Neuroscience of Cannabis & Sex – Part 1

The propaganda

In the 1930’s, stories and images of sex-crazed youth were a staple of anti-marijuana propaganda. Sex and rage were intertwined with cannabis in biggest the newspapers across America. There were countless reports of intense lust brought on by smoking reefer, inevitably resulting in violence and assault.

One anti-cannabis article published by William Randolph Hearst ( who, at the time, owned nearly 30 newspapers reaching over 20 million subscribers) read, “… a sex-mad degenerate brutally attacked a young girl… Police officers knew definitely that the man was under the influence of marijuana.”

Today, this statement seems outlandish, but at the time, many believed it plausible that smoking a pure plant could result in “bath salt” like behavior.  The general public was taught to fear marijuana— unaware that it was the same drug as the cannabis plant, which had been used medicinally for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Even to those familiar with the species many names, the science surrounding cannabis was meager. Books published 50-100 years prior were still influencing public thought. One in particular, Hashish and Mental Illness, written by psychiatrist J.J. Moreau in 1845, described cannabis-induced fluctuations of emotions, irresistible impulses, illusions, and hallucinations. If you subscribed to Moreau’s view, a sex-crazed assault seemed completely plausible (note: scientists today remain perplexed by his conclusions. Numerous hypotheses involving mixing other drugs have been proposed and debated to explain these observed symptoms, which are extremely rare or non-existent in cannabis users). As we didn’t know how the effect of cannabis on the brain back then, perhaps it could have made you a sex-crazed lunatic.

The implicit message in the W.R. Hearst’s newspapers was that cannabis lowers inhibitions and promotes the execution of sexual urges through violence. This would seem completely reasonable if you were exposed to Moreau’s teaching (from nearly a century earlier!) in addition to the government-fabricated propaganda. It took an evolved scientific understanding of cannabis to overcome this nonsense.

Emerging from the dark ages

The 1960’s was an important decade for the science of cannabis. In 1964, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary high-inducing cannabinoid, was discovered by Israeli scientists. They still didn’t know how it caused people to get high, but like ethanol in wine, people suddenly knew what was affecting their brain. Could THC cause people to become aggressive and capture “innocent youth victims of a new SEX-CRAZE”, as one propaganda poster reported? It was still unclear. Scientists didn’t know what THC was doing in the brain. Of course, there was no actual evidence that cannabis induced aggression or madness, but to many, that wasn’t sufficient.

Just a few years later, the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic opened and became particularly interested in the interaction between sex and drugs of its patients. Their report exposed cannabis to be a sex-enhancing drug, a position that was confirmed by survey reports on college campuses across the country. None of these reports mentioned elevated levels of aggression or “sex-rage”. But, it took scientists over 25 years before discovering the brain receptor through which THC carries out its effects. After this discovery, it became nearly impossible to take the violence-promoting position.

The discovery of the cannabinoid type I (CB1) receptor along with the identification of the body’s own cannabinoid chemicals (called endogenous cannabinoids) in the early 90’s are what led to the acknowledgement that THC merely modulates a system that’s already in place. This receptor is found throughout the brain and has a general “dampening effect” on brain activity. It has since been determined that this endogenous cannabinoid system, through which THC carries out its euphoric effects, has since been revealed to play important roles in everything from regulating mood to inflammation.

 

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Tales of Rock – Slash Is A Gigantic Dinosaur Nerd

Whatever you think of Slash — the guitarist / aspiring magician of Guns N’ Roses — you probably wouldn’t expect that he’s really, really into dinosaurs. For starters, he has millions of dollars’ worth of dinosaur artwork, which is apparently not only a real genre, but one that you can spend millions of dollars on.

Julien’s AuctionsWelcome to Jurassic Park, We’ve got fun and games

Despite dressing like a Hot Topic brought to life by a careless witch’s curse, Slash knows his stuff. He has several paleontologist buddies, keeps current with the major dinosaur museums, and is able to make intelligent, convincing arguments about niche subjects in the field. We like to imagine some stuffy high-society gathering attended by portly fellows in tweed jackets carrying on at great length, when one of them is gently corrected about the mating habits of the diplodocus, turns to find the source of the interjection, and sees Slash standing there.

