Smoking high-strength cannabis may damage nerve fibres in brain

Study suggests high levels of skunk use may affect the brains white matter, making communication between the right and left hemispheres less efficient

High-strength cannabis may damage nerve fibres that handle the flow of messages across the two halves of the brain, scientists claim. Brain scans of people who regularly smoked strong skunk-like cannabis revealed subtle differences in the white matter that connects the left and right hemispheres and carries signals from one side of the brain to the other.

The changes were not seen in those who never used cannabis or smoked only the less potent forms of the drug, the researchers found.

The study is thought to be the first to look at the effects of cannabis potency on brain structure, and suggests that greater use of skunk may cause more damage to the corpus callosum, making communications across the brains hemispheres less efficient.

Paola Dazzan, a neurobiologist at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London, said the effects appeared to be linked to the level of active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in cannabis. While traditional forms of cannabis contain 2 to 4 % THC, the more potent varieties (of which there are about 100), can contain 10 to 14% THC, according to the DrugScope charity.

If you look at the corpus callosum, what were seeing is a significant difference in the white matter between those who use high potency cannabis and those who never use the drug, or use the low-potency drug, said Dazzan. The corpus callosum is rich in cannabinoid receptors, on which the THC chemical acts.

A DTI image of the corpus callosum, as seen from the side, is shown in red on and superimposed on a background MRI image of the brain. Photograph: Institute of Psychiatry

The difference is there whether you have psychosis or not, and we think this is strictly related to the potency of the cannabis, she added. Details of the study are reported in the journal Psychological Medicine.

The researchers used two scanning techniques, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), to examine the corpus callosum, the largest region of white matter, in the brains of 56 patients who had reported a first episode of psychosis, and 43 healthy volunteers from the local community.

The scans found that daily users of high-potency cannabis had a slightly greater by about 2% mean diffusivity in the corpus callosum. That reflects a problem in the white matter that ultimately makes it less efficient, Dazzan told the Guardian. We dont know exactly what it means for the person, but it suggests there is less efficient transfer of information.

The study cannot confirm that high levels of THC in cannabis cause changes to white matter. As Dazzan notes, it is may be that people with damaged white matter are more likely to smoke skunk in the first place.

It is possible that these people already have a different brain and they are more likely to use cannabis. But what we can say is if its high potency, and if you smoke frequently, your brain is different from the brain of someone who smokes normal cannabis, and from someone who doesnt smoke cannabis at all, she said.

But even with the uncertainty over cause and effect, she urged users and public health workers to change how they think about cannabis use. When it comes to alcohol, we are used to thinking about how much people drink, and whether they are drinking wine, beer, or whisky. We should think of cannabis in a similar way, in terms of THC and the different contents cannabis can have, and potentially the effects on health will be different, she said.

As we have suggested previously, when assessing cannabis use, it is extremely important to gather information on how often and what type of cannabis is being used. These details can help quantify the risk of mental health problems and increase awareness of the type of damage these substances can do to the brain, she added.

In February, Dazzan and others at the Institute of Psychiatry reported that the ready availability of skunk in south London might be behind a rise in the proportion of new cases of psychosis being attributed to cannabis.

VIA: http://www.theguardian.com/us

‘Stoner sloth’ anti-drug campaign drives traffic to site promoting cannabis use

NSW governments effort to warn Australian teenagers of the risks of marijuana has caused bemusement on social media since the ads went viral

The New South Wales governments stoner sloth campaign, intended to warn teenagers of the dangers of sustained marijuana use, has instead driven web traffic to a cannabis solutions site.

The campaign shows human-size, anthropomorphic sloths mistaking salad for salt at the dinner table, struggling to opine on pairing socks with sandals at a party, and other relatable examples of the pitfalls of being a teenager high on marijuana, with the tagline youre worse on weed.

The clips and gifs of them, ready-tagged #weed for reblogging have been published on Tumblr at stonersloth.com.au.

Stonersloth.com is a cannabis solutions site, based in Colorado, that bills its mission as helping others enjoy each and every smoking experience from seed to sleep!

Its operator, who gave his name as Daniel, said the NSW governments campaign had driven a good deal of traffic to his website, as well as follows on social media. He said he had had about 1,000 page views from Australia every day since Saturday afternoon in Colorado.

The irony of it is pretty funny, he told Guardian Australia. They really wanted to go with the Stoner Sloth brand for this, despite the domain and pages being used.

