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COVID-19 And Influenza May Have Twin Pandemics This Year

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COVID-19 and influenza may have twin pandemics

Many times, just when a doctor congratulates themself on making a tricky diagnosis, disaster happens. Although most doctors maintain meticulous details and effort, even the best sometimes must face facts. And that sad truth is that often at times multiple diseases manifest with similar symptoms. A patient running in with chest pains may suffer from acid reflux (GERD) or a serious heart attack. Similarly, experts now agree that COVID-19 and influenza symptoms can be very difficult to distinguish.

Up until the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic this year, the leading respiratory virus was influenza. Ancient, commonplace, well-understood it was, and thus predictable in its outcomes. In fact, since the great flu pandemic in 1918, that eviscerated most of Europe and America, nothing came close. Experts since then, with new understandings of epidemiology and virology, were able to accurately map the influenza rise and falls over the years.

This year’s expected influenza patterns vary by hemisphere, and experts notice an interesting finding

Influenza, commonly called the “flu”, has a seasonal pattern. In the northern hemisphere, it tends to occur during the winter months. In the US, it generally starts mid-November and peters out by April. Despite its regular and predictable occurrence, the disease still claims thousands of lives every year. Flu cases often result in hospitalizations and disruptions to schools and workplaces.

In the southern hemisphere, nations like Australia experience peaks in the months of June till September. This inverse pattern is because of the reversed weather patterns; influenza generally thrives in colder climates. However, what astonished scientists this year is how the rise of COVID-19 seemingly led to a drop in influenza cases. In South America at the moment, the expected influenza cases appear missing, while COVID-19 cases increase daily.

Epidemiologists caution that influenza peaks and COVID-19 peaks could coincide, to catastrophic outcomes

In the northern hemisphere, where influenza awaits its winter season, COVID-19 already reigns supreme. Many nations, from the US to Italy experience its effects even now. However, so far influenza world wide had been flattened out due to what is suspected to be due to precautions towards COVID-19. The bans on travel, social distancing, mask wearing, disinfectants all contribute to curbing influenza spread too. However, despite this, as restrictions loosen and people tire of obeying WHO guidelines, and winter approaches, so should influenza. When that happens, both diseases may attack together.

What also bears mentioning is the statistical proof that COVID-19 indeed is at least thrice as infectious as influenza. In cases where both diseases coexist in the population, the number of new influenza cases pales in comparison to new COVID-19 cases. Furthermore, experts still can’t be sure what will happen when both epidemics coincide globally. Some patients in St. Joseph’s Hospital, New Jersey, already tested positive for both viruses. Whether both viruses will act together and worsen symptoms, or compete till one wins remains unclear.

It is imperative that both diseases be controlled before their twin pandemic occurs

Experts agree that nothing more than waiting will curb COVID-19. The vaccines, drugs and herd immunity for this disease all need time to work. Until then the best any individual can do is socially distance, wash hands frequently and try to quarantine at home. Likewise, for influenza, all that can be done is wait for vaccinations and build up one’s immune system.

For more news on the upcoming twin pandemics, stay tuned. Also, click here to read about China’s new vaccine that may one day inoculate for COVID-19, influenza and swine flu together.

 

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Cannabis

Gun Or Pot – Guns Not For Cannabis Users

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cannabis users should stay away from guns

People buy guns for their safety, and cannabis users desire to purchase firearms with the same intention. However, federal gun laws and cannabis laws do not go well together. Sales of weapons have increased during the coronavirus pandemic. The rise in the rate of purchase is alarming, and authorities are once again discussing how to control firearms.

Even though states have legalized weed usage, the federal government clearly states cannabis users cannot purchase guns. Cannabis users include patients who use medical marijuana products and people that use recreational pot.

According to the New York Times, firearm sales across the United States rose to new heights and are continuously increasing. Many individuals purchased their first gun during the pandemic. An increase of 39 percent occurred in the number of households with guns. Moreover, without any doubt, some of the gun purchasers are cannabis users.

Why Do People Buy Guns Despite Being Cannabis Users?

People who use cannabis for medical purposes or recreational use do so knowing the state in which they live have legalized pot for both purposes. They assume that as marijuana involving activities are legal in their state, purchasing guns will be lawful.