 

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8 Tricks That Will Help You Recognize a Liar

Most likely, you have already faced brazen liars who are always looking for someone to fool. But exposing a lie is not as difficult as it may seem. Analyst and body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass says, ’If someone is dishonest, you need to pay special attention to the facial expression and body language of your interlocutor.’ She wrote a book about this called ’The Body Language of Liars.’

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

When you ask a direct question and your interlocutor begins to spin their head, it’s better to keep your eyes peeled: perhaps this person’s lying about something.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

When someone is nervous and at the same time trying to fool you, their breathing becomes heavy, their voice goes quiet, and their shoulders rise.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

It’s ok to feel relaxed in a normal conversation with a familiar person, but if your interlocutor looks too stressed, it may be a warning sign. In general, a liar’s trying to keep you at a distance so you do not suspect anything.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

This happens because they’re trying to convince not only you but also themselves. Repetition gives you time to gather your thoughts. Also, people who aren’t willing to tell the truth might answer the question in the same words. For example: ’Did you break the cup?’ ’No, I didn’t break the cup.’

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

The eyes can tell a lot about people, including whether they’re telling the truth. Constant eye contact is very important to liars. If your interlocutor looks insightfully into your eyes and tries to maintain eye contact in every possible way, be sure that this person wants to fool you.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

Among other signals that the interlocutor’s trying to lie is when he or she is biting or pursing their lips. Such a person is clearly not sure what he or she wants to say. In these moments, salivation is decreased, resulting in dryness in the throat, and this makes them swallow and purse their lips. Also, it’s better to keep an eye on their smile: it’s always easy to notice an artificial smile.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

Hands are the indicator of a person’s honesty. Therefore, if someone’s constantly touching their neck or trying to hide weak spots — as if he or she is trying to defend themselves — this person definitely wants to hide something.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

Even without realizing it, a liar prevents themselves from speaking. When people touch their lips, it means they don’t want to tell the truth, almost as if they are forbidding themselves to speak.

 

 

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Sun Stories: Summer – Astonished – Part 2 – Lets Look at the Science

Summer just told me that she just found out that she’s 6 months pregnant and didn’t know it. She drinks like a Viking, and has been for awhile. The whole 6 months she’s been pregnant.

I pray that the baby will be okay, but let’s take a look at what could happen.

 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

 

 

What is fetal alcohol syndrome?

Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy can give birth to babies with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, sometimes known as FASDs. FASD is the umbrella term for a range of disorders. These disorders can be mild or severe and can cause physical and mental birth defects. Types of FASDs include:
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
partial fetal alcohol syndrome
alcohol-related birth defects
alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder
neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure

FAS is a severe form of the condition. People with FAS may have problems with their vision, hearing, memory, attention span, and abilities to learn and communicate. While the defects vary from one person to another, the damage is often permanent.

 

Causes

What are the causes of fetal alcohol syndrome?

When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, some of that alcohol easily passes across the placenta to the fetus. The body of a developing fetus doesn’t process alcohol the same way as an adult does. The alcohol is more concentrated in the fetus, and it can prevent enough nutrition and oxygen from getting to the fetus’s vital organs.

Damage can be done in the first few weeks of pregnancy when a woman might not yet know that she is pregnant. The risk increases if the mother is a heavy drinker.

According to many studies, alcohol use appears to be most harmful during the first three months of pregnancy. However, consumption of alcohol any time during pregnancy can be harmful, according to guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome?

