Magic Mushroom Pill Is Being Developed to Treat Diabetes and Stop the Munchies

Magic Mushroom Pill Is Being Developed to Treat Diabetes and Stop the Munchies

Original Post: Merry Jane: Magic Mushroom Pill Is Being Developed to Treat Diabetes and Stop the Munchies

[Canniseur: All psychoactive drugs found in nature (and some not) have uses for people. I get it that there are diseases like depression that might be helped by psychoactive compounds. But diabetes? WOW! And it appears that many other disorders can be helped…maybe. Since there’s no real research, it remains to be seen if psilocybin can be useful therapy for disease. The potential could be great.]

Could the key ingredients in psychedelic mushrooms promote weight loss, healthier dietary choices, and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes? That’s what one Canadian company is claiming in a new US patent filing.

The patent, filed by Yield Growth’s American subsidiary, Flourish Mushroom Labs, details a recipe for making a pill from psilocybin and psilocin, two shroom compounds responsible for making humans (and some animals) trip. The pill itself only includes microdosed amounts, or roughly a tenth of the so-called “recreational dose,” so anyone who takes it shouldn’t see their food breathing or their wallpaper designs coming to life…

Read the rest of the story here at Merry Jane

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Original Post: Merry Jane: Magic Mushroom Pill Is Being Developed to Treat Diabetes and Stop the Munchies

20 Out of 25 Denver Pot Shops Were Selling Moldy Weed, Study Finds

20 Out of 25 Denver Pot Shops Were Selling Moldy Weed, Study Finds

Original Post: Merry Jane: 20 Out of 25 Denver Pot Shops Were Selling Moldy Weed, Study Finds

[Canniseur: Mold is everywhere. It’s in all the food we eat. This isn’t surprising, but there is nothing here that’s unusual. Growers can’t use really powerful fungicides because they might be harmful to us. Note that this is only in Denver. Issues like these will happen everywhere as we learn how to grow really good cannabis that’s as free of the so-called nasties as we can grow it.]

Colorado’s legal weed products may be sprouting mold and yeast only after they’ve made it to the storefront shelves, new lab tests show.

On September 9 and 11, Denver released lab results from 25 randomly selected dispensaries within the city’s limits. Of the 25 shops, 20 were selling some cannabis products that contained unacceptable levels of mold or yeast. That’s a whopping 80 percent of all stores that were tested.

“There are many different reasons why products may show up on the sale shelf contaminated,” said Abby Davidson, the food and marijuana safety manager at the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE), to Westword. “It’s not that the dispensary that it was sent to had any hand, possibly, in contaminating the product. Or it could be that there were processes that happened after cultivation that maybe would’ve led to contamination. It’s really hard to point any fingers until we’re able to do our investigation and backtrack to how that product got to that dispensary.”

To sum up what Davidson said: There’s currently no testing protocol for weed products once they hit dispensary shelves in Colorado. Products are only batch tested after cultivation, once they’ve been extracted into concentrates, or after they’re infused into non-smokable products. As Davidson clarified, Denver officials aren’t trying to catch dispensaries with their pants down; rather, the city wants to understand what happens to weed products after they sit in bottles or behind glass counters for weeks on end.

Moldy weed has always been an issue with large-scale indoor grows, but the problem may have gotten worse after Colorado’s 2015 pesticide scandal, where some of the state’s biggest dispensaries were busted for spraying Eagle-20 a.k.a. myclobutanil, a powerful fungicide that may be toxic when burned and inhaled. With Eagle-20 now officially on the banned list of weed-grow chemicals, dispensaries were forced to resort to other mold-control methods, which may be much safer than Eagle-20 but not as effective.

The city has not yet released its official report on the random tests, but Westword got a hold of some of the results. Additionally, Denver officials have not named the dispensaries in question or which products came up positive for mold or yeast. But the publication did note that the only products testing hot were whole flower, pre-rolled joints, and shake weed.

While health authorities know that some mold and yeast strains can produce toxins that are dangerous to humans, there’s still no consensus concerning which levels of smoking molds or yeast are acceptable. Further, only certain molds and yeasts are known to cause serious health complications in humans. The Denver random test sampling did not assess whether the molds and yeasts found in weed products were the dangerous ones, only that the products tested above the thresholds for molds and yeast.

“It is important to note that the tests collected by DDPHE were not taken as part of an enforcement action or as a result of any complaints received about our products,” said one Colorado-based dispensary CEO, who Westword did not identify. “DDPHE collected samples from several Denver dispensaries as part of an assessment of the marijuana industry that is based on questionable scientific principles.”

