Category Archives: Cannabis news

Long-Term Pot Smoking Doesn’t Seem to Harm Health: Study

By Mandy Oaklander This story appeared in Time Magazine June 7, 2016

Even after years of heavy use, marijuana doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on the physical health of the body.

So finds a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry, which analyzed data from a group of 1,037 New Zealanders followed from their birth until age 38. The researchers, led by Madeline Meier of Arizona State University, looked at whether cannabis use from age 18 to 38 was linked to several aspects of physical health, which were measured at several points throughout the years of the study through lab tests and self-reports.

The only bad effects pot seemed to have were on the teeth. At age 38, people who used cannabis had worse periodontal health than their peers, and nothing else appeared to be affected. By contrast, tobacco use was connected to all the expected declines: worse lung function, more inflammation and compromised metabolic health. Of course, the results come with a caveat; it’s possible that negative health effects of cannabis could show themselves after the age of 38.

Even more surprisingly, the researchers found that cannabis use over time was linked to a lower BMI, smaller waist circumference and better HDL cholesterol, suggesting that cannabis may be involved in metabolism. But it’s unlikely that this would have a major effect, the study authors note, since pot wasn’t linked to reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.

“There are definitely health risks associated with heavy marijuana use, but there just aren’t as many as we previously thought,” says Dr. Kevin Hill, a marijuana addiction expert and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, whose new commentary on the study is published Tuesday in JAMA.

The same group of researchers discovered some of those health risks in their famous 2012 study. Using data from the same group of New Zealanders, Meier and her team found that heavy marijuana use had effects on the brain on teenagers. Using cannabis regularly was associated with up to an 8 point decline in IQ when people started before age 18. (When adults began using cannabis after age 18—even heavily—they didn’t see this decline.)

“The answers with marijuana aren’t exactly what we would have expected them to be, and this is a great example,” Hill says. “You need to be willing to change your mind on these issues.”

Write to Mandy Oaklander at mandy.oaklander@time.com.

These States Are Most Likely To Legalize Marijuana In 2019

“With the results of last month’s midterm elections—which marijuana basically won—ten states have now legalized cannabis for adults, while 33 allow medical use. Those victories at the ballot box capped a year in which the fight to reform prohibitionist cannabis policies advanced significantly at the state, federal and international levels.

The tally of states that allow the use of marijuana is poised to jump in a big way again in 2019, largely because a slew of pro-legalization candidates for governor also won at the ballot box on Election Day—giving cannabis reform bills a huge boost toward being signed into law sooner rather than later.”

Get the full scoop at Forbes.

‘Marijuana Justice Act’ Would End Weed Prohibition Throughout The Land

The bill introduced by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker would not only legalize cannabis nationally but would seek to reverse the damage to minority and veteran populations.  “The question is no longer ‘should we legalize marijuana?’; it is ‘how do we legalize marijuana?’ We must do so in a way that recognizes that the people who suffered most under prohibition are the same people who should benefit most under legalization,” said Queen Adesuyi, policy associate for Drug Policy Alliance. “From disparate marijuana-related arrests and incarceration rates to deportations and justifications for police brutality – the war on drugs has had disparate harm on low-income communities and communities of color. It’s time to rectify that.”

You can read the full article here in Forbes.

Keep it fresh: The Best Ways to Store Cannabis

Although cannabis is typically sold in plastic baggies by black market dealers, this is no way in which to store the kind herb. Unfortunately, many pot consumers confuse the most economical method of transporting relatively small quantities of pot for commercial sale — sandwich baggies or the special odor-proof, child-resistant bags employed by some dispensaries — as a suitable means of storage or for access to daily stash. They’re not.

Get the whole scoop from the editors at Mass Roots.

Whoa, Grandpa. Wanna Talk Weed? This New Adult Marijuana Use Study May Shock You

Baby boomers are getting high in increasing numbers, reflecting growing acceptance of the drug as treatment for various medical conditions, according to a study published in the journal Addiction.

The findings reveal overall use among the 50-and-older study group increased “significantly” from 2006 to 2013. Marijuana users peaked between ages 50 to 64, then declined among the 65-and-over crowd.

Read the whole article in The Cannabist.

11 Key Findings From One of The Most Comprehensive Reports Ever on The Health Effects of Marijuana

We’re learning more and more about the effects of cannabis use but as this story explains, there’s still a lot we need to learn. “… it’s hard to conduct research on marijuana right now. The report says that’s largely because of regulatory barriers, including marijuana’s Schedule I classification by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the fact that researchers often can’t access the same sorts of marijuana that people actually use. Even in states where it’s legal to buy marijuana, federal regulations prevent researchers from using that same product.” Read the surprising findings here.

Marijuana Prohibition Is Unscientific, Unconstitutional and Unjust

In his great Forbes magazine article, author Jacob Sullum lists the contradictions inherent in current marijuana legislation:

“The comparison of alcohol and marijuana presents an obvious challenge to anyone who thinks the government bans drugs because they are unacceptably dangerous. If anything, that rationale suggests marijuana should be legal while alcohol should be banned, rather than the reverse. Judging from this example, the distinctions drawn by our drug laws have little, if anything, to do with what science tells us about the relative hazards of different intoxicants.”

Well worth reading the entire article here.