He said the campaign was an outdated dramatisation of the effects of marijuana, and that such scare tactics had been found to be ineffectual in encouraging substance abusers to seek treatment.

The campaign looks like fear, as in this is what happens when you smoke weed, when it doesnt show an accurate depiction of that obviously someone high can pass the salt, Daniel said.

He noted the irony of the NSW government using a mascot of sort for smokers, plus a lovable character to deter people from marijuana.

Like many people who smoke, I have had sloth moments. You can, as it is said, over-medicate and feel couch-locked, not wanting to do anything but I know people who get that without smoking too.

Although stonersloth.com was still in development, Daniel said his aim was to provide sources to info to understand … how to get the most out of cannabis.

The NSW governments campaign has caused bemusement since the ads went viral last week.

Daniel tweeted a link to a YouTube compilation of the ads from his @StonerSlothCo Twitter account, with the comment: Australia why do you expect a sloth to do any of this.

The official Stoner Sloth Facebook page, which has attracted nearly 14,000 likes, has been overwhelmed with comments making fun of the campaign or questioning its logic.

Smoke weed, become one of the most adorable animals in the world. Where do I get some weed? commented Andrew Watton-Davies.

Sorry people but is this video a joke or what commented Milos Stefanovic, to which someone posting as Stoner Sloth replied: This is no joke, Milos. Its real, and youre worse on weed.

Neither Saatchi & Saatchi, the advertising agency behind the campaign, nor the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet was available to comment.

VIA: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Gavin Newsom Explains Why Lawmakers Shouldn’t Be Neutral On Marijuana Legalization

PHILADELPHIA Gavin Newsom is a little tired of being the only state official in California to fully endorse legalizing recreational marijuana.  

Speaking with The Huffington Post at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, the lieutenant governor said it’s time for others to take a stand on the issue, which will appear on California’s ballot this fall. 

“What we’re doing to criminalize the drug is not working,” he said. “And the drug is ubiquitous. Every young person would say it’s easier to get marijuana than it is alcohol.” 

He pointed out that while many lawmakers have condemned the so-called War on Drugs as an “abject failure,” far fewer have given full-throated endorsements for legalizing the substance. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has said he’s not totally sold on the idea. California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D), who is running for Senate, has declined to take a stance on the state ballot measure, but says she believes legalization is inevitable. Outgoing Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) has said she may support legalization but hasn’t yet, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is opposed.

“How do you justify the current conditions?” Newsom asked. “For me, you can’t be neutral here. This is a social justice issue. It’s an economic justice issue. It’s a racial justice issue. People need to step up, either come out vehemently against it with a better alternative, explain away the status quo because you’re complicit in it society becomes how we behave or come on board.” 

For me, you cant be neutral here. This is a social justice issue. Its an economic justice issue. Its a racial justice issue. California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom

The benefits to legalization, Newsom argued, are manifold: reducing the influence of drug cartels, creating stronger regulations to prevent underage kids from easily buying weed, mitigating the harmful effects of prohibition on communities of color. 

“The war on drugs cannot persist without the war on marijuana,” he said.

He added that “you don’t have to be pro-marijuana to be anti-prohibition,” noting that his wife, filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, opposes legalization.

“I do think there are absolute legitimate concerns about the use and abuse of marijuana and cannabis for young folks, despite some of the medical benefits, and as a parent I’m not here celebrating [drug abuse] or promoting it,” he said.

Twenty-five states have legalized medical marijuana — including California — but only four of those states and Washington D.C. also allow recreational pot. California’s legalization measure, which qualified for the ballot in June, would allow people 21 years of age and older to possess, use and transport up to an ounce of pot for recreational use, and grow as many as six cannabis plants for personal use. A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found 60 percent of voters are in favor of the measure. 

Earlier this week, Democrats approved a party platform that, for the first time, includes a pathway to legalizing recreational marijuana. While the platform has little, if any, bearing on actual policy, it’s a symbolic victory for legalization advocates. 

Newsom, who is running for California governor in 2018, said he hopes the platform plank will give other policymakers a nudge. 

“I want it to influence one other statewide official to have my back here,” he said. “[I’m] still waiting. I say that lovingly.” 