Although the anonymous CEO never clarified how the City of Denver’s assessment was “based on questionable scientific principles,” Westword mentioned that one weed industry lobby, the Marijuana Industry Group, has criticized the state’s mold and yeast limits as “too strict and broad.”

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Original Post: Merry Jane: 20 Out of 25 Denver Pot Shops Were Selling Moldy Weed, Study Finds

A New Study Says Weed Doesn’t Help with Mental Health, But Is It BS?

A New Study Says Weed Doesn’t Help with Mental Health, But Is It BS?

Original Post: Merry Jane: A New Study Says Weed Doesn't Help with Mental Health, But Is It BS?

[Canniseur: As it says in this article, one study doesn’t invalidate previous research. And a lot of precious research has shown to be poorly designed or even worse, designed to give the “results” the “researchers” wanted. And of course, the mainstream media jumped all over this one. Correlation is not the same as correlation. We need more and better research than this.]

Folks are finally fessing up to why they take medicinal cannabis: It helps them regulate their moods, fight stress, and otherwise live a life of relative contentment. How many of you reading this toke a bowl after a long day of work just to keep from flying off the rails? Exactly.

A new study from Australia is now claiming otherwise. According to the researchers’ data, there’s no hard evidence that weed helps with treating mental illness, mood disorders, or facilitates good mental health. But there are some serious caveats to consider.

The study, published in the medical journal The Lancet, concluded: “There is scarce evidence to suggest that cannabinoids improve depressive disorders and symptoms, anxiety disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, or psychosis.” The researchers added that weed didn’t appear to help with anxiety, and that more high-quality studies are needed to draw any definite conclusions.

How’d the researchers settle on this? They looked at 83 previously published studies regarding weed and mental health effects, which included a total of 3,067 subjects. (Yes, that’s plenty of samples for statistical testing.) After compiling the results across these 83 studies, the researchers found no significant link between weed use and mental health improvement

However, they noted that there were some “low-quality” studies that suggested THC could help with anxiety, and one study showed that THC increased psychotic symptoms rather than relieved them.

So, of course, the media latched onto this study as definitive proof that weed’s ability to control stress levels and anxiety was a myth. For instance, the science blog Live Science ran the headline, “There’s No Evidence Marijuana Will Treat Your Anxiety or Depression.” Science 2.0 ran with, “Marijuana Cannabinoids Don’t Help With Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Tourettes, Psychosis, or PTSD.” And The Guardian titled its story on the study: “Risks of cannabis use for mental health treatment outweigh benefits.”

Brain and Cannabis

One Study Does Not Invalidate Previous Research

While the Australian study does show that we need more research on cannabis’s effects on mental health, it’s inaccurate to state that this study disproves weed’s ability to help the mind. Science doesn’t work that way. We can’t point to one study that claims something contradictory while ignoring a mountain of scientific evidence that says otherwise. And there have been many studies over the years, as well as strong anecdotal evidence, that suggests cannabis can help with anxiety, stress, depression, and anger management.

There were also some major flaws in this study, as there are with many scientific studies. For one, the researchers have no idea what kind of weed some of the previous studies’ participants were taking, or even how the subjects consumed their cannabis or at what frequencies. We know that not all cannabis products are created equally, and some products may work better for certain medical conditions than others.

On top of that, we already know that weed isn’t a cure-all for every mental issue on the books. Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld, a California-based psychiatrist, noted to MERRY JANE earlier this year that he’s recommended cannabis to at least two schizophrenic patients in the past. However, he did not recommend cannabis to treat their schizophrenia. Rather, the weed was for treating their anxiety, which was mostly caused by schizophrenia. These two patients required careful monitoring, he said, just in case the weed did cause their symptoms to act up.

1572462458565_images-1.jpg

These Same Researchers Previously Claimed Weed Didn’t Help with Pain, Either

Last year, an Australian research group published a study that claimed cannabis did nothing for controlling pain, and that the phenomenon was likely placebo. That’s odd, considering there are thousands of studies that confirm weed can control pain and inflammation, though cannabis does not completely eradicate the perception of pain like some opioid painkillers. Rather, cannabis alters our perception of pain to make it more bearable.

Now, take a closer look at the latest Australian study’s authors. Three of them, Gabrielle Campbell, PhD., Wayne Hall, PhD., and Michael Farrell also co-authored last year’s weed-doesn’t-treat-pain study, too.

