New Data Reveals Which Professions Attract The Most Weed Consumers

Public health officials in Colorado have just published the results of a recent survey aimed at learning more about people’s weed consumption habits. In particular, this study looked at the prevalence of cannabis use, broken down by various demographic categories including occupation. Interestingly, this new data reveals which professions attract the most weed consumers—at least in Colorado.

Patterns Among Weed Smokers

The report is based on results from a survey that asked 10,169 adult workers living in Colorado about cannabis consumption. Specifically, the survey asked respondents if they’d smoked weed in the prior 30 days. From there, researchers and analysts broke down responses according to demographic and employment information.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published the study on its website, the survey aims to help employers “develop appropriately targeted workplace marijuana policies and safety awareness campaigns.”

Here are some of the key demographic findings from the survey:

  • In Colorado, 14.6 percent of adult workers said they had consumed cannabis at least once in the previous 30 days.
  • Men smoked more weed than women—17.2 percent of men and 11.3 percent of women said they’d consumed cannabis.
  • White people smoked at the highest rate, with 15.3 percent of white respondents reporting weed use. Latinx folks were second, at 15.1 percent, and black people reported the lowest rates of consumption, at 14.5 percent.

As for the main focus of the survey, which was to look for cannabis use trends based on employment, here’s what researchers discovered:

  • The “Food Preparation and Serving” industry had the most smokers, with a full 32.2 percent of people in that field reporting weed consumption.
  • Other fields with relatively high proportions of weed smokers include “Construction and Extraction” (16.5 percent), “Farming, Fishing, and Forestry” (16.5 percent), and “Healthcare Support” (15.8 percent).
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, the “Protective Service” industry had one of the lowest rates of weed consumers. Just over six percent of people working in that field reported smoking weed.
  • The “Healthcare and Technical” sector had the lowest rate of consumption, coming in at 3.1 percent.

Final Hit: New Data Reveals Which Professions Attract The Most Weed Consumers

These numbers may or may not accurately reflect trends in other locations. Among other variables, the legal status of cannabis may skew these trends from one location to another.

But looking at cannabis consumption trends in a state like Colorado may be helpful for other reasons. In particular, it could help predict what things might look like in places considering legalization.

Further, this survey could be helpful in efforts to address the tensions that often arise when there are discrepancies between law and workplace policies.

In many weed-legal states and cities, employers are still allowed to screen employees and potential employees for weed use. This has created tensions between employees who legally consume weed in their private lives, only to get in trouble for it at work.

Most recently, a Canadian worker won a case, getting his job back after being fired for allegedly smoking weed. The favorable ruling comes months before Canada is scheduled to make weed legal at the federal level.

The post New Data Reveals Which Professions Attract The Most Weed Consumers appeared first on High Times.

Australian Political Party Proposes Total Cannabis Legalization

Declaring that prohibition has failed, an Australian political party proposes total cannabis legalization for the country. Sen. Richard Di Natale, the leader of the Australian Greens, announced his party’s new stance Monday, April 16.

The plan would legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults. They could also legally grow at home up to six plants for personal use. Australia legalized the medicinal use of cannabis in 2016.

Under the Greens’ proposal, the country would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol and tobacco. The government would create a new agency to be the sole wholesaler of cannabis products. Only licensed retailers could then sell that merchandise to the public.

Plan Replaces Failed Policy of Prohibition

Di Natale said that Australia should move toward a harm reduction strategy to address drug use. He also said that the country should treat “drug use as a health issue, not a criminal issue,” according to media reports.

As a former physician, Di Natale said he has “seen that the ‘tough on drugs’ approach causes enormous harm. It drives people away from getting help when they need it and exposes them to a dangerous black market.”

“Our plan to create a legal market for cannabis production and sale will reduce the risks, bust the business model of criminal dealers and syndicates, and protect young people from unfair criminal prosecutions,” he added.