Since fetal alcohol syndrome covers a wide range of problems, there are many possible symptoms. The severity of these symptoms ranges from mild to severe, and can include:
a small head
a smooth ridge between the upper lip and nose, small and wide-set eyes, a very thin upper lip, or other abnormal facial features
below average height and weight
hyperactivity
lack of focus
poor coordination
delayed development and problems in thinking, speech, movement, and social skills
poor judgment
problems seeing or hearing
learning disabilities
intellectual disability
heart problems
kidney defects and abnormalities
deformed limbs or fingers
mood swings

 

 

Diagnosis

How is fetal alcohol syndrome diagnosed?

The earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome. Talk to your doctor if you think your child might have FAS. Let your doctor know if you drank while you were pregnant.

A physical exam of the baby may show a heart murmur or other heart problems. As the baby matures, there may be other signs that help confirm the diagnosis. These include:
slow rate of growth
abnormal facial features or bone growth
hearing and vision problems
slow language acquisition
small head size
poor coordination

To diagnose someone with FAS, the doctor must determine that they have abnormal facial features, slower than normal growth, and central nervous system problems. These nervous system problems could be physical or behavioral. They might present as hyperactivity, lack of coordination or focus, or learning disabilities.

 

Treatments

What are the treatments for fetal alcohol syndrome?

While FAS is incurable, there are treatments for some symptoms. The earlier the diagnosis, the more progress can be made. Depending on the symptoms a child with FAS exhibits, they may need many doctor or specialist visits. Special education and social services can help very young children. For example, speech therapists can work with toddlers to help them learn to talk.

At home

Children with FAS will benefit from a stable and loving home. They can be even more sensitive to disruptions in routine than an average child. Children with FAS are especially likely to develop problems with violence and substance abuse later in life if they are exposed to violence or abuse at home. These children do well with a regular routine, simple rules to follow, and rewards for positive behavior.

Medications

There are no medications that specifically treat FAS. However, several medications may address symptoms.

These medications include:
antidepressants to treat problems with sadness and negativity
stimulants to treat lack of focus, hyperactivity, and other behavioral problems
neuroleptics to treat anxiety and aggression
antianxiety drugs to treat anxiety

Counseling

Behavioral training may also help. For instance, friendship training teaches kids social skills for interacting with their peers. Executive function training may improve skills such as self-control, reasoning, and understanding cause and effect. Children with FAS might also need academic help. For example, a math tutor could help a child who struggles in school.

Parents and siblings might also need help in dealing with the challenges this condition can cause. This help can come through talk therapy or support groups. Parents can also receive parental training tailored to the needs of their children. Parental training teaches you how to best interact with and care for your child.

Alternative treatments

Some parents and their children seek alternative treatments outside of the medical establishment. These include healing practices, such as massage and acupuncture (the placement of thin needles into key body areas). Alternative treatments also include movement techniques, such as exercise or yoga.

Prevention

How can I prevent fetal alcohol syndrome?

You can avoid fetal alcohol syndrome by not drinking alcohol during pregnancy. If you’re a woman with a drinking problem who wants to get pregnant, seek help from a doctor. If you’re a light or social drinker, don’t drink if you think you might become pregnant anytime soon. Remember, the effects of alcohol can make a mark during the first few weeks of a pregnancy. Visit these blogs for more tips and information about fetal alcohol syndrome.

 

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Sun Stories: Kita – Chapter 20 – Addicted to Tanning?

“UV light may trigger the same reward pathway in the brain as drugs such as heroin.”

I think Kita is addicted to tanning. I decided to do some research.

Experts have long wondered why many people tan regularly despite the known risk of skin cancer. Past studies suggest that the motivation is not just vanity—some tanning buffs have symptoms of dependence and withdrawal. Now a study in Cell adds more evidence that tanning is addictive. It showed that mice become dependent on beta-endorphin, a drug-like opioid molecule made by the skin under ultraviolet light.

A team at Massachusetts General Hospital scrutinized the opioid system, the reward pathway hijacked by drugs such as heroin, because the researchers had earlier found that beta-endorphin and the skin pigment melanin originate from the same protein. Other studies have also pointed to the opioid system; in one, frequent tanners showed withdrawal symptoms when they took a drug that blocked opioid receptors.

