Archive for the ‘Alcohol’ Category

An important step has been taken toward a reliable marijuana breathalyzer by measuring the vapor pressure of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — a measurement that, due to the compound’s chemical structure, is very difficult and has not been accomplished before.

Source: Scientists lay the groundwork for a reliable marijuana breathalyzer: Researchers have measured a fundamental physical property of the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana — ScienceDaily

Imagine if this much effort was put into characterizing the properties and medical benefits of cannabis…  <sigh>

AuntieBS

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Cannabis use is associated with reduced prevalence of obesity and diabetes mellitus (DM) in humans and mouse disease models. Obesity and DM are a well-established independent risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most prevalent liver disease globally. The effects of cannabis use on NAFLD prevalence in humans remains ill-defined. Our objective is to determine the relationship between cannabis use and the prevalence of NAFLD in humans. We conducted a population-based case-control study of 5,950,391 patients using the 2014 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), Nationwide Inpatient Survey (NIS) discharge records of patients 18 years and older. After identifying patients with NAFLD (1% of all patients), we next identified three exposure groups: non-cannabis users (98.04%), non-dependent cannabis users (1.74%), and dependent cannabis users (0.22%). We adjusted for potential demographics and patient related confounders and used multivariate logistic regression (SAS 9.4) to determine the odds of developing NAFLD with respects to cannabis use. Our findings revealed that cannabis users (dependent and non-dependent) showed significantly lower NAFLD prevalence compared to non-users (AOR: 0.82[0.76–0.88]; p<0.0001). The prevalence of NAFLD was 15% lower in non-dependent users (AOR: 0.85[0.79–0.92]; p<0.0001) and 52% lower in dependent users (AOR: 0.49[0.36–0.65]; p<0.0001). Among cannabis users, dependent patients had 43% significantly lower prevalence of NAFLD compared to non-dependent patients (AOR: 0.57[0.42–0.77]; p<0.0001). Our observations suggest that cannabis use is associated with lower prevalence of NAFLD in patients. These novel findings suggest additional molecular mechanistic studies to explore the potential role of cannabis use in NAFLD development.

Source: Cannabis use is associated with reduced prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A cross-sectional study

In the first prospective study of synthetic cannabinoids or SCs — the group of chemicals that mimic the effects of marijuana — researchers have found that symptoms of depression, drinking alcohol, or using marijuana was linked to an increased risk of SC use one year later.

Source: Depression, alcohol, and marijuana linked to later use of synthetic marijuana among teens — ScienceDaily
Do you even have to read this garbage to know what it means?  It can be summarized as “DEPRESSED TEENS MORE LIKELY TO USE INTOXICANTS”, which isn’t science or news, but simply common sense.  But, to their credit, they did say:

“With respect to mental health, the researchers found that depressive symptoms, but not anxiety or impulsivity, were predictive of later [Synthetic Cannabinoids] use, suggesting that symptoms of depression may increase the likelihood of use. The same relationship between depressive symptoms and greater propensity for marijuana use was not found.

Alcohol and synthetic cannabinoids are much more powerful intoxicants and thereby provide greater escapes from reality, so this is no surprise.  But, the title of this paper implies that marijuana may be causal, so watch for lay journalists in the mainstream media to promote just that meme.

AuntieBS

College students who consume medium-to-high levels of alcohol and marijuana have a consistently lower GPA, according to a new study.

Source: Consumption of alcohol and marijuana associated with lower GPA in college: Medium-to-high consumption of both substances associated with lower college GPA over two years — ScienceDaily

You will probably see this as front-page news in the mainstream media.  Self-important people will be smugly saying “I told you so”, and many naive people will believe the implication– that marijuana and alcohol CAUSE lower grade scores.

Has it ever occurred to them what happens to the student that lacks good study habits, or parents that push them to study,  or lacks the self-discipline to pay attention in school, or hangs with the wrong crowd and is distracted by alternate interests, like cars, dating, social networks, video games, etc?  That type of student will not only struggle more in school, but will be more likely to associate with similar struggling students who find yet ANOTHER distraction:  getting high!  It feels good, is fun, and helps them to forget their misery in school.

Time and time again, I see misplaced causality.  Many legitimate studies have have debunked cannabis as the causal agent, and attributed the cause to be as I have just suggested– socioeconomic conditions are the cause of the marijuana or alcohol (or other intoxicants) use, not vice versa.  What is more fun– playing computer games or studying?  Without parental pressure to do the latter, kids will succumb to distractions and THAT causes poor studying habits and increased struggles.  Finding yet another distraction (getting high) is a natural follower.

AuntieBS

So, why is marijuana illegal again? Tapping the keg of America’s never-ending violence, “intoxicated aggression” spikes precipitously among drinkers, while marijuana snuffs out those same aggressive tendencies.

Source: New Study: Alcohol Fuels Aggression While Marijuana Reduces It | Marijuana

Adolescents who use both marijuana and alcohol during middle school and high school are more likely to have poor academic performance and mental health during high school, according to a new study that followed a group of students over a seven-year period. However, the study found marijuana use was predictive of poorer functioning across more areas, including lower academic functioning, being less prepared for school, more delinquent behavior and poorer mental health.

Source: Adolescent alcohol, marijuana use leads to poor academic performance, health problems — ScienceDaily

These clearly are not “researchers” but naive students, likely pushed down this path by professors’ personal agendas.  Here, they naively assume that alcohol and cannabis are causal, but it is MORE likely that troubled teens hang with the wrong crowds, seek escapes from their academic foibles, and do poorly in school irrespective of any drug or alcohol use.  It is the poor academic performance that is causal to their chemical escapes.  What would YOU prefer– beating your head against the wall in a struggle with schoolwork that you do not understand, or enjoy a buzz?  The answer should be obvious to the “researchers” but I’d bet that Big Pharma is likely to fund the professor, who then urges his students to find negativity associated with cannabis.

 

AuntieBS

Adults who use marijuana are five times more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD) — alcohol abuse or dependence — compared with adults who do not use the drug. And adults who already have an alcohol use disorder and use marijuana are more likely to see the problem persist.

Source: Marijuana smokers 5 times more likely to develop an alcohol problem — ScienceDaily

BULLSHIT!

Here, again, we see meta studies drawing wrong conclusions.  The implication here is that marijuana is causal.  What is much more likely is that there are underlying factors that predispose the subjects to the need for an escape; to get high.  A student struggling in school is more likely to seek a chemical escape or distraction.  A person living in isolation, like in Alaska’s wilderness is more likely to consume alcohol and marijuana out of boredom.  Some people with stressful jobs or situations reach for a chemical high.  There are many causal factors, but marijuana use is not one of them.

AuntieBS