Alex Wodak is the president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation. He said that cannabis prohibition is not only ineffective, it also skews the government’s priorities.

“Banning cannabis hasn’t reduced its use or availability yet it has distracted police from following up more serious crimes, harmed a lot of young people and helped make some criminals rich,” Wodak said.

“Regulating cannabis will give government more control and increase government revenue, which can be used to fund drug prevention and treatment.”

A survey in 2016 found that 55 percent of Australians favored taxing and regulating cannabis like tobacco and alcohol.

The proposed changes would also bring the regulation of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis more in line with their respective potential for harmful health effects.

In March, a study found that tobacco caused nine percent of the country’s burden of fatal and non-fatal diseases. Alcohol accounted for 4.6 percent of the number. But all illicit drug use was just 2.3 percent, and cannabis made up only seven percent of that total.

Final Hit: Australian Political Party Proposes Total Cannabis Legalization

If the new proposal is passed, it would be more good news for the Australian cannabis industry. The newly legal domestic businesses are supported by government regulations that prohibit the importation of medical marijuana products from other countries.

And in January, the government announced that the country’s medicinal cannabis firms could begin exporting their goods. While announcing that policy change, health minister Greg Hunt said the move would also help the country’s medical marijuana patients.

“By helping the domestic manufacturers to expand, this, in turn, helps to ensure an ongoing supply of medicinal cannabis products here in Australia,” he said at the time.

The post Australian Political Party Proposes Total Cannabis Legalization appeared first on High Times.

Alaska House Passes Measure To Erase Prior Marijuana Convictions

This weekend, Alaska took steps to end discrimination against people charged with low-level marijuana possession. Alaska legalized marijuana back in November of 2014, but legislators had yet to address the issue of prior marijuana charges. While the federal government threatens to revamp the War on Drugs, the Alaska House passes measure to erase prior marijuana convictions. This legislation will translate more employment opportunities for people, especially people of color, convicted for low-level cannabis possession.

A Closer Look at House Bill 316

On April 15, the Alaska House passes measure to erase prior marijuana convictions by a vote of 30 to 10. According to an official memo released by the Alaska House Majority Coalition, House Bill 316 will “protect Alaskans’ ability to go to work despite past convictions for marijuana possession.”

This means that the state won’t give the public access to arrest records for marijuana possession. Specifically, the online database known as the Alaska Courtview System will clear VIA controlled substance misdemeanors. This legislation applies to charges preceding February 24, 2015, the first day of legalization.

Until now, recreational marijuana legislation in Alaska failed to address prior marijuana charges. “This piece of the law was overlooked by the drafters of the initiative,” Rep. Drummond explained to KTUU in Anchorage. “And it’s been included in voter initiatives and laws that have passed in other states.”

Now that the House has voted in favor of Bill 316, the Alaskan Senate will consider it.

Representative Harriet Drummond Introduced The Bill

Rep. Harried Drummond, a Democrat from Anchorage, introduced this legislation to the House. The Democratic majority’s official press release quotes Rep. Drummond’s address the House Judiciary Committee last week. She explains:

“This bill is not a get out of jail card; it’s a reasonable approach to allow Alaskans to get jobs currently unavailable to them because they did something that Alaskans have voted repeatedly they believe should be entirely legal. […]

This bill does not benefit drug dealers. Rather, it helps mothers and fathers clear their names from past mistakes, allows many of our friends and neighbors to apply for jobs they didn’t think they could ever get, and strengthens communities by providing new opportunities for those who continue to be held back by something that is no longer against the rules.”

Other States Are Looking To Pass Similar Measures

In California, the legislation that legalized recreational marijuana also cleared or lessened the charges against people convicted of low-level marijuana possession. Colorado, Maryland and Oregon have passed similar measures with the same objective.

However, marijuana legislation is far from perfect: Colorado hasn’t released everyone imprisoned for non-violent marijuana-related crimes. Overall, lawmakers are moving towards sealing marijuana arrest records, with intense support and censure from the public.

