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article imageOp-Ed: Cannabis ‘reverses brain aging, improves memory’: New study

By Paul Wallis     May 11, 2017 in Health
Jerusalem - For decades, the War on Weed has emphasized health risks. For the last 20 years, nothing but health positives have been discovered. A new study throws a light on both fake news of the past and fabulous science of the future.
A study by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has found evidence of reversal of the brain aging process in mice. Mice experience cognitive decline at an age of 12 months. Test subjects showed equivalent reversal of brain function in older mice in both learning and memory. They reverted to the same baseline cognitive abilities of two month old mice. It seems that in this case low doses of THC, the “stone factor” in cannabis, are the working agents in rejuvenation. Mice without THC receptors did poorly in the testing.
The next step is to be human trials, hopefully without the usual legal obstructions. All humans have THC receptors, so there are some good reasons for thinking this line of research will be productive. (Exactly why humans have THC receptors would be a useful line of research, too; must be some good reason.) The great significance in this research is the possibility of drastically improving quality of life for those with cognitive problems, and ending the horrors of some cognitive conditions. Reversing aging can be considered a bonus.
I’m not going to regurgitate the study findings, which are available with further useful citations on Science Daily. This study is the result of years of research, and needs to be read firsthand without “interpretation”.
Meanwhile - Anyone who’s been watching cannabis research in other fields, like Huntington’s Disease, will be aware of the sometimes astonishing potentials of cannabis in a vast range of functions.
Study in absurdity - The decades of systemic disinformation about cannabis
This is yet another discovery of great significance for humanity, achieved despite the hysteria of the anti-cannabis lobby. The anti-cannabis lobby is itself a study in disinformation. If you check out the fake news factor in anti-cannabis media, you’ll find it’s all very familiar. The anti-cannabis hate campaign began without any science at all. It was based on nothing but assertions with no basis in fact. It was promoted by the usual “If people like it, make it illegal” policy approach.
It was a typical conservative crusade from the start. Cannabis was portrayed as immoral, even un-American, and of course dangerous for any number of reasons. Later, people from the usual cycles of disinformation churned out articles which “found new evidence of harm”, while real science has been finding the exact opposite for decades.
The anti-cannabis propaganda was bizarre and totally inconsistent. You’d become either a slut, gay, a murderer or dead if you used cannabis, depending on which source you saw. Nice to have a choice, of course, but consistency wasn’t part of the message.
(You'll notice a certain amount of voyeurism in just about all anti-cannabis propaganda. No coincidence.)
This maniacal babbling was based on absolutely nothing at all in factual terms. A high incidence of cannabis use may have provoked sudden runs on junk food, but other than that, there wasn’t much in the way of social destruction, either.
The War on Weed, fuelled by the propaganda, did achieve a few things:
1. It made organized crime a lot richer.
2. It used up astonishing, vastly expensive amounts of court time.
3. It totally destroyed the credibility of the anti-cannabis campaign for anyone who’d ever actually used the stuff.
4. It was among the first major sustained fake news campaigns.
Analysis of the disinformation is pretty straightforward:
• Just about every single thing in the anti-cannabis campaign was pure garbage, medically and scientifically. It’s not addictive, for example. There were no long term effects. Generations of people have used cannabis with no ill effects.
• The observed effects of using cannabis were irrefutably the exact opposite to the propaganda.
• The hate campaign was self-destructive. The anti-cannabis propaganda wised up a lot of people to the blatant falsehoods of other propaganda.
• It definitely didn’t stop hundreds of millions/billions of people using cannabis, to this day. The failure is absolute, total, and ongoing.
• Cannabis is known to reduce stress and anxiety, help with pain management, and generally assist with mental relaxation. In a nutcase society based on stress, that’s a major achievement.
In effect, the anti-cannabis campaign couldn’t have been more ineffective. God knows how much money was wasted on it. The whole anti-cannabis idea is totally obsolete and ridiculous in so many ways, but it remains a pillar of the conservative world view.
The anti-cannabis lobby and fake news
Cannabis has been in use for thousands of years, and had never, until the anti-cannabis crusade, been associated with any sort of health problems of any kind. The entire anti-cannabis campaign was fabricated from day one, simply to push a political/social position. It was a type of McCarthyism, applied in much the same way as modern fake news.
The reasons for its total failure may be the lasting legacy of the anti-cannabis campaign, and it’s an appropriate nail in the coffin of fake news:
• You can promote your fake BS only to the point where it’s obviously wrong.
• Where observed facts contradict fake news, fake news is a major liability.
• The more credibility your fake news loses, the more credibility you lose.
• Therefore, the more fake news you produce, the greater the likelihood of the exact opposite response.
Fake news comes and goes. Cannabis is here to stay. Get the message?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Cannabis, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Marijuana, medical uses of marijuana, Antiaging
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