ALSO READ: Changes Likely to Occur Upon Cannabis Legalization on Federal Level

However, that is not the case: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives make it clear about a decade ago that cannabis users are illegally purchasing firearms. Marijuana users show their medical weed cards during guns transaction, indicating that they are not using cannabis unlawfully. However, even though a state has legalized marijuana involving activities federal government does not approve of such actions. Thus, such doings are illegal at the federal level.

How Is It Illegal For Cannabis Users To Purchase Guns?

The ATF wrote an open letter that unequivocally states that federal law inhibits cannabis users from guns purchase. The law stands intact no matter states legalize pot or not. Individuals consuming marijuana illegally, or those addicted to pot, or any controlled substance, including stimulants, depressants, and narcotics drugs, are not allowed by federal law to purchase guns.

Every gun purchaser has to fill Form 4473. Form 4473 is a weapon transaction record filled when purchasing guns from a Federal License Holder. It has a question for the purchaser asking about whether the purchaser is using marijuana or controlled drugs unlawfully. Most people answered “no” to this question assuming cannabis is legal at the state level.

However, FORM 4473 does not consider state laws as it follows federal law according to which marijuana use is illegal. Hence the purchaser knowingly or not lie on a federal document. It can result in imprisonment. Furthermore, the gun seller can face imprisonment if he/she sells guns to cannabis users because it is against the ordinance.

Effects of Imposing Ban on Marijuana Users for Purchase of Guns

Individuals that have to use cannabis for medical purposes cannot purchase guns for their safety. About more than 44 percent of veterans possess one gun at least. However, veterans have to choose between firearms and cannabis-associated treatment programs. Most likely, they will not be able to treat their medical condition with pot therapy.

ALSO READ: Study Opens Gateway For Using Marijuana For Treatment Of PTSD

In some pathological circumstances, marijuana is the only option for treatment. Individuals with such conditions begin a cannabis treatment program; they cannot register weapons under their name as it will be an illegal act.

People involved in the cannabis business cannot use banking services as federal law does not allow it. They have to carry cash for business activities, and a large amount of money on-hand, during traveling put their life in danger. They can become a victim of theft or other criminal activities. Thus, cannabis business owners require a gun for their safety and self-defense. However, as the ATF states owning guns by cannabis users is illegal, pot business owners cannot protect them from potential threats and crimes.

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Recreational Cannabis Taking Over Medicinal Cannabis, What To Do?

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recreational cannabis

Recreational cannabis and medicinal cannabis are both effective for Americans in different ways. Medicinal use of marijuana has helped thousands of patients that were suffering from chronic pain. Patients dealing with cancer-associated pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and other diseases can use marijuana to relieve their pain. Medical weed dispensaries can help in understanding the effect marijuana generates on patients.

Recreational cannabis enables consumers to enjoy themselves or have fun. Some states have passed a legalization and decriminalization bill enabling more people to use weed or its products more frequently. However, doing so affects medicinal cannabis sales and the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

How Medicinal Cannabis Gets Affected By Recreational Marijuana?

With the legalization of recreational cannabis more, people begin to use cannabis for fun and adult use. In states where weed for adult use became legal years ago, their residents have begun to develop marijuana tolerance. Moreover, the medical cannabis industry sales and progress rate reduces remarkably.

The number of medical cannabis dispensaries in Oregon has reduced from 400 to two as patients begin purchasing recreational cannabis. After legalization, most of the patients no longer use medical cards for buying marijuana for medicinal use.

ALSO READ: Study Opens Gateway For Using Marijuana For Treatment Of PTSD

The demand for recreational cannabis increases, and doing business for recreational sales of marijuana gives more profit. Besides the demand and sales, cultivating marijuana for medicinal purposes is a difficult task. Moreover, growing pot for a limited market is expensive. As a result, the majority of cultivators begin to grow weed for recreational purposes.

Therefore, the number of medicinal cannabis cultivators reduces remarkably. As the growth of medicinal cannabis is expensive, medicinal products are also costly for patients. All of this results in a decrease in the medicinal pot market.

What Can New Jersey Do To Support Recreational and Medicinal Cannabis Markets?

According to Peter Cammarano, New Jersey shall consider developing new regulations to support and protect medical cannabis programs. Moreover, New Jersey shall pass regulations for prioritizing patients that are using weed for medical purposes, asserts NJSpotlight.

