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Frequent Cannabis Use – Researchers Detect THC levels in Semen

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Different legal requirements may cause people to take urine tests for cannabis. Moreover, different medical organizations use standard procedures. This procedure helps the detection of cannabis metabolites, long after the person’s last consumption. However, a popular question is uncertainty regarding THC present in semen, and whether it’s detectable.

A team of researchers at Harvard Medical School led a study and concluded positively. The study involved 12 participants with regular inhalation of cannabis. Out of the 12 participants, 2 of them had detectable delta-9 THC in their semen samples. Furthermore, the THC metabolite that remains after the processing of the compound, was detectable in all samples. However, the researchers had stressed that 2 of the samples were unable to be analyzed due to inadequate volume.

Why is this concerning?

Pregnancy could be the reason for a valid concern. The researchers who conducted the study have concluded that most men of reproductive users are also avid consumers of cannabis. In terms of numbers, that makes up 19.4% of the USA male population. Men and women have also reported the use of cannabis while considering pregnancy. A study has reported figures of 16.5% and 11.5% for men and women respectively.

However, the authors of the Harvard study have not considered answering questions that arise regarding the impact of THC on fertility, and childhood development. They have stressed the primary focus of the study which was the determination of the ability of THC to pass the blood-testis barrier. Moreover, they accomplished their goal with the successful results of the study.

The study

THC

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The study was reportedly the first to experiment on the exogenous cannabinoid THC and its detectability in any human reproductive matrix. However, due to the ambiguity regarding its detection in the first place, the researchers centered on long-term cannabis users. All participants had reported cannabis use in a time frame of fewer than the last 30 days, while many reported consistency for over 5 years. Consequently, the researchers were unable to extend the generalization of their results further to every user with different levels and frequency of consumption.

The 2 participants with detectable THC levels in their samples, had recorded 0.97 ng/mL and 0.87 ng/mL. However, their distinction was not certain. It raised ambiguity for researchers when not all, but some samples were THC-positive, with no strong factors to influence. Hence, the researchers had laid out specific rules to focus on such as the identification of characteristics that may affect the THC levels.

How does it affect fertility and other reproductive concerns?

There is ambiguity when the questions arise regarding the effect of THC on semen, and consequently pregnancy, and childhood development. The Harvard researchers have stressed the limitation and conflict of the scarce data that we have. This was regarding the link between cannabis and reproductive outcomes.

However, there have been studies on the sperm count of participants who are regular smokers of cannabis. While a study conducted on 1200 young men concluded that smoking cannabis led to lower sperm counts, another study on 662 older men concluded otherwise. The effect of THC on the sperm is very vague too. The new paper sheds light on the uncertainty of the effects of cannabis on human gametes and fertilization.

The common method of this research has been observing THC levels by blood tests or studying the activity of the sperm in a laboratory with a THC solution. However, the quantifiability of the THC levels in human reproductive issues and fluids has laid the foundation for future research. By the direct method of measurement, this further eliminates the compulsion to rely on potentially unreliable methods such as self-reporting cannabis use, or serum levels.

The Harvard researchers noted decreased motility and mitochondrial oxygen consumption in the THC-washed sperm with the inclusion of other effects. However, they recognized the significantly higher THC concentrations used in their study.

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Study Shows No Significant Mental Effects In Elderly Patients Using Medicinal Cannabis For Chronic Pains

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Cannabis for chronic pain doesn't impair brain

The elderly, often subjected to various medical conditions, need therapies and treatments as much as any other age group. Yet unfortunately, some point out that the field sometimes doesn’t get as much attention as younger groups. That may explain why pediatric doctors greatly outnumber geriatric specialists. And then, there does exist the tendency for the elderly to be more likely to be dismissed, compared to younger patients. Regardless, one of the most common aliments in the elderly is that of chronic pain in different parts of their aged bodies. Luckily, medicinal cannabis may hold the solution for them, as numerous experts find its properties useful for old people.

A recent study from Israel set out to ascertain whether or not weed would harmfully affect the cognitions of a sample of aged individuals. The participants included both middle-aged individuals and the elderly ones, as both seemed likely to have chronic pains. Furthermore, because the aim was to find effects on cognition, both types had fully-developed brains. What the scientists found may further the needle for the campaign to normalize medicinal cannabis.

