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A Gallup poll released on Tuesday reveals that for the first time in history, Americans are more in favor of legalizing marijuana than criminalizing it. With the majority of Americans agreeing that marijuana should be legalized, we've gathered up eight reasons why those who are still on the fence about the natural plant should possibly reconsider their feelings.
You may think having a large amount of THC in your system will kill you, but you are wrong. Most polls regarding Americans and their pot use hover around the 40% mark for having tried marijuana at least once. If you are completely fine with alcohol and cigarettes, then there shouldn't be a reason you aren't accepting of marijuana as well. In a blog entry on SFGate, writer David Downs explores the best strains of marijuana to help with insomnia.
Maya Angelou, Martha Stewart, Morgan Freeman, Ted Turner, Michael Bloomberg, and even Rush Limbaugh are all high-functioning marijuana users.
One of the biggest and most widespread arguments from marijuana detractors is that smoking marijuana will lead to using other drugs. Research has shown that following a healthy eating plan can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower an already elevated blood pressure. A second clinical study, called "DASH-Sodium," looked at the effect of a reduced dietary sodium intake on blood pressure as people followed either the DASH eating plan or a typical American diet. The top number, which is the systolic blood pressure, corresponds to the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and pumps blood into the arteries.
The American Heart Association estimates high blood pressure affects approximately one in three adults in the U.S. Sign up to stay informed with the latest womens health updates on MedicineNet delivered to your inbox FREE! Describe any alternative or complementary medicine you use to treat your high blood pressure.
As described in a previous article (The interactions of herbs and drugs, 2000 START Manuscripts), the nature of herb-drug interactions is not a chemical interaction between a drug and an herb component to produce something toxic.
Such responses can occur with drug-drug interactions and with food-drug interactions, so the finding of some instances of herb-drug interaction would not be surprising. The Chinese culture is one in which herbs were a dominant medical therapy during the 20th Century, and drugs were a relatively recent addition to the medical field. Today, doctors and pharmacists are provided courses and educational materials outlining potential problems with herbs that their patients may be using. This chart first divides interaction concerns into broad subgroups, the main ones being related to pharmacodynamic interactions (mostly involved with herbs and drugs yielding similar effects or counteracting one another) and pharmacokinetics (such as changing the rate of absorption or elimination of a drug).
Due to the paucity of actual reports of herb-drug interactions, lists of herb-drug interactions are usually padded with other information, such as reports of simple adverse reactions (not involving interactions). When published reports alluding to adverse herb reactions (but not interactions) and to pharmacology studies only are eliminated, one is left with few instances of reported herb-drug interactions. Drug-herb interaction among commonly used conventional medicines: a compendium for health care professionals. Put simply, there were very few well-supported interactions detected: namely 22 that involved more than an individual report, or a simple pharmacology study, or a mere suggestion of potential interaction. If a patient merely asks you to assure that the herbs you prescribe will not interact or be a problem with a drug regimen being used at the same time, it is not possible to give such assurances. All major medical journals, and many minor medical journals, have their articles listed-and often abstracted-in a huge database maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This site (which can also be accessed through any search engine by typing in Entrez-PubMed and then following the first link) will provide a space into which the user may type the search terms, to yield a series of abstract titles, with access to abstracts (or fuller reference information when abstracts are not available). Upon hitting the return button of the keyboard or clicking on the "go" icon on the screen, the search is rapidly completed. Hazardous pharmacokinetic interaction of Saint John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) with the immunosuppressant cyclosporin. Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Charite University Medical Center, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.
Contrary to common belief, over-the-counter herbal remedies may cause clinically relevant drug interactions. The small number of reports of specific herb-drug interactions is the reason for getting this as a typical result. If a report of interaction appears, it is important to check the abstract (when provided) for details to confirm that there is an actual report of herb-drug interaction (as with the St. There are more sophisticated searches that can be performed by listing more key words to try and capture more references on the first search. Absence of a report in the literature doesn't guarantee that there is no possibility of an herb-drug interaction. It is not advisable to give firm assurances that there can be no problem, but it is also not advisable to overstate the concerns.
