuana advocates point to other research indicating that the drug is far less addictive than other drugs, and some studies have found no relationship between IQ and marijuana use in teens.
Researchers at the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas in Dallas sought to clear up some of the confusion with a study that looked at a relatively large group of marijuana users and evaluated their brains for a slew of different indicators.
What they found was complex, but the pattern was clear: The brains of marijuana users were different than those of non-marijuana users. The area of the brain responsible for establishing the reward system that helps us survive and also keeps us motivated was smaller in users than in non-marijuana users. But there was also evidence that the brain compensated for this loss of volume by increasing connectivity and the structural integrity of the brain tissue.
Those effects were more pronounced for marijuana users who started young.
"The orbitofrontal cortex is one of the primary regions in a network of brain areas called the reward system," explained Francesca Filbey, lead author of the study and an associate professor of the neurogenetics of addictive behavior at the University of Texas in Dallas. "It helps us determine what is good for us and what keeps us sustained. "In this case, the orbitofrontal cortex plays a role in drug use because drug use and things associated with it --paraphernalia for example -- are associated with the rewarding effects of drugs."
The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used MRI scans to look at the brains of 62 non-marijuana users and 48 regular marijuana users, 27 of whom used marijuana but not other drugs. The marijuana users reported ingesting the drug about three times a day -- very heavy use -- and had used it for an average of about 10 years.
Looking first at atypically heavy marijuana use is necessary to identify structural effects, if there are any, Filbey said. Subsequent research would look at varying levels of use to find out if differences compared to non-users are still observed. For example, in Colorado, only about 22 percent of marijuana users reported using the drug about once a day at most.
Relative to other studies, this one had a fairly large sample size; it also excluded participants who had symptoms of psychosis, brain injury or neurological disorders in order to reduce the likelihood that the tests would pick up on other confounding factors. And it looked at three brain characteristics: the volume of the orbitofrontal cortex, how connected that part of the brain was to other areas, and the structural integrity of the white matter.
"We found that while the orbitofrontal cortex was smaller, there was greater functional and structural connectivity," said Filbey. "The white matter seemed to have greater integrity than the [non-marijuana using group]. And the connection between the orbitofrontal cortex and other areas were stronger."
That's potentially positive news suggesting that whatever impact marijuana use might have on the size or volume of that part of the brain, it may be offset by better connectivity and structural soundness. "It suggests that there is definitely a more complicated pattern that the brain seems to be able to compensate for any kind of loss in order to keep that network maintained," Filbey said.
Zero Problems With Marijuana Candy On Halloween
Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, November, 6th 2014 by THCFinder
On of the biggest scare tactics used in recent times by marijuana opponents was the ‘laced Halloween candy’ scare of 2014. Marijuana opponents made it sound like on every block there would be someone handing out marijuana candy to children on Halloween 2014. Obviously, that fear mongering was a political ploy to try to scare America into fearing marijuana reform, especially in areas that were voting on legalization. Fortunately, that tactic failed, and Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. all approved marijuana legalization on Election Day 2014.
Denver area authorities received not even one complaint about marijuana candy being given to children on Halloween. Not one. Which should not come as any surprise to anyone with a brain. Per the Yakima Herald:
Denver-area authorities said Monday they received no reports of children accidentally eating pot-laced candies this Halloween. Police had warned parents to be on the lookout for the edibles, which can look almost identical to brand-name treats.
Denver Police and the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center reported no cases of people slipping marijuana to unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.
Marijuana candy is not cheap if bought from a store, and is not easy to make at home. People that obtain marijuana candy intend to eat it themselves, not give it to a kid on Halloween. The fact that marijuana opponents would even suggest that one person would do it, let alone make it sound like an imminent epidemic, shows just how desperate they are these days.
