New Study Finds No Evidence of Long-term Damage from Daily Cannabis Use

A new joint-study between the University of Colorado and the University of Louisville has been making waves in the medical cannabis community. That study boldly titled, “Daily Marijuana Use Is Not Associated with Brain Morphometric Measures in Adolescents or Adults”, makes a compelling case based on three different physical analyses of the brain in daily cannabis users vs. non-users. Taken alone, there’s nothing particularly advanced about the study from a technological standpoint; the real significance of the study is that it flies in the face of a larger body of evidence that seems to indicate that cannabis *can* cause structural changes. …So who’s right? Does cannabis cause structural damage or not? Furthermore, if this study is correct, how could so many independent studies from around the world be wrong? According to the researchers, the issue revolves around dependent variables and how to account for those variables. To give an analogy here, I may claim that living near the beach causes people to take up surfing, and I may back up my claim with data that shows that beachside communities have a higher percentage of surfers. At first glance, that seems logical. However, this relationship, between the neighborhood and the percentage of surfers, is not proof of anything. In fact, it’s common sense that many of the surfers living in those neighborhoods moved to those neighborhoods specifically to be able to surf frequently. Without acquiring more data or removing this effect somehow, we can’t possibly know if living near the beach…

CBD Salve May Have More Uses than Originally Thought

Topical cannabis preparations have been around since the dawn of civilization and have experienced a resurgence in popularity along with medical cannabis. Usually these salves and creams, which are rubbed into the skin directly, are intended to treat conditions directly below the skin. For instance, cannabis-derived salves are popular among those suffering from arthritis, who apply the cream directly to affected areas to reduce swelling. This method of administration is believed to be more effective for arthritis than oral administration and also avoids many of the otherwise psychoactive effects of cannabis. Of course, manufacturers of cannabis creams and salves are often liberal with claims of conditions the cream can help. For instance, some websites discuss the use of cannabis-derived cream to completely eradicate cancerous tumors or genetic diseases. At this stage of cannabis and cannabinoid research, many unknowns remain, so technically it is possible these claims are true. However, knowing what we know at this point in time, this is probably utter nonsense. To be fair, these manufacturers may have witnessed healing that happened in tandem to salve application and may honestly believe their claims. However, there is a stark difference between several personal observations about using a salve and the extensive laboratory testing needed to scientifically support those claims. Regardless, the question remains: what can cannabinoid salves and creams be used for? As it turns out, there may be an accidental shred of truth to over-zealous claims that the salve can solve more than topical issues. Recently, the DARU…

Using the Endocannabinoid System to Track Different Types of Tissue

One of the most important concepts that our blog can communicate to readers is that cannabis is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the endocannabinoid system. This chemical system, that happens to respond to cannabis, was not merely an afterthought in the evolution of the human body, but actually exists in many different animals as well (including birds!). Thanks to the resurgence in cannabis and cannabinoid research around the globe, new uses for the system are constantly emerging. So far, the scientific community has shown most interest in direct uses of the endocannabinoid system to formulate new medicines for stress, pain, neuroprotective effects, and metabolism. However, researchers in Finland have identified a new use of the system…as a biomarker! Biomarkers are any indicators used to track and identify the existence of a biological state or condition. While that sounds complicated, many readers may have already benefitted from the use of biomarkers during medical procedures or checkups. For instance, those with chronic heart problems may already be familiar with the “nuclear stress test”. In this test, doctors are attempting to see how blood is being pumped through the body and which areas are not receiving enough blood during vigorous exercise or cardiac stress. Unfortunately, attempting to crack open a patient’s chest to view this directly would be dangerous, time-consuming, and costly. Additionally, even with the chest open, the doctor would have no quantifiable way to measure blood-flow in each small area. To solve this, doctors often inject…