The study set up strict controls and parameters to keep it as accurate as possible

The problem that arises with any diverse sample is the presence of individual differences. If not adjusted for, these can lead to a skewed data set and make the results questionable. In this case, the researchers strove to ensure all participants were as similar as possible. They were all above the age of 50, and no significant history with alcohol abuse or hard drugs. Some of the participants were on medicinal weed licenses, meaning they actively used it regularly. Others used it very sporadically. However, all abstained from cannabis use at least 3 hours prior. They also had similar education levels and all medically recognized as mentally sound.

The study included exactly 63 licensed individuals with the remaining 62 unlicensed. The male to female ratio was also about half and half, so sex didn’t affect the results. This almost even split served to better reproduce a normal distribution with acceptable standard deviations. Furthermore, they used a reliable software called ‘CogState’, which comprises of computerized cognitive exams. These exams covered everything required, from memory to attention spans.

The results indicated that regular cannabis use to treat chronic pains left no significant impact on cognition in the elderly

By all standards of scientific research methodology, the study mainly came out as a success. The results showed the initial hypothesis proved correct, and cannabis caused no major mental changes. In practically all participants, cognition was on par with normal levels and the frequent cannabis users did not vary much from rare users. Hence, the paper claimed that treating chronic pains with CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) would leave no lasting mental effects.

However, one interesting and alarming finding the study showed was an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease from cannabis. In addition, regular users also showed elevated frequencies of depression. The former of these may occur due to smoking cannabis rather than eating it. However, it does corroborate what a recent American Heart Association (AHA) paper claims.

While the study did have some limitations, it still shows important findings for those on the fence about medicinal weed

No truly scientific study can claim to have zero room for improvement. While they accounted for most extraneous factors, the biggest factor was the cross-sectional aspect. This means that due to broad generalizations about samples, the study cannot definitively establish cause and effect. Also, they didn’t account for previous medicinal histories.

However, the study still puts to rest many fears about brain damage from weed. For more on medicinal cannabis, stay tuned!

 

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Why New Jersey’s Telemedicine For Prescription Cannabis Is A Big Deal

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Telemedicine now available for prescription medicine in New Jersey

Earlier this month, legislation in New Jersey seems like it may take a turn in favor of medicinal cannabis using ‘telemedicine’. In a world, and nation, devastated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, even visiting a physician may prove deadly. After all, hospitals, now overrun with emergent coronavirus cases, may become cesspools of airborne pathogens. Even healthcare providers still face significant risk of infection in their line of work. And this despite them donned in full protective gear and thoroughly disinfected regularly. As a matter of fact, going out anywhere public unnecessary remains inadvisable by the WHO and health authorities.

Recently, the members of the New Jersey state assembly convened to talk about various concerning issues. One of the biggest and most immediate issues, the plight of millions of patients needing prescription drugs at home, needing resolving. This especially held true of those requiring medicinal cannabis treatments, a drug not available at every nearby pharmacy. Therefore the members ruled to permit the use of telemedicine, a game-changing new service in the United States.

Telemedicine holds the key to quality healthcare in the middle of a dangerous pandemic

Not many outside of the medical field would immediately know what the concept refers to. Broadly speaking, telemedicine refers to any healthcare practice done without the patient and physician needing to interact in person. Looking at the etymology (the origin of the word), it’s all in the name (translating to long distance medicine). Therefore, video conferencing consultations between the patient at home and the doctor is an example of telemedicine. In addition, the purchase and delivery of prescription drugs from and to home online also counts as such.

So while it may not seem like anything more than ‘Zoom/Amazon but for medicine’, this is a gross understatement. Regular meetings, related to business, casual chatting and interviews, already occurred online before COVID-19. That classes and work began conducting over video conferences wasn’t anything unforeseeable as the pandemic grew. However, in traditional medical schools, few students receive training for how to treat patients online. After all, a good diagnosis usually comes with thorough rapport, careful inspection of the body and various examinations. So now the COVID-19 pandemic has doctors scrambling to learn an entirely new modality of work. And the concept of sitting safe at home while your lifesaving drugs come to you, risk-free is incredible.

