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Mutations in Coronavirus – Is it Getting More Infectious?

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Concerns are raised over mutations occurring in the coronavirus strain.

A mutative strain in coronavirus called D614G is increasingly spreading its roots in parts of Southeast Asia. These mutations in coronavirus were reported mainly in Philippines, which is now emerging as the new virus epicenter in the region.

Whether or not this new strain of virus is more infectious is becoming a topic of debate among experts. While some sight these mutations in coronavirus to be a cause of concern, others find comfort in the slow rate mutative of changes.

According to experts, the virus genome undergoes about two changes in a month on average. So far, none of these changes have had any significant impact on the virus behavior, thereby not affecting vaccine development.

According to Benjamin Cowling, professor in the School of Public Health in Hong Kong, the possibility of the new strain being more contagious lacks significant evidence. Despite of this, the possibility of an increased contagiousness of the virus cannot be completely ruled out. He emphasizes that the new strain might be more infectious but not deadlier than earlier strains.

Contrary to this, researches conducted by the University of Massachusetts Medical School discovered that DG614 can cause a slight change in the spike proteins of the virus. This  can make it easier for the virus to undergo structural changes and infect other cells. Lab experiments deduced that this can increase the rate of infection by three to 10 times.

However, according to Emma Hodcroft from the University of Basel, it is not necessary for these lab results to be fully applicable in the real world. “We have cases where we really thought that we had evidence for a mutation that was changing viral behavior and as more evidence came, it didn’t seem to be the case.”

Official corona virus mutation reports in Philippines

The new mutations in coronavirus have been powerful enough to completely overthrow its first version. This mutation has now made D614 the most dominant virus strain that is making rounds around the world.

Researches conducted by Philippine Genome Center discovered that this strain of the virus was found in a number of cases from a population sample derived from Quezon City.

Officials in a press release on August 13 have said that, “Although this information confirms the presence of G614 in the Philippines, we note that all the samples tested were from Quezon City and may not represent the mutational landscape for the whole country,”

Researches conducted in July found that the new strain of coronavirus mutation enables it to multiply faster. Being a respiratory infection, most of this division takes place in the nose, sinuses and throat – enhancing transmission chances.

This tendency can help to understand why Philippines is experiencing such a rampant spread of coronavirus. Cases in the country have now risen to 160,000 forcing authorities to impose another lock down.

Philippines has experienced a record fall in GDP of about 16.7% this year. With the second lock-down underway, the aftershocks will be downright perilous for the economy.

Probable safety measures

About 100 medical organizations in Philippines held an online news conference early in August. The aim was to force the government for a definitive plan of action. The group collectively fears a collapse of the healthcare system, if cases do not stop rising.

In such unfavorable circumstances, what are the probable safety measures that can applied to contain the virus?

First and foremost, application of social distancing rules is very important. This helps to stop the spread of the virus and ensures safety. Use of safety measures like washing hands, using sanitizers and wearing masks should be never be ignored.

With ongoing mutations taking place in the virus, everything from incubation periods to therapeutic strategies changes. In such circumstances, practicing social distancing rules is the only option that can stop the virus from spreading.

A graduate in Bachelors of Business Administration, Yumna Haq is an ardent researcher and a dedicated writer. Having lived in three different counties, her cultural exposure is vast, allowing her to reflect more knowledge in her work. She's currently working for Cannabis Health Insider as a news writer.

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News Update: Four Children Targeted Due to Cannabis-Laced Sweets

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cannabis infused sweets

Cannabis gummies and sweets containing THC are available in the market, but these edibles are for people above the age of 18 or 21. The age limit to consume cannabis containing gummies and other sweets vary from state to state and from country to country.

The rules and regulations relating to cannabis-laced sweets differ depending upon the government’s decision regarding the use of controlled substances in edibles. Moreover, in some areas, the sale of cannabis gummies is permitted but with age limitations. Unfortunately, the incidence of children getting sick after taking marijuana, THC, or cannabinol-containing sweets have occurred in England and Ireland.

Consumption of younger kids can be injurious to their health, and it may lead to hospitalization, being in a coma. In severe conditions, excessive consumption of these marijuana-containing sweets can result in death, reported Food Safety News.

The Incident Related to Cannabis Consumption by Children 

In England, four young children have to be admitted to hospital when their condition becomes worse after supposedly consuming cannabis containing sweets or gummies. One of the four children aged 12-years-old was discharged on the first of May, but the other three children were to be released after a day. Once they have been monitored for a day or overnight, they were likely to be released.

Three children, two of age twelve years old ( a girl and a boy) and one of age thirteen years old who was a boy when eating jelly sweets their body reacted vigorously and they begin to vomit uncontrollably. Furthermore, these children experience episodes of unconsciousness as they become conscious and unconscious abruptly.

