A pilot study examined wastewater in Canada’s five main urban centers. The research suggests that the drug usage depends on the city from which the corresponding wastewater is coming.
For instance, an analysis via Statistics Canada depicted that levels of cannabis are much on the rise in Montreal and Halifax. These rates are much more than observed in Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver.
However, the research analysis from last week showed meth levels to be considerably more in Toronto and Edmonton. Furthermore, Halifax showed significantly lower amount of meth levels in the wastewater. The overall difference was six times to that of the rates scientists observed from Toronto’s wastewater.
Moreover, cocaine consumption was apparently equal in all the cities that were under observation. This averaged to 340 grams per million in 7 days.
Montreal and Halifax wastewater contained the highest amounts of cannabis waste products and lowest amount of meth. This suggests that different major urban centers might also have different drug usage patterns and policies.
How did Statistics Canada conduct the study?
For the results, the organization collected samples of some wastewater coming from treatment plants. These treatment plants belonged to five different cities that tested for certain traces of substances between the spring of last year to February 2019.
Scientists took the samples every half hour daily for seven days. Furthermore, they used the data to estimate the monthly consumption and levels of the traces.
Statistics Canada showed that the test localities in integration served 8.4 million citizens, which makes a fifth of the total population in Canada.
For cannabis, scientists analysed the compound with the name THC-COOH. This is a tetra hydrocannabidiol acetate that is a waste product from the metabolism of cannabis. The samples from the wastewater showed that this compound had higher levels in Montreal and Halifax in comparison to the other three cities. Additionally, the range was 2.5 to 3.8 times elevated.
Moreover, it also suggested that consumption varied on the season. Most of the spikes are in December, June and May.
The aims behind the pilot study
Statistics Canada showed that the aim of the pilot study was to analyse the efficacy of the drug testing idea through anonymous measures. This also pointed to the popularity of the drugs in different cities.
The study analysed the difference in the minimal drug levels between the cities. Furthermore, it suggested that the levels cannot solely determine the consumption rate of the specific drugs. There is a need to include other important external factors as well. These include potency of the drug and the sewer condition that could influence the levels.
For instance, with more popularity of cannabis edibles in one city than the other, the excretion rates would vary. This is because excretion rates of smoked cannabis and the edibles are different from each other.
However, the report analysed that the influence of these differences in the rates might be inconsiderable. Furthermore, drug consumption differences was the most potent factor in the game.
Furthermore, there is a need for more research to improve the accuracy of these drug testing techniques. This will ensure better treatment methods.
Long Term Use of Cannabis Could Affect Your Social Behavior, Here’s Why
While there’s no denying the fact that cannabis has tons of medical benefits, extended exposure to it could have serious social behavioral repercussions.
In a nutshell, long term use of cannabis affects the ability of astrocytes to manufacture food for neurons from glucose. This reduced food production compromises on the neural function, which appears to have adverse effects on the person’s behavior.
The way long term cannabis use alters behavior appears to have a direct link with the cannabinoid function. While it is mostly observation and researchers know of no concrete mechanism yet, cannabis consumption could lead to reduced social interactions and withdrawal.
A deeper understanding of the cannabinoid receptors could prove fruitful in determining the relationship between cannabis and social behavior.
The role of cannabinoids
The role cannabinoids play is much more important than ever since some of these receptors are also present on the mitochondrial membrane. ‘Mitochondrion is the powerhouse of the cell’, is a statement almost everyone is well familiar with. If something were to happen to the mitochondria inside the cells, it could very well reflect on the person’s behavior.
Mitochondria metabolize glucose into lactate, which neurons use as food. The main psychoactive compound in cannabis is THC. A better understanding of the relationship between the two could open doors to new possibilities.
Observations in mice reveal that if astrocytes are exposed to THC for an extended period of time, the cannabinoid receptors present in them start a chain of reactions that in turn lead to glucose metabolism dysfunction.
Therefore, there’s less available ‘food’ for astrocytes. This is like operating some heavy machinery with dry cells from a TV remote. Observations made suggest that this lack of ‘food’ has a direct impact on the subject’s behavior.
Moreover, in extreme cases, exposure to THC hampered social interactions for up to 24 hours.
While uncontrolled use of cannabis could be dangerous, controlled use with appropriate observations could very well be used to deal with some behavioral problems more easily and effectively.
The debate over therapeutic cannabis is yet again a hot topic. A better understanding of cannabis’ effects on the human body could help in finding the optimal solution.
However, for now, a simple rule to keep in mind, excess of everything is bad.
Pennsylvania: Lt. Gov. Fetterman Urges Cannabis Legalization
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman urges Cannabis Legalization to reduce the impact of the budget deficit. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has suffered a lot. Due to the economic setback, the state faces a budget shortfall of $3.2 billion.
