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Coronavirus – Researchers Focus on Genetics After Deaths of Twins and Siblings

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In the middle of the steady stream of stories regarding the deaths of COVID-19, that is significantly high in number. In the past month, however, at least two pairs of twins, and two pairs of brothers had died in Britain, with a gap of a few hours or days. The question that arises is if the deaths point towards genetic factors that increase the likelihood of some to succumb to the disease, more than others.

According to most scientists, genes can indeed play a big role in the response of people to infections. Furthermore, the receptors that the COVID-19 uses to invade human cells are likely to be influenced by a person’s genetic makeup. However, the resilience of a person to infection, their general health, and the reaction of their immune system will all have at least some degree of the genetic component.

Prof Tim Spector, head of twin research and genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, led a team that reported that the symptoms of COVID-19 seem to be 50% genetic. However, Spector has said that more research will be needed to understand the involvement of specific genes and the difference that they make to the course of the disease.

According to Spector, there is still ambiguity regarding if genes are linked to the receptors or to how the infection presents.

Last month, identical twins Katy and Emma, aged 37, were reported dead at Southampton general hospital. The sisters had underlying health problems and were living together. They had been ill for quite some time before they were infected with the virus.

Another set of twins was Eleanor Andrews and Eileen, aged 66. The sisters died earlier this month, also had underlying health conditions, and lived together.

Another case was of two brothers from Newport, Ghulam Abbas, aged 59, and Raza Abbas, aged 53. They died with a gap of hours of each other, at the Royal Gwent Hospital. Furthermore, another pair of brothers, Olume Ivowi, aged 46, and Isi Ivowi, aged 38, from Luton, died within a gap of days of each other.

According to Spector, these deaths have alerted people regarding the possible genetic factor, especially during a time when people are living together and have a shared environment.

Spector added that the outcome is that twins that live together, are likely to have similar lifestyles and habits, from diet to exercise, and also on how quickly they respond and seek medical care, and are hence not generally less healthy than the remaining population.

Twin deaths gained popularity in headlines before the COVID-19 pandemic, when twins, Julian and Adrian Riester, died on the same day in 2011, in Florida. The cousin of the twins claimed that this was a confirmation of God’s favor over them. However, Spector has seen the statistic and says that twins dying at the same time are a rare occurrence. Furthermore, he added that while the population exists in billions on this planet, only 70 is a twin and one in 200 is an identical twin.

A professor of biological psychiatry at Bristol University, Marcus Munafo, has said that there must be caution in the interpretation of the reports of twin deaths. Munafo added that twin deaths are unusual and rare, which is why they make it to the news, but a distortion of perceptions can be caused by coverage. Munafo continues that the “salience bias” which refers to the fact that people end to notice the information that stands out the most irrespective of relevancy, can be unhealthy and it would be better to be careful when coming across news and realize what we should focus on.

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Cannabis

Marijuana Uses Not Sufficient Reason For Disqualification from White House Jobs

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Marijuana and jobs

Marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills are under discussion. Other resolutions regarding cannabis to improve the working of the cannabis system also happened, reported nbc news.

It was highlighted that the individuals cannot face disqualification solely because the individual used marijuana. Such measures are unfit and unacceptable. The office of Joe Biden allows individuals to apply for an administrative-job without any limitations on recreational-cannabis use. In addition, the White House has updated its hiring policies and guidelines. According to the new rules for hiring, recreational marijuana use will not prohibit anyone from applying and obtaining a position in the office

Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level and drug use was a barrier to getting a job in administration in the White House. The Office of Personnel Management Recommendations changes hiring policies. The use of marijuana, even though it is illegal, but its use cannot be the only reason for rejecting an employee or disqualifying one. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Sales Reaches Skies, Set Highest Mark With $17.5 Billion Sales

New Guidelines For Hiring And Recreational Use Of Marijuana

The White House allows the selection of candidates on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, marijuana infrequent users will be under consideration for top-secret security clearance selection. Furthermore, the Personnel Security Division and security officials will help in the selection of candidates. 

