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Marijuana News in MA and World

Marijuana Test

The amount of time that your body retains traces of marijuana depends on a number of factors, including how often you smoke and your metabolism rate.

Urine testing, or urinalysis, is the most common way of screening for marijuana use. In the United States, current and future employers will often ask you to undergo a urine test.

But how long will marijuana show up in your urine after you stop smoking? Unfortunately, the only accurate answer is: It depends.

THC vs. THC-COOH

THC is the active ingredient in marijuana and the chemical responsible for the high. However, urine tests detect a different chemical called THC-COOH.

THC-COOH is a metabolite of THC. It is produced when the liver breaks down THC and stays in the body for much longer.

The most common cutoff level for THC-COOH used by drug screening companies is 50 ng/mL. Less common cutoff levels are 20 ng/mL and 100 ng/mL.

Length of Detection Period

No one can really say how long you will test positive for marijuana, since the rate of THC metabolism varies per individual. The amount of marijuana consumed can also alter the window of time that your body retains traces of THC.

Even still, studies provide some insight into how long the average individual will test positive for marijuana.

Occasional Users

Someone who smokes occasionally – or for the first time – will likely test positive for 1-3 days afterward, according to a review by the National Drug Court Institute (NDCI).

But by the end of 4 days, infrequent cannabis users should be safely below the 50 ng/mL threshold.

“For occasional marijuana use (or single event usage), at the 50 ng/mL cutoff level, it would be unusual for the detection of cannabinoids in urine to extend beyond 3-4 days following the smoking episode.”

Frequent Users

Studies suggest someone who smokes often can expect to test positive for around a week following last use. According to the NDCI, after 10 days, most frequent users should pass a urine test at the 50 ng/mL threshold.

“Based upon recent scientific evidence, at the 50 ng/mL cutoff concentration for the detection of cannabinoids in urine, it would be unlikely for a chronic user to produce a positive urine drug test result for longer than 10 days after the last smoking episode.”

However, there’s no guarantee that a heavy cannabis smoker will be free of THC metabolites after 10 days. Studies show it’s possible for some users to test positive for up to a month after last use.

In one extreme case, a person who reported using cannabis heavily for over 10 years managed to test positive (above 20 ng/mL limit) for up to 67 days after last use.

Georgia Marijuana

Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation Thursday that legalizes marijuana oil for medical use in Georgia.

The law took effect immediately and makes it legal for persons suffering from cancer, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, sickle cell disease, and other illnesses to possess up to 20 ounces of marijuana oil, if a doctor recommends it. The state has estimated that hundreds of thousands of residents are likely eligible to use medical marijuana.

But there is one big problem: patients cannot easily, or legally, obtain marijuana oil because it’s illegal to cultivate marijuana in Georgia. This means that people will have illegally make marijuana oil or transport it from another state that permits recreational marijuana, such as Colorado or Washington. And transporting marijuana across state lines is illegal, as is being in possession of marijuana in many states.

State lawmakers remain divided over how extensive the state’s program should become. Advocates contend that Georgia must legalize and regulate the in-state cultivation of marijuana oil.

“If I had to break federal law, I’ll gladly do it,” stated a mother whose daughter suffers from seizures that only respond to marijuana oil. “If they want to come get us, then come get us.”

Marijuana Kills Cancer

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has officially concluded that marijuana extracts can kill certain cancer cells. NIDA is a U.S. federal government research institute. In other words, the U.S government knows for certain that marijuana has medicinal value, yet they don’t reclassify the drug from a Schedule I substance, which means it is classified in the same category as heroin and other drugs that actually have no medicinal value.

NIDA has recently revised a page on its website entitled “DrugFacts: Is Marijuana Medicine?” citing a recently conducted study. The website states that: “Recent animal studies have shown that marijuana extracts may help kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others,” the NIDA report stated, adding that evidence from “one cell culture study suggests that purified extracts from whole-plant marijuana can slow the growth of cancer cells from one of the most serious types of brain tumors.”

In a study published last November it was discovered that marijuana helps “dramatically reduce” the growth of new brain cancer cells.

“The benefits of the cannabis plant elements were known before but the drastic reduction of brain cancers if used with irradiation is something new and may well prove promising for patients who are in gravely serious situations with such cancers in the future,” stated the lead researcher on the project.