Caring For Cannabis Clones
Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, November, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
For some new growers, cloning can be stressful. The idea of cutting your beautiful cannabis plant might hurt a little bit but hey, what better way to shave off a few weeks of grow time, plus have a gorgeous imitation of your mother plant? We’ve covered the part on how to clone your plants but what about caring for them once they’re in their starter cubes? Since these little babies have zero roots, the care of the clones is extremely important in how they root and begin their journey to being a flowering monster that will yield you a great amount of cannabis.
The first thing that you need to know is that clones love warm and wet conditions, much like springtime if you have that in your state (some states have the same season all year round… Hot). Because of this desired climate, having a humidity dome for your clones is a good idea but not necessary. For those just starting out, the dome is highly recommended. If you don’t have the dome, you can just mist your new plants lightly in order to make sure that they get the water they need. You can also put a heating pad under the clones to keep them nice and toasty (not too toasty… You don’t want them to go up in flames or anything). Keeping the clones a bit hotter than room temp (around 75 degrees F) is ideal. If you buy an automatic cloner, you can find some with an automatic heat setting.
Some growers don’t introduce their clones to light for the first day or two of cutting. It’s a good idea to keep them in a well lit area for the first two days and then introduce a weak bulb, such as a CFL. Once the light is introduced, keep the clones on a 16/8 schedule (16 light and 8 dark). Keep a close eye on the new clones until they’ve become well established, making sure to mist them as they have no roots and need to absorb water from their leaves.
The first ten days of the cloning process should be gentle light use. HID lights are too strong for younger, weaker clones. But if that’s all you have, keep the lights high above the clones, at least 4 feet so that the little ones don’t get scorched instead of tough. Once you see the roots poking out of the cube, you can begin to get stronger lights. But it’s still important to keep the clones further from the light than normal, as they’re still weak and won’t be able fend off the heat from the lights. When the roots begin to poke out of the side of the cubes, you’ll know that they’re ready to transplant and that the light can be moved closer. At this point, your clones will be a bit healthier and once they really begin to grow with vigor, you can treat them like normal, healthy plants.
Cannabis Spirituality Exercise
Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, November, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
The marijuana plant has been used for spiritual reasons for many thousands of years. With such an eye opening effect on users, cannabis can open an individual’s mind. As it has been considered a sacred herb, the marijuana plant is thought to improve the “energy body” of those that use it. Vedic Literature mentions the plant as far as 7000 years ago, mentioning the cannabis effect on the “chakras”, or “wheels”. The chakras are described as seven wheels that run up the back, along the spine, starting at the top of the head. When strong emotional responses happen in the body, those in tune with the chakras can feel those wheels reacting with their emotions. Cannabis users especially seem to be in tune with these wheels, leading people to believe that cannabis itself has a strong effect on those who seek spiritual enlightenment.
Smoking cannabis opens the chakras wider, allowing us to feel more emotions in regards to the people around us and the world as a whole. When ingesting marijuana, the herb creates a higher vibration of the chakras, opening our ideas and minds to new ideas. Lower vibrations cause us to be more withdrawn and suspicious of others. By smoking cannabis, the psychic connection between us and others is greatly improved. This effect is what the term “contact high” originated from. Since cannabis both opens chakras and raises the user’s vibration, it increases psychic power and connectivity. This places us in better rapport with our own souls, with nature, and the higher power that some refer to as “God”.
Now for the at-home-test. After you take your first puff, focus on the feeling you get in your heart. There are small details that become apparent, such as how the presence of another person effects you. While you focus on the feeling of your hearts, trying to intentionally expand that feeling. Starting from the heart, focus on making that feeling larger. If it helps, think of it in inches. Expand the feeling an inch. Begin to focus on the top of your head, where the seventh chakra is located or in your heart (fourth chakra), where we’ve already been focusing. After a puff of cannabis, the high will make our souls/consciousness resonate. Observe your thoughts, paying close attention to how your body feels while focusing so intently. You need to intend that the increased connection should be made permanent. This process is known as conscious expanding meditation, also called “right alignment”.