The herbs mentioned in this abstract are those suspected of interacting with Warfarin, a drug with a narrow therapeutic window often used by sensitive patient populations. As noted above, the drug with greatest concern for interactions is Warfarin, but there is also a concern for interaction with any blood-thinning drug. Potential interactions between herbal medicines and conventional drug therapies used by older adults attending a memory clinic. OBJECTIVE: Herbal medicines and conventional drug therapies are often taken in combination.
This report would seem to give a shocking result: that nearly one-third of herb users (at least, among this elderly population) were at risk for herb-drug interactions.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), particularly aspirin, have the potential to interact with herbal supplements that are known to possess antiplatelet activity (ginkgo, garlic, ginger, bilberry, dong quai, feverfew, ginseng, turmeric, meadowsweet and willow), with those containing coumarin (chamomile, motherwort, horse chestnut, fenugreek and red clover) and with tamarind, enhancing the risk of bleeding.
A mild antiplatelet activity for ginkgo has been proposed as one of its mechanisms for aiding circulation to the brain and, thereby, enhancing memory. Since elderly patients are more susceptible to spontaneous bleeds due to weakness of capillaries as well as having a prolonged healing time for response to incidents, this caution would seem reasonable.
Researchers who are working to demonstrate the potential health value of herbs may be drawn to demonstrating the anti-coagulation potential for herbs during laboratory animal studies.


To be safe, a practitioner would either not prescribe ginkgo to a regular user of NSAIDS, especially aspirin and particularly for the elderly patient. Millions of people regularly take blood-thinning drugs such Warfarin, and even more take aspirin and similar medications to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Herbs may interact with the blood thinning drugs in different ways, some of them beneficial, some of them potentially harmful. Meanwhile, physicians are starting to realize that many herbs possess potent pharmacological activity.
Vitamin K is found in high concentrations in many foods, including dark green leafy vegetables (especially turnip greens), alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, egg yolks and dairy products. Another aspect of blood clotting involves the clumping together of platelets: the combination of platelets clumps and the fibrin clot is what causes blood to thicken into full clots.
If using anticoagulants has impaired a person's normal clotting mechanism, good platelet function is obviously an important backup system. If your doctor starts you on anticoagulant medication and your diet already includes vegetables rich in vitamin K. While you're taking anticoagulants, avoid regular use of concentrated, standardized extracts of herbs that are known to have antiplatelet activity, such as ginkgo, which is commonly sold as 50:1 concentrate.
If you are generally healthy and taking an antiplatelet drug such as aspirin for preventive purposes, you may want to try switching to ginkgo, which has many benefits. Given the increasingly large number of people taking complex mixtures of herbs, vitamins and drugs, it's probable that we will see more reports of side effects and negative interactions.
Cupp MJ, Herbal remedies: adverse effects and drug interactions, American Family Physician 1999.
Chang HM and But PPH (editors), Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica, (2 vols.), 1986 World Scientific, Singapore.
2013 has markedly been a successful year for marijuana legalization, with Colorado and Washington both passing laws to decriminalize the drug.
Ever since marijuana has been known to mankind, not one single account of death from overdose has been recorded. This is compared to the 16% of Americans who have tried cocaine, which is obviously a significantly lower percentage. As you can see from a 2010 study published in the Lancet and reported on by the Economist, a team of drug experts in the U.K. Downs found a quote from researcher I Feinberg, from "Clinical Pharmacology Therapy" in 1976, that says, "The effect on sleep of THC administration closely resembles those induced by lithium." Also, the National Cancer Institute announced in a study that patients who ingested a cannabis plant extract spray reported more restful sleep. According to a Discovery Health article, marijuana has been extremely successful in relieving nausea, which is extremely good news for cancer patients suffering from nausea as a side effect of chemotherapy.
Stewart, who is 72 years old, gave an interview with Bravo's Andy Cohen over the summer of 2013 where she talked about "sloppy joints" and flat out said, "Of course I know how to roll a joint." And this isn't just an argument about how the "cool kids" do it and therefore so should you.
