Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness

Leave a comment

Fun Fact Friday

  • Within the first two months of legal marijuana sales in Colorado, property crimes decreased by 14%, and homicide rates were down by 67%.

  • Video games train the human brain to make faster real life decisions.

  • A study found that anxiety disengages the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain that plays an important role in flexible decision making.

  • Without your little finger, you would lose 50% of your hand strength.

~ Happy Friday!~



Leave a comment

Pot-Infused Cuisine Will Be The Next Big Trend, Food Expert Predicts

Dalhousie’s Sylvain Charlebois urges policy to minimize risk, survey indicates interest in pot-infused dishes

A professor of food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University in Halifax predicts marijuana will be a growing trend in the food industry, and says policy needs to be implemented to minimize risk.

Bill C-45 does not include the legalization of edible cannabis products, and Ottawa has said it would deal with those products at a later date.

Sylvain Charlebois conducted research alongside Simon Somogyi, a Dalhousie University faculty of agriculture associate professor, surveying Canadians’ willingness to consider marijuana as a food ingredient and incorporate it into their diet.

“Some people may actually prefer to do that, but they need to understand the risks in doing so,” said Charlebois.

Just over 45 per cent of respondents in the Canada-wide survey said they would be willing to buy food containing marijuana, if recreational use is legalized.

“This could be the next gluten-free phenomenon,” said Charlebois, citing the multimillion-dollar industry. “A lot of companies are seeing marijuana as the next trend.”

Edible marijuana products don’t represent the same threat to your lungs but can lead to more severe impairment, Dr. Benedikt Fischer, a senior scientist with Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, has told CBC News.

Edible cannabis products often contain THC, the psychoactive substance that gives consumers that “high” feeling, and can come in many forms, including baked goods, candy and cannabis-infused butter.

For adults, overeating marijuana edibles rarely leads to serious consequences beyond intense anxiety or a strong urge to go to sleep, according to Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health. But for children, Daly has told CBC News, the consequences can be far more severe, and can include depressed respiration and possibly even coma.

She said seven per cent of reported cannabis poisonings in American children end up in critical-care units.

Ian Culbert, executive director of the Canadian Public Health Association, said there must be strict regulation and a limited range of products available initially. Edibles must have clear identification of dosage and servings, and come with education about how it takes longer to take effect than smoking.

Understanding the effects

Charlebois said Bill C-45 focuses on the exchange of marijuana, outlining regulations for who can buy, where and who will sell it. He said those guidelines are important, but aren’t helpful beyond the point of sale.

“People will go home and cook, maybe process it and make all sorts of food products,” he said.

“Canadians understand the effects of alcohol, but maybe not marijuana in their spaghetti sauce or extra spices in their pizza. The effects may actually be felt one, two, three, even four hours after eating it,” said Charlebois, also dean of the faculty of management.

‘Policy has a role to play’

The poll by Charlebois and Somogyi found that about 68 per cent of people across the country favour the impending legalization of pot, with the bulk of that support in B.C. and Ontario.

The survey was conducted on a sample size of 1,087 people over age 18, with a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Charlebois believes “rigorous policy has a role to play” in food-related use of marijuana.

Without proper regulation, Charlebois said buyers could see marijuana-infused products without the proper dosage or packaging.

With files from The Canadian Press

by Allison Devereaux    CBC News     Sep 26, 2017 
source: www.cbc.ca

Leave a comment

Fun Fact Friday


  • It’s ok and “I’m fine” are the two most common lies spoken in the world.

  • Marijuana was initially made illegal in 1937 by a man who testified the drug made white women want to be with black men.


  • Giving up alcohol for just one month can improve liver function, decrease blood pressure, and reduce the risk of liver disease and diabetes.

  • Research has shown that people are happiest at 7:26pm on Saturday evening.