Kathleen McGettigan is the current director for the Office of Personnel Management. McGettigan released a memorandum about hiring recreational users of marijuana. Shortly after the memorandum, the release of new guidelines occurred. 

According to it, 49% of Americans use marijuana off and on. Moreover, the SAMHSA’s 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health runs a survey according to which nearly half of the participants have used cannabis. 

Some individuals are disqualified for a job merely based on using marijuana. Moreover, individuals with the best qualification characteristics for a job do not get a job because they use cannabis from time to time. As a result, suitable candidates for jobs are unemployed despite their experience, education, and other skills. 

What is the Vetting Process and How it Helps in Selection?

The appointed individuals for a staff position in the White House undergo a process called the vetting process. During vetting, process officials determine whether individuals qualify for a security clearance or not. 

Moreover, applicants that apply for the staff position must be honest about marijuana and other drug use. The extent of drug use determines for which job the individual is suitable. 

According to the new policy, individuals will not get disqualification for using cannabis from their office immediately. Moreover, such individuals will receive a waiver. Individuals with a waiver must agree that they will never use marijuana again during their government job and they will not hesitate to perform random drug testing. Such individuals will work remotely for some duration. However, the White House did not specify the extent of the duration.

What to Monitor?

Monitoring and selection of employees is the responsibility of McGettigan. The applicants are to be considered on a case-by-case basis. There are certain things about applicants that the officials must know. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Industry, Celiac Disease, And Processed Flour

Gathering information about drug use and other characteristics of applicants makes the selection process easy. Moreover, applicants must be honest about their character, conduct, and personalities. The officials selecting employees must know the nature of the job for which the applicant applies. And also, the job in which the person is employed. Furthermore, individuals must acquire the nature, seriousness, and circumstances of conduct. 

It is essential to determine whether the applicant has gone to rehabilitation centers at any age. Knowing about applicants and understanding them enables selecting the best candidate for the job. Moreover, individuals with talent, experience, and suitable qualifications will not lose their job only because of infrequent marijuana use. 

Biden’s efforts towards bringing the most suitable administrative workers through amending hiring guidelines will enable them to gather individuals with the highest standards for providing services to individuals. 

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Cannabis

Colorado in Need of Regulations to Restrict Marijuana Concentrates to Keep Teens Safe

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Colorado In Need Of Regulations To Restrict Marijuana Concentrates To Keep Teens Safe

Medical facilities in Colorado are seeing a spike in young psychosis patients. These patients are experiencing some sort of a disconnect from reality. Doctors are comparing these conditions to medical conditions that arise under schizophrenia. The one thing that these patients have in common is the use of high-potency marijuana concentrates.

Are High Potencies Dangerous? Does Marijuana Require Warnings?

Although marijuana is in use for centuries as a medicine and for fun, the risk high-potency marijuana poses to mental health is substantial. The sheer amount of risk makes it unavoidable. Like cigarette packets, marijuana also needs to be under regulation.

High levels of caffeine are under regulation for the safety of the public, and so are tobacco products. But the absence of any such measure in the case of marijuana allows unfettered access to high-potency marijuana for everyone. Even teens with a medical marijuana card can just walk into stores and buy the prescribed limit. The baffling thing is that they can do so over and over again without anyone noticing. They can source enough concentrate to get their entire class high for a week.

ALSO READ: Mayor To Cut the Ribbon on Cannabis ‘Cookies’ Inauguration

Senior doctors at the medical center of Aurora think that high-potency marijuana concentrates are responsible for psychosis in adolescents, reports Denverpost. Chris Rogers, the medical director of child and adolescent services at The Medical Center of Aurora, also affirms the idea.

Chris Rogers is also a former president of the Colorado Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Society. According to him, adolescents exhibit extreme paranoia and sever their ties to reality under the influence. Further, the patients believe that doctors and parents are against them. Moreover, they also consider food and water as poison.

These results are not attributable to the conventional joint. The drug industry has seen progress. The newly made chemically isolated THC in a crystal-like or liquid substance is inhaled after heating. This process is called dabbing. The end-products contain THC between 60 and 90% THC.