How Did these Sweets Cause Severe Sickness in Reported Children?

There have been different incidents with a similar situation where children have experienced sudden reactions after eating sweets or jellies. Police in Surrey is trying their best to find the root cause of such severe reactions. These children do experience vomiting and remain unconscious for some time, but fortunately, they did not develop any long-term disease. Neither did they experience any ill-effects, and authorities are eager to find the root cause and source of these sweets.

ALSO READ: Complete Breakdown of CBD for Children: A Go-To for Parents

Another incident of such reactions also occurs when children consume jelly apple rings that appear as green jelly circles. Similarly, some pupils in South London also need quick treatment care and hospitalization due to reactions that develop after the consumption of gummies containing cannabis. According to Detective Sgt. Lisa Betchley, police are determined to find the source or where children are getting such sweets. There is some evidence that children purchased these sweets or gummies online.

She further added that these children were lucky to survive as they received help from two nearby medical students when the children developed reactions to sweets. Medical students have been assisting the South East Ambulance Service.

They have also been aiding hospital staff in various treatment and repaid responses. The sale of such types of sweets containing cannabis is illegal. Some products are on the market in the finest packaging, but people shall avoid using them as they are illegal in the UK.

Sickness Reactions Occur in Ireland

Individuals that possess cannabis-containing products for sale or usage shall keep them within storage conditions. It is essential to keep these items out of reach of children as they can be detrimental to their health.

Cannabis containing edibles is not for teenagers and children. The substance is considered under controlled drug. Seeing an increase in the number of such reactions in children after consuming cannabis-containing sweets, the FSAI issued warnings. A Food Safety Authority of Ireland warning highlights the potentially dangerous aspects of edible THC products.

ALSO READ: Here’s Everything You Need To Know About THC And CBD

According to Pamela Byrne, sweets and jellies containing active ingredients of the marijuana plant are denoting sold through online means. Those involved in such activities do not care about the safety of children and the consequences of their activities.

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Variety Of Marijuana Strains Yield Different Health Impacts 

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Marijuana Strains

Marijuana is a plant that has many beneficial medical uses. Moreover, researchers are discovering more and more about the effectiveness of cannabis in treating various psychological and pathological conditions. The plant has been gaining popularity for its health effects. 

Marijuana is effective in reducing pain and anxiety. It is also applicable for elevating the quality of sleep, and recently it is famous for being an aphrodisiac. The impact of various strains of cannabis is different.

Marijuana strains are classified as indica, Sativa, and hybrid. However, the classification is considered controversial. Moreover, each variant-strain of cannabis generates a specific effect. But personal preferences also determine what individuals will use and how it will affect them. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Strains Perfect For Parents During Back-To-School Season

Are There Any Marijuana Genital-specific Strains?

There is no evidence of the existence of marijuana strains that can result in genital-specific arousal. However, cannabis is usable for treating and helping to ease certain penis-specific situations. Moreover, individuals with anxiety associated with erectile dysfunction can take the anxiety-reducing strain of cannabis.

According to a 2017 study, marijuana use has a positive link with sexual frequency. Moreover, according to some studies, cannabis users have sex more often. Furthermore, there is a possibility that cannabis leads to increased libido levels. 

However, some research studies disagree with cannabis having a positive association with sex. According to a 2011 literature review, frequent marijuana use can cause erectile dysfunction. There is another study of 2010 that links daily use of weed to the inability to achieve orgasm. 

Thus, further research is essential to understand the true-effect of marijuana on sexual health. However, without sufficient evidence, people are still using cannabis to enjoy sex, boost their libido, and deal with other undesirable symptoms like pain or depression.

Various strains of cannabis generate different effects on different individuals. So far, there is no guarantee of which cannabis-strain will be beneficial for your sexual health. Moreover, it is wiser and safer to use marijuana strains with the recommendation of doctors and under their supervision. 

Strains For Arousal 

The two strains most frequently used for enhancing libido are Sativa-dominant hybrid (Sweeties) and hybrid (OG Kush). Sweeties contain 22 percent THC, while OG Kush contains 18 percent THC. 

Sweeties produce euphoria and are usually used for relieving stress, anxiety, and low libido. OG Kush has a reputation for generating happy feelings. However, the usage of OG Kush makes consumers a little sleepy. Thus, consuming it in small doses is safe and effective.

Treating Depression With Cannabis Strains

Depression can lead to multiple conditions including erectile dysfunction, lethargy, fatigue, and low sex drive. Many individuals use Strawberry Diesel and Jillybean to treat depression. Both are hybrid marijuana strains.