Authorities shall design a system that makes it easier for patients to access medicinal pot. Improving weed programs for medication enables to enhance the relationship between doctor and patient. Providing insurance coverage of weed used for medical purposes can also support the medicinal pot market over the recreational cannabis market. Doing so will help in improving the pot market for medical products. This will result in a balance between the medicinal cannabis market and the recreational cannabis market.

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

According to a new law ruled by New Jersey’s court, employers must pay the charges of medical pot program for employees injured during the job. Peter Cammarano suggests that S-3799 shall also be passed, as it will enable people to repay for their medical cannabis program charges from Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief funds, Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled program. The cost of medical pot can also be reimbursed by the Senior Gold Prescription Discount Program and Victims of Crime Compensation Office. There is no insurance for recreational cannabis.

To support medical cannabis, all doctors within New Jersey shall join the state’s medical pot program. This will save patients from shifting to another physician for a medical weed program. However, only 4000 doctors out of more than 30000 physicians in New Jersey joined the medical marijuana program.

Take Away

The federal government can also support medical cannabis over recreational cannabis. This can occur if the federal government allows researchers to conduct investigations to find more therapeutic benefits of marijuana freely. Allowing researchers to use pot for research and improving medicinal marijuana products will be helpful for patients and the medical marijuana market.

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THC – Is Medical Marijuana’s Overlooked Gem Better than CBD?

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THC

Undoubtedly, THC and CBD are the most common cannabis ingredients. Even though there are a ton of other components, but these two rightly claim the spotlight. Although CBD is the medicinal champion, THC can actually alleviate nausea, among other problematic symptoms.

Until now, THC is only allowed in a very minute quantity, even in states that have legitimized the use of cannabis. Masses consider CBD to be the main ingredient that can help formulate cannabis medicines, but a recent study is proving everyone wrong. THC, the drug everyone considers to be responsible for making you high, can help with quick recoveries and helps gain relief more quickly than any other ‘active ingredient’ of cannabis.

The Wrongly Perceived THC

The medicinal laws allow the use of Tetrahydrocannabinol as well as CBD, but the general perception has always favored CBD as the more sane of the two. THC is known for its quality of getting an individual high, but as the new study has clarified, it might have some tricks up the sleeve that make it almost as beneficial as CBD, highlighted Forbes.

There has been some negative journalism around THC as certain companies that deal in CBD have been campaigning against it. The companies go very far in making claims and sometimes undermining THC. Such companies have to face fines and FDA sanctions, but the damage to THC’s reputation is irreversible.

ALSO READ: FDA: Cannabis Related Research Is A Go, CBD To Wait

The latest research from the University of Mexico collected key data that sheds light on the medicinal benefits of THC alongside those of CBD. THC delivers almost instant relief from nausea, among other beneficial uses. This effect is not possible by the use of CBD alone.

Raw or Processed?

The study has its roots in the daily use of cannabis by users that have agreed to report the usage details and log all events. The users using joints of cannabis flowers over the edible or vaporizer version fought back nausea in as little as 5 minutes.

Apparently, the missing ingredient from the edible ones is the THC, as companies tend to focus more on CBD. The study focuses on the daily usage of cannabis products and logs all symptoms and reliefs that a user experiences after the use of any cannabis drug.

If an individual is planning to take cannabis products to help with symptom relief, CBD products are marginally less effective than THC ones. The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology also confirms the same.

ALSO READ: CBD Oil Solutions To Many Pandemic Mental Health Issues

According to the co-author of the study Jacob Vigil, the research took a turn when cannabis flower usage was leading to better treatment than CBD product use. The use of the recreational ingredient was indeed surprising for most, but the result was the same even when 2220 individual sessions were studied.

Is THC the Future of Relief Drugs?

The study points towards a greater symptom relief in patients using higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than cannabidiol (CBD). The results are as quick as 5 minutes.

This study can prove to be pivotal as it sheds light on our current understanding of the two while also pointing out the limited knowledge we have. There is a lot to learn, but the current knowledge set about THC doesn’t allow it to become the go-to drug for some “high-risk populations.” This includes pregnant women and children, and the other co-authors, including Dr. Sarah Stith, also share the same view. She also serves as an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico and leads the study.

If THC is the future of relief drugs or not, it remains to be seen, but the discrimination of THC for getting high and CBD for medicinal purposes is a thing of the past, thanks to this study.

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