The increase in the number of states where either medical or recreational use (or both) is now legal has fired up research efforts to determine, among other things, the effects of recreational cannabis use and to discover the conditions and diseases that may benefit most from cannabis use.
For example, a recent study found a doubling of marijuana use among U.S. adults and a near doubling of “problematic use.” Another concern is the availability of high-potency pot about which little is known. Research has shown that high-potency cannabis products do produce different effects than the lower-potency products that have been around for decades. What remains unknown is the longer term effects of using the high-potency products.
LiveScience cites Professor Alan Budney of Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine:
Some of the hottest areas of research are investigating marijuana’s short- and long-term effects on the brain, especially how use of the drug alters the course of brain development in teens, Budney said. Another hot topic is understanding the therapeutic benefits of compounds in marijuana used for medical reasons.
The full story at LiveScience provides more details on current areas of research and some of the, perhaps unexpected, effects of using marijuana.
Here are other important news stories for the week.
Kosher-approved Medical Marijuana
The medical marijuana company Vireo Health of New York is following two sets of regulations as it prepares to begin selling its products next month: an 18-month-old state law, and the considerably older edicts of the Torah.
Vireo announced Wednesday that it has received kosher certification from the Orthodox Union, one of the world’s pre-eminent gatekeepers of what is certified as kosher and what isn’t. The group’s trademark OU symbol will appear on Vireo’s vaporization cartridges, oils and capsules.
It would appear Vireo is the only one of the five companies licensed to grow, produce and sell medical marijuana in this state that has scored such a certification.
The applicability of the kosher certification remains to be seen. The state’s regulations do not include any rules about following religious customs. And it’s unclear how many potential medical marijuana patients — bearing in mind that the state program is rather restrictive — keep kosher. But it is a fact that New York is home to the largest Jewish community (between 1 million and 2 million people) in the United States.
Read more at the [Albany, New York] Times Union.
Marijuana Industry Building a Buzz
Snoop Dogg has his own line of marijuana. So does Willie Nelson. Melissa Etheridge has a marijuana-infused wine.
As the fast-growing marijuana industry emerges from the black market and starts looking like a mainstream industry, there’s a scramble to brand and trademark pot products.
The celebrity endorsements are just the latest attempt to add cachet to a line of weed. Snoop Dogg calls his eight strains of weed “Dank From the Doggfather Himself.” Nelson’s yet-to-be-released line says the pot is “born of the awed memories of musicians who visited Willie’s bus after a show.”
Read more at The Dallas Morning News.