VIA: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Does cannabis really lower your IQ? | Claire Mokrysz

My recent research has shown that differences other than cannabis use might be causing the much-discussed disparities in cognitive function

Whether or not using cannabis can lead to cognitive impairment is a hot topic of research and public interest. Given the extensive media attention granted to findings that suggest detrimental effects of cannabis on cognition, brain function and mental health, you would be forgiven for thinking smoking a spliff was akin to repeatedly bashing yourself over the head with a giant bong. However, since much of the work to date is cross-sectional (that is, measurements are taken only at one time in a persons life), we cannot know whether cannabis users would have performed any differently before they started using cannabis. In short, were faced with a classic chicken or egg problem.

Cannabis use does not occur in a vacuum. And teenagers who start using cannabis from a young age will almost certainly differ from those who will never try, it or who delay until they are older. The evidence suggests that those who start using cannabis from a young age often have less stable backgrounds and more behavioural problems than their non-using peers. Teenage cannabis use also typically goes hand in hand with other drug use and risky lifestyle choices in general. The poorer cognitive performance of cannabis users may therefore result from other factors associated with cannabis use, rather than cannabis use itself. However it is of course very difficult to control for all these other factors.

To attempt to tackle these issues, along with other researchers from University College London and University of Bristol (including Suzi Gage who hosts this blog), I have been involved in a new study, with potentially surprising findings. Using data on 2235 teenagers collected as part of the Children of the 90s cohort from South West England, we looked at the relationship between how many times someone reported having used cannabis by the age of 15, and their performance on an IQ test completed at the same age. Importantly the teenagers had also taken an IQ test when they were 8 years old (before any of them had used cannabis), so we could tackle the chicken or egg problem.

At first look our results suggested that those teenagers who had used cannabis performed worse on their teenage IQ tests, after accounting for their baseline IQ at 8 years old. Even those who had only used cannabis a handful of times scored roughly 2 IQ points lower than those who had never tried cannabis. However, we also noted that the teenagers who had used cannabis were much more likely to have used cigarettes, alcohol and other illicit drugs- and all these factors also predicted lower teenage IQ scores. Most strikingly we saw that cannabis users were also much more likely to be tobacco cigarette smokers- 84% of those in our heaviest cannabis use group (who reported having used cannabis at least 50 times by age 15) had smoked cigarettes more than 20 times in their life, compared to just 5% of those who had never used cannabis.

When we statistically adjusted for these differences in rates of other substance use, along with other factors including childhood behavioural problems and mental health symptoms, cannabis use no longer predicted lower IQ scores. After this adjustment even our heaviest group of cannabis users had predicted IQ scores no different to those who had never tried cannabis. We also ran a similar analysis to look at the same teenagers school GCSE grades, which they sat at age 15/16. The findings were similar to our IQ findings- while cannabis users achieved lower grades at GCSE (the equivalent of 2 grades lower on one subject), once we took account of these other related factors cannabis use no longer predicted worse school performance.

It seems therefore that there is something else about these two groups of teenagers (those who had used cannabis by age 15 and those who had not) that is responsible for the differences in IQ and school grades, rather than their cannabis use, though its not clear what from our study. Although cigarette smoking was identified as a potentially important factor, we clearly cant know from this type of study whether it actually causes lower IQ and school performance, and there is little evidence elsewhere to suggest this is the case.

While this may sound like great news for those 15% of 15-24 year old Europeans who have used cannabis in the past year, the take home message is sadly not so clear cut. This is just one study from one cohort in one area of England, and as authors of the paper we are the first to acknowledge the limitations of this work, including the young age of the participants when we measured IQ, and the relatively moderate levels of cannabis use.

A well-publicised study from 2012 suggested that cannabis use starting in adolescence and persisting into mid-life is related to IQ decline. So how do these potentially opposing findings fit together? The key difference between the 2012 study and ours is the type of cannabis users included in the study. Our heaviest using teenagers had been using cannabis for approximately 2 years, and had used cannabis at least 50 times each (although 57% of this group reported having used cannabis at least 100 times). In the 2012 study those who showed the most dramatic IQ decline had been persistent cannabis users from adolescence until their late 30s, and had been diagnosed with cannabis addiction at numerous points in their life. So its possible that cannabis addiction, rather than cannabis use per se, is related to lower IQ, or that persistent heavy cannabis use throughout your lifetime can to have these negative effects.