If in a natural environment, such as a forest or near the ocean, a person can use this higher vibration to strengthen the connection between themselves, the trees, and the creatures in the surrounding environment. If you do this while ingesting cannabis, with enough sensitivity, a definite and absolutely unmistakable alignment with the Earth can occur. You will feel empathy towards all living things. This is also referred to as the “Earth Mind”. Try to send your high to the world around you, to the trees and the planet itself. In return, think that the planet will return those positive vibes to you. Work with these connections while you smoke and strengthen them. Doing this will eventually lead you to a deeper connection with the world and a happier mindset as well.
Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, November, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
By cloning cannabis plants, you manage to cut out a few weeks of growing time from seeds. Baby seeds take a while to get to a healthy height and can suffer greatly if conditions are not right. While cannabis is a weed and grows easily, it’s still tough to get them up to par while they’re little. So by cloning, you can get some slightly bigger plants that are a little tougher and are able to survive better than their tiny siblings. Cloning seems like it would be extremely tough but it’s not, you just need a few things first.
What You’ll Need;
A mother plant
Scissors or a razor (the sharper, the better)
Humidity dome (optional)
Heating mat (also optional)
You should clone your plant while it is in the vegetative state. Some experienced growers take the clones from the flowering giants that they have because the clones can grow in odd growth patterns, sprouting like crazy and producing large amounts of buds. While this may seem ideal, it is best to start off with a veg plant for your first couple of cloning sessions. Start the process by disinfecting your tools and getting everything ready. Be sure that all your materials are handy and ready to use. Don’t add any nutrients to the water and test the pH, which should be at 5.5. Take your starter cubes and soak them for a few minutes in the water.
Find a spot on the mother plant where there is new branching and a new top and cut a bit below that. Simply grab the new growth and cut the branch at about a 45 degree angle. The new plant should be about 2-4 inches high. If possible, take the clones from the lower branches of the mother as they have more rooting hormones than the top. You want these new little ones to be able to root quickly so that they can absorb the nutrients from the soil. While this is ideal, you can clone from any part of the plant. If you so desire, you can lightly cut the end of the new clone, as some growers do, in order for more of the “insides” to be exposed.
Take your new clone and dip it in to the rooting gel that you have ready. This will seal off the air bubbles and give your clone what it needs to make it’s roots. Coat the entire bottom of the cut so that the entire piece is coated in the gel. Once the clone is coated, trim off any lower leaves or node points. You can also clip the tips of the top-most leaves so that the clone doesn’t have to work too hard producing light-to-food, when the focal point of her efforts should be the roots. Now, you can place the clone in the moistened starter cube and push the bottom to make sure that everything seals properly and no air can get in to the rooting area.
If you choose to use the humidity dome, this is the point where you can put the clone inside of it. You can create the right conditions for the clone without this dome but the dome really helps the clone do everything it needs to much faster. Clones root very well by themselves and if you’ve done everything in this article, almost 100% of your clones will take root and grow in to beautiful replicas of their mother.
Hemp Airplane In The Works
Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, November, 3rd 2014 by THCFinder
Hemp is great for many reasons. You can eat hemp, you can make fiber out of hemp, you can build a house out of hemp materials, and it appears that you can also make an airplane out of hemp. Per Whaxy:
A Florida based airplane manufacturing company, Velocity Inc., has contracted to fund $500,000 for the development of what is sure to revolutionize the aviation industry.
The Canada based company, Hempearth, founded by restaurateur Derek Kesek, has developed plans for the world’s first airplane made of hemp. Three quarters of the material used to construct this four-seater personal jet will be made from hemp material. It will even be powered completely by hemp bio-fuel, and it is expected to take to the air for a test flight early next year. With truly historical significance, Hempearth announced through Facebook that the plane’s maiden voyage will be launched from the world’s first ever aviation site within Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Would you fly in a plane that is made from hemp material? From what the manufacturers are saying, the parts made from hemp have all been tested for strength and durability, and everything is very much up to code. In some of the testing, the hemp materials were actually stronger than fiber glass. I hope this airplane works out so we can see more of them made.
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