Marijuana Said to Trigger Heart Attacks

30 10 2009

Heart attack risk medical marijuanaHere is something we found on the Harvard gazette website. Although the risk of having a marijuana associated hearth attack is very small (around 1 in 100,000) this news is very likely to be miss-used by the anti marijuana lobby.

Next time you hear some anti-drug nincompoop talk about how you can get a heart attack from cannabis, keep this in mind; The real risk applies only to die-hard couch potatoes and even for this high-risk (no pun intended) group, smoking medical marijuana is still less risky than running to catch your bus..

Source: news.harvard.edu

Marijuana can be hard on the heart. In the first hour after smoking pot, a person’s risk of a heart attack could rise almost five times, according to a Harvard University researcher.

As baby boomers born in the late 1940s and early 1950s reach the age at which heart disease is the leading cause of sickness and death, “we may see an increase in marijuana-associated heart attacks,” says Murray Mittleman, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health.

The possible medical uses of the drug are receiving more and more attention. Mittleman thinks such use may be a bad idea for people with heart disease.

The danger exists in the first hour after smoking pot, Mittleman told an American Heart Association meeting in San Diego today (March 2). “It causes the heart rate to increase by about 40 beats a minute,” he says. “Blood pressure increases then abruptly falls when the person stands up. This could precipitate a heart attack.”

Mittleman noted that, as an immediate trigger for heart attack, pot smoking is nearly twice as dangerous as sex for a sedentary person, exercise for a fit male or female, a tantrum of rage, or a bout of anxiety. But it’s less risky than a spurt of exercise for a couch potato or a snort of cocaine.

Despite the high percentage of people younger than 50 years old who report they use the drug – 12.5 percent – Mittleman doesn’t foresee an epidemic of pot-triggered heart attacks. For a 50-year-old baby boomer without other risk factors, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, the absolute risk of having a heart attack in the crucial first hour after smoking marijuana is one in 100,000, he says.

These findings come from a study of 3,882 people who survived heart attacks. It was conducted at a number of centers around the country, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where Mittleman works. In the study, 124 people reported using marijuana regularly. Of these, 37 people said they used it within 24 hours of their heart attacks. Nine said they smoked it within an hour of their attacks.

From this data, the researchers conclude that the relative risk of a heart attack jumped 4.8 times within the first hour after smoking, then dropped to 1.7 times in the second hour. That’s still double the risk, but the drop indicates that the danger declines rapidly.

Mittleman admits he can’t explain exactly how pot could trigger a heart attack. It might be due to THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, or merely the smoke from a burning plant, he says. Smoking marijuana and tobacco both involve the latter, and both are now implicated in raising the risk of heart disease.





Cannabis Ebonics – Stoner Terms

29 10 2009

We found this list of stoner terms online and thought we’d share them.  Some of the terms are more frequently used in America however most (if not all) have made their way into the international stoner vocabulary.  We also dug up a classic clip of Ali G listing other stoner terms:

April 20th (4/20) – International Cannabis Day, everyone blazes on this day. Everyone blazes at 4:20 every day too.

Blaze – To get high!

Blunt – Either a hollowed out cigar filled with marijuana or (more commonly) a “marijuana cigarette” rolled with a blunt wrap (tobacco paper or emptied cigar).

Bowl – Can refer either to the part of a piece that holds cannabis, or to the pipe itself.

Bogart – The act of holding on to a joint/piece/blunt for too long, or one who does such an act: “Don’t bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me”.

Boo – A street name for marijuana, listed only in anti-drug literature. No one has ever heard or used it. If you are ever arrested for possession, you should use this term, saving the taxpayers the expense of correcting and reprinting anti-pot pamphlets.

Kick-Hole / Carb – The hole on the side of a piece used to regulate air flow. Hold it closed with your thumb while inhaling to draw smoke into the chamber, then release to let air in and force the smoke into your lungs. Also called a “rush hole”.

Cherry – The red burning coal of marijuana in a joint or bowl.

Chillum – A pipe with the bowl in line with the stem.

Ganja – Just 1 of many synonyms for cannabis, others include  Dope, Marijuana, Grass, Draw, Puff, Blow, Weed, Gear, Ganja, Herb, Wacky Baccy, Skunk, Pot, Bob Hope and Bob – see the Ali G video below for many more :)

Hashish / Hash – The resin secreted by a marijuana plant. Different kinds of hash are prepared with a variety of recipes.

Hash oil – A liquid extracted from marijuana. Use mostly by dipping smokeables into the hash oil.

Hit – A drag or puff cannabis.

Hot Box / White wall – Getting high in a car or small space with no ventilation so that you are constantly inhaling atmospheric smoke.

Joint / Zut / Doob / Doobie – Marijuana cigarette. Kind Bud (chronic, hydro, sticky icky, highs) – High potency Cannabis.

Mids – Descent cannabis for the money you pay for it, if you don’t have a lot of money this is the best way to go.

Moocher – Someone who will smoke your bud in a second, but never has any of their own.

Papers / Skins – Cigarette papers used for rolling joints.

Piece – Refers to a pipe of one sort or another.

Resin – Black tar like stuff that builds up in smoking apparatuses.

Schwag – Low grade cannabis or the leftovers from the bottom of a big bag.