The Response to Clearing Marijuana Possession Charges

Member of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association Cary Carrigan supports Bill 316. Carrigan told KTUU, “I think we need to move more toward normalization with cannabis in society. I don’t think people need to have this kind of stigma follow them around for small mistakes.”

Advocates argue that people shouldn’t have arrest records for something that is now legal. Critics say that marijuana was illegal at the time, so charges still apply. Carolyn Tyler, spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s office in Colorado, wrote to the Denver Post about Colorado’s laws: “It creates a horrible precedent by retrofitting criminal sanctions for past conduct every time a new law is changed or passed.”

Final Hit: Alaska House Passes Measure To Erase Prior Marijuana Convictions

This weekend, Alaska joined other states with legal recreational marijuana in taking the first steps to restrict public access to marijuana-related arrest records. This legislation will, in theory, give Alaskans more job opportunities. It also highlights the growing chasm between state and federal marijuana regulations.

The post Alaska House Passes Measure To Erase Prior Marijuana Convictions appeared first on High Times.

Healthy Cannabis Roots Equal Bigger Marijuana Yields

One of the single most important factors of how well a marijuana plant will grow, and how much it can yield, is the health and strength of its root system. Below the surface of your growing medium, the root mass is comprised of a tangled web of roots that store sugars and starches (cannabis plant food) and transport needed minerals to the plant. The marijuana plants roots are covered in millions of small hairs that absorb water and minerals from the surrounding root zone.

This root system sends minerals up through the body of the plant to leaves for use during photosynthesis, which in turn makes the starches and sugars the plant uses for food and energy. The bigger and more extensive the root system is, the bigger the plant will grow.

In the root zone, moisture levels, temperature and oxygen directly affect growth. It is very important to remember that roots breath in oxygen, while the rest of the plant uses carbon dioxide (CO2). When growing indoors and using potted containers, the best containers to house your plants are those which are the most breathable, or permeable by air, so that oxygen can easily get into the root zone. If you grow outside, aerating your soil or grow medium by churning or tilling once every few weeks is also a good idea.

How Marijuana Roots Work

When starch is made via photosynthesis in the top portions of the plant, any excess plant food is sent back down to the root system for storage. The more energy the roots have stored up, the more nutrients they can send up to the leaves to be used in photosynthesis to make more food. It’s a cycle that, when all things are going well, can lead to excessive plant growth. When the plants are properly trained (via trellising or pruning), this growth or energy can be directed towards flower and resin (trichome) production.

In the root zone, the quality of medium is also very important for these same reasons. The less energy the roots have to spend, the more they can use that energy to grow themselves and the plant above. The root zone is also where most of the plant’s water is taken into the plant. And 99 percent of this water is transpired through the leaves up top.

Mediums that are airy and retain a lot of moisture are most ideal. Soil and soilless mixtures (such as peat or sphagnum-based) are also recommended as they offer excellent “buffering” for the delicate roots, which helps prevent burn from nutrient feedings and allows them to more effectively absorb the vital minerals needed to make sugars and starches internally.

Four Tips for Healthy Roots

Healthy Roots Equal Bigger Yields

A Deep Water Culture (DWC) system produces massive root structure.

1. Oxygen

Roots use oxygen to convert stored starch to energy so make sure air can permeate. This energy is used to send nutrients up the plant, which in turn creates more starches. The circle of life begins here.

2. Temperature

Roots grow mostly at night when the top portion of the plant has shut down. And they function most efficiently when they are warm. Roots in a dark, warm place develop rapidly and create good structure in the root zone. Dark period temps of 75–78 F are ideal.

3. Structure

If possible, do not let roots become root-bound. If they cannot be allowed to advance, allow them to prune themselves via exposure to air. Some containers offer specialized coatings to stop roots from growing and strangling themselves while others have holes lining the sides.

