Mob morality and the unvaxxed.
The fear operating in the ostracism of the unvaxxed is mostly not fear of disease, though disease may be its proxy. The main fear, old as humanity, is of a social contagion. It is fear of association with the outcasts, coded as moral indignation.
I’m a Luddite. You should be one too.
I’m also a social scientist who studies how new technologies affect politics, economics and society. For me, Luddism is not a naive feeling, but a considered position.
I have one of the most advanced prosthetic arms in the world — and I hate it.
When my new, 21st-century arm arrived, I hosted an “arm party,” an absurdist celebration of the new device as well as a farewell for a pile of old, passive arms with broken silicone fingers held on with Band-Aids.
If finding new ways to live sustainably has become a priority for you why not consider living in a sustainable community? For some, sustainability has revolved around … Read the rest
The post What Are the Benefits of Living in a Sustainable Community? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.
I just had to take a moment to thank my camerawoman.
Rachel has been such a trooper getting our videos recorded. She does a great job learning the equipment, working on shots and trying to find interesting angles. Sometimes it’s hard for her to get down low because of her current delicate condition, but she does it anyhow, getting those awesome shots like a boss.
As I’ve moved into using vintage lenses, she has learned those as well. She now prefers the manual focus lenses to the new autofocus ones and over the last few weeks has gotten much better at using them. It’s tricky to get perfect focus and learn how to use the different focal lengths on prime lenses. Both of us had some failed experiments in the beginning, but it’s coming together and the character of the footage is beautiful.
You know… I think I may be in love with my camerawoman.
Today we head to town for her mid-pregnancy ultrasound appointment. It’ll be fun seeing our baby. Have a great day. I’ll be posting the latest video shortly.
If you love the taste of sweet corn in the middle of summer and you are looking for the best way to enjoy it all year long than freezing it …
The post How To Freeze Sweet Corn – Step By Step Instructions Included appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.
Whether we’re talking about nurses, surgeons, or general practitioners, the US has already experienced a shortage of healthcare workers. Is it about to get worse? We’ve already … Read the rest
The post Is the US About to Experience a Massive Shortage of Healthcare Workers? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.
What did the National Academies of Sciences’ 468-page report conclude about cannabis?
When some misinformed people hear of the grand opening of a new plant-based medical practice, one plant in particular may come to mind. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about cannabis over the years, and I figure it’s high time to try to clear the haze. I didn’t want to just take a pot shot, just a tokin’ effort, and end up with a half-baked puff piece. There are burning issues about a growing industry. With so much buzz and smoke and mirrors, the science can really take a hit. Are there acute chronic effects? Perhaps blunt trauma from impaired driving? I wanted to give the straight dope and weed out any doobie-ous research. It’s been quite a trip. In fact, 420 articles were published within just a few months!
My video The Institute of Medicine Report on the Health Effects of Marijuana dives into the review everyone was waiting for: the 2017 “current state of evidence” from the Institute of Medicine “tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of…the health effects of using cannabis and cannabis-derived products.” The reviewers started with 24,000 sources, which they whittled down to about 10,000 from which they produced a 468-page document. What did they find?
I think it’s fair to summarize that they found the purported benefits to be much smaller and weaker than are often reported, but they found the same for the purported risks. So, that’s good news for the recreational user who is mostly just worried about not getting cancer, but it’s bad news for the patient who actually wants it to help their cancer. They did find “substantial evidence” for some benefits, but only three—in the treatment of chronic pain in adults, the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and for relieving self-reported muscle tightness in patients with multiple sclerosis. Even archetypal medical marijuana indications, like glaucoma, failed to live up to expectations.
“Despite popular belief to the contrary, extensive research over decades has documented that marijuana is not effective in the management of clinical glaucoma,” a disease of increased pressure within the eyeball. Marijuana does lower pressure, but only for about an hour, so you’d have to smoke a dozen or so joints a day. Even if you did smoke those few thousand joints a year, though, your body gets used to it, so what little benefit there is disappears within a few months in most patients.
On the other hand, conspicuously missing from the list of adverse side effects of long-term or heavy marijuana use, which you can see at 2:42 in my video, is any mention of chronic, obstructive, pulmonary diseases like emphysema, which you can get from smoking tobacco. Similarly, it doesn’t look like smoking marijuana increases the risk of respiratory cancers, such as lung cancer or head and neck cancer, though cannabis may increase the risk of testicular cancer. There have been three studies so far on marijuana use and testicular cancer. As you can see at 3:10 in my video, marijuana appears to increase risk about 50 percent, but only, it seems, for those smoking once a week or more, or for ten years or longer.