In the new study, shaved mice got a daily dose of UV light long enough to tan but not burn—on a par with 20 to 30 minutes in midday Florida sun for a fair-skinned human. After a few days, levels of beta-endorphin rose in the mice’s blood. Then the researchers rated pain tolerance, a marker of opioid dependence, using heat and touch. The UV mice had a pain threshold up to three times higher than mice that had not tanned. As levels of beta-endorphin rose, so did pain tolerance, suggesting the endorphin played a key role.

When the UV mice received an opioid blocker, their pain threshold reverted to normal, and they showed withdrawal symptoms such as shaking paws and chattering teeth. The mice even modified their behavior to avoid withdrawal: those that received opioid blockers in a dark box preferred to spend time in a white box, despite rodents’ natural penchant for darkness.

Humans and mice share these chemical processes, so the researchers believe beta-endorphin may cause addiction in people. Getting sun may be rewarding to the brain because we need vitamin D, explains David Fisher, a co-author of the study and director of the melanoma program at Mass General. Next Fisher hopes to investigate whether this pathway is involved in seasonal affective disorder, possibly providing a new therapeutic target.

 

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Sildenafil Citrate

Viagra Makes History

Viagra (sildenafil) is one of the most widely-known prescription drug names on the U.S. market. Often dubbed “the little blue pill”, Viagra (sildenafil) was the first phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor approved to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is a common sexual problem for men and its frequency increases with age.

It is estimated roughly 30 million men in the U.S. and over 100 million men worldwide suffer from ED. A large U.S. survey determined about 50 percent of men 40 to 70 years of age experience some degree of ED.

 

The Unexpected Discovery of Viagra

The discovery that sildenafil could lead to an erection was an unplanned event. The sildenafil compound was originally developed by Pfizer for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (chest pain due to heart disease). During the heart clinical trials, researchers discovered that the drug was more effective at inducing erections than treating angina. Pfizer realized ED was an unmet medical need and a major opportunity for financial gain.

In 1998, the FDA approved Viagra, the first oral treatment for erectile dysfunction, under a priority review.

 

Quick Success: The FDA-Approval of Viagra

At the time of its approval, Viagra had the fastest initial sales growth following its launch of any prescription product, reaching 2008 sales of close to $2 billion. Pfizer promoted Viagra and ED awareness via direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, which prompted men to seek medical advice and a prescription from their doctors.

For many men, the stigma and embarrassment of talking to their doctor about ED has declined since the introduction of Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors.

 

The Impact of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

ED, or the inability to achieve and maintain an erect penis for sexual function, can lead to performance anxiety, a negative impact on self-esteem and personal relationships, and even clinical depression.

In a survey published in BMJ, 62 percent of men reported a decline in self esteem, 29 percent reported a negative effect on a relationship, and 21 percent reported that their relationship had ceased due to ED. For many men, the inability to perform adequately during sex directly affects their feelings of masculinity.

 

What Causes ED?

Age alone is not a risk factor for ED, but underlying health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, chronic alcohol or drug abuse, certain medications, and injuries can lead to impotence. Any condition that may restrict blood flow to veins over time, like smoking, can lead to ED.

Medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease or Peyronie’s disease (scar tissue build-up in the penis) may cause ED. Mental health issues can take their toll, too–depression or stress can result in loss of libido. Erection failures may occur repeatedly in men who experience performance anxiety due to ED.

 

Which Medications Cause ED?

Many medications have impotence or sexual dysfunction listed as a side effect. A medication review should be performed by a health care provider to determine if any prescription drug treatment may be contributing to symptoms. Medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, certain antihistamines, antipsychotics, drugs used for benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), and anti-HIV drugs may lead to ED.

If you regularly experience sexual function or ED problems, contact your doctor for evaluation and treatment.