As Scientific American points out, the studies that show people who use marijuana first before trying other drugs is correlation and not causation. Results showed that reducing dietary sodium lowered blood pressure for both the DASH eating plan and the typical American diet. But for a true winning combination, follow the DASH eating plan and lower your intake of salt and sodium. Arteries are vessels that carry blood from the pumping heart to all the tissues and organs of the body. The bottom number, the diastolic pressure, represents the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes after the contraction. These complications of hypertension are often referred to as end-organ damage because damage to these organs is the end result of chronic (long duration) high blood pressure. See inside the arteries and learn causes, symptoms, tests, treatments and remedies to stop this silent killer. This is likely due to the low dose of any individual herb component usually consumed and the simple absence of significant interaction at any reasonable dose.
A variety of electronic databases and hand-searched references were used to identify documentation of interactions between herbal products and drugs from the most commonly used therapeutic classes.
With the enclosed report we would like to alert other physicians that herbal extracts of Saint John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) may cause a sudden remarkable decrease of cyclosporin trough concentrations. These herbs are often provided in single-herb products where they are at a relatively large dosage.
The objective of our study was to identify the range of natural health products and conventional drug therapies used by older adults (aged 65 years and over) attending a memory clinic, and to specifically evaluate the frequency of potential interactions between herbal medicines and conventional drug therapies. Preferably avoid use in patients on antiplatelet (aspirin, dipyridamole, ticlopidine) or anticoagulant (Warfarin) therapy. At the same time, with the use of herbal medicines more popular now than ever, surveys show that most people don't tell their physicians about their use of herbs or vitamin supplements.
Concerns have been raised in prominent medical journals that this activity could have detrimental effects, especially for patients taking certain types of medications.
Doctors typically give anticoagulant to people with high risk of blood clotting, such as those who have artificial heart valves, deep vein thrombosis (a large blood clot) in the legs, or arterial fibrillation (a chronic irregularity in heart rhythm).
Well, there are several options, depending on the degree of effort one is willing to put out. While a daily cup of ginkgo tea or dropperful of tincture is unlikely to cause problems, the extract is much more potent.
Marijuana is becoming more and more ubiquitous every year despite being less addictive than coffee. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, recently wrote in his essay, "Why I Changed My Mind About Weed," that we have been "systematically misled" on marijuana. There are big-time business people, such as Richard Branson, who couldn't have accomplished as much as they have if they were being debilitated by a killer drug. People who go on to use harder drugs also tend to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol before trying the other substances plus with with our current stigma on pot only people who are predisposed to being a "outlaw drug user" are going to smoke pot. Study results indicated that elevated blood pressures were reduced by an eating plan that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and lowfat dairy foods and is low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol. The biggest blood pressure-lowering benefits were for those eating the DASH eating plan at the lowest sodium level (1,500 milligrams per day).


For that reason, the diagnosis of high blood pressure is important so efforts can be made to normalize blood pressure and prevent complications. MEDLINE, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, CINHAL, HealthSTAR, and EMBASE were searched from 1966 to the present. John's Wort the most common herb (54 cases) involved." Thus, 14 cases were well-documented in this report published about 2 years earlier than the new report which found 22 reasonably supported cases.
A kidney transplantation patient treated with 75 mg bid doses of cyclosporin for many years experienced a sudden drop in her cyclosporin trough concentrations. DESIGN: We interviewed consecutive patients attending the Memory Disorders Clinic at the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, a University of Toronto teaching hospital, between 4 July and 15 August 2000. Cautious physicians have chosen the route of absolute avoidance rather than risk an adverse reaction, they recommend that patients stop taking herbs altogether.
The process by which blood thickens into a clot involves a chain reaction: various proteins interact to produce thrombin, which then produces fibrin, the protein material that forms the clot's core. Or, if you are taking antiplatelet drugs everyday, the addition of ginkgo or one of the herbs listed in the first two sections of the chart above could lead to uncontrolled bleeding. This same rationale applies to concentrated forms of any of the antiplatelet herbs, although it's probably safe to eat fresh ginger or garlic in food or to have a cup or two of green tea every day. But rather than turning back the clock on herbal medicine, I propose learning from these examples and upgrading our database of medical information.