Fetterman tweeted to support the legalization of recreational marijuana. He says that legalization of marijuana will open new avenues to generate tax revenue. According to Fetterman, the legalization of marijuana could generate half of this COVID-19 deficit. It will also be helpful in reforming the state prison system.
Recently, Lt. Gov. Fetterman took to Twitter in support of cannabis legalization.
If only there was a widely-consumed unregulated cash crop, wholly confined to the black market, that could generate billions of dollars + 1000’s of jobs + help PA farmers. https://t.co/oIfEeUb8sm
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 2, 2020
Catering For Budget Deficit
In an economy greatly hit by the global pandemic, the legalization of recreational cannabis will help providing thousands of jobs to the unemployed.
Majority people of Pennsylvania support the legalization. Fetterman is of the viewpoint that cannabis in Pennsylvania could bring up to 500 million dollars into the state’s coffers which is why he urges Cannabis Legalization.
I don’t know who needs to hear this jk I know who- but earnestly reforming our state prison system + legalization of marijuana could generate half of this COVID-19 deficit.
It would, however, could have other unintended consequences like justice and personal freedom.
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 2, 2020
Pennsylvania has a big marijuana market. Its legalization will allow Pennsylvania to stand on its own feet.
Some other politicians, however, disagree with the notion of legalization. They think that instead of adding new taxes, they should try to control the spending. The bill to legalize the adult use of Marijuana is in the committee. However, nothing can be said about the legalization with certainty.
However, According to State Sen. Stefano, his committee is reviewing new research. He told KDKA’s Meghan Schiller that the biggest hurdle is that there is no measurement technique for determining THC concentration in the human body. He said he’s hesitant to move forward, until there’s a way to determine the amount of intoxication.
The State Senator said that the bill was in his committee and he didn’t have plans to bring it up anytime soon. There is still room for a lot of research to be done. The decision to legalize adult-use marijuana isn’t a very wise decision without taking all the factors into account.
However, it’s research business owner Posteraro sees this as an opportunity. He hopes that it doesn’t take too much time to legalize it, because opportunities like these seldom present themselves.
Whether or not Cannabis should be legalized still remains open to debate, but there is no denying could help the nation face a huge financial deficit.
Cannabis Rendered Helpful in Saving Lives of COVID-19 Patients
Recent Researches revealed how Cannabis plant can help in saving lives of COVID-19 patients. The active components found in Cannabis Plant make it seem as a possible treatment for coronavirus infections.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabis
The University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute are conducting further researches to study the utility of CBD to check its utility in treating inflammation of lungs caused by coronavirus. The anti-inflammatory properties of Cannabis can be especially valuable in improving issues related to behaviour, immunity and brain.
Researchers explained that the infection is related to a cytokine superstorm, that causes symptoms like cough, fever and muscle pain. The increased inflammation can even cause pneumonia and breathing difficulties. Breathing difficulties are the number one cause of deaths due to COVID-19.
Reduction in the Amount of Cytokines
Previously, researches conducted on CBD show that it can bring down the level of several cytokines, that cause inflammation, including IL-6. It also helps in controlling interleukin (IL)-2, interferon gamma, IL-1α and β, inducible protein-10, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and tumor necrosis factor-α. Excess of these leads to severe COVID-19 conditions. Moreover, CBD also increases the interferons production. Interferon is a protein that prevents viruse replication and activates immune cells.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties have worked wonders for asthma patients by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine production. CBD also reduces pulmonary fibrosis. This condition causes scarring, thickening and damage to the lung tissue, along with making breathing considerably more painful. COVID-19 actually leaves patients with pulmonary fibrosis. This is the major reason why Cannabis can greatly help COVID-19 patients.
An insight into how COVID-19 works
Much like other respiratory pathogens, COVID-19 is also spread through respiratory droplets. However, it also has potential for contact and aerosol spread.
Coronavirus makes it way into the human body through receptor-mediation. This is done through angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2). ACE2 is present in lung tissue, oral and nasal mucosa, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and testes.
This information opens door to a new way of hindering the spread of coronavirus. Modulation of ACE2 could prove fruitful in this regard.
A special strain of cannabis can render this function. Through ACE2 modulation it could block the virus’ entry into the human body. Nipping the evil in the bud.
Basically, ACE2 acts like doorways to the virus. The main idea is to temporarily alter the extent of ACE2 gene expression. Therefore, it could very well make the human body a no entry zone for the virus. The same strain could also be used to stop the virus’ propagation if it has made its way into a person’s body.
This is where Cannabis sativa comes into play. Plants with high CBD content have been proposed as a way to modulate the ACE2 gene expression in target tissues.
At this point in time, it is more of a theory than a confirmed fact. However, it sure opens a new avenue with promising prospects. If it proves successful, the next step would be to start manufacture that particular strain into a medication.
It sure looks like CBD properties of cannabis can prove fruitful in the treatment and prevention of coronavirus. However, further research will prove whether it is the case or not.
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