Our study is by no means definitive, but it does highlight that we should all be more cautious when jumping to conclusions about the harms of a drug before we have strong evidence either way. Overly forceful conclusions about the potential negative effects of cannabis are unscientific and based on an incomplete evidence base. This can lead to the unfair marginalisation of teenagers who use cannabis, which is the last thing we would want, given that this group is likely to include some of the most vulnerable in society.

Claire Mokrysz is a PhD student at University College London investigating whether teenagers are particularly susceptible to harm from cannabis and alcohol use.

VIA: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Smoking Marijuana Can Have This Harmful Side Effect On The People Around You

It’s no secret that breathing in weed or cigarette smoke probably isn’t the best thing for your health.

But if you thought marijuana was the lesser evil of the two, I have some bad news for you.

A new study just revealed that hanging around your friends while they get high can have some serious consequences.

That’s right. According to research published in Journal Of The American Heart Association, secondhand marijuana smoke can cause serious damage to your blood vessels.

In the study, researchers compared the blood vessels of rats that had inhaled secondhand marijuana smoke to rats that had breathed in secondhand tobacco smoke.

Matthew Springer, Ph.D., the study’s senior author and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco’s Division of Cardiology, explained,

Arteries of rats and humans are similar in how they respond to secondhand tobacco smoke, so the response of rat arteries to secondhand marijuana smoke is likely to reflect how human arteries might respond.

After looking at the rat’s blood vessel function before and after they were exposed to secondhand smoke, scientists concluded that the blood vessels of the marijuana group took three times longer to recover.

Yep, after just one minute of breathing in secondhand smoke, the marijuana-inhaling rats took a minimum of 90 minutes to recover from blood vessel impairment, whereas the tobacco inhaling rats only displayed a decrease in artery function for 30 minutes.

In regards to the findings, Springer stated,

While the effect is temporary for both cigarette and marijuana smoke, these temporary problems can turn into long-term problems if exposures occur often enough and may increase the chances of developing hardened and clogged arteries.

You might find it surprising to know that this blood vessel damage isn’t caused by chemicals found in secondhand smoke like THC and nicotine.

Instead, scientists believe that burning plant matter is actually to blame.

According to Springer,

There is widespread belief that, unlike tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke is benign. We in public health have been telling the public to avoid secondhand tobacco smoke for years, but we don’t tell them to avoid secondhand marijuana smoke because until now we haven’t had evidence that it can be harmful.

So yeah, you might want to open up a window next time your stoner squad decides to hotbox the living room.


VIA: http://www.elitedaily.com

These Painkilling Marijuana Tampons May Be The End of Period Cramps

While marijuana has become more and more popular, with legalization and recognition of medicinal benefit becoming more prominent, this has led to a whole host of new forms of delivery systems.

No longer do you have to smoke a joint to receive delivery as there are now edibles and liquids that provide easier intake so one can receive the same or better results. Marijuana is a proven painkiller and more and more people are discovering the pain relief properties by taking this herb.

Now there is a company called Foria which is taking the pain relief benefits of marijuana to a whole different playing field. They have developed a delivery system which could actually mean the end of painful cramps!

CannabisTampons

Its called Foria Relief, but the product is not your typical tampon. They are actually suppositories, which are inserted in a similar fashion, but can be used right alongside with tampons. This increases the comfort effects that Foria Relief provides.

Here are the ingredients of the product:

Organic cocoa butter, THC oil, and CBD isolate.

Thats right, just 3 ingredients. Its the combo of THC oil and CBD isolate that the company says will activate certain cannabinoid receptors in the pelvic region when introduced into the body.

The result? Apparently there is a noticed decrease in both pain and discomfort which one usually associates with menstruation. Users that have tried it, indeed are giving the thumbs up.

The suppository laced with cannabinoids cause the nerves in the uterus, cervix, ovaries to block the pain right out, while relaxing the smooth surrounding muscle tissue which causes even more comfort.

How To Use It

Foria Relief is meant to relieve pain closest to the area where it is inserted. This means it can be inserted vaginally to relieve pain in the womb area often caused by menstruation.

Some users have also reported benefits from inserting it rectally, claiming that it relieved pain in the back and hip area, places which are also commonly affected by menstruation.

On average, women reported feeling pain and comfort relief around 15-30 minutes after insertion. If being used in combination with a typical tampon, Foria Relief should be inserted prior to the tampon.

Its inserted vaginally to provide pain relief in the womb generally caused by typical menstruation.