The negative stigma of pot use has certainly made it seem like it's worse, and since using the drug is still illegal, the fact that only people who are willing to break the law will smoke has inevitably made it associated with a "pothead" culture.
Sure, there is a difference between the marijuana use of a "pothead" and Oprah Winfrey, but we shouldn't continue punishing the moderate users.
On top of all of this, as mentioned above, nearly half the country has already tried pot which is more than how many Americans know who Jennifer Lawrence is and much much more than the percentage of Americans who are left-handed. The DASH eating plan includes whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts and has reduced amounts of fats, red meats, sweets, and sugared beverages. This change was in temporal relationship to hypericum extract co-medication, and a re-challenge gave similar results….The potential clinical consequence of this pharmacokinetic herb-drug interaction is apparent, since low cyclosporin levels are associated with an increased risk of rejection after organ transplantation and are usually not suspected upon intake of plant products…. Several of these interacting proteins are made in the liver, where vitamin K is essential for their production.
In this situation, it's more important that if your diet changes, you inform your doctor so that the PT can be checked again. If you feel that it's essential to your health to continue taking any of the anticoagulant or antiplatelet herbs listed in the chart along with prescription, there's another option.
Cocaine hooks about 20 percent of its users, and heroin gets 25 percent of its users addicted. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. We collected information on current and previously-used natural health products and current conventional drug therapies. Aspirin is the most common antiplatelet agent; others include dipyridamole (Persantine), sulfinpyrazone (Anturane), clopidogrel (Plavix), and ticlodipine (Ticlid). Ask your doctor if he or she would be willing to monitor your bleeding time along with the PT. A world where instead of drinking cheap beer, a hopeful political candidate can roll a joint to seem like the "people's choice" doesn't have to seem crazy. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey. Using a matrix of 165 possible drug-herb interaction pairs (15 therapeutic drug classes by 11 herbal products), we identified 51 (31%) interactions discussed in the literature. John's Wort declined dramatically after revelations that it could cause herb-drug interactions along with reports questioning its effectiveness. Patients were classified as having the potential for an interaction if they were using a current herbal medicine in combination with a conventional drug therapy and the interaction had been reported previously in the medical literature.
If your bleeding time stays on normal range, you're less likely to have an unexpected hemhorrage. Twenty-two of these 51 drug-herb pairs (43%) were supported by randomized clinical trials, case-control studies, cohort studies, case series, or case studies.
PARTICIPANTS: We interviewed 195 consecutive patients attending the Memory Disorders Clinic at the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The remaining interaction pairs reflected theoretic reasoning in the absence of clinical data. RESULTS: Of the 195 patients in our sample, 33 (17%) were 'current users', 19 (10%) were "past users," and 143 (73%) were "never users" of herbal medicines. Most interactions were pharmacokinetic, with most actually or theoretically affecting the metabolism of the affected product by way of the cytochrome P450 enzymes. Among the 52 patients who were "current or past users," the most frequently used herbal medicines were ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) [39 users], garlic (n = 10), glucosamine sulphate (n = 9), and echinacea (n = 8). Among the 33 patients who were current users, the most commonly-used herbal medicines were ginkgo (n = 22), glucosamine sulphate (n = 8) and garlic (n = 6).
Among the 33 current users, we identified 11 potential herb-drug interactions in nine patients. To create a comprehensive and valid list of herb-drug interactions would require a substantial increase in research activities in this area.
The 11 herb-drug interactions we identified were between ginkgo and aspirin [n = 8], ginkgo and trazodone (n = 1), ginseng and amlodipine (n = 1), and valerian and lorazepam (n = 1). Almost one-third of current users of herbal medicines were at risk of a herb-drug interaction. John's Wort has been blamed for several instances of transplant rejection due to its lowering of cyclosporin concentrations. This finding has important potential implications because both of these products are regularly used by older people.



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