Living Well with SoHum Health: Positive Research on Cannabis

SoHum Health aims to minimize harm and maximize vitality by providing an informative column to the community. 

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Over the past year many new studies have been published, and many more are being undertaken, that look into the effects of marijuana use, both medicinal and recreational, on human health. Below is a short digest of several of these studies and one policy development, showing some positive and promising news about the plant we in Humboldt may feel so familiar with that we might be missing the forest for the trees, so to speak.

On January 20, President Biden issued pardons for Americans and any lawful permanent residents of the US with federal marijuana possession convictions on their records. He also ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to make a case for changing the status of the drug derived from the cannabis plant from the most-dangerous category known as Schedule 1, where it was lumped in with heroin, LSD, and MDMA (ecstasy), to Schedule 3, a category of drugs described as not likely to cause life-threatening addiction or psychological dependence, and in many cases may even have an established and proven medical benefit.

While 38 states have already legalized cannabis for medical purposes and 24 have given the green light to recreational use, the feds are playing a bit of catch-up with the move. Advocates of cannabis use welcome the new direction at a level that has been stuck classifying weed as more dangerous than schedule 2 substances such as cocaine, opium, oxycodone, and methamphetamine.

Habitual marijuana use is at last recognized by the feds to be less likely to cause either the physical dependence created by either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drugs, and the psychological dependence created is mild. An FDA report associated with the reclassification states that cannabis withdrawal is far less concerning than alcohol withdrawal, which can cause serious symptoms such as seizures, agitation, paranoia, and even death. Furthermore, the feds are finally admitting that cannabis has been proven to lessen the side effects of chemotherapy.

In other positive weed news, scientists have been looking into applications of various cannabinoids, such as the well known THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) compounds, as well as the lesser known CBN (cannabinol). In a study released last month by the Salk Institute, chemical look-alikes for CBN were created and shown to be effective in treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) in fruit flies. The implications of this study suggest that the less psycho-reactive chemical may have promise for treatment of not just TBI, but also Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

The neuro-protective properties of CBN were able to be pinpointed in the research and refined into a chemical with pharmaceutical efficacy. TBI and other diseases of the brain involve the death of neurons, the cells responsible for the sending and receiving of information in the brain. While exactly how CBN prevents the dysfunction that causes neuronal death is still unclear, wherever the CBN copycat chemicals were introduced, neuronal die-off was reduced.

As more research is conducted, scientists hope that applications ranging from lessening the effects of age-related cognitive deterioration to pre-treatment of football players before games will keep more neurons functioning in our grey matter.

On another positive note in the maryjane world, recreational use of cannabis may be linked to a lowered risk of cognitive decline. An April 2024-published report in the journal Current Alzheimer’s Research that looked at 4,744 American adults over age 45 showed that recreational use whether through smoking, vaping, dabbing, or consuming, led to a 96% reduction in “subjective cognitive decline”.  The self-reported statistics are significant because many Alzheimer’s diagnoses begin through certain self-reported changes in the memory of patients.

More research is needed to determine whether those using non-medical cannabis experience less decline because of that use, or rather those with less decline happen to also be recreational cannabis users.

Finally, a 2023 study revealed the previously unknown mechanism of CBD to reduce epileptic seizures in children. This development in the research opens the door for further, even more effective treatments of this devastating childhood disease.

As more and more research points to positive effects of medicinal and even recreational use of marijuana, along with the concurrent loosening of its classification, seen by many as the first step on an inevitable path toward federal legalization, our community may find a healthful way to redefine itself in its attempt to bounce back from the cash-crop crash experienced since 2017. We are all in this together.

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15 Comments
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tru matters
Guest
tru matters
4 days ago

Now that it’s legal took all the fun out of it.

Permanently on Monitoring
Guest
Permanently on Monitoring
3 days ago
Reply to  tru matters

The Medics recommend it because they are no longer able to prescribe “happy pills”…

I suppose their total business is off, but issuing PR fluff is what SoHum Health does best, and one of the few things they do well…

NorCalNative
Guest
NorCalNative
4 days ago

Medical education on this topic is sparse. Physicians ignorant of the benefits are not prepared in any way to help patients.