Michael Phelps Marijuana

Many people and organizations claim that marijuana adversely affects physical and mental abilities, but these elite athletes prove otherwise. They are recognized for both their accolades as professional athletes and their use of marijuana. Here are seven elite athletes who have used marijuana:

1. Michael Phelps – Olympic Swimmer
2. Bill Walton – NBA Legend
3. Ricky Williams – NFL Running Back
4. Tim Lincecum – MLB Pitcher
5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – NBA Legend
6. Mark Stepnoski – NFL Player
7. Ross Rebagliati – Olympic Snowboarder

DEA Marijuana

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently recommended that the federal government should grow nearly 900 pounds of marijuana in 2015 for research purposes. An amount that is more than triple the amount it estimated it would need.

The DEA is attempting to increase the federal government’s marijuana production quantity from its estimated need of 276 pounds to 882 pounds. The agency said the government is in need of more marijuana due to the “unanticipated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States.”

This is the second year in a row that the DEA requested an increase in marijuana production from what it had estimated it would need, which reflects the rising interest in researching marijuana. Last year, the agency was approved production of 1,433 pounds of marijuana.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse needs more of the plant “to provide for ongoing and anticipated research efforts involving marijuana” stated the DEA in its request to the government to produce more marijuana.

Last month the federal government awarded about $70 million over the next five years to the University of Mississippi for researching marijuana. Ole Miss is home to the federal government’s only marijuana garden. The award renews a contract the university has held for over 40 years.

Border Patrol Marijuana

U.S. Border Patrol agents on the 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border have never been able to stop the northward flow of drugs — particularly marijuana — and the southward return stream of U.S. dollars and guns. But the quantity of one drug — marijuana — seems to have finally decreased.

The U.S. Border Patrol stated it has been steadily seizing decreasing quantities of marijuana, from 2.5 million pounds in 2011 to 1.9 million pounds in 2014. And Mexican authorities have noted an even steeper decline, confiscating 664 tons of marijuana in 2014, a decrease of 32% compared to 2013.

This decline appears to have very little to do with law enforcement and a lot to do with the influx of recreational and medical marijuana legalization in the U.S. Drug policy reformists proclaim this market shift from cartels to legalized U.S. dispensaries as a major reason. “It is no surprise to me that marijuana consumers choose to buy their product from a legal tax-paying business as opposed to a black market product that is not tested or regulated,” stated Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority. “When you go to a legal store, you know what you are getting, and that [the marijuana] is not going to be contaminated.”

The U.S.’s legal marijuana industry grew 74% in 2014 to $2.7 billion, according to an investment and research firm. The firm predicts the industry will top $4 billion by 2016.

CBD

Most people know of THC, the psychoactive substance found in marijuana that creates a “high.” But recently, news has shifted to another substance naturally found in marijuana called CBD – and for good reason. It turns out that CBD provides a majority of the medicinal benefits found in marijuana. And the evidence of CBD’s medical benefits continues to mount.

Below are five amazing facts about CBD:

1. CBD is non-psychoactive

CBD does not cause a “high.” While this makes CBD a poor choice for recreational users, it gives the substance a significant advantage as a medicine, since health professionals prefer treatments with minimal side effects.

2. CBD has a wide range of medical benefits

CBD can help with many ailments including: reduces nausea and vomiting, suppresses seizure activity, and combats psychosis disorders, inflammatory disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, tumor and cancer cells, and anxiety and depression disorders.

3. CBD reduces the effects of THC

CBD counters the effects of THC’s psychoactive “high.” Numerous studies suggest that CBD acts to reduce memory impairment, paranoia as well as appears to counteract sleep-inducing effects of marijuana.

4. CBD is a key ingredient in marijuana

CBD is one of over 60 substances found in marijuana that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these compounds, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations, and are therefore the most recognized and studied.

5. CBD is still illegal

Even though CBD shows much promise as a medicine, it remains illegal in many parts of the world. CBD is classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States and a Schedule II drug in Canada. Although, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a request to trial a pharmaceutical version of CBD in children with rare forms of epilepsy.

Marijuana Juicing

Doctors, researchers and medical professionals are finding that raw marijuana (cannabis), usually in a juiced form, is much more beneficial than if smoked or vaporized. This is because heating marijuana decarboxylates it and removes many beneficial substances. Below are some quotes from these professionals:

“If cannabis were discovered in the Amazon rainforest today, people would be clambering to make as much use as they could of all of the potential benefits of the plant. Unfortunately, it carries with it a long history of being a persecuted plant.” – Donald Abrams, chief of Hematology Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital.