4. More Air

The top third of the root zone containers specialized roots that breath air; The bottom-third are “water roots,” which absorb H2O. Be careful not to over-water plants, especially near the top of the root zone, otherwise you may drown them. Stagnant water can easily kill a plant. Your roots should always be bright white and crisp.

The post Healthy Cannabis Roots Equal Bigger Marijuana Yields appeared first on High Times.

Marijuana Laws in Canada: Province by Province

By the end of the summer, recreational marijuana will be legal across Canada’s provinces and territories. National legislation legalizes the sale, cultivation and use of marijuana. It also sets the limit for marijuana possession at 30 grams and 4 marijuana plants. Everything else—age restrictions, who can sell weed, where you can sell or smoke, police protocol, etc—is left to the provinces. With recreational marijuana fast approaching, here’s a look at the marijuana laws in Canada: province by province.


Marijuana Laws in Canada: Province by Province

Legal age to buy cannabis: 18

Estimated price: $7 to $10 per gram

Public Smoking: Legal

Under Quebec law, anyone legally old enough to drink (18+) can purchase weed from a licensed weed retailer. You are allowed to have a maximum of 150 grams of dried cannabis. Additionally, the law bans growing marijuana plants for personal or commercial use. Despite federal legislation, the provincial government can still limit marijuana possession.

Marijuana smoking laws will resemble cigarette restrictions, and then some. This means that you won’t be able to smoke on any school property, and in or near public buildings, parks or facilities. The general rule is that you can smoke in private residences or 9 meters away from these restricted places. In Hampstead, on the west of the Island of Montreal, you may not ever be able to smoke weed outside at all.

In Quebec, the government controls all liquor sales, and will also have a monopoly on legal cannabis. The organization controlling marijuana sales is called la Société Québécoise du cannabis (SQC), under the umbrella of la Société des alcools du Québec. According to CBC News, SQC will open 20 stores across Quebec.

Some of these dispensaries may be located in metro stations in Montreal. This would be both convenient and in line with dispensary location laws: Marijuana cannot be sold near parks or schools or within 1 km of another dispensary.

The province will also offer marijuana delivery through Canada Post. Though this may sound unusual, Canada Post has been delivering medical marijuana since 2013.

The post Marijuana Laws in Canada: Province by Province appeared first on High Times.

The Pros and Cons of Smoking Weed With Your Family

Smoking weed with your family members can be a real bonding experience. The initial awkwardness of partaking in a session with the people who birthed you may have you feeling like you’re breaking some unwritten law. But, once you get over that feeling and become comfortable in the situation, it can be pretty awesome.

Singer-songwriter, Melissa Ethridge, revealed that she smokes pot with her kids during Yahoo’s Weed and the American Family project.

“It was funny at first, and then they realized, it’s a very natural, end-of-the-day [thing] … And it brings you much closer. I’d much rather have a smoke with my grown kids than a drink,” Ethridge said about her shared cannabis use with her kids.

The stereotypical munchie-driven stoner-dude persona is a thing of the past. Your regular stoner is starting to look more like the mom and dad next door. The couple who just wants some peace and relaxation time after their kids go to sleep. Marijuana can help individuals relax after a long stressful day. And who’s more stressed out then a couple of parents raising their kids?

Whether it be with your kids, parents, uncles or aunts; smoking with your family can be a great experience.

If you’re feeling weary about initiating a session, remember that your older family members have probably dabbled with Mary Jane since the 70’s. While there is a lot of benefits of smoking up with your family members, you may find some downsides. Here are some pros and cons of smoking weed with your family.

Pros of Smoking Weed With Your Family

The Pros and Cons of Smoking Weed With Your Family

Let’s start with the positives. For parents, smoking weed with your child may make you question if you’re making the right decision. But, like your child’s first experience with alcohol, it’s more comforting to have them experimenting with you rather than sneaking around and participating in it behind your back.

