Blood THC Levels After Smoking Pot Are Useless in Defining “Too High to Drive”

Measuring ‘drunk’ is pretty easy; the more alcohol someone drinks, the more alcohol shows up in that person’s blood and the more impaired that person becomes, falling somewhere on a scale of tipsy to wasted. Measuring ‘high,’ on the other hand, is far hazier—much to the dismay of some states’ law enforcement.

Blood tests that try to quantify marijuana use are in fact useless at assessing how impaired a driver is, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In other words, the study found that people with low blood amounts of THC—or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive component of pot—may still act as if they’re really stoned. On the other hand, some people may have THC measurements off the charts yet still act normally.

Source: Blood THC levels after smoking pot are useless in defining “too high to drive”

They just need to devise a test that measures how hungry and connected to the universe you feel.

The problem is that pot stays in your system for a long time even after you are no longer “high”. You could still test positive for some time after you last smoked.

How to Sous Vide Your Own Medical Marijuana Edibles

If there is one thing an immersion circulator is good for, it is infusions. The precise temperature of the water bath gives you greater control over your results, and allows you to basically “fix it and forget it.” This is good for extracting all kinds of things, but today we’re going to extract some THC.

Source: How to Sous Vide Your Own Medical Marijuana Edibles

Q: Would the caramel set? If so you could make chocolate salted caramel shortbread with it.

It’s not that kind of sauce, sadly.

You might be able to thin it out with a little additional liquid and then reduce it to get the viscosity you’d want for a confectionary glaze/sauce to “set”, but removing anything additional liquid through reduction is likely to further intensify the already intense THC.

Make Better Marijuana Edibles with These Tips from a Weed Chef

With 4/20 approaching, we thought we’d ask Jeff to share some easy ways to improve your cannabis-inclusive cooking.

Source: The “Julia Child of Weed” Explains How You’re Making Edibles Wrong

Edibles have just never done the job for me. Just never got me high, even with batches that got other people really really high (as in, woke up the next day still incapacitated).

Marijuana Exposure in Utero has Lifelong Consequences

As marijuana is legalized in more states, questions about its safety and the health consequences of cannabis use are becoming mainstream. A new study published in PNAS finds that use of cannabis by pregnant women can have implications for the neural development of her child and that some of the consequences continue into adulthood, So, like alcohol, another recreational drug that is legal in the US, marijuana is likely best avoided by pregnant women.

…This study isn’t conclusive about effects in humans; it was done in mice, and it used a regular dose that may not reflect human use habits. But at a bare minimum, these findings suggest we should be avoiding recreational cannabis use during pregnancy. Perhaps someday soon legal marijuana will come with a “do not consume while pregnant” warning, just like alcohol does.

Source: Marijuana exposure in utero has lifelong consequences

If diesel exhaust changes the expression of our DNA, and air pollution gets into the body via the skin…  Not at all surprising…

There are many reasons a pregnant woman would want to know if it is safe to consume marijuana during pregnancy that aren’t just her being stupid selfish person wanting to get high and not caring about the baby. During the first trimester, marijuana can help with the often debilitating nausea. In the third trimester, it can help with the pain and discomfort especially when trying to sleep. Marijuana can also help with anxiety throughout pregnancy. We should not just dismiss the potential benefits of marijuana offhand because frat boys like to do bong rips and watch silly movies on Tuesday nights. There are legitimate medical benefits and studying if there are lasting harmful effects could provide relief to pregnant women.

Run in the Morning for a Better Chance of Getting a Runner’s High

Recently, researchers studied how the brain responds to running and found that the ability to get “high” while logging miles might be hard-wired within us. Years ago, our ancestors’ survival likely depended on chasing down food. The desire to live was possibly their motivation to run and run fast, and the feel-good brain chemicals released when they did so may have helped them achieve the speed and distances required, says David A. Raichlen, Ph.D., an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona. The runner’s high may have served (and serves today) as a natural painkiller, masking tired legs and blistered feet, he says.

Even though you no longer have to chase down dinner, learning how happy brain reactions are sparked may help you achieve the runner’s high more often.

Source: How to Achieve a Runner’s High

I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced runner’s high, but I don’t do much distance.  My breathing distracts me from a lot of things, and given my pace – I’d make a really good zombie 😉

Study: Cannabinoid CBD “Enhances Bone Fracture Healing” in Rat Model

Cannabinoid ligands regulate bone mass, but skeletal effects of cannabis (marijuana and hashish) have not been reported. Bone fractures are highly prevalent, involving prolonged immobilization and discomfort. Here we report that the major non-psychoactive cannabis constituent, cannabidiol (CBD), enhances the biomechanical properties of healing rat mid-femoral fractures.

