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Colorado Pot Crops Found to Have Dangerous Levels of Pesticides

Colorado Pot Crops Found to Have Dangerous Levels of PesticidesAs green as Colorado is known to be, it looks like their marijuana crops are not as green as one would hope.Recent studies reveal that Colorado’s marijuana crops have “dangerous levels” of pesticides and the news is inciting panic among people and the state’s agricultural agencies.

According to last week’s CNN report, at least one legal over-the-counter pot product tested positive for illegally high levels of the neurotoxin imidacloprid. The news of the pesticides led to a recall of 2,362 pot products.

Unfortunately, this is not the first study to find toxins in marijuana products. Just last September, a study from the Denver Post found that the marijuana products they tested contained six times the legal amount of pesticides in consumable products.

To put it in perspective, if the same amount of pesticides were found on a food product like avocados, they would be immediately pulled off the shelves. However, since Colorado only recently legalized marijuana, they are still figuring out how to deal with these types of issues.

Since marijuana remains illegal on a federal level, there is no FDA regulation to step in and correct the issue leaving pesticide legislation up to the states. This lack of government oversight leads to confusion on the quantities of pesticides that should be allowed in marijuana products.

The Ever-Changing Cannabis Laws

The marijuana businesses in Colorado are not required to test products for pesticides before they sell them. They also do not have to test products before making them available for sale. Instead, consumers and businesses must exercise extreme caution before selling and consuming unregulated products. Various state agencies are hoping to remedy this problem.

As for now, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper just issued an executive order earlier this month allowing state agencies the authority to pull products off the shelves and destroy them if they contain higher than the approved levels of pesticides.

“When a pesticide is applied to a crop in a manner that is inconsistent with the pesticide’s label, and the crop is contaminated by that pesticide, it constitutes a threat to the public safety,” the order said.

The Denver Post reported that Colorado is also working to pass a legislation preventing illegal pesticides from being used in the first place. Legislator is working to pass rules that would limit the amount of pesticides used in marijuana that are approved for consumption. The goal is that eventually marijuana will be used safely in greenhouses and will be safer for human consumption. Until then, Colorado cannabis lover must remember to proceed with caution.

With the news of pesticides in marijuana products, it is important to know the environmental impacts of marijuana farms. We have discussed in detail how marijuana farms are causing serious damage to the environment in areas like California. In California, run-off from marijuana farms get into the water and causes damage to the ecosystem. Also, since marijuana requires high amount of water to grow successfully, California is facing a major water shortage and marijuana farms are part of the problem.

The fact that marijuana is only legal on a state by state basis makes the process of establishing clear procedures difficult since regulations are not able to be considered on a federal level. In states where marijuana is legal, businesses have to rely on cash-only transactions as they are unable to use federal banking systems.

Overall, the issue of marijuana reform is an increasingly complex issue and in the future, solutions to the problems of legalization will be addressed. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

-Author: Shernide Delva

Marijuana Use May Lead to Prediabetes

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Author: Shernide Delva

All across the country, marijuana reform continues to stir up controversy and make headlines. A few states have even legalized marijuana for recreational use. Other states remain focused on the medical benefits of the drug. Marijuana has gained significant attention for its medicinal benefits. Various studies show that marijuana can be beneficial for certain health conditions.

However, a new study reveals marijuana could increase the risk of developing prediabetes.  When a person develops prediabetes, their sugar levels become abnormally high yet not high enough to warrant a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

In the study, researchers discovered that people who used a large amount of marijuana in their young adulthood were 40 percent more likely to develop prediabetes as middle-aged adults compared to those who never tried the drugs.

These findings contradict past studies that showed marijuana reducing the risk of diabetes. Previous studies looking at marijuana use had found that users have lower rates of diabetes compared with nonusers. However, those studies only examined marijuana use during the time of the study.  Furthermore, it was unclear if the participants researched were using marijuana before they had diabetes, or afterward.

This is the first study to actually examine marijuana use over a period of years. Michael Bancks, lead author of the study, explained the reason for this new research.

“We felt we could address the potential limitations of previous research and add new information to our understanding of the relationship between marijuana use and subsequent metabolic health,” said Bancks.