Source:  www.howtogrowbud.com





Top U.K government scientist says: Cannabis evidence ‘was devalued’

29 10 2009

We came across this interesting thread on the BBC website which refers to a lecture given by Professor David Nutt, of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.  Professor Nutt used a lecture at King’s College in London and a briefing paper to attack what he called the “artificial” separation of alcohol and tobacco from illegal drugs, accusing ex-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith of “devaluing” scientific research. He also criticizes the scare-tactics of the U.K government on the issue and claims that the link between cannabis use and schizophrenia is hugely over-exaggerated;  This story has some traction and has been on rotation on both BBC News 24 and British terrestrial television!  It is a blow to the U.K government as Professor Nutt is the new chairman of the Government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs – popularly known as the government’s “Drug Czar”.

Many observers are worried about the contradictory and incoherent nature of the U.K’s current drug policy which clearly hasn’t worked – The U.K has the 3rd largest cannabis consumption rate in the western world! The Home Secretary has herself admitted to smoking cannabis as a student whilst attending Oxford University – making her a MASSIVE hypocrite – if she had been caught under her own rules, she would never have been able to hold the position of Home Secretary!

I also came across a video on the subject… enjoy!

Heres some links to other relevant articles that we’ve found on the BBC website:
Debate over cannabis classification
Q&A: Cannabis and health
Q&A: Cannabis guidelines

Its also interesting to see what the BBC themselves have to say about cannabis, it’s actually a really good, balanced and informative piece which drew a smile from us all!





Houses made of hemp could help combat climate change!

27 10 2009

professor pete walker - university of bath

We have recently come across this very interesting press release from Professor Peter Walker at the University of Bath (U.K) who is leading the research into the use of hemp-lime in construction.  Buildings and other infrastructure currently accounts for almost 20% of the UK’s eco-footprint.  This is another example of how this wonderful plant can help save reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  Recently we brought you the news that Hanes – one of the worlds biggest consumer brands – has been investing in a new hemp technology called Crailar which requires only a fraction of the water needed to make cotton; and we are very happy to announce that it is the subject of another of our articles, a Dutch company called Hempflax who has won the contract to supply the raw materials to Hanes – i.e. the HEMP!

Here’s the press release:

Houses made of hemp, timber or straw could help combat climate change by reducing the carbon footprint of building construction, according to researchers at the University of Bath.

Currently the construction industry is a major contributor of environmental pollutants, with buildings and other build infrastructure contributing to around 19% of the UK’s eco-footprint.  Researchers at the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials are researching low carbon alternatives to building materials currently used by the construction industry.  Although timber is used as a building material in many parts of the world, historically it is used less in the UK than in other countries. Researchers at the Centre are developing new ways of using timber and other crop-based materials such as hemp, natural fibre composites and straw bales. Their work using straw bales as a building material has already been featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs series.

Professor Peter Walker, Director of the Centre, is leading the research. He said: “The environmental impact of the construction industry is huge. For example, it is estimated that worldwide the manufacture of cement contributes up to ten per cent of all industrial carbon dioxide emissions.  “We are looking at a variety of low carbon building materials including crop-based materials, innovative uses of traditional materials and developing low carbon cements and concretes to reduce impact of new infrastructure. As well as reducing the environmental footprint, many low carbon building materials offer other benefits, including healthier living through higher levels of thermal insulation and regulation of humidity levels.”

Their research is being presented at the Sustainable Energy & the Environment showcase at the University of Bath.  The exhibition will be opened by David Willetts MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities & Skills, and will be attended by industrialists, research councils, local and national government representatives and other key stakeholders from across the South West.  The exhibition coincides with the launch of the Institute for Sustainable Energy & the Environment (I-SEE) at the University of Bath, which will bring together experts from diverse fields of science, engineering, social policy and economics to tackle the problems of climate change.

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GASPAR FRAGA – IN MEMORIAM

26 10 2009

Gaspar Fraga GonzálezOctober 17th 2009 saw the end of one of the most significant contributions to the antiprohibitionist fronts in Spain and Europe of the past decade. Gaspar Fraga González, founder and director of Cañamo magazine, shed his mortal coil and peacefully departed on his final trip, surrounded by his loved ones, at the age of 65. His long battle with cancer had broken his body, but not his will. As the Commander of the Cañamo vessel, he stood at the helm until the very end, inspiring those around him with his strength and determination in the face of adversity. His remains were put to rest in his beloved city of Barcelona to the music of his also beloved Frank Zappa and the adulations of the many present. He is survived by his two wifes, Sara and Mari Carmen, his daughter Lidia, two grandchildren, and many loving friends.

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Marc Emery – Prince of Pot

19 10 2009

Here’s a piece I found on Marc Emery on U.S TV – it includes an interview with his wife Jodie Emery and is well worth a watch!

Marc is one of the figureheads of the cannabis legalization movement and his treatment by U.S and Canandian prosecutors who circumvented normal procedure to extradite him from Canada is both contradictory and illegal in our eyes.  Further information can be found at drugwarrant.com

FREE MARC!





New medical marijuana policy issued by the President

19 10 2009

The Obama administration announced today that it will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors Monday 19th October. A 3-page memo spelling out the policy is expected to be sent Monday to federal prosecutors in the 14 states which allow some use of marijuana for medical purposes, and also to top officials at the FBI and the DEA.

barack obama smoking pot, marijuana, cannabis

According to officials, the memo is designed to give a sense of prosecutorial priorities to U.S. Attorneys in the states that allow medical marijuana. It notes that cannabis sales in the United States are the largest source of money for violent Mexican drug cartels, but adds that federal law enforcement agencies have limited resources – It emphasizes that prosecutors have wide discretion in choosing which cases to pursue, and says it is not a good use of federal manpower to prosecute those who are without a doubt in compliance with state law.

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