What did the Institute of Medicine conclude overall in its 468-page report? Were they for legalization, or opposed? Basically, they concluded that there simply isn’t enough research, “leaving patients, health care professionals, and policy makers without the evidence they need to make sound decisions regarding the use of cannabis and cannabinoids” either way. Further, “this lack of evidence-based information…poses a public health risk.”
The one thing everyone on both sides “can agree [on] is the need for definitive clinical research on marijuana.” Otherwise, we’re just left with “anecdotes, Internet blogs, and advertisements [that] do not provide a sound basis for assessing the safety and efficacy of pharmacologic agents.”
“Because cannabis is a naturally occurring plant and cannot be patented,” the pharmaceutical industry is MIA. What we need are large clinical trials. Until then, “we’re still going to be left scratching our heads,” but where will the funding come from? For drug companies, interest in the plant is scant” because where’s the “payback”?
Big Pharma is interested in a “reasoned approach,” however. Writes pharmacology professor Harold Kalant, one day, “the development of newer…endocannabinoid modulators”—in profitable pill form, that is—“will make the use of herbal cannabis a thing of the past.”
Why is there such a “dearth of rigorous research on the effects of marijuana”? The first major study wasn’t published until 2007. “Why did it take so long for this study to appear in the peer-reviewed scientific literature? Why did the pharmaceutical industry fail to show any interest in this promising compound? Some might prefer a simple answer: since marijuana is a naturally-occurring botanical”—since it’s just a plant—”it cannot be patented, thus removing any incentive for investing…corporate funds…” Yes, but it’s more complicated, as I discuss in my video Researching the Health Effects of Marijuana.
In fact, research funds are available—“$111 million…in 2015 alone,” for example—but, historically, “that money generally has been obtainable only for research on the negative effects of cannabis.” In the United States, cannabis is still officially lumped in with heroin as a Schedule I drug, which means that, by definition, it is classified by the government as having no medicinal value. “This designation has resulted in a near-cessation of scientific research,” particularly because the only way researchers could get cannabis without risking jail time is from the only federally authorized source, a strain grown in Mississippi and controlled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. What’s more, historically, the NIDA has only greenlit research aimed at demonstrating “harmful effects.”
“Residents of 23 US states can buy medical marijuana…but US scientists must wade through onerous paperwork to score the drug for study.” And, even when they do get it, it may be the wrong stuff. The cannabis from that one federally authorized farm in Mississippi “‘may differ substantially’ from what people purchase for real-world consumption”—that is, it may not be what people are actually using these days. As a result, the studies coming out may be on your grandma’s grass, for instance, “with potency levels between 3.5 and 7.0% THC,” whereas the marijuana available these days may be ten times more potent.
So, there is a crazy “catch-22,” where “the cannabis that should be studied…is illegal and the cannabis that can be legally studied—the decades-old Mississippi strain—is essentially kept off-limits.” Because of this, “ill-informed practitioners are thus left to make do with anecdotal testimony and case reports—the least rigorous form of evidence—to guide their prescribing.” Basing treatment off stories from the internet is bad medicine.
“As long as clinical research on Cannabis is controlled by regulators expressly opposed” to the stuff, we may miss out on potential benefits—but that’s no excuse. Just because there are political barriers to research doesn’t mean we should lower our bar in terms of demanding evidence. “The sick still need medically sound treatments.”
Of course, there’s now pressure coming from both sides. The marijuana industry has become big business and, with its billions, can rally the troops. “Cannabis researchers already talk of being bombarded with emails from procannabis groups if they make any negative comments about the drug. ‘Marijuana research is like tobacco research in the ’60s,’” says one University of Colorado researcher. So now, there’s fear Big Money will push the pendulum too far the other way.
The barriers go beyond money, politics, and prejudice, though. Cannabis research is hard to do. How do you do a double-blind study with marijuana? People know when they’ve been duped with placebo dope, and they can tell the difference between pot brownies and regular brownies. So, if you know you’re getting the active drug, the placebo effect can kick in hard, especially when you’re dealing with subjective outcomes like pain or mood.
And imagine if you’re trying to do a population study on memory or cognitive impairment, and you have to ask heavy pot smokers to try to remember how much they’ve smoked over their life. You can guess how that might “influence data accuracy.”
Let me give you an example of how convoluted this can get. Neuropsychological testing of cannabis users have found residual negative effects in terms of scoring slightly lower on memory tests, but how do we know that wasn’t just a matter of motivation (or lack thereof), rather than actual cognitive impairment? That had never been tested until researchers gave a group of potheads a standard learning test with the instruction: “Please complete the following series of tasks which measure different areas of cognition, like memory and attention.” With that standard spiel, pot smokers scored significantly worse than non-users, as you can see at 4:35 in my video. Okay, but what if the study participants heard the standard spiel and were also told: “It is important that you try your very best on these tasks, because this research will be used to support legislation on marijuana policy.” So, one might infer that if you do good, weed might get decriminalized or something! And, under those circumstances, BOOM—the apparent cognitive impairment disappears, as you can see at 4:57 in my video.