If you have cancer cannabis can help with bone pain and cognitive difficulties from chemotherapy. It can also help with nausea.

If your oncologist is encapsulated within the status quo silo of prohibition you should seek another more enlightened doc.

A fundamental activity of our endocannabinoid system is seeking out and destroying damaged cells that can become cancerous.

Weed is a wonder drug. The Society of Cannabis Clinicians has a great website worth checking out.

NorCalNative
Guest
NorCalNative
3 days ago
Reply to  NorCalNative

A couple of names that may be familiar. Dr. Tod Mikuriya and Charlotte’s Web.

Dr. Mikuriya founded the above mentioned Society of Cannabis Clinicians and basically told Billy Clinton to fuck off in 96.

Charlotte’s Web is a Colorado op using CA AC/DC genetics for pediatric epilepsy. Israel has a good MMJ program and uses a similar strain for epilepsy. A young Israeli girl was getting relief from seizures and when she got a new batch of the same flower it stopped working.

Four indoor facilities using clones and set up identically in every way were producing tne ACDC-type clones. Despite identical setups there was enough differences in cannabinoid and terpenes that one batch didn’t offer relief from seizures. Western medicine hates the variability of weed.

Creosote
Guest
Creosote
3 days ago
Reply to  NorCalNative

Can also recommend ‘Cannabis Revealed: How the world’s most misunderstood plant is healing everything from chronic pain to epilepsy’ by Bonni Goldstein M.D. (2016)

Farce
Guest
Farce
3 days ago

Not sure what is meant by that last paragraph. It sounds delusional. The train has left the station and it is never coming back. Sorry but that’s what “legalization” did! If there is any “community” still around in SoHum it will have to be connected in ways other than weed…and that might be a good thing. People-especially SoHum- got very greedy, selfish, inflated ego and weird around that weed cash. It was a sorry and sad thing to see what they turned our blessing into….them greedrushers and their facilitators

NorCalNative
Guest
NorCalNative
3 days ago
Reply to  Farce

Not disputing any part of your comment. However, the work (intentional or not) by Humboldt cultivators has brought us a multitude of therapeutic options. Hat tip to every grower who experimented with genetics.

Farce
Guest
Farce
3 days ago
Reply to  NorCalNative

Okay okay I do agree with this ha ha! At least until the cookies surged and most old strains were lost in the rush. And yes- much good was done here by many good people I can’t dispute that. Not all bad not at all….

Bozo
Guest
Bozo
3 days ago

Meanwhile…

“THC From Cannabis Could Linger in Breast Milk For a Long Time”—
https://www.sciencealert.com/thc-from-cannabis-could-linger-in-breast-milk-for-a-long-time

AkbarD
Member
3 days ago

“self-reported statistics” from stoners on cognitive decline?! That is hilarious!

NorCalNative
Guest
NorCalNative
3 days ago
Reply to  Akbar

My course completion certificates for post graduate cannabis studies come from UCSF School of Medicine.

Is that stoney enough for you?

Country Joe
Member
3 days ago

I do know for a fact that cannabis is very helpful for the symptoms of PTSD from combat.

NorCalNative
Guest
NorCalNative
3 days ago
Reply to  Country Joe

Our endocannabinoid system has been described as “eat, sleep, relax, protect, and forget.” The forget part takes place in a part of the brain called the amygdala.

THC can help the amygdala do it’s job of removing painful memories in a process known as fear extinction.

Who gets PTSD, and how bad depends on the health of the endocannabinoid system at the moment of trauma.

Creosote
Guest
Creosote
3 days ago

The reduction in cognitive decline among older users is nice but why not also include research on the cognitive effects among younger users?

Last edited 3 days ago
Crikey!
Guest
Crikey!
3 days ago

Cherry-picking. There’s a lot of new evidence that cannabis is harmful and strains are meaningless.