Honesty is important in your relationship with your child. You want to make sure they feel comfortable sharing thing with you.

British billionaire, Richard Branson, encouraged parents to smoke with their kids during his keynote speech at the Sage Summit at McCormick Place in Chicago in 2016. “If they’re going to have a joint, do it with them,” Branson said. “Don’t let them sneak off and do it on their own.”

Another pro of smoking weed with your family members is that you seem to learn something new every session. Whether it be a story about “the good ole days” or a new rolling technique, toking with your relatives will have you learning things you never knew before. Trust us, your Mom and Dad probably know how to roll a joint better than you can.

If you’re lucky enough to come across an opportunity to smoke the ganja before a family meal, take it. There’s nothing better than having those munchies come on along with the rest of your family right before a big meal. Best suggestion? Trying this out during a holiday meal like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. It’s a magical experience.

Also, smoking weed as a family creates a sense of maturity for the younger siblings or children in the family. Some go as far to describe it as a passage to adulthood.

You know your parents and older relatives view you as an adult when they allow you to partake with them. It’s a sense of freedom that comes from passing the pipe around with those who raised you and/or those you looked up to.

Lastly, having such a new and unique encounter with your family is something you will remember forever. Being able to see what the other one is like while high as a kite can be quite interesting and entertaining.

Maybe your sister is a silent stoner, while your mom may find out she has some comical talent as your dad sits there giggling away. If you ever get the chance to see this new side of your relatives, consider yourself lucky.

Cons of Smoking Weed With Your Family

The Pros and Cons of Smoking Weed With Your Family

One of the biggest downsides to smoking weed with your family members is the awkwardness that can come with it. Yes, for some it may be a great bonding experience, but for others, it can be totally bizarre. A feeling of discomfort may be felt due to the fact that you’re familiar with following certain rules and expectations while around your family. It may just feel downright odd and unnatural.

For parents, smoking weed with your kids can be frowned upon by those with negative views on cannabis. If your child has grown into an adult, this is really something you should not worry about.

A Yahoo News/Marist poll showed that 47 percent of parents who use marijuana at least once or twice a year say they have consumed it in front of their children, shared it with them or done both. There’s always going to be people who disagree with your actions. But as long as there are no risks and your child is an adult, there’s really no harm.

You may find out that you have opposite types of high, which can be a real downer during a smoke sesh. One may be feeling quite laid back and relax, while the other may begin to feel self-conscious. A clash like this may ruin the vibe and create an unenjoyable experience.

Lastly, in more extreme and disastrous cases, someone may experience a too intense high or may even green out. The last person you want around during such experience is a parent or sibling. Once you have an occurrence like this, you will never want to smoke up with your family ever again.

Final Hit: The Pros and Cons of Smoking Weed With Your Family

If you’re lucky enough to have an opportunity to smoke with your family members, take advantage of it. Most of the time, it can be an amazing experience. If you’ve reached an age in which your family members are more like your friends than strict authority figures, then your most likely going to enjoy this special and unique time together.

It’s all about being comfortable and accepting the situation.

For those who just can’t see themselves smoking with family, or have tried and have had a bad experience, then it is what it is. Smoking weed may just be a part of yours and your family member lives in which you keep separated from one another.

Keep hiding that smell of pot and keeping it to yourself. The biggest con of all may be having to share.

The post The Pros and Cons of Smoking Weed With Your Family appeared first on High Times.

How Does Medical Marijuana Help Glaucoma Patients?

One of the many uses of medical marijuana is its use as a treatment for glaucoma. This optic nerve condition can lead to loss of vision or blindness without medical assistance. Marijuana has long been hailed for its ability to reduce eye pressure, which causes glaucoma. Here we explore the question: How does medical marijuana help glaucoma patients?

What Is Glaucoma?

First of all, glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve’s pressure. A buildup of fluid within the eye due to increased pressure can damage the optic nerve. This can impair vision, or blind completely.

