Apr 28, 2009 | 5
In the last year, marijuana (or, more precisely, THC, the chemical behind cannabis' kick) has been linked to sharper recall and warding off superbugs. The problem is that along with those potential effects that are good for sick people, the mental impairment, disorientation, and other psychoactive effects of THC are "a major problem" that limits its usefulness, says Lakshmi A. Devi, a researcher at the Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
The things that make for a good high are, perversely, a major drag if you're a chemo patient just trying to exploit the appetite-restoring properties of THC or a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer looking for a decent anti-inflammatory drug.
Mar 26, 2009 | 40
Medical marijuana advocates are up in arms over yesterday's federal raid of a marijuana provider in northern California, claiming that the action is at odds with a policy change announced last week by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents arrived at Emmalyn's California Cannabis Clinic in San Francisco's South of Market district, confiscating marijuana plants, lights, and other cultivation equipment as about a dozen people protested outside, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Emmalyn's had reportedly been operating under a temporary permit issued by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. A DEA spokesperson told the Associated Press that the clinic may be in violation of federal and state laws, but refused to provide any other details of the case.
Feb 9, 2009 | 17
Fellas, you might want to think, well, twice about following Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps' lead. A study published today in the journal Cancer linked frequent marijuana use to the possibility of a slim increased risk of testicular cancer.
Researchers from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that about 72 percent of 369 men, ages 18 to 44, diagnosed with this type of cancer reported having smoked pot; those at greatest risk appeared to have started toking before they were 18 and/or were heavy users. But the scientists acknowledge the study did not prove a connection between pot and a heightened risk of the disease, which strikes about 8,000 men in the U.S. annually and has a high survival rate, according to the American Cancer Society. The percentage of healthy men who reported having smoked pot at least once–68 percent of a 979 randomly sampled group–is not much lower than the group who had already been diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Jan 13, 2009 | 8
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has rejected a scientist's request to open what would have been the nation's second federally approved marijuana lab.
Lyle Craker, a University of Massachusetts Amherst horticulturist, applied for permission to grow pot eight years ago for researchers conducting U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved studies on the potential benefits of marijuana as medical treatment. Pot has been used to lower pressure buildup in glaucoma (a potentially blinding eye disease), to reduce nausea from cancer treatments and to prevent AIDS-related weight loss. Craker had asked for permission to grow it for research funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a California nonprofit that wants to develop marijuana into a legal prescription med.
Dec 23, 2008 | 6
Unless you have an Rx and live in a state with a medical marijuana provision, the federal government won’t let you grow or possess your own pot. But who knew the feds have been farming the stuff for decades? The Marijuana Project at the University of Mississippi cultivates nearly 100 varieties of the herb, and today we have a smidge more insight into the controversial lab.
The New York Times today ran an interview with Mahmoud ElSohly, 62, who heads up the project – the country’s only federally approved marijuana plantation. ElSohly offers some background: Scientists first determined the chemical structure of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s active ingredient, in 1964, then started the lab four years later to continue studying its chemistry.
Aug 27, 2008 | 14
Good news for potheads making their annual trek to Black Rock, Nev. this week to celebrate Burning Man: A new study says that marijuana appears to fight infections. According to research published in the Journal of Natural Products, the five most common cannabinoid compounds in weed—tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol, cannabigerol, cannabinol and cannabichromene—can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Think MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which claimed more lives than AIDS in 2007 or, more recently, extensively drug-resistant mycobacterium tuberculosis (XDR-TB.)
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