“It (cannabis) has captured these molecules that help our bodies regulatory system be more effective. The bottom line is it’s a dietary essential that helps all 210 cell types function more effectively. I don’t even refer to it as medicine anymore, strictly as a dietary essential.” – Dr. William L. Courtney, dietary raw cannabis specialist.

“If you heat the plant, you will decarboxylate THC-A and you will get ‘high’. You’ll get your 10mg (of THC). If you don’t heat it, you can go up to five or six hundred milligrams, use it as a dietary cannabis and push it up to the anti-oxidant and neuro-protective levels which come into play at hundreds of milligrams. It is this dramatic increase in dose from 10 mg of psychoactive THC to the 500 mg – 1,000 mg of non-psychoactive THC-A, CBD-A, and CBG-A that comprises the primary difference between traditional ‘Medical Marijuana’ and Alternative Cannabinoid Dietary Cannabis.” – Dr. William L. Courtney, dietary raw cannabis specialist.

“CBD works on receptors, and as it turns out, we have cannabinoids in our bodies, endogenous cannabinoids, that turn out to be very effective at regulating immune functions, nerve functions, and bone functions. The endogenous cannabinoid system acts as a modulator in fine-tuning a lot of these systems, and if something is deranged biochemically in a person’s body, it may well be that a cannabinoid system can bring things back into balance.” – Ethan Russo,senior medical adviser to GW Pharmaceuticals.

“[Cannabis has the] greatest potential of any medicinal plant.” – Ethan Russo,senior medical adviser to GW Pharmaceuticals.

With statements from medical professionals such as these, it’s a wonder why cannabis is federally illegal and classified as a Schedule I substance, which means the government has concluded that it has no medicinal value whatsoever. Hopefully, in the near future, marijuana prohibition will end worldwide and humans will have access to this amazingly beneficial plant that nature has provided us with.

FL Marijuana

Only months after Florida’s medical marijuana amendment failed on the ballot, a new poll reveals an overwhelming majority of Floridians now support it.

The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, found that 84% of pollsters support legalizing medical marijuana; whereas, only 14% oppose it and 2% are undecided.

Presidential election years bring about more voters and more Democrats (who tend to support medical marijuana legalization), which means its very likely that Florida will be passing a medical marijuana law by a large majority next year.

Peter Brown, from Quinnipiac University, said it comes down to one thing: “Will the electorate in 2016 be different enough that it will make a difference in terms of meeting the threshold?”

In regards to medical marijuana, one voter stated: “I think it is going to help a lot of people, so I could not see why we would say no to it.”

Attorney John Morgan bankrolled the 2014 medical marijuana campaign with his group, United for Care. He said they already have 50,000 petition signatures out of the nearly 700,000 needed to put medical marijuana on the ballot in 2016.

IL Marijuana

Residents of Illinois have petitioned the state in an attempt to get them to add more than 20 new medical conditions to the state’s medical marijuana program. Some of the conditions include anxiety, migraines, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“I am a Vietnam vet and can only imagine how things would have been,” wrote a petitioner for PTSD. “While visiting in Colorado I had the benefit of trying cannabis in candy form…. and I felt wonderful. No thoughts of violence, self-deprecation, or hopelessness. My life would be different today.”

Marijuana is legal for medical purposes in 23 states and the District of Columbia. California, where medical marijuana laws are more lenient, doctors recommend marijuana for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, migraines and “any other illness for which marijuana provides relief,” according to the wording in the 1996 ballot initiative that made California the first state to legalize medical marijuana.

Illinois law lists dozens of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, but most if which are very serious conditions, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS. Illinois residents and the marijuana industry want Illinois to have a less restrictive medical marijuana program so that more people can obtain marijuana to help with their medical ailment(s).

The Illinois Department of Public Health must approve any additions to the list. An advisory board made up of patients, nurses, doctors and a pharmacist is reviewing the petitions and will make a recommendation after holding a public hearing May 4. People can submit petitions twice annually, in January and July. At those times, ILmmj.com will be posting an article with a link so people can submit petitions.

A doctor from the advisory board said they will be “cautious and conservative” as they view research studies, the severity of the illnesses, alternative remedies available, and what other states’ medical marijuana programs are doing.