Posts Tagged ‘Ignorance’

A new, widely reported study claims that marijuana poses significantly greater risks to cardiovascular health, particularly with regard to hypertension, than does cigarette smoking.Don’t believe the hype. A careful review of the study’s methods gives reason to pause.

Source: It Took Just One Distorted Study for the Media to Freak Out Over Health Risks and Marijuana | Alternet

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In a study looking at brain scans of people with mild loss of thought and memory ability, researchers report evidence of lower levels of the serotonin transporter — a natural brain chemical that regulates mood, sleep and appetite.

Source: Brain scan study adds to evidence that lower brain serotonin levels are linked to dementia: Results suggest serotonin loss may be a key player in cognitive decline, not just a side-effect of Alzheimer’s disease — ScienceDaily

 

A lay person, or a person intending to mislead, would jump to the conclusion that low serotonin levels cause dementia.  We constantly see that when article such as “Cannabis users have lower IQs” and “Teens who use cannabis less likely to succeed in life”, and other such nonsense.

I am happy to present this good quality example from Johns Hopkins by the simple phrase: “Previous studies from Johns Hopkins and other centers have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease and severe cognitive decline have severe loss of serotonin neurons, but the studies did not show whether those reductions were a cause or effect of the disease. Results of the new study of people with very early signs of memory decline, the researchers say, suggest that lower serotonin transporters may be drivers of the disease rather than a byproduct.”

True, they may believe that the reductions are causal, based on other studies, but they do NOT jump to conclusions like so many biased cannabis reports that strike sour notes with me.   I wish more researchers were wiser and more forthcoming when finding correlations, when causality has not been established, instead of foisting propaganda and lies.

AuntieBS

Adults in the UK who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.

Source: Insufficient sleep may be adding to your waistline — ScienceDaily

 

This is another example of bad science: lack of causality.  Could poor eating habits contribute to poor sleep?  What about stressful jobs, contributing to both?  At least they admitted “Other studies have suggested that shortened sleep can lead to poor dietary choices.”

They also said, “Interestingly, the study did not find any relationship between shortened sleep and a less healthy diet — a fact that surprised the researchers.”  Well, what about an underlying stressor (work, life) making one eat excess “healthy diet” and poor sleep?  I could go on and on about this, but of course this is a summary and I haven’t the time to study the details of the methodology, but simply want to caution my readers about accepting others’ jumps to conclusions, and always consider CAUSALITY.

AuntieBS

According to a comprehensive review by the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, “few marijuana users become dependent” upon pot. By contrast, those who drink alcohol are nearly twice as likely to do so problematically. Nonetheless, over half of all young people admitted to drug treatment programs are there for their involvement with marijuana, and this percentage is steadily rising. So what’s going on?

Source: Blowing the Lid off of the ‘Marijuana Treatment’ Racket | Alternet

 

AuntieBS wrote about this scam in the past.  Some crooked person sets up a “Marijuana Rehab Facility”, then offers kickbacks to schools and law enforcement, who then give some kid caught with a joint a choice:  Jail or rehab.  The kid will, of course, choose the rehab.  Then, the scammer cites “Marijuana addiction rehab up 70%” or some nonsense, validating the “addictive” and/or “problematic” nature of marijuana.  It’s BS.

AuntieBS

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

Researchers have found regular and occasional cannabis use as a teen is associated with a greater risk of other illicit drug taking in early adulthood. The study also found cannabis use was associated with harmful drinking and smoking.

Source: Teen cannabis use and illicit drug use in early adulthood linked: One in 5 adolescents at risk of tobacco dependency, harmful alcohol consumption and illicit drug use — ScienceDaily

It is amazing that this garbage gets published.  It would be akin to “Blind Kids less likely to see as adults”.  What is the CAUSALITY?  This paper would lead naive readers to think that teen cannabis use causes illicit drug use in adults.  But, how about teens who hang with the wrong crowds, who have lack of parental involvement, who may be flunking classes, who may have lower IQs, who may be struggling in school, who may disregard laws and prudence and use illicit cannabis and other drugs as teens as well as other illicit drugs later in life?

Time and time again, follow-up studies disprove the implications when CAUSALITY is considered.  More often than not, socio-economic conditions and IQ’s are the underlying causal factors which drive various conditions mistakenly attributed to cannabis.

AuntieBS

An increase in mean temperature of 0.5 degrees Celsius over half a century may not seem all that serious, but it’s enough to have more than doubled the probability of a heat wave killing in excess of 100 people in India, according to researchers.

Source: Small climb in mean temperatures linked to far higher chance of deadly heat waves: UCI-led analysis of data from India could have dire implications for future — ScienceDaily

This is not on my usual topic, but illustrates bad science clearly, and the difficulty that “scientists” have discerning causality, even in formerly reputable schools.  Here, it says that the mean temperature CAUSES the likelihood of occasional heat waves.  Hello– isn’t it quite apparent that the occasional heat waves are what increase the mean temperature???

Let me illustrate:  Suppose we have a stable mean of 100, but a one time spike of 120:  100, 100, 100, 100, 100, 100, 100, 120, 100, 100.  That one spike to 120 increased the mean from 100, to 102.  In other words, the heat wave raised the mean, not the implied vice versa.  And this also does not mean that the heat wave caused the mean– only that the mean and the occasional heat spikes are correlated.  So called “scientists” often confuse correlation with causality, as shown so often in cannabis studies.

AuntieBS