~ Happy Friday!~

Leave a comment

Fun Fact Friday

  • Optimistic people are 23% less likely to die of cancer and 30% less likely to die from heart diseases.
  • Porphyrophobia is the fear of the color purple.
  • When people feel physically cold, they seek out psychological warmth, like watching a romantic movie that will make them feel warm inside.
Optimistic people are 23% less likely to die of cancer
and 30% less likely to die from heart diseases.
  • Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per day.
  • Eating mangos one hour before smoking marijuana can heighten the effects.
  • 85% of people have experienced a dream so real that they were not sure if it happened in real life or not.
Happy Friday!
 source:   factualfacts.com   https://twitter.com/Fact   @Fact

Leave a comment

Study Highlights Medical Marijuana’s Underexplored Potential For Helping Opioid Addiction

A small human pilot study, along with a number of animal studies, are revealing that cannabinoids, extracts of cannabis legally sold as medical marijuana, could reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms in heroin users. In light of the U.S. opioid epidemic, this is a neglected area of research that quickly needs attention, argues neurobiologist Yasmin Hurd of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who studies how both cannabinoids and opioids act on the brain. She discusses her position in a short review published February 2 in Trends in Neurosciences.

While both cannabinoids and opioids regulate the perception of pain, the two drugs affect different parts of the brain and how the sensation is communicated from neuron to neuron. This translates into cannabinoids having, for example, a stronger effect on inflammation-based chronic pain. Meanwhile, opioids are particularly good at relieving acute pain, which is why they are used in surgery. The problem is that opioids can quickly lead to a deadly addiction.

“If you look at both drugs and where their receptors are, opioids are much more dangerous, in part because of the potential for overdose–the opioid receptors are very abundant in the brainstem area that regulates our respiration, so they shut down the breathing center if opioid doses are high,” Hurd says. “Cannabinoids don’t do that. They have a much wider window of therapeutic benefit without causing an overdose in adults.” Young people can overdose from consuming too much edible medical marijuana.


Accumulating evidence in animal models supports that cannabinoids could have long-lasting therapeutic effects. A specific cannabinoid, cannabidiol, has been seen to reduce heroin cravings in animals more than a week after abstinence, and seems to restore some of the neurobiological damage induced by opioid use. A small pilot human investigation led by Hurd mirrored these findings in rodents. In the study, cannabidiol particularly helped relieve anxiety related to cravings in heroin users abstaining from use.

Politicians are only beginning to acknowledge that an epidemic of opioid overdoses is taking place across the United States, particularly in suburban and rural areas, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse is asking researchers to think creatively about new strategies for pain relief (10.1016/j.neuron.2016.09.051). Marijuana has been a neglected option because there are restrictions on studying its effects in humans. While there has been a growing interest by the scientific community in cannabinoids since the legalization of medical marijuana, it means that we still don’t know much about how it could be used therapeutically, despite at least a million people having prescriptions.

“We have to be open to marijuana because there are components of the plant that seem to have therapeutic properties, but without empirical-based research or clinical trials, we’re letting anecdotes guide how people vote and policies that are going to be made,” Hurd says. “It’s one of the first times in our history that we’re making laypeople and politicians decide whether things are medicinal or not. If we want to say something is medical marijuana, we have to prove that it is medicinal.”

CELL PRESS      February 2, 2017

1 Comment

Britain Reclassifies CBD As Medicine While U.S. Still Calls It A Dangerous Drug

Imagine you are the parent of a child with a life-threatening form of epilepsy. Your young one experiences hundreds of debilitating and horrific seizures on a weekly basis. If you are like most parents, then you’d do anything you could to find a medicine that helped them.

That’s the story of Paige and Matt Figi, whose daughter Charlotte had a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet’s syndrome. In fact, Charlotte’s grand mal episodes were so bad that her heart actually stopped several times. Paige and Matt tried every potential remedy doctors recommended, from medication to a medically induced coma, but nothing seemed to work.

Article:  Raw Honey and Coconut Oil: 5 Fantastic Uses of This Superfood Duo
After exhausting all conventional options, Matt and Paige stumbled across a Youtube video of a California boy with Dravet’s who had been helped by cannabis. The Figis made the courageous decision to give CBD oil — a non-psychoactive extract derived from medical marijuana — a chance. Miraculously, the cannabis-based medicine proved to be a life-changing and life-saving treatment.