It’s important to note that the study does not state that marijuana causes diabetes; it only says that it increases the risk of developing prediabetes. Marijuana was not linked to an increase risk of having type 2 diabetes.

The new study contradicts the recent evidence that marijuana may reduce the risk of diabetes. It’s unclear how marijuana can increase the risk of prediabetes, yet not diabetes, the study explains.

The study offered two possibilities for this observation.

  • For one, it’s likely that people who were more prone to developing diabetes were not included in the study because participants had to be free of diabetes at the time of the study.
  • Secondly, marijuana may have a larger impact on blood sugar levels in the prediabetic range than in the diabetes range.

More research is needed to study the possible link and future studies will look at different groups of people, how marijuana is consumed and the amount consumed.

Still, Bancks encourages doctors to discuss the potential risks of using marijuana with their patients. People who use marijuana should be aware that is could increase their risk of developing prediabetes. Doctors should monitor sugar levels with patients with “an extensive history of marijuana use,” Bancks stated.

As marijuana use becomes more prevalent, researchers are taking a hard look at the health effects of the drug. In 2014, researchers highlighted other health risks of marijuana use like increased risk of cognitive impairment and psychoses.

“There are many questions about the health effects of marijuana use where the answers are unknown,” Bancks said. “The increased legalization and use of marijuana will draw more attention from researchers and users, and we will learn more as research on the health effects of marijuana use increases.”

The study was conducted over 30 years and took into consideration factors such as age, sex, race, tobacco and alcohol use, education level, medication use, psycho-social well-being, and lifestyle factors like diet, exercise frequency, and other drug use. Although many were dropped out of the study over the course of 30 years, the remaining participants made up more than 2500 people.

More than half of the participants developed prediabetes and were 65 percent more likely to have prediabetes than those who did not smoke, the study conclude. Even among those who stopped smoking, their risk was 23 percent more likely than nonsmokers.

So although marijuana reform is a hot topic, marijuana is still a drug that could be detrimental to our health. Abusing any drug is not healthy.  If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

In the News: CNN’s Sanjay Gupta: I Was Wrong About Weed

In an essay titled “Why I Changed My Mind on Weed,” written for CNN’s website, one of America’s most prominent doctors says he has shifted his stance in support of medical marijuana.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent at CNN and a contributing medical correspondent at CBS News describes his change of heart that occurred while filming a documentary, aptly titled, “Weed.”

“I have apologized for some of the earlier reporting because I think, you know, we’ve been terribly and systematically misled in this country for some time,” Gupta told Piers Morgan on CNN Wednesday night. “And I did part of that misleading.”

Gupta has spoken out against the use of medical marijuana in the past, including penning a TIME magazine article in 2009 titled, “Why I Would Vote No on Pot”.

Gupta says he was too dismissive of the “loud chorus” of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved with help from medical marijuana. He now says, “I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof.”

For a substance to be labeled schedule 1, it must meet have no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse. Heroin and LSD are both schedule 1 substances.

Dr. Gupta says that the DEA does not have sound scientific evidence for labeling marijuana a Schedule 1 substance.

“They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true.” He wrote.

Critics are skeptical about Gupta’s change of heart, and say his announcement was engineered by CNN to gain publicity for “Weed”, which airs Sunday on the network.

They also say that Gupta’s own scientific data is lacking, and he relies very heavily on anecdotal evidence. Marijuana is still largely untested, and some have said it is irresponsible of Dr. Gupta to recommend the treatment before rigorous research has been conducted.

Gupta does, however, point out that there are barriers to such research, including a stricter approval process that has to go through health agencies like the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

He also states that as a father, he worried about marijuana’s effects on the developing brain. Recent research suggests marijuana may affect a teen’s IQ or raise risk for psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia. He says he wouldn’t permit his own kids to try it until they are adults.

If you or someone you know is in need of alcohol or drug addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.

 

 

Sources:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/08/health/gupta-changed-mind-marijuana/

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/blogs/daily-dose/2013/08/09/sanjay-gupta-new-pro-medical-marijuana-stance-irresponsible/rRk8DqzWy3XmTqJFjdFR6K/blog.html

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