Campbell is a criminologist who primarily studies pain-management among opioid abusers and suicidal cancer patients. Hall is a university professor and addiction-treatment specialist. And Farrell is a professor of addiction psychology. All three of them work for Australia’s National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), a New South Wales research institute that’s funded by the Australian government through the National Drug Strategy program. In other words, NDARC is sort of like the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) in the US, which gladly funds drug research so long as that research affirms current drug enforcement policies.

And the National Drug Strategy program, despite its stated commitment to harm reduction, has dedicated itself to anything but. According to its own data, the program spends a whopping two-thirds of its budget on busting drug dealers and users and not on treatment programs, education, or other harm reduction strategies.

In other words, these three researchers are neck-deep in the addiction treatment industry, and they’re essentially being bankrolled by cops. And as we know from addiction specialist Kurt Isaacson, who runs an addiction treatment clinic in the US, legalizing weed will hurt the addiction-treatment industry’s bottom-line, since it depends on stigmatizing cannabis use and court-ordered therapies to keep the profits rolling in.

Of course, not all addiction specialists oppose weed legalization. Many of the doctors behind the Global Drug Survey agree that drug decriminalization or legalization will make it easier for addicts to seek out help. And even NDARC’s Campbell and Hall, in a separate 2018 study, concluded that weed could help alleviate opioid addiction, though, again, more research was needed.

So, what’s the takeaway? Take the latest Australian researchers’ study with a grain of weed. But keep in mind that they’re right about one thing: We need more studies regarding cannabis’s effects on us, and government obstruction into this research is not helping anyone.

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Original Post: Merry Jane: A New Study Says Weed Doesn't Help with Mental Health, But Is It BS?

Nevada’s First Weed Cafe Will Feel Like a Microbrew’s Tasting Room

Nevada’s First Weed Cafe Will Feel Like a Microbrew’s Tasting Room

Original Post: Merry Jane: Nevada’s First Weed Cafe Will Feel Like a Microbrew’s Tasting Room

[Canniseur: The beginning of a wave of consumption lounges is taking place in front of us. While some government seems hesitant, mostly I get the warm fuzzies thinking about being able to relax and have a toke while out and about. Still, especially if you are a newbie, please be careful and know your limits.]

West Hollywood just got its first pot lounge, where tokers can blaze with their peers in a social setting. Now, it’s Las Vegas’s turn.

This Saturday, Las Vegas will debut Nevada’s first weed social consumption cafe, a lounge more reminiscent of a beer pub than a smoking room. 

Named The Vegas Tasting Room, the lounge is owned and operated by NuWu, a cannabis company licensed to the state’s Paiute tribe. The lounge resides on tribal lands, so it’s subject to tribal authorities, not Las Vegas’s city council.

“In Nevada, it is the first,” said Alfreda Mitre, a member of the Paiute Tribe Council, to a local NBC affiliate. “So, we are looking forward to providing this experience to our customers.”

Earlier this year, the Las Vegas city council approved an ordinance that licenses social consumption businesses for weed. But then the state legislature passed Assembly Bill 533 earlier this summer, which freezes all social consumption licenses in Nevada for the next two years. 

Currently, there are no other public spaces in Nevada where cannabis smokers can enjoy a bowl or a joint. Residents can safely consume weed in the privacy of their own homes, but tourists must scramble to find places where they can enjoy the state’s newly legalized weed products. The area’s hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other public businesses don’t permit cannabis consumption, and since casinos are federally regulated, even mere possession of weed isn’t allowed at the world-famous gaming spots. 

But The Vegas Tasting Room, despite its name, isn’t being hosted within Las Vegas city limits. Since it’s technically on tribal property, it’s subject to tribal rules, which can supersede state rules (like AB 533 temporary licensing ban) in certain cases.

The Nevada legislature and Governor Sisolak implemented AB 533 due to safety concerns. They’re worried that letting people get high in a “weed bar” will lead to an increase in traffic accidents and fatalities. To prevent patrons from getting too smoked-out, The Vegas Tasting Room observes rules similar to those found in alcohol bars.

“There is a time limit that will be in place,” Mitre explained. “We do have budtenders to do that,” and staff “will be able to gently nudge the customer when they think their needs will be met.”

To cut down on stoned driving, The Vegas Tasting Room is partnering with shuttling services such as taxis, Lyft, and Uber, so tokers don’t have to transport themselves home (or to their hotel).