A Pain Reliever For The Old Generation May Spell Trouble For The Coming One

What set out to be a remedy for our aches, pains, and anxiety has now become a worry. Numerous peer-reviewed studies have documented the prevalence of marijuana use, particularly of these high-potency concentrates, among patients suffering psychosis.

Current studies are trying to find a link between the two so as to avoid any ambiguities. Patients suffering from psychosis are more likely to be using cannabis and other drugs to self-medicate. A study also links high psychosis in cities with easy access to high-concentrate marijuana. This was in addition to a high rate of concentrate use among patients seeking psychosis care.

ALSO READ: Texas Med Store Starts Selling Cannabis-Infused Gummies As Medical Marijuana

People must know what they are using. Lawmakers need to take action, capping the potency of marijuana products to something along the lines of say 30% can do the trick. This 30% is about the same concentration that anyone will find on the actual flower as the nature presents it for use.

Other things that the legislation must consider is setting up of a computer based system. This system will allow purchases to update in real-time so that abusers don’t find a way to secure high potencies. No one is asking to ban marijuana, the only aim is to think along the same lines as other drugs are regulated.

A timely action can safeguard the interests of the country and the world as a whole. The teens are the worst hit group of the society and they need a lot of help from the lawmakers to stay on the right path.

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Cannabis

Texas Med Store Starts Selling Cannabis-Infused Gummies As Medical Marijuana

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Marijuana Baked Products

With time, as more states have legalized cannabis use, dispensaries are finding new ways to morph cannabis into daily-use things. The popularity of medical marijuana is undoubtedly off the charts.  In another of such events, one of the state’s dispensaries now offers medical marijuana-infused gummies.

The Lone Star state is the second largest of all the states, falling behind Alaska. The fact that Elon Musk has set up his residence in the state has made it even more popular. Surterra Wellness, a well-known marijuana brand of Florida, is also now operating in Texas, with its dispensary located in Austin. Surterra Wellness is bringing cannabis-infused lineup of edibles to cater to the needs of patients and cannabis consumers alike. This will supply patients with THC in its less concentrated and intimidating form. The president of Surterra Wellness is positive about the impact this lineup of edibles can have.

Gummy Bears Carrying Marijuana

Mr. Ruark, the Surterra Wellness president, believes that the popularity of gummies makes them ideal to administer medicinal marijuana. He further asserts, “Gummies are by far the most popular dosing form in medical markets across the United States, reports Mysanantonio. In addition to the popularity of gummies, they also contain terpenes. Terpenes provide a plethora of therapeutic properties and is an all natural extract.

ALSO READ: Cannabis Antibiotics Can Be Solution For Treating Drug-Resistant Diseases 

This is another way for medical marijuana to ingest, enjoy, and get relief with THC. The many flavors that gummy bears are available, make it a great option to use for the deliverance of medical marijuana.

Medicinal marijuana, although legally allowed in Texas, is under extreme regulation and restrictions. Residents must opt into the Texas Compassionate Use Program that allows subscribers to use cannabis products for medicinal purposes. This programme came into being in 2015 and caters to patients of medical conditions such as terminal cancer, incurable neurological disorders, epilepsy, seizures, multiple sclerosis, autism and ALS.

Now, with the advancements in the way marijuana is covering ground, cannabis advocates are pressuring legislators in Texas to further work and expand the program. There are expectations that the expansion will include patients suffering from PTSD.

Ruark believes that people are largely unaware of the medicinal programme in Texas. Also, he believes these gummies will change this. He thinks that his company can work on creating awareness by letting people know more about state’s medical marijuana program.

Increasing The Cannabis Family by 2 Million

Increased reach will allow two million patients to use it who qualify for it even now but don’t use it because they don’t know about the program.

ALSO READ: International Market For Marijuana-Infused Drinks On The Rise

The president of the dispensaries wants everyone to benefit from the nature’s gift. He wants everyone to reap the benefits of cannabis. It may be of special benefit for veterans in dealing with PTSD after their return back to a normal life. These lovely gummy treats in total constitute 200 milligrams THC and is priced $60. Scroll down to learn more about the next cannabis update.

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