Now, you could argue that lack of motivation is a problem in and of itself, but it’s better than having long-term brain damage.
- Tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of the health effects of cannabis, the Institute of Medicine released a 468-page report.
- In sum, the researchers found less benefit but also less risk than is often claimed.
- Substantial evidence was found for the treatments of chronic pain in adults and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, as well as relieving self-reported muscle tightness in individuals with multiple sclerosis, but not for the management of glaucoma, despite popular belief otherwise.
- Unlike smoking tobacco, long-term or heavy marijuana-smoking habits do not appear to have the same adverse side effects of chronic, obstructive pulmonary diseases like emphysema, and smoking cannabis does not seem to increase risk of respiratory cancers, though it may elevate testicular cancer risk.
- Overall, the Institute of Medicine determined there is a lack of evidence-based information, which poses a risk to public health.
- One reason cannabis is under-studied is that it is a naturally occurring plant that cannot be patented, so drug companies are disinclined to invest in research about its effects. What’s more, most research that has been conducted has focused on its negative impacts.
If you’d like to learn more about the effects of marijuana on health, check out:
- Researching the Health Effects of Marijuana
- Does Marijuana Cause Health Problems?
- Is Marijuana Addictive?
- Pesticides in Marijuana
- Effects of Smoking Marijuana on the Lungs
- Effects of Marijuana on Weight Gain and Bone Density
- The Effects of Marijuana on Fertility and Pregnancy
- The Effects of Marijuana on Car Accidents
- Does Marijuana Cause Permanent Brain Damage in Teens?
- Does Marijuana Cause Permanent Brain Damage in Adults?
- Does Marijuana Cause Lung Cancer?
- Does Marijuana Cause Schizophrenia?
- Does Marijuana Cause Strokes and Heart Attacks?
- Will Cannabis Turn into Big Tobacco?
- Smoking Marijuana vs. Using a Cannabis Vaporizer
- Marijuana Legalization and the Opioid Epidemic
- Are Cannabis Edibles Safe?
- Will Cannabis Turn Into Big Tobacco?
- Can Cannabis Cure Cancer?
Michael Greger, M.D.
PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live presentations:
- 2019: Evidence-Based Weight Loss
- 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers
- 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet
- 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food
- 2013: More Than an Apple a Day
- 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death
A Model for Sustainable Community Building in Scotland Based in Moray, North East Scotland, the Moray Ecovillage Development Project was the Moray LEADER-Funded transnational learning exchange project between three Showcase Scottish communities and two international ecovillages Kilden (Hurdal, Norway) & Schloss Tonndorf (Germany). It was delivered by the grant holder Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and …
We filmed a new video over the weekend showing the work preparing the gardens for fall. During the filming we used an adapted Soviet-era lens called the “Helios 44-2,” which is well-known for its interesting optical effects.
Here are a few freeze-frames:
It’s quite interesting. Sorry there are so many pictures of me… the perils of hosting YouTube!
I need to take this thing out as a photography lens and shoot the swamp. It costs much less than the modern lenses I’m used to using but it has way more character. There is a warm, soft, dreamy look to the shots. It only cost $16 for an adaptor that would adapt the Helios 44-2 58mm lens to my Canon 80D camera. The lens itself costs less than $100 on ebay.
I should have the video up tomorrow. We did a lot of shooting and it took a day to edit everything down. Rachel shot the entire video on manual mode, adjusting the light and focus herself. These old lenses don’t work with autofocus, which is an interesting challenge. Unlike modern lenses, this lens also has amazing lens flares.
Rachel is a fast study and is really enjoying improving her videography. We’re going to test another old lens on the next video.
See you tomorrow.
The post More Food Shortages? Phytophthora Fungus Infects Vegetable Gardens Across the Country appeared first on The Organic Prepper.
Is it really possible to preserve your garden’s harvest without canning? You bet it is! When it comes to preserving a garden harvest, there are many options besides traditional canning …
The post How To Preserve Without Canning – 4 Easy Ways To Store Your Harvest! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.
Some very interesting information has come out about the origins of Covid-19 that – big surprise – suggests it did indeed come from a Wuhan lab leak, … Read the rest
The post Did Congress Just CONFIRM All Those “Crazy Conspiracy Theories” About the Wuhan Lab Leak? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.