Indeed, Charlotte’s seizures decreased dramatically from several hundred a week to just two or three a month. In addition, she began to make progress on multiple fronts, so much so that she started doing many things normal for her age such as walking and riding a bicycle. As her mother Paige put it, “[Before treatment] I didn’t hear her laugh for six months. I didn’t hear her voice at all, just her crying. I can’t imagine that I would be watching her making these gains that she’s making, doing the things that she’s doing [without the medical marijuana]. I don’t take it for granted. Every day is a blessing.”

The British government reclassifies CBD as medicine

A growing body of clinical studies are confirming anecdotal reports Charlotte’s story. A scientific and medical consensus is emerging. Cannabis-based medicines like CBD oil are helping patients with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and numerous other conditions.

Recently, the UK moved to reclassify CBD as a legitimate medicine. The decision, made by Britain’s Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) means that CBD products can now be distributed and used for medicinal purposes within the United Kingdom.

As a spokesperson for the agency put it, “We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) used for medical purposes are a medicine. MHRA will now work with individual companies and trade bodies in relation to making sure products containing CBD, used for a medical purpose, which can be classified as medicines, satisfy the legal requirements of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.”


 => US and Britain Are Opposed When It Comes To CBD Oil
=> American classifies CBD oil as a Schedule I drug along with heroin
=> Medical marijuana has proven health benefits

The DEA blows it by classifying CBD as a Schedule I drug

As our neighbors across the pond were crafting policy based on the evidence the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in this country was busy ignoring it. In mid-December, the agency stealthily moved to classify CBD as a Schedule I substance. That designation encompasses drugs that have a high potential for abuse (like heroin) and no accepted medical use.

The DEA insisted that the establishment of a new drug code covering CBD was simply a bureaucratic measure intended to make it easier to track and distinguish research involving CBD extracts and marijuana. As Russell Baer, a DEA spokesperson explained, “It’s an internal accounting mechanism for us. The purpose is to drill down and get more accurate information about research that’s being conducted with CBD in particular.”

However, critics and legal experts are not convinced. They believe that the DEA’s actions are a ruse to ensure that all cannabinoids — including non-psychoactive CBD — remain illegal. In fact, they contend that the DEA’s action amounts to an illegal power grab.

For example, as Robert Hoban, a law professor at the University of Denver notes, “This action is beyond the DEA’s authority. The DEA can only carry out the law, they cannot create it. Here, they’re purporting to create an entirely new category called ‘marijuana extracts,’ and by doing so wrest control over all cannabinoids. They want to call all cannabinoids illegal. But they don’t have the authority to do that.”

The science behind medical marijuana

The DEA’s actions are probably unlawful. But they are demonstrably unscientific, irrational and inhumane as well. In recent years, scientists have discovered that the body’s endocannabinoid system — a network of receptors responsible for hormonal signaling and homeostasis — is critical to our emotional and physical well-being.

Indeed, the endocannabinoid system is so crucial to regulation of our emotional and physical health that it’s possible to think of this network as the intersection of the mind and body. Deficiencies or impairments in the endocannabinoid system are believed to be behind a wide range of conditions including mood disorders, immune dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome and migraines.

Cannabinoids in marijuana mimic the body’s natural system

The body manufactures endocannabinoids naturally. However, scientists like Dr. Ethan Russo speculate that lack of exercise, stress, bad diet and poor quality sleep may contribute to endocannabinoid deficiencies, which can manifest as chronic pain, fatigue and immune dysfunction.

The cannabinoids found in marijuana, of course, mimic the function of the endocannabinoids that the body manufactures. The centrality of the endocannabinoid system to health and the fact that cannabinoids found in marijuana can help address deficiencies goes a long way in explaining why cannabis-based medicines are proving so effective for immune disorders like MS, fibromyalgia and arthritis.

Cannabis is also proving efficacious for a host of other maladies, from epilepsy to chronic pain to metabolic disorders as well. Dr. Ethan Russo sums up the growing recognition among health practitioners well when he writes, “Cannabis is the single most versatile herbal remedy and the most useful plant on Earth. No other single plant contains as wide a range of medically active herbal constituents.”