There are two types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. The first type is the most common, and the slow of the two. In the second type, angle-closure glaucoma, fluid builds up close to the iris. This can lead to rapid blindness and needs medical attention immediately.

An estimated 3 million Americans live with glaucoma. The demographics most affected by glaucoma are people over 60, specifically African Americans. Anyone with a family history of glaucoma should look for loss of peripheral vision.

Difficulty seeing objects at the edges of your sight is the first symptom of open-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma won’t be painful, so the best way to diagnose it is to watch for slow vision deterioration. Contrastingly, angle-closure glaucoma manifests as nausea, blurry vision, and head or eye pain.

Studies Show That Marijuana Can Treat Glaucoma

How Does Medical Marijuana Help Glaucoma Patients?

Marijuana is not a cure for glaucoma. There is, in fact, no cure yet for this condition; there are only ways of controlling or stopping its progression.

How does medical marijuana help glaucoma patients? The main way to treat glaucoma is by reducing the pressure on the optic nerve. Though research isn’t conclusive on the extent of marijuana’s effects on glaucoma, some studies show it can reduce inner eye pressure.

This research goes back to the 1970s. These studies showed that smoking marijuana could reduce inner eye pressure for people with glaucoma. The promising nature of these studies leads to more research. The National Eye Institute found that smoking, ingesting, or injecting THC, specifically, did lower eye pressure.

The major drawback to their findings is that marijuana only reduces inner eye pressure for a maximum of four hours. To use exclusively marijuana as a treatment, someone with glaucoma would need to ingest THC every few hours, day and night. The inconvenient nature of marijuana treatment for glaucoma means that it can’t be the sole treatment for someone with glaucoma.

To learn more about treating glaucoma, consult a medical specialist immediately.

Other Research Warns Against Marijuana Use

Some researchers found that reducing blood flow to the optic nerve contributes to glaucoma. Since marijuana does reduce blood pressure, it could lead to less blood flow. Some medical experts say that this negates the positive effects marijuana has on optic nerve pressure.

How Would You Use Medical Marijuana For Glaucoma?

How does medical marijuana help glaucoma patients? Some suggest using medical marijuana along with other treatments, but others caution against it. Furthermore, if you’re interested in using medical marijuana for eye pressure, look for strains with a high concentration of the cannabinoid CBG. CBD can also be an important component in treating glaucoma.

Marijuana Doctors recommends strains Blueberry, Maui Maui and Cherry Kola for inner eye pressure treatment.

Marijuana Can Treat Other Side Effects of Glaucoma

How Does Medical Marijuana Help Glaucoma Patients?

Though the onset of glaucoma is often slow and pain-free this condition often has debilitating side-effects later on. The most common side effects are nausea, vomiting and anxiety. Cannabis can be a great treatment for all three of these conditions.

People have long hailed marijuana as a great nausea suppressant. In treatments that often induce nausea, like chemo-therapy and HIV/AIDS medication, many patients report that marijuana can limit their symptoms. Therefore, 25 percent of cancer patients use marijuana while over a quarter of people with HIV/AIDS use marijuana.

Though different types of marijuana can affect people in various ways, marijuana can be a great treatment for anxiety, too. Glaucoma, a chronic condition requiring constant attention, often leads to anxiety. A report show that CBD can reduce anxiety.

Final Hit: How Does Medical Marijuana Help Glaucoma Patients?

As with many conditions potentially treated with medical marijuana, glaucoma research is inconclusive. When asking, how does medical marijuana help glaucoma patients, one must reckon with marijuana’s relatively long history as an additional treatment for glaucoma, and the potential danger of reducing blood pressure.

Whether or not you choose to treat glaucoma with the help of medical marijuana to reduce anxiety, nausea or the disease’s progression, talk to a medical professional and do your research before choosing a strain.

The post How Does Medical Marijuana Help Glaucoma Patients? appeared first on High Times.