Although a rectal insertion is also of benefit according to some. This targets more of the back and hip area, where pain is also experienced from menstruation.

Usually 15-30 minutes after insertion, relief is felt according to users. It should be inserted first, if using alongside a tampon.

Leakage is common a few minutes after insertion. The cocoa butter will end up melting.

Store it in a dry and cool area like a refrigerator when not used. Higher than 76 degrees Fahrenheit and it runs the risk of melting.

Their website is where you can get more information and also purchase Foria Relief. Plus they have other cannabis products as well.
If you are interested in purchasing Foria Relief, or any other cannabis-based products from the company, you can visit their website here.

For more information on the health benefits of cannabis, click here.

VIA: http://damn.com/

I Went To An NY Medical Cannabis Dispensary, And I Couldnt Get Weed

I admit I was giggly in the days leading up to my visit to Vireo Health in White Plains, NY — one of New York states first medical cannabis dispensaries.

I bragged to my friends I was going and was repeatedly asked if I could bring back some weed.

And, yeah, it was pretty funny to tell my dear, sweet, shocked mother, who made me clarify several times its just for work.

But in reality, medical marijuana dispensaries — in New York, anyway — are no laughing matter.

New York passed a law in 2014 to make medical marijuana legal, under stipulations. Unlike in, say, Los Angeles, the use of marijuana in New York is regulated strictly.

The law was passed in part thanks to Oliver Miller, a then-14-year-old with a brainstem injury that caused hundreds of seizures daily, as Elite Daily reported.

Dispensaries finally opened this month in New York. Business has been slow. Only eight dispensaries opened and, as of last week, just 51 patients were registered in the entire state, according to Times Union.


But for at least one patient, the beginning of legal medical cannabis in New York has been seriously beneficial.

Brittany Barger is a 27-year-old woman with ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed late, chemo wasn’tworking and the cancer spread too much for surgery. Shes believed to be the first medical cannabis patient in New York.

Barger discussed medical marijuana with her doctor. When it was made legal, her doctor filled out the certification for her.


To get medical marijuana in New York, you need a registered doctor to give you a certification, and then you can register for a card.

Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York

You need to have a specific severe, debilitating or life-threatening condition (so, no, a little anxiety isnt going to make the cut).

To get inside Vireo Health in White Plains, you need to pass security — which is run by a former member of the Secret Service. They take it very seriously. You need to show photo ID, proof of residency, your New York medical marijuana card and a doctors referral if youre a new patient.


Coming in with all those documents, Barger said, “was like having ‘the golden ticket.’”

At Vireo Health last week, Barger said shes tired of taking pills. She regularly experiences nausea, vomiting and a loss of appetite.

But since using medical cannabis, Barger said:

Ive taken less of my breakthrough pain medication, and I felt hunger. I ate. So that made my parents really happy.

She smiled explaining the side effects of medical cannabis — namely, hunger — are actually helpful for her.


Seriously, medical marijuana in New York is for medical patients, not stoners.

Dr. Laura Bultman explained most marijuana-seeking patients really dont want to be high — theyre already foggy from other medications and just want some relief.

Barger hopes cannabis can continue to improve her quality of life:

When you have cancer you cant plan when you have good days. But with this, Im hoping to have more good days and be able to check some more stuff off my bucket list, instead of spending the majority of my time home in bed.

Im looking forward to that just leaving the house, going for walks, seeing my friends, seeing my family, even just going to a movie; thats huge for me.


Helping patients like Barger is the reason Bultman got into medical marijuana.

Dr. Laura Bultman, Chief Medical officer of Vireo Health

Bultman, bursting with Minnesota niceness paired with practicality, is the Chief Medical Officer of Vireo Health and is based in Minnesota — she’sone of many women leading the medical marijuana industry.

She worked in emergency medicine with Dr. Kyle Kingsley, who founded Vireo. Kingsley had a horticultural interest while Bultman was into research. When medical marijuana became legal in Minnesota, they started working in it together.

Bultman feels like she is directly helping patients more than she did in an ER. In a single day in Minnesota, for example, she helped a Gulf War veteran who lost a leg, a 5-year-old with cancer, someone with a spinal cord injury, a 30-year-old with metastatic cancer and children with epilepsy — all with medical cannabis.

I would not have given up a good career had it not been for something more fulfilling.