Even with DEA verdict, Americans support medical marijuana

Britain’s decision to reclassify CBD as medicine is simply an acknowledgment of the scientific evidence. On the other hand, on the face of it, the DEA’s move to designate CBD as a Schedule I substance reeks of hypocrisy and a willful blindness to scientific and medical facts. The agency’s decision is not just contrary to reason, sane public policy and compassion. It is also decidedly at odds with public opinion — at least 89 percent of Americans now support the use of medical marijuana. The DEA’s edict is destined to go up in smoke.

By Scott O’Reilly    January 13, 2017

Leave a comment

Seniors With Access To Medical Marijuana Use Fewer Prescription Drugs

Physicians wrote significantly fewer prescriptions for painkillers and other medications for elderly and disabled patients who had legal access to medical marijuana, a new study finds.

In fact, Medicare saved more than $165 million in 2013 on prescription drugs in the District of Columbia and 17 states that allowed cannabis to be used as medicine, researchers calculated. If every state in the nation legalized medical marijuana, the study forecast that the federal program would save more than $468 million a year on pharmaceuticals for disabled Americans and those 65 and older.

No health insurance, including Medicare, will reimburse for the cost of marijuana. Although medical cannabis is legal today in 25 states and the District of Columbia, federal law continues to prohibit its prescription in all circumstances.

The new study, published July 6 in Health Affairs, was the first to ask if there’s any evidence that medical marijuana is being used as medicine, said senior author W. David Bradford in a phone interview. The answer is yes, said Bradford, a health economist and a professor at the University of Georgia in Athens.

“When states turned on medical marijuana laws, we did see a rather substantial turn away from FDA-approved medicine,” he said.

Researchers analyzed Medicare data from 2010 through 2013 for drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat nine ailments – from pain to depression and nausea – for which marijuana might be an alternative remedy.

They expected to see fewer prescriptions for FDA-approved drugs that might treat the same conditions as cannabis. Indeed, except for glaucoma, doctors wrote fewer prescriptions for all nine ailments after medical marijuana laws took effect, the study found.

The number of Medicare prescriptions significantly dropped for drugs that treat pain, depression, anxiety, nausea, psychoses, seizures and sleep disorders.


For pain, the annual number of daily doses prescribed per physician fell by more than 11 percent.

“The results show that marijuana might be beneficial with diverting people away from opioids,” Bradford said.

A 2014 study (bit.ly/1pYZf8d) found that opioid overdose death rates were on average nearly 25 percent lower in states where medical marijuana was legal compared to states where it remained illegal. Chronic or severe pain is considered a primary indicator for medical marijuana in most states where it is legal.

Nearly two million Americans either abused or were dependent on prescription opioids in 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since 1999, more than 165,000 Americans have died from prescription opioid overdoses.

Addiction psychiatrist Dr. Kevin Hill questioned whether medical marijuana patients might in some cases be getting inferior or incorrect treatment, and if so, whether the resulting extra healthcare costs would overshadow the Medicare drug savings. Hill, a professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, was not involved in the new study.

“Fewer opioid prescriptions in medical marijuana states might be a good thing, but I am concerned about the overall quality of care delivered in medical marijuana specialty clinics,” he told Reuters Health in an email.

He criticized the implementation of medical marijuana laws in many states as often leading to “medical care that is of poor quality.”

Part of the problem stems from a dearth of research into the efficacy of medical marijuana.

Although California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, federal law enacted by Congress in 1970 continues to put cannabis in the same category as heroin, Schedule 1 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, and finds it has no medicinal value. Consequently, research has been severely limited.

Sheigla Murphy, a medical sociologist who was not involved in the current study, praised it as a major contribution to the literature on the role of medical marijuana in older adults.

Murphy directs the Center for Substance Abuse Studies in San Francisco and has done prior research on marijuana and baby boomers. She said some older adults prefer marijuana to painkillers and sleeping pills.

“It fits with the problems of older age, problems with sleeping, depression, arthritis, worn-out body parts that begin to hurt. Marijuana can relieve these without the side effects of grogginess and worrying about addiction,” she said.
“As we’re trying to reduce the number of pain medications, I think marijuana would be a welcome addition to the pharmacopeia,” she said. “The one thing we know is no one has ever died of it.”


BY RONNIE COHEN     Wed Jul 6, 2016
SOURCE: bit.ly/1lx2GBv     REUTERS        Health Affairs 2016