5 Ways To Make The Cannabis Industry More Sustainable

The cannabis industry has exploded, growing an unprecedented 30% in 2016 to $6.7 billion in early 2017. This profit gain happened largely as the legal markets expanded, allowing marijuana users in many states to purchase the drug recreationally. But forget the money for a second. With all this production, both by individuals and industrial growers, the environment has certainly taken a hit. Many lawmakers have sought to make sure states make their residents comply with environmental standards through more enforcement. Nonetheless, there are a number of ways to reduce the impact on the environment when it comes to weed. Here are five ways to make the cannabis industry more sustainable.

1. Alternative Transportation Practices

5 Ways To Make The Cannabis Industry More Sustainable

Like the organic on that fancy restaurant plate, the best food goes from farm to table. With cannabis, transportation is part of the process of production. The consumer can’t enjoy the green without the committed drivers transporting it to the dispensary (or your local weed dealer).

Transportation, using fossil fuels and other resources, threatens the sustainability of cannabis operations. Finding suitable, economic, and environmentally friendly ways to deliver crops to the market will help to decrease the threat many cannabis industries pose on the environment.

For those navigating these vehicles with cannabis, they acknowledge that carrying the product is a lot like transporting gold. It lacks serial numbers, customers deal in cash, and the cargo comes uninsured. For this reason, many of the vehicles are armored.

The job may be risky. But riskier would be not ensuring these vehicles leave as little carbon footprint as possible by undergoing regular maintenance.

Targeting transportation is one of the many ways to make the cannabis industry more sustainable. Energy-efficient vehicles that use fewer fossil fuels or less electricity can help to cut down on the environmental impact of transportation.

Sourcing dispensaries with weed grown locally will also aid in cutting down the toll on the environment.

The post 5 Ways To Make The Cannabis Industry More Sustainable appeared first on High Times.

Does Cannabis Affect Your Immune System?

Scientific research is proving more and more medical uses for cannabis. Experts cite medical marijuana as an effective treatment to use in conjunction with other medications, often to decrease their side effects. For example, people with epilepsy, cancer and HIV frequently use cannabis. Furthermore, many people choose to smoke weed instead of drink alcohol when they’re sick. But does cannabis affect your immune system? Here’s what we know so far.

Some Studies Show That Cannabis Improves Immune Function

There’s a deficit of marijuana research due to government agencies hesitancy or downright opposition to cannabis research. However, a few studies conducted without federal backing show promising results when it comes to marijuana and your immune system.

To date, there is little conclusive data on the impact of consuming cannabis on a healthy person’s immune system. The bulk of immune system-related research looks at cannabis’ effect on HIV/AIDS patients.

HIV/AIDS is an immunodeficiency virus, meaning that it targets the immune system. For this reason, people with HIV/AIDS’ response to cannabis suggests how everyone’s body interacts with cannabis.

If people with less healthy immune systems—or severely impaired immune systems as is the case with AIDS patients—can safely consume cannabis, perhaps everyone can.

Studies Confirm That Marijuana Helps People With HIV/AIDS

Does Cannabis Affect Your Immune System?

Reportedly, 27 percent of people with HIV/AIDS used marijuana to cope with their symptoms in 2005. Considering today’s greater access to medical marijuana and increased knowledge of its benefits, this percentage would be higher if the same study were conducted in 2018.

Cannabis alleviates many common HIV/AIDS symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, pain, depression and anxiety. It also has a well-deserved reputation for increasing appetite.

As also seen with cancer patients, medical marijuana is an effective and non-addictive painkiller. Cannabis can also help with depression.

In addition to abundant anecdotal evidence that cannabis can treat HIV/AIDS symptoms, the Annals of Internal Medicine published an article on the “Short-Term Effects of Cannabinoids in Patients with HIV-1 Infection.”