Source: Cannabidiol, a Major Non-Psychotrophic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts.

Bone Fracture Healing 101

Basically, after a fracture you get an initial cartilaginous callus that forms across the gap. That callus then mineralizes, and is replaced by a bony callus, which is remodeled into mature bone. It is fairly well known that there are cannabinoid receptors that are involved in picking up the endocannibinoids (the cannabinoid molecules that your body produces) and have an effect in bone fracture healing.

CBD 101

  1. Cannabidiol/CBD is a key component in cannabis
  2. CBD is non-psychoactive, and the active compound in medical marijuana
  3. CBD reduces the negative effects of THC
  4. CBD is illegal, classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States and a Schedule II drug in Canada

What this Paper Did

They performed three experiments.

The first experiment was testing the effects of administering:

  • just THC
  • just CBD
  • or a control

…on structural and mechanical properties of the fracture healing. These rats received femoral fractures following having a pin put in place to stabilize the fracture. They then began receiving 5 mg/kg/day doses of THC, CBD, or just the delivery solution. They then sacrificed the rats at various time points (2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks), and examined the fracture using microcomputed tomography and mechanical testing. At 4 weeks, it looks like this: figure, caption, where you can see callus formation. They found that the callus size in rats administered either THC or CBD was ~26% smaller than the control rats at the 4 week time point, but this was not present in the 6 or 8 week time points. This can be seen in this figure, caption. They then performed mechanical testing on the bone and found an enhancement of ~35% maximal force and ~50% work to failure in the CBD treated bones at the 8 week time point, but not in THC or control bones. The ultimate displacement at failure was not increased (how much the bone bends before it breaks), which indicates that the improvement in work to failure (basically, how tough the bone is) was due to strength improvements.

In the second experiment, they were testing the effect of delivery a mixture of equal amounts of THC and CBD on the mechanical properties of the callus because that is about the ratio recommended in most therapeutic cannabis. In this experiment, they only looked at the mechanical properties. The results can be seen here: figure, caption, but basically they found that the addition of THC slightly improved the maximal force, but eliminated the increased work to failure at 8 weeks. There were improvements at 6 weeks. I personally have problems with this comparison, because they were comparing the results from this 2nd experiment directly to the prior experiment, rather than adding additional groups to the 2nd experiment. It may be valid, but if there were odd changes they didn’t realize between experiments it could have an effect here.

Next, they wanted to assess the effects of THC and CBD on bone material properties so they could figure out what the mechanism of action of the CBD fracture healing effect. They analyzed the material density of the mineralized matrix, and found no differences between the treatment groups (see figure, caption), and found that there was no change in the actual mineralization. That means the effects of the CBD were coming from changes to the organic component of bone.

To show this, they cultured osteoblasts (the cells that produce bone), and administered CBD to the osteoblasts. They looked at the expression of PLOD1, which is an gene that creates an enzyme that plays a role in collagen crosslinking. The results are here: figure, caption. Basically, they found that there was an increase in expression for CBD at moderate levels, but decreased at higher concentrations (fairly expected). THC showed an increase at high levels of the PLOD2 gene, but didn’t show an effect on PLOD1.

They then performed spectroscopy on the callus tissue of the specimens from the first 2 experiments, and found the degree of collagen crosslinking was greater in samples that had been treated with CBD alone, but did not see any increase in either THC, or CBD+THC. I can’t post the figures with the data, because they appear to have forgotten to include them (I assume the publishers will catch this prior to full publication).

Summary

They found that delivery of CBD alone promoted improvement in some of the mechanical properties in fracture healing. The actual amount is a bit hard to tell, but it was enough to be statistically significant (P<0.05) using a very nonconservative test (Fisher’s LSD, which is commonly used, and in my opinion, overused). Their results also indicated that the impact comes during the late stages of bone healing (I would be curious to see a test with injections starting at 5 weeks or so), and they believe it may be due to increased collagen crosslinking. Further research is needed because this is very preliminary. There was no evidence that smoking cannabis (or vaping, or eating) would provide the benefits that they saw here, because they were testing using injections under the skin.

TLDR

Cannabinoid, but not THC provides some improvement in mechanical properties during fracture healing, maybe due to increased collagen crosslinking. More research is necessary. This does not recommend smoking cannabis.

Supposition

Maybe this could be used to stave off osteoporosis?