‘Weed’ Out T-Rump

May 12, 2017

Occasional bright sunshine intensifies through huge, fluffy clouds this near-noon Friday on California’s north coast — rain reportedly on-and-off until middle of next week, then clear for awhile.
A threat of small hail through tonight, though…

Clawing away from the T-Rump dumpster-fire/train-wreck currently oozing up in DC, some news in the medical marijuana field, especially a nice potential kick for us all old folks, this via Newsweek last Monday:

Marijuana appears to improve the memory and learning abilities of old mice.
Scientists discovered low doses of its main psychoactive ingredient—cannabinoid THC—can reverse the age-related decline in cognitive abilities, a finding that could lead to scientists figuring out a way of slowing brain aging in humans.

(Illustration: ‘Cannabis,’ by Michael Creese, found here).

The study just the latest in a continuing series of medical research the last few years into the health benefits of weed, and has led to a shitload of tried applications of pot ingredients aiding people with all kinds of aliments, from glaucoma, preventing epileptic or Dravet Syndrome seizures, even slowing Alzheimer’s disease, to relieving the pain of multiple sclerosis, treating hepatitis C infections, and even easing inflammatory bowel diseases — and on-and-on…
Problems found with babies to old-people

In that elderly regard, further from Newsweek:

In a study published in Nature Medicine on Monday, researchers led by Andreas Zimmer, from the University of Bonn, Germany, have shown how THC can provide significant benefits to mice when it comes to age-related cognitive decline.
THC interacts with receptors in the brain’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in many physiological functions, including pain, mood, memory and appetite.
Previous research has also shown activity in the endocannabinoid system declines as we get older, indicating it plays a role in the progression of aging.
To study what effect THC has on the aging brain, scientists gave low doses of THC to mice at three different life stages—two months, 12 months and 18 months.
The latter two groups represented mature and old age.

Further research showed what might cause the improvement, with THC appearing to restore hippocampal gene transcription patterns — activity in the brain relating to memory and learning—to a similar state seen in young mice.
The team argues that while they do not yet know if these findings would be same in humans, it could lead to new treatments to prevent cognitive decline in older people: “Cannabis preparations and THC are used for medicinal purposes,” they write.
“They have an excellent safety record and do not produce adverse side-effects when administered at a low dose to older individuals. Thus, chronic, low-dose treatment with THC or cannabis extracts could be a potential strategy to slow down or even to reverse cognitive decline in the elderly.”

Moving this research forward, however, will be problematic: “Testing in humans is going to be difficult. This is a challenge faced by anyone wanting to develop a therapy for a human disorder such as dementia. Human lifespan is very extensive. So the question would be, when would be the most appropriate time to give these kinds of medications? Over what period of time do you need to evaluate the effects? In humans it could be years before an effect is noticed.”

Good initial step, however. The sad being that it should have occurred decades ago.

And bubbling through our current generational-time frame, there’s this from SaludMovil last week:

Chronic pain sufferers taking opioids exhibit significantly higher and more frequent rates of depression and anxiety than those taking medical cannabis, according to new research.
The study’s findings, published in The Journal of Affective Disorders, suggest that medical cannabis may weaken symptoms of depression and anxiety.
“Accordingly, given repeated reports of higher levels of anxiety and depression among chronic pain patients in general, it is possible that MM partially attenuates these symptoms,” the study reads.
Further, the authors cite research aiming to dismiss ties between medical cannabis use and increased depression and anxiety.

“Despite repeating evidence pointing that cannabis use and depression tend to co-occur and several longitudinal studies linking cannabis use with increased risk for developing depression (Lev-Ran et al., 2013; Swift et al., 2001), it has been recently suggested that this association may be in fact attributed to clinical confounders rather than to the direct effect of cannabis use (Feingold et al., 2015; WHO, 2016).
In addition, it has actually been suggested that action at cannabinoid receptors is linked to a reduction in depressive behaviors (Degenhardt et al., 2000).”

Sunshine bright through dark clouds.

After short, rat-like pause, a return to the shit spitting from the T-Rump…

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