Category: Uncategorized

Another Take on the CMCR

By Fred Gardner Igor Grant, MD, a professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego, has been the director of California’s Center for Medical Cannabis Research since its inception in 2000. Grant recounted the history of the CMCR to a respectful audience at the Patients Out of Time conference in Berkeley last weekend. In 1999 State Sen. John Vasconcellos arranged funding from the legislature ($8.7 million over three years) for studies to be conducted by researchers selected by an administrator at UCSD… The researchers were provided with marijuana grown at the University of Mississippi for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Grant said matter-of-factly....

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Happy Birthday, Carl Linnaeus

 May 23, 2017   Carl Linnaeus was born on this date in Uppsala, north of Stockholm, in 1707.  Last July, James Prosek, a painter and writer, retraced part of the journey that Linnaeus made at age 25 to Swedish Lapland. At the outset, Prosek found something “distasteful” about the binomial nomenclature that categorizes plants and animals by genus and species. As he recounted in the  New York Times: I think what bothered me was his hubris. Before binomials, names of plants in books were lists or strings of words that formed a kind of nuanced description. Plants and animals already had...

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NSAIDS and Heart Attacks

“All traditional NSAIDs, including naproxen, appear to be associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction,” according to an underpublicized study in BMJ. Researchers led by Michele Baily, an epidemiologist at the University of Montreal Hospital, looked at records for 446,000 patients ages 40-79, 61 of whom had had heart attacks. Short-term use of NSAIDs (eight to 30 days) was found to greatly increase the risk of heart attack. Associated with the greatest harms were: celecoxib >200 mg (Celebrex) diclofenac>100 mg (Voltarin) ibuprofen >1200 mg (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen >750 mg (Aleve) Risk increased with dose and duration of NSAID use, but did not increase after a month.  ...

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Drinking Beer Linked to Arrhythmias, Diet Soda to Stroke

Tachycardia —a temporarily accelerated heart rate— is a well-publicized adverse effect of smoking marijuana. Infrequent users are more prone to the response than regular users.    Tachycardia is also a side effect of drinking  beer —even a moderate amount, according to a study by University of Munich researchers published April 25 in the European Heart Journal. Data was collected from 3,016 legally sober volunteers at the 2015 Octoberfest. They were given smartphone-based electrocardiograms and breathalyzer tests. (Those with a blood alcohol level of 3.00 g/kg or more —above the legal limit in Germany— were excluded.)    “The lively atmosphere in a beer tent,” the authors acknowledge, “deviated from...

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Before Marijuana Became an ‘Issue’ Unto Itself

By Fred Gardner    Just arrived in the mailbox is a book called Dangerous Grounds, which recounts how coffeehouses set up near Army bases became hangouts for soldiers during the Vietnam War era. I started the first such enterprise with Donna Mickleson and Devora Rossman —the UFO coffeehouse in Columbia, South Carolina— in the fall of 1967. The author, David Parsons, a historian with an NYU affiliation and a contract from the University of North Carolina Press, interviewed me for the book a while back. Now I’m uneasy about opening it. What if he got it wrong? What if he got it right? Of what...

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