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Is Spice Marijuana?

With the legalization of marijuana in some states, and many people claiming to take “legal” marijuana to help them sleep at night or for common ailments, many people are wondering about the different types of marijuana and what is safe and what isn’t.  One of the types of marijuana that is often discussed is spice. Simply put, spice is synthetic marijuana.  It is not a safe form of marijuana, although some are led to believe otherwise.  It is the second most commonly abused drug among high school students.  It is composed of several “herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana.  Further, spice is sold under names such as K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, and is often labeled “not for human consumption”.  Spice contains dried, shredded plant material as well as chemical additives that are responsible for psychoactive (mind-altering) effects. A disturbing finding is that spice is being marketed to buyers as a safe and legal alternative to marijuana.” (drugabuse.gov).

Further, drugabuse.org also reports that, “Spice products are popular among young people; of the illicit drugs most used by high-school seniors, they are second only to marijuana. (They are more popular among boys than girls (recently) nearly twice as many male 12th graders reported past-year use of synthetic marijuana as females in the same age group.) Easy access and the misperception that spice products are “natural” and therefore harmless have likely contributed to their popularity. Another selling point is that the chemicals used in spice are not easily detected in standard drug tests.”

Because spice is made synthetically and the ingredients change to allude law enforcement, the actual effects of spice are not officially understood or documented.  However, many spice abusers report confusion, vomiting, agitation, hallucinations and rapid heart rate.  Spice has also been shown to raise blood pressure and reduce blood supply to the heart.  Regular spice users also report withdrawal and addiction symptoms as well.

Because of the unknown factors of spice, the actual effects remain mysterious.  But drugabuse.gov reports that, “one public health concern is that there may be harmful heavy metal residues in Spice mixtures.”  The bottom line is that abusing spice is especially dangerous due to the many unknown factors of exact make up of each package of spice as well as the unknown effects of abusing spice.  If you are an individual looking to explore various types of marijuana and are wondering what forms are “safe”, spice is definitely one to avoid and steer clear of.

Hashish

Some haven’t heard of the drug hashish but they wonder if its the same things as marijuana. In fact, hashish comes mainly from the flowers (as well as leaves and stems) of the cannabis plant. And further, the active ingredient in hashish is the same as in marijuana, THC. Wikipedia defines hashish as, “Hashish, or hash, is a drug made from cannabis. While herbal cannabis is referred to as marijuana, hashish is cannabis resin. It is consumed by smoking a small piece, typically in a pipe, bong, vaporizer or joint, or via oral ingestion.”

One of the main differences between marijuana and hashish is that the concentration of THC in hashish is much higher than that of marijuana.  For example, the concentration of THC in most marijuana is around 1-5%.  In hashish, the concentration of THC is closer to 5-15%.  Further, hashish oils, have an even higher concentrated from of hashish is closer to 20% THC.

The effects of hashish on the brain and marijuana are similar.  THC impacts cognition in the brain with facilitates memory and concentration, motor coordination and  even includes memory.  Also, THC binds to receptors in the brain which create feeling of well-bing, sedation, and euphoria in the user. Some wonder if hashish (and marijuana) are dangerous because of the recent legalization of marijuana.  While there are many known positive medical uses of the drug, the American Psychiatric Association has identified hashish and marijuana as drugs that develop a condition known as cannabis disorder.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashish

Trump Vows to Crack Down on Recreational Marijuana

Sean Spicer, White House press secretary under new President Trump, said this week, regarding federal drug laws, “I do believe you will see greater enforcement of (illegal marijuana).” This is an interesting statement due to the fact that President Obama’s administration indicated that they would not interfere in states where nonmedical use of marijuana is allowed. In other words, the new Trump administration says they will enforce federal marijuana laws when they come into conflict with states where the recreational use of marijuana is allowed.

Although the Obama administration felt that they had bigger issues than cracking down on marijuana use in states that have legalized its use, recent studies indicate that marijuana use is linked to the widespread use of painkillers. This new evidence points to the fact that allowing use of recreational marijuana can be, and most likely is being, interpreted as pardoning the facts of the dangers of drug use.

Spicer indicated, “When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and drugs of that nature.”

However, Spicer was quick to indicate that although the President does not approve of recreational marijuana use, he understands that medical marijuana can help ease suffering for patients with terminal illnesses. President Trump was quoted during his campaign as saying, “I know people that have serious problems — it really does help them.”

Marijuana Use and Prediabetes Linked?

A recent study reported in Diabetologia entitled: Marijuana use and risk of prediabetes and diabetes by middle adulthood: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, showed that both current and former marijuana users have a higher chance of developing “prediabetes.” Prediabetes does not indicate that an individual has diabetes, but rather is experiencing poor blood sugar control. The researchers (Bancks et. al) report that due to the rise in studying the effects of marijuana in recent years, many possible adverse long-term side effects have been seen with marijuana use.

The researcher’s data from the study indicated that 65 percent of current marijuana users were at great risk of developing prediabetes. Previous long-term users were at a 45 percent risk level. Although these rates are high for prediabetes, there was no direct link between marijuana and actual diabetes. Interestingly, those who reported using marijuana 100 times or more in the course of their lifetime had a greater risk for prediabetes than those who had never used marijuana.

The study also looked at other aspects that could be affecting the development of prediabetes, including race, age and weight since those factors contribute to the development of diabetes itself. The researchers also concluded that future studies on topics related to marijuana use and overall metabolic health would be helpful and noted that Marijuana use in young adulthood is associated with an increased risk of prediabetes by middle adulthood, but not with the development of diabetes by this age.

 

Wax-lipbalmdrugWAX – Warning to Teen Parents

A new drug, called WAX, is becoming increasingly popular amongst teens. The drug, which is a based with marijuana plant oils, looks and feels a lot like lip balm and is easy to hide. Teenagers are replacing the lip balm from containers, like Carmex, with the waxy drug and it is going undetected.  The drug has dangerously high levels of THC and is harmful to the growing teenage brain and body. Parents should be aware of this drug and initiate conversations with their teenagers. For more information and pictures of the drugs, go here.

marijuanaMarijuana use among teens rising

Recently, a survey was conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that indicates that while teens are saying no to most drugs, their use of marijuana seems to be on the rise. Also, the survey found that the number of teens who think that marijuana is dangerous has continued to drop over the past decade. Further, the study also concluded that more teens are using marijuana than in the past several years. The study’s researchers say that relaxed attitudes about marijuana, combined with legalization in certain areas, have probably contributed to the increased use of marijuana.

“We should be extremely concerned that 12 percent of 13- to 14-year-olds are using marijuana,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The children whose experimentation leads to regular (marijuana) use are setting themselves up for declines in IQ and diminished ability for success in life.”

The survey’s poll included responses from over 41,000 eighth-, 10th- and 12th-grade teens from 389 public and private schools. When they asked about their marijuana usage over the last month, 23 percent of the high school seniors surveyed said that they had smoked marijuana at least once along Eighteen percent of 10th-graders and 12 percent of even the eighth-graders also indicated that they has smoked marijuana within the last month. According to the researchers, drug use among the youngest teen age group (8th graders) surveyed should be a wake up call and a warning for parents and public health officials alike.

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