The move comes unexpectedly, as cannabis legislation in New Jersey still holds some previous prejudices

The truth of the matter is that the United States is still a nation where recreational cannabis usage is federally illegal. And medicinal cannabis, despite modern scientific studies extolling its proven health benefits as a therapeutic agent in many conditions, as well. That means that the ‘default’ law for any state is that the drug is banned, with even possession resulting in criminal offence. The only state exceptions to this practice worked hard to exempt themselves. Even in New Jersey, recreational cannabis remains off the table, but medicinally it gained allowance.

As a result, the cannabis industry, which makes everything cannabis related (from hemp to CBD oils), doesn’t do well here. There simply isn’t a big enough market for products in states where cannabis is literally banned. In the case of New Jersey, only specially licensed dispensaries can legally sell prescription marijuana. Law makers historically have shown very little care to make medicinal weed more accessible, in addition. Furthermore, even healthcare providers may show hesitance to prescribe cannabis due to the amount of legal work required by state laws.

All in all, this move signals a step in the right direction. Hopefully, patients will receive their medications soon and safely.

 

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How To Make The Ideal Cannabis And Coffee Pairing

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Coffee and cannabis, how to make the ideal combination

Coffee and cannabis may not immediately seem like good bedfellows. After all, the two bear strikingly dissimilar histories and cultural images. The word ‘coffee’ brings to mind a warm, cozy, family-friendly beverage for the earnest workers. Yet unfortunately, cannabis had, up until recently, received the label as the drug of choice of the undesirables. However, an educated mind knows that both products should not bear judgment solely according to cultural propaganda. And together, these two products form an underrated, flavorful experience.

The rationale behind this, as believed by an increasing number of connoisseurs, deals with the diversity of both. There simply doesn’t exist a single monolithic taste of coffee, and neither in the case of marijuana. Many modern fans of weed eagerly spend hours devising up ideal ratios and combinations to achieve the optimal high. Conversely, just as many avid coffee enthusiasts worldwide spend large sums on imported coffee strains hoping to achieve something similar.

As more and more fans of both discover, a good cup of coffee can often complement a joint well. And keep in mind that we don’t just mean any old, stinky hash doobie with a poor cup of cheap, processed instant coffee. When it comes to weed, factors like the terpene-profile come into play in complex ways. Indeed, the list we show you below takes the very best of both into consideration. This means that after a long day, you too can unwind with a sensual, decadent dive into colliding world’s of flavor.

The main points to know when it comes to understanding the flavor of cannabis still don’t scratch the surface. As with any product, complex biochemistry determines the extent of every unique terpene scent or flavor. Regardless, having some level of entry-level understanding will still set one apart from the casual consumer.

The key to pairing a particular cannabis product to a specific coffee type lies in understanding the natures of both

No one would ever recommend drinking a shot of tequila while eating something spicy. Likewise, the appeal of pineapple on pizza lies in the way the sweetness interplays with the tanginess of the pizza sauce. As with these, cannabis and coffee pair together accordingly. Feel free to modify and adjust as per individual taste. There just isn’t a gold standard when it comes to flavors as non-discrete as these.

So now that we have covered the essentials, it’s time to transition from theory to practical application. Don’t ever be afraid to get creative, but feel free to use the following as rough guides. And of course, these are merely a few examples of limitless possibilities. Here goes nothing!

‘Chemdog’ and Costa Rican

The former stands apart from the rest due to its strong citric-peppery scent. This should definitely make things interesting when matched with a hot cup of Costa Rican. That coffee gives off mild flavors, pleasantly sour and sweet. Hence together they will provide an experience akin to a nice slice of pumpkin pie. The devil’s in the details.

‘Zkittlez’ and Columbian

Don’t let the silly name fool you. This linalool terpene laced weed provides subtle tastes of lavender and bears a flowery scent. Columbian coffee, with its sweet, earthy tastes would enhance the sweetness. This combination surely makes the user elated and giddy from the aroma.

‘Forbidden Fruit’ and Ethiopian

The name comes off as sensual, and the flavor bears hints of raspberry and grapefruit, with noticeable terpene scents. Ethiopian coffee, like the aforementioned weed, comes off as strongly scented and aromatic. Unmistakable undertones of fruitiness and sweet flavor abound, so this is practically a match made in heaven.

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