Gallery — Lowell Farms, America’s First Cannabis Cafe:

While there’s evidence that weed can impair driving ability in some cannabis consumers — especially those with low tolerances or who are new to cannabis — other studies have shown conflicting results. Data from weed-legal states like Colorado and Washington do show increases in traffic incidents since legalization, though whether intoxicated driving or sudden spikes in population (and thus traffic density) are the true cause has yet to be determined. 

If The Vegas Tasting Room’s opening weekend proves successful, it will become the state’s first licensed weed lounge. Last week, California saw the opening of its first licensed social consumption cafe, Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe, to much media fanfare. 

Other states such as Oregon and Colorado have already had weed lounges. Earlier this year, Colorado approved a statewide bill to officially create a licensing system for social consumption businesses after years of legal ambiguities.

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Original Post: Merry Jane: Nevada’s First Weed Cafe Will Feel Like a Microbrew’s Tasting Room

Former Cop Gets Stoned for the First Time and Then Pukes in New Weed Documentary

Former Cop Gets Stoned for the First Time and Then Pukes in New Weed Documentary

Original Post: Merry Jane: Former Cop Gets Stoned for the First Time and Then Pukes in New Weed Documentary

[Canniseur: The producers present an unbiased view of people curiously trying cannabis for the first time. This isn’t just about a cop throwing up. Highlighted are many different people with many various reasons they’re trying cannabis for the first time.]

Yet another cannabis documentary is coming, but this one is stirring the pot because it features two former drug squad cops smoking weed on camera for the first time.

The two-part documentary, High Society: Cannabis Cafe, premieres next week on Channel 4 in the UK. The documentary follows several Brits as they take a trip to Amsterdam. Of course, they’re going to Amsterdam to try the legal weed, since marijuana is still illegal in the UK.

One couple featured in the documentary are friends who want to experiment with cannabis for its pain-relieving effects. Another couple wants to know if weed can save their relationship. But the oddest couple featured in High Society are two former drug squad cops, Des and Ronnie, who hold opposing views towards weed legalization.

Ronnie, who is staunchly opposed to all drug use and weed in particular, believes marijuana is the “gateway drug” that always leads to harder drug use.

Des, on the other hand, is curious about the plant he used to arrest people for. “I’m looking forward to experiencing this,” he says on camera. “I think I’ll be fine, but that remains to be seen.”

And then, after taking just a few puffs of that Amsterdam weed, Des pukes on the coffee shop’s floor.

The “gateway drug” myth became a punchline later in the documentary. An 84-year-old grandma, Maureen, tokes on a Volcano vaporizer to better understand why her grandson Sam loves to get high. Although she claims to not feel anything after her first few hits, she immediately requests a Coca-Cola, presumably to quench some cotton mouth.

“You’ve tried some weed,” Sam says to his grandma, “now you want some Coke.”

Of course, showing people smoking weed on TV, especially in a country where marijuana is outlawed, will generate some controversy. In High Society’s case, it pissed off people on both sides of the marijuana legalization debate.

Prohibitionists criticized the documentary for promoting illegal drug use. Brexit Party politician Ann Widdecombe told Birmingham Live that, ““For one of our channels to be filming it and showing it on our television amounts to showing an unlawful act.”

“The argument against legalizing cannabis is not being heard enough but it’s very straightforward,” Widdecombe continued. “If you legalize cannabis, it is a gateway drug.”

Meanwhile, proponents of legalization had complaints, too.

“The show,” wrote Sarah Carson at iNews, “… is one in a long line of programs that treat casual drug use with a flippancy afforded only to the privileged.”

Carson later explained her perspective in more detail:

The media’s presentation of drug use as an alternative lifestyle choice is harmless enough if you were, say, one of the many white, middle-class, middle-aged people smoking weed at Bob Dylan in Hyde Park last month, confident that the police would leave well alone. Less so if you are an unfairly-targeted demographic — no young black men feature in the first episode of High Society — or someone who is seriously ill and fighting for the right to access medicinal cannabis.

Channel 4 defended its programming by stating that its producers wanted to present an unbiased view of people curiously trying cannabis for the first time.

“The show reflects a mix of both positive and negative experiences and is not intended to glamorize or make light of drug taking,” a spokesperson for Channel 4 said in a statement. “Instead, it explores this hotly debated topic in a balanced way, under supervised conditions, and in a fully licensed and legal setting in Amsterdam.”

Original Post: Merry Jane: Former Cop Gets Stoned for the First Time and Then Pukes in New Weed Documentary

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