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Is Pot Becoming More Potent?

November 24th, 2008 by Perry

THC percentage of seized marijuana

Looking purely at the potency of government-seized marijuana over the years, a 2008 study recently looked at the percentage of THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, prevalent in the drug.

The results show an effect less dramatic than you might suspect, but the discussion underneath the article identifies several relative points to remember, not the least of which is the influence of law enforcement on the grow industry.

Since the first legalization 12 years ago in California, the potency of seized cannabis more than doubled, after staying relatively close to four percent for nearly 20 years.

DrugMonkey does an excellent job of mapping data points and correlating them with the looseness of official anti-drug messages – the article is a bit long, but definitely worth the read. Also, DM has a deep look into the efficacy of the war on drugs.

No Link Found Between Lung Cancer and Cannabis

October 27th, 2008 by Alex

chest_x_ray_full_size_landscape.jpg

A recent study reports that there is no increase in the likelihood of lung cancer from marijuana consumption, even among heavy smokers. Scientists who conducted the study seemed surprised by the results because marijuana contains up to 50 percent more of the carcinogenic chemicals which are believed to be the cause of cancer in smokers.

Researcher Donald Tashkin, MD, of UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine tells WebMD:

We know that there are as many or more carcinogens and co-carcinogens in marijuana smoke as in cigarettes. [...] But we did not find any evidence for an increase in cancer risk for even heavy marijuana smoking.

There are a lot of factors that could lead to the assumption that marijuana smoke accelerates cancer risks:

  • high concentration of chemicals linked to lung cancer
  • most marijuana smokers breathe deeper and hold smoke in longer
  • the large variance of chemicals in different grades and strains of marijuana

So why isn’t the link there? Scientists believe it has something to do with the properties of our favorite isomer – THC. Cellular studies of THC suggest it might have antitumor properties and can encourage the death of genetically damaged cells.

This is great news. Now, all I need is for THC to be able to cook a decent meal and keep an apartment clean, then I’m marrying it.

The Future of Orange Julius: THC Oranges

October 6th, 2008 by Perry

Oh, how great would that be.

Actually, in one of the more stunning displays of ingenuity, a scientist created a THC-producing orange tree. This. Is. Brilliant.

Dr. Hugo Nanofsky, a biochemist at Florida State University and tenured professor, created the strand after he was inspired by an officer ceasing his car as a teenager.

At the heart of the confusion is the fact that THC now naturally occurs in a new species of citrus fruit.

It was only a matter of time before the DEA became involved, and its jurisdictional capabilities of regulating a fruit.

In fact, Florida’s top law enforcement officials admit that even if the cultivation of Nanofsky’s orange were to be outlawed, it would be exceedingly difficult to identify the presence of outlawed fruit among the state’s largest agricultural crop.

Update: Unfortunately, the news was too good to be true and was proven to be a hoax. Move along, there’s nothing to see here. Hmph.






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