Jillybean and Strawberry Diesel strains contain zero CBD, but both have 16 percent THC each. Moreover, jellybean is energizing, produces euphoria, is a mood elevator, and perfect for combating depression. However, Strawberry Diesel does have a euphoric, mood uplifting effect, but it is not too energizing. Moreover, it is not sleep-inducing and thus is useable during day time.

ALSO READ: Cannabis Greenhouse Effect – Areas With More Emission

Getting Rid Of Anxiety And Stress With Aid Of Marijuana Strains

Stress and anxiety are both common libido killers. Moreover, stressed individuals are unable to enjoy and have fun. Furthermore, stress can lead individuals to exhaustion, brain fog, and irritability. It also decreases the potential for sexual pleasure. However, the use of marijuana strains will enable the consumer to reduce stress levels and soothe anxiety. 

Sherbet and Locktite are hybrid strains of marijuana containing 18 percent THC capable of producing euphoria. For arousal, individuals use Locktite, and Sherbet is effective for erogenous play. 

Moreover, if individuals desire to use more energetic strains, they can use Durban Poison and Harlequin. Both have Sativa-strain of marijuana, but Durban Poison contains 17% THC, and Harlequin contains 5% THC.

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Cannabis Greenhouse Effect – Areas With More Emission

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Cannabis Indoor cultivation

Cannabis can cause climate change that can affect the environment and life of human beings, reports The Conversation. The extent to which marijuana contributes to environmental alterations depends upon its cultivation technique and location.

The marijuana industry is expanding, and lawmakers are working on legalizing its cultivation, possession, and other activities across the United States. The cultivation of cannabis can occur indoor and outdoor. However, the effects of cultivating marijuana indoors are different from its cultivation in open outdoor fields.

According to a recent study, cultivating cannabis indoors results in the production of large amounts of greenhouse gasses. Moreover, the impact of these gasses depends upon the location where cannabis indoor cultivation occurs.

ALSO READ: Texas A&M Freshman Desires To Expand Cannabis Medical Use

Energy For Cannabis Indoor Cultivation

Cultivating cannabis indoors requires a controlled environment and source of energy, light, water, and other suitable conditions. A lot of electricity is utilized in producing sufficient light for the cultivation and growth of marijuana indoors. 

Moreover, cannabis cultivation at an optimal growth rate requires a lot of energy. Energy is essential for producing a comfortable growing environment for the marijuana plant. Furthermore, air conditioners and heaters are essentially required to keep the temperatures within a suitable range. 

The growth and cultivation of plants require the presence of a certain percentage of carbon dioxide. Thus, cannabis producers pump carbon dioxide into the indoor marijuana cultivating unit. However, apart from the beneficial effect in the growth of cannabis, carbon dioxide contributes to 11% to 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in facilities. 

Producers require a proper ventilation system that allows clean, fresh air at a suitable temperature and humidity levels to enter the indoor cultivating unit of cannabis. Availability of air is essential for growth but cleaning it and correcting its temperature and humidity is possible with an energy-intensive process.

Intensive energy and other production requirements increase greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, in some regions, the emission of greenhouse gasses is higher than in other localities. 

Areas With More And Less Greenhouse Gas Emissions 

Regions with milder climates require less heating and air conditioning. Moreover, their electric grids use more clean energy. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions in such regions are less than in other areas.

According to Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and industry data, growing pot cannabis indoors results in greater emissions of greenhouse gasses in the Mountain West, Midwest, Alaska, and Hawaii in comparison with Pacific and Atlantic coasts. 

Moreover, cannabis in southern California has the lowest emissions, and eastern Oahu in Hawaii has the highest greenhouse gas emission. Greenhouse gas emissions in Southern California are at 143 pounds of carbon dioxide, equivalent per ounce of dried marijuana. However, 324 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per ounce emission occurs at Oahu in Hawaii. Moreover, this emission is equivalent to burning 16 gallons of gasoline

Greenhouse Emissions From Cannabis And Its Impact

The emission rate affects the environment, but authorities, cultivators, and industrialists do not consider the environmental impact. There is an urgent need to take measures regarding the greenhouse effect of cannabis cultivation to control the possibly worse situation. 

ALSO READ: Denver’s Cannabis Ordinance Will Jeopardize Hard Earned Public Health And Safety

There are old warehouses that use outdated equipment that emit more greenhouse gasses as they are less energy efficient. Furthermore, there is a need for developing new better techniques for growing high-quality cannabis with energy-efficient methods. 

Unknown variations in the cultivation process and growing methods make it hard to design effective policies that can enable producers to limit the emission of greenhouse gasses. Moreover, one serving of THC, roughly 10mg dried-flower, yields more greenhouse gasses emission than a serving of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, cigarettes.

Furthermore, it is better to cultivate and grow cannabis outdoors in open fields with a suitable environment as it will lower the emission of greenhouse gasses. 

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