Dr. Stephen Dahmer, Chief Medical Officer of Vireo Health of New York who wouldnt look out of place reading a book in a Brooklyn coffee shop, was working as a family doctor in New York City and joined Vireo with the legalization. He said:

I saw it as probably the best way to alleviate pain and suffering with my title.


To be clear: Medical marijuana in New York is not weed.

Different varieties of cannabis

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made it law patients cant smoke the product.

Vireo Healths plants are grown off-site in a facility upstate. Patients dont get nugs of weed, they get cannabis oil.

Patients can use the cannabis oil in three forms: as a drinkable oral solution, with a vaporizer or in capsules. Barger prefers the capsules.

There are five varieties of cannabis ranging from mostly THC to mostly CBD, and patients are advised on which would be best for them. Patients with AIDS will look for more THC, for instance, while those with multiple sclerosis would go mid-range.


Patients are only allowed to get 30-days’ worth of cannabis at a time (and that varies by patient).

The price ranges from around $100 to $300 per month, depending on needs. Its out of pocket expenses not paid for by insuranceandhas to be paid in cash.

Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York, said:

Hopefully with federal legislation in the future [insurance coverage] is something that can change.


For their part, medical marijuana providersare working to promote the benefits of the treatment.

Dr. Stephen Dahmer, Chief Medical Officer of Vireo Health of New York

Bultman said business was slow at the start in Minnesota, too, and it takes a lot of effort to inform doctors this is a viable option.

Most medical schools dont teach about the use of cannabis and doctors are generally conservative — they dont want to try something new unless its effects have been long-proven.

Providers are giving presentations and teaching doctors about the use of medical cannabis. While there may have only been a handful of patients at Vireo in its first week, the company has been fielding questions from many patients, nurses and doctors.

In time, those behind Vireo hope medical providers and patients will recognize medical cannabis as a regular part of healthcare, getting past the stigma of stoners. As Barger said:

At the end of the day, its your health. You either want to feel better or you dont.

VIA: http://www.elitedaily.com

Italy Calls In Its Army To Help Grow Medical Marijuana

The Italian government has turned to its armed forces to help it grow medicinal marijuana, after street dealers failed to provide weed of a high enough quality. Appointed to oversee the operation is the rather aptly named Colonel Antonio Medica, who told the Times that the police offered us cannabis they had seized but it is not up to the standards we want.

Medical marijuana is currently available in more than 20 US states, as well as several other countries around the world. In Italy, it is offered to people suffering from multiple sclerosis, those recovering from chemotherapy, and others with chronic pain who have not responded to traditional painkillers.

The main active ingredient in cannabis is a molecule called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system in order to get people stoned. This usually includes a numbing of certain physical sensations, leading to a reduction in pain, as well as an increase in appetite otherwise known as the munchies and occasionally, hysterical giggling fits.

For its medical grade weed, the Italian government wants to use cannabis with a THC concentration of 20 percent, and made the decision to call in the army back in 2014 to help achieve this. Having been involved in the pharmaceutical industry for over a century, producing medicines for injured soldiers, the military boasts a wealth of medical expertise, and can also offer a level of security that other producers cant.

The rank and file are therefore swapping their Valentino-designed uniforms for lab coats in order to operate a special weed-producing facility in Florence. My mission is to produce the best-quality cannabis on an industrial scale at a low price, explains Medica, who hopes to produce 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of the drug per year for just 8 ($8.87) a gram. Previously, Italy has been importing its medical marijuana from the Netherlands, paying almost double that price.

As well as allowing medical marijuana, Italy is considering joining the few countries currently leading the way in drug policy reform by legalizing recreational cannabis. Politicians are set to vote on whether or not to pass a new bill that would decriminalize the possession of up to 15 grams (0.53 ounces) of weed for personal use later this year.

VIA: http://www.iflscience.com

Teen hospitalised after inhaling online cannabis oil – BBC News

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police say the woman inhaled cannabis oil which she bought online

A teenager is in a “serious condition” in hospital after inhaling cannabis oil she bought online.

The 18-year-old was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on Friday.

Police said she bought a product containing oil derived from cannabis plants which can be inhaled through a vaporizer.

Officers said she may have had a “severe reaction” to the product but cannot confirm a direct link.

Insp Mark Duncton of Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “Our advice is never to buy or take any kind of drug or drug derivative bought online.

“These products can pose a very serious danger to your health; you do not know what is in them or what their affects might be.”

VIA: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk