Just over 20 years old, this field has captivated the world with its hopeful promises — and drawn critics for its moralizing, mysticism, and serious commercialization. (Vox)
UC Berkeley synthetic biologists have engineered brewer’s yeast to produce marijuana’s main ingredients—mind-altering THC and non-psychoactive CBD—as well as novel cannabinoids not found in the plant itself.Berkley College of Chemistry
Feeding only on sugar, the yeast are an easy and cheap way to produce pure cannabinoids that today are costly to extract from the buds of the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa.
Might be time to sell those pot stocks people 😉
The DEA insists it supports medical marijuana research, but it has resisted calls to reclassify the plant so it’s not lumped in with addictive drugs like heroin and ecstasy. When the DEA did in 2016 take steps to expand the supply for scientists, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions withheld final approval. Several bipartisan bills aimed at expanding research were introduced in the outgoing Congress, but none made it through.Politico
Maybe I’m going out on a limb here — scientists should be free to study nature and its effects on humans.
Although psilocybin is relatively less harmful than other drugs and not prone to compulsive abuse, the researchers don’t recommend releasing psilocybin into patients’ hands even with a prescription. “We believe that the conditions should be tightly controlled and that when taken for a clinical reason, it should be administered in a health care setting, monitored by a person trained for that situation,” says Johnson. The researchers foresee that the process for psilocybin use in the clinic would be similar to how an anesthesiologist prescribes and administers a drug, minimizing the potential for abuse or harm.
Well apparently people have been doing this wrong for 10,000 years and now it needs to be handed over to “pharmaceutical professionals.”
Anecdotal and historical accounts of pot’s painkilling properties abound. But so far, scientific evidence that it works better than traditional painkillers is hard to come by.
Because the U.S. government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with no medical use — like heroin and cocaine — funding for research is hard to get, scientists say. And as a 2015 article in the journal Current Pain and Headache Reports points out, high-quality clinical studies of pot’s effectiveness — randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled — are limited.
Dr. Jeffrey Chen wants to change that.
By 2013, a new sort of woman was using heroin: Affluent women. Middle aged, middle-class women with carpools. Gen X moms recovering from knee surgeries. College girls with double majors. Women with incomes above $50,000 and private health insurance. Women who had been taking Oxycodone and Vicodin because they’re excellent pain-relievers. Superior to a vodka tonic. Better than smoking a joint.
The CDC declared opioid abuse an epidemic in back in 2011. In October, President Trump declared the epidemic a health emergency. According to the CDC, heroin and opioid use among women doubled between 2004 and 2013—a rate twice that of men. More women are dying from prescription pain pills than ever before. Since 1999, the number of fatal overdoses among women has increased 400 percent, among men, 265.
Kinda puts that whole pot is addictive post in perspective.
Public-health experts worry about the increasingly potent options available, and the striking number of constant users. “Cannabis is potentially a real public-health problem,” said Mark A. R. Kleiman, a professor of public policy at New York University. “It wasn’t obvious to me 25 years ago, when 9 percent of self-reported cannabis users over the last month reported daily or near-daily use. I always was prepared to say, ‘No, it’s not a very abusable drug. Nine percent of anybody will do something stupid.’ But that number is now [something like] 40 percent.” They argue that state and local governments are setting up legal regimes without sufficient public-health protection, with some even warning that the country is replacing one form of reefer madness with another, careening from treating cannabis as if it were as dangerous as heroin to treating it as if it were as benign as kombucha.
But cannabis is not benign, even if it is relatively benign, compared with alcohol, opiates, and cigarettes, among other substances. Thousands of Americans are finding their own use problematic in a climate where pot products are getting more potent, more socially acceptable to use, and yet easier to come by, not that it was particularly hard before.
A lot of public policy yet to be worked out here. Lot’s of potential problems.