The findings presented in the article were overwhelmingly positive. They found that cannabis had no effect on patients’ CD4 and CD8 cell counts (immune system cells targeted by the HIV/AIDS virus).

The study also found that people who smoked or ingested marijuana were healthier than those who didn’t. The accompanying explanatory article states, “Patients receiving cannabinoids had improved immune function compared with those receiving placebo. They also gained about 4 pounds more on average than those patients receiving placebo.”

Not only did marijuna help HIV/AIDS patients gain weight, it also had a positive effect on their immune systems over the course of 21 days.

Marijuana Could Even Improve Immune Function

Does Cannabis Affect Your Immune System?

New research goes even further in answering the question, does cannabis affect your immune system? Two recent studies support the findings that cannabis could improve immune function for people with HIV/AIDS.

The first study, dating from 2014, was published in the scientific journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. It links THC to higher production of CD4 and CD8 cells in monkeys. These two cells are primarily responsible for fighting disease.

A second study conducted by New York City’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine discovered that cannabinoids prevented the HIV virus from infecting immune system cells.

Ultimately, the study found that the cannabinoids reduced the number of infected cells from 30 to 60 percent.

Due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, cannabis may have a profound impact on the immune system. On the cellular level, it could significantly strengthen the immune system.

Not all Cannabis Research Is Promising

Does Cannabis Affect Your Immune System?

Most of the concern regarding cannabis use revolves around smoking. In an article from 2001 published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, Dr. Donald P. Tashkin worries about the effects of smoking.

“Effects of Smoked Marijuana on the Lung and Its Immune Defenses: Implications for Medicinal Use in HIV-Infected Patients” reads: “Frequent marijuana use can cause airway injury, lung inflammation and impaired pulmonary defense against infection.”

Not surprisingly, the DEA does not support cannabis use for people with HIV/AIDS. When asked to clarify its stance on the subject, the DEA wrote, “[M]arijuana can affect the immune system by impairing the ability of T-cells to fight off infections, demonstrating that marijuana can do more harm than good in people with already compromised immune systems.”

However, keep in mind that the DEA, and the National Institute of Health, are often subject to politics. It is against many money interests that the federal government support medical marijuana.

Final Hit: Does Cannabis Affect Your Immune System?

Does Cannabis Affect Your Immune System?

As with all health-related questions and cannabis, it’s impossible to guarantee that cannabis will have a positive effect. For now, we know that most research shows that marijuana has no effect, or has a positive effect, on immune system cells.

Research also shows that being properly vaccinated has a positive effect on the immune system.

By the nature of the legalization movement it would seem that we’ll have access to medical marijuana before conclusive research can answer the question, does cannabis affect your immune system?

The post Does Cannabis Affect Your Immune System? appeared first on High Times.

9 Coolest Cannabis-Friendly Career Fields

Want a great job but don’t want to give up the herb? Whether a career is 420-friendly or not generally comes down to whether your employer will drug test you, and whether there’s any danger in showing up to work high. From the creative fields to tech jobs, here are nine cannabis-friendly career fields every Mary Jane enthusiast should consider.

1. Musician

9 Cannabis-Friendly Career Fields

Careers that involve nightlife and creativity let you smoke as much green as you want to. Being a musician combines both these attributes, making it a classic cannabis-lover career choice.

Wondering who else combined music and marijuana? The list is never-ending. Jazz (Louis Armstrong), country (Willie Nelson), rock (Jimmy Hendrix), hip-hop (Snoop Dogg) and pop (Rihanna) legends have all smoked a ton of weed, and risen to soaring heights in their careers, too.

Not only does the musician lifestyle—and lack of drug testing unless it’s court ordered à la Britney Spears—permit ample marijuana use, but the creativity required to write songs can come easier when you’re high.

Plus, when you’re famous, you have a platform to advocate for legalization without putting your career in danger.

The post 9 Coolest Cannabis-Friendly Career Fields appeared first on High Times.