Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

For those suffering depression or anxiety, using cannabis for relief may not be the long-term answer, say researchers.

Source: This is your brain on (legal) cannabis: Researchers seek answers: For those suffering depression or anxiety, using cannabis for relief may not be the long-term answer — ScienceDaily

I am not sure what to make of this.  People FEEL better when using cannabis to self-medicate for depression or anxiety, but the researchers say that it doesn’t work as they people think it does.

“Doc, I feel better after self-medicating with cannabis.”

“No your don’t– you just think that you do”.

Could this be placebo effect?  Perhaps.  But, I’d say, if it doesn’t make the user any worse, and keeps them from using riskier drugs, then it could be a good thing.

AuntieBS

In a new study, scientists have discovered that early marijuana use may result in abnormal brain function and lower IQ.

Source: Early marijuana use associated with abnormal brain function, lower IQ — ScienceDaily

What has happened to the quality of science and research?  The implication of this paper is that cannabis CAUSES abnormal brain function and lower IQ, but the opposite is as- or more-  likely.  Causality is not shown.  Kids with abnormal brain function and lower IQ struggle more in school and society, and as a result of THAT, often seek intoxication to help escape the reality.

AuntieBS

New research shows a dramatic drop in painkiller prescriptions after medical marijuana laws are passed.

Source: One striking chart shows why pharma companies are fighting legal marijuana – The Washington Post

Most people would get a little ‘rush’ out of the idea that they’re about to win some money. In fact, if you could look into their brain at that very moment, you’d see activity in the part of the brain that responds to rewards. But for marijuana users, that rush just isn’t as big — and gets smaller over time, a new study finds. And that may open them up to more risk of addiction.

Source: Marijuana use dampens brain’s response to reward over time, study finds: Changes may increase risk of continued drug use and addiction — ScienceDaily

While this article may be true, consider the way the human body works.  Almost ANYTHING you do, repeatedly, results in changes to our neurotransmitter receptors in the brain.  If you eat a cheeseburger, various reward neurons fire..initially.  Repeat it, and the number of receptors declines slowly until the brain’s response is ho-hum, another cheeseburger.

Indeed, one builds tolerance to cannabis.  One medical patient began with 25mg THC for sleep, nightly, and gradually, over a year or two, required 120mg for the same effect.  But, this tolerance disappeared within a month of discontinued use, and the patient again obtained the desired sleep results with 25mg THC.

So, while the essence of this article is indeed true, the effects are unremarkable, and not necessarily as dire or frightening as some might think.  On the other hand, repeatedly altering one’s chemistry may not be wise if done chronically– you know, “too much of a good thing”?  Moderation is generally wise in consuming or doing most things.

AuntieBS

States with higher estimated levels of gun ownership had higher incidents of gun-related suicides, with firearm ownership alone explaining 71 percent of the variation in state-level gun suicide rates for males and 49 percent for females, a new study shows.

Source: Firearm ownership closely tied to suicide rates, study finds — ScienceDaily

 

I usually write about cannabis lies, but wish to point out BULLSHIT so you can spot it easier when you see it in print, whether regarding cannabis, guns, the4 environment, or any other controversial subject.  The casual reader would see this title and assume that guns cause more suicides, but once again, that little rascal gets in the way: CAUSALITY.

If the headline read:  “Automobile ownership tied to vehicle accident rates, study finds”, most readers would think “Duh, of course.”  Well, what this “study” really shows is that IF a person is suicidal, they will more likely choose a gun to kill themselves.  This is akin to saying that people who live in San Francisco are more likely to commit suicide by jumping off the infamous Golden Gate Bridge, or New Yorkers, from the Empire State Building or other tall high rise.  All it means is that if people are suicidal, they will choose the most effective way available to them.  It literally has little to do with guns, because guns are just the tool available to commit their sad deed.  If guns were not available, drugs, razor blades, tall structures, or large bodies of water will substitute as alternatives.

Misleading “studies” like these are commonly produced by those with an agenda, to IMPLY causality in a negative way.  For example, this study could have easily been “Cannabis access closely tied to suidide rates, study finds”, if they focused on suicides in states where cannabis was available, because the correlation is inevitable, but is not causal.

Almost any “study” on controversial topics will show the authors’ underlying agendas, so if you read “New York City restrooms tied to transgender bathroom assaults”, a topic in the news these days, is ambiguous bullshit, because MOST transgenders are likely to move to large cities, and are most likely to encounter problems when using a restroom.  In other words, there are several OTHER factors at play, none of which mean New York restrooms are more dangerous than others.

Learn to spot this kind of BULLSHIT and you will develop critical reading skills.  Politicians often knowingly (or stupidly) use these sorts of “studies” to further their own agendas.

AuntieBS

And the key is:  “We don’t know whether decreased dopamine was a preexisting condition or the result of heavy cannabis use,” said Dr. Abi-Dargham. “But the bottom line is that long-term, heavy cannabis use may impair the dopaminergic system, which could have a variety of negative effects on learning and behavior.”

Source: Heavy cannabis use associated with reduced dopamine release in brain: Effect similar to other addictions — ScienceDaily

Another example of causality being unknown.  At least the author admits it, in this case.  It could just as easily be that people with reduced dopamine release gravitate toward drugs that help increase it.  BUT, it could mean that being high all the time is not the best idea you might have.  “Moderation” was the advice from Grandma.

AuntieBS

And it’s definitely not as bad for your brain as the DEA says.

Source: Study: Smoking pot doesn’t make you anxious or depressed – The Washington Post