I put his information in a different thread, but it really belongs here.
Cannabis Is Neuroprotective
A fascinating new study shows that cannabis offers some neuroprotection to young people who engaged in binge drinking episodes. The binge drinkers were young – aged 16-19. This is an age at which the effects of drugs on the brain may be particularly bad, since the brain is continuing to develop.
What was shocking was that binge drinking in adolescents caused the type and degree of damage that it did. Binge drinking caused actual losses of white matter in the brain, similar to the damage seen with drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine.
The study was fascinating because if the adolescents used cannabis in addition to binge drinking, the damage was notably less than if they binge drank alone. Therefore, cannabis use was somewhat neuroprotective to the brain in terms of the damage caused by binge drinking.
This does not mean that cannabis use is good for your brain, or that it does not damage the brain. But no study of cannabis use has ever found anything as dramatic as extensive white matter losses in the brain (that’s a pretty serious type of damage). So, if anything, binge drinking in adolescence (which many adolescents do) is remarkably worse for your brain than using cannabis in adolescence, which is an amazing thing to say right there.
A more recent report entitled "Marijuana and Actual Performance", DOT-HS-808-078, noted that "THC is not a profoundly impairing drug....It apparently affects controlled information processing in a variety of laboratory tests, but not to the extent which is beyond the individual's ability to control when he is motivated and permitted to do so in driving".
The study concluded that: "...An important practical objective of this study was to determine whether degrees of driving impairment can be actually predicted from either measured concentration of THC in plasma or performance measured in potential roadside "sobriety" tests of tracking ability or hand and posture stability. The results, like many reported before, indicated that none of these measures accurately predicts changes in actual performance under the influence of THC...".
The researchers found that it "appears not possible to conclude anything about a driver's impairment on the basis of his/her plasma concentrations of THC and THC-COOH determined in a single sample". Note: "THC" stands for Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana. THC is fairly quickly converted by the body into inert metabolites, which can stay in the body for hours or even days. It is these metabolites that police blood tests in DUI arrests detect and measure.
In other words, (1) marijuna may not impair driving ability at all, and (2) the blood "evidence" only measures an inactive substance which may have been there for days.
Lawrence Taylor is a former prosecutor, Fulbright professor of law, and author of the standard legal textbook, "Drunk Driving Defense, 6th Edition". He is the senior member of an AV-rated firm of California DUI lawyers practicing DUI defense exclusively since 1979.
A total of 2,964 babies were drug-tested at birth to see if they were positive for drugs - cocaine, opioids or cannabis were studied. 44% of the infants tested positive for all varieties of drugs, including the 3 being studied. During the first two years of their lives, 44 babies from the original group died. Since statistics are a drag to slog through, I'll cut right to the chase - the deaths per thousand live births - the numbers tell the story.
"No drugs at birth" deaths....... 15.7 deaths per 1000 live births
"Cocaine positive" deaths.......17.7 deaths per 1000 live births
"Opiate positive" deaths.......18.4 deaths per 1000 live births
"Cannabis positive" deaths.... 8.9 deaths per 1000 live births
The cocaine and opiate babies have a higher death rate than the "No drugs" babies - that was to be expected. But look at the "cannabis" babies! Having extra cannabinoids in their bodies at birth (and likely later, from 2nd-hand exposure, or breast milk) seems to have some sort of a protective effect. The "cannabis" infants have a mortality rate almost half of what the "No drugs" infants have!
Cannabis has a remarkable safety record - it has never caused a single death by overdose, so it is safer than the Tylenol that we give to our children. Some cannabinoids, like CBD, can't get you high no matter how much you take, but are still quite effective medically. Perhaps it is time that someone considers doing a study of pediatric, non-psychoactive cannabinoid use to treat "failure to thrive" infants! http://www.salem-news.com/articles/june272010/marijuana-infants-sc.php
Comparing the two groups, the neonates of mothers who used marijuana showed better physiological stability at 1 month and required less examiner facilitation to reach an organized state and become available for social stimulation.
The results of the comparison of neonates of the heavy-marijuana-using mothers and those of the non-using mothers were even more striking…
• The heavily exposed neonates were more socially responsive and were more autonomically stable at 30 days than their matched counterparts.
• quality of their alertness was higher;
• their motor and autonomic systems were more robust;
• they were less irritable;
• they were less likely to demonstrate any imbalance of tone;
• they needed less examiner facilitation to become organized;
• they had better self-regulation;
• judged to be more rewarding for caregivers than the neonates of non-using mothers at 1 month of age