People who regularly use cannabis may need up to twice the amount of sedatives that non-users require for medical procedures, a new study shows.
The study, published on Monday in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, tested three common sedation drugs: fentanyl, midazolam, and propofol. Researchers analyzed the medical records of 250 patients who had endoscopic procedures over the course of two years in Colorado, after marijuana use was legalized.
The study found that cannabis users required an average of 14 percent more fentanyl, 20 percent more midazolam, and a whopping 220 percent more propofol than non-users.
Like many drugs, sedative drugs often come with side effects — so administering a higher dose can lead to a "greater likelihood for problems," CNN explains. This study was conducted on a very small scale, which means further research will be required before any real conclusions can be drawn. But it still indicates that if you use cannabis, or perhaps even other recreational drugs, on a regular basis, you might be best off letting your doctor know before you go under. Read more about the study at CNN. Shivani Ishwar
"Smoke weed every Wednesday" could become a new mantra for members of Indiana's First Church of Cannabis, which held its first formal service today.
Indiana made waves a few months ago when it passed a controversial version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), banning state and local laws that could "substantially burden" religious freedom. Critics of RFRA were concerned it would permit discrimination against the LGBT community, using religion as justification. Though the legislation was later amended to prevent such occurrences, Bill Levin, founder and "Grand Poobah and Minister of Love," created the First Church of Cannabis as a way to test the law.
"Of course I'm going to test this law," said Levin, a religious smoker himself, in an interview with U.S. News. "We're building a church with the cornerstone of love, the way religions are supposed to be built.”
In the middle of Wednesday afternoon, when plenty of attendees apparently had time on their hands, the church held its first-ever service. The proceedings had many things a regular church-goer would expect — including a performance of "Amazing Grace", a collection, and even a sermon — though there were, of course, some eccentric flourishes (church leaders took shots of "Kool Aid" at one point).
It turns out that our ancient forebears may have asked each other precisely that question, according to new research by anthropologists at Washington State University. A study of the Aka pygmies of the Congo basin revealed that those who smoked marijuana were less likely to suffer from intestinal worms, indicating they were ingesting the drug as a kind of unconscious medical remedy.
"In the same way we have a taste for salt, we might have a taste for psychoactive plant toxins, because these things kill parasites," says WSU professor Ed Hagen.