 

Just the Basic Facts: How Viagra Works

Viagra works in response to sexual stimulation to increase the blood flow to the penis leading to an erection. Viagra does not result in an erection without sexual stimulation. When a man is aroused, muscles in the penis relax to allow this greater blood flow. Viagra helps to elevate the levels of a substance that causes the tissues to relax.

Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors like Cialis, Levitra, Stendra and Staxyn treat ED, but do not directly increase a man’s sexual desire. However, knowing that one can perform better in bed may indirectly boost libido.

 

What’s the Safest Way to Take Viagra?

Viagra (sildenafil) is taken by mouth usually as a 25 or 50 milligram (mg) tablet one hour before sexual activity. However, Viagra may be taken within a range of one-half hour to four hours before sex. The dose may be adjusted based on doctor recommendations, but it should not exceed 100 mg per dose or be taken more than once per day. A physician will prescribe your specific dose.

Have your pharmacist check for drug interactions, too. Men who use nitrates (such as nitroglycerin or isosorbide) should never use Viagra or other PDE5 inhibitors (Cialis, Levitra, Stenda, or Staxyn) due to severe, possibly fatal hypotension (low blood pressure).

 

Does Viagra Have Side Effects?

In general, the most common side effects with PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra are mild and short-lived. Headache, flushing, heartburn, vision problems, nausea, and dizziness may occur. Report a sudden hearing or vision loss to your healthcare provider immediately. An erection lasting more then 4 hours (priapism) is a rare event, but if it occurs get emergency treatment.

Be sure to review Viagra drug interactions and precautions with your healthcare provider prior to use. Your dose of Viagra may need to be adjusted based on other drugs you may be taking.

 

Other Options for Erectile Dysfunction

The simplicity of taking an oral tablet for ED has revolutionized ED treatment. However, PDE5 inhibitors may not work in about 30 percent of men. It is important for men to know that there are other options are available for ED. Penile self-injection (Caverject), transurethral suppositories (MUSE), vacuum-assisted erection devices, and surgical penile prostheses are solutions that were used prior to Viagra, and are still available today.

These options may be useful for some; however, for many men they can be complicated, painful, and more expensive. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all options.

 

What is Low T?

Media advertising has dramatically, and sometimes sensationally, increased the awareness of “Low-T” or low blood testosterone (also called androgen deficiency). Typically, a man’s testosterone level is considered low if it’s below 300 nanograms/deciliter. Men with low blood testosterone levels may suffer from a lower sex drive, erectile dysfunction (ED), brittle bones (osteoporosis), low muscle mass and higher fat accumulation. However, a recent study noted that testosterone therapy is not an appropriate therapy to treat ED without other symptoms of low T.

Testosterone therapy, whether it be by injection, gel, skin patch, spray or lozenge is the usual treatment to raise testosterone levels, but this is not always done in men over 60 years. Experts have stated that testosterone replacement could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes in some men. Plus, older men who take testosterone replacements will need to have regular prostate cancer screening tests.

 

Viagra: But at What Cost?

Many insurance companies will not pay for Viagra anymore. This may be one reason why consumers turn to Internet purchase. But much of the advertised Viagra on the Internet is counterfeit, and may even contain dangerous and toxic drugs. To help combat the counterfeit market, Pfizer now offers online Viagra prescription orders and home delivery through licensed pharmacies. Just check put their website at Viagra.com or call Call 1-888-4-VIAGRA (1-888-484-2472).

Another option is to talk to your doctor about using the generic form of Revatio (sildenafil), approved for pulmonary hypertension. It’s the same drug that’s in Viagra, just at a slight lower dose. Just like Viagra, you’ll need a prescription, but the cost savings are significant. Generic Viagra isn’t expected to hit the US market until December 2017.

 

Counterfeit Viagra: A Dangerous Practice

Viagra has become the victim of Internet fraud due to its rapid success and famous name. According to Pfizer, 80 percent of the top 22 Internet sites that came up in search results for the phrase “buy Viagra” were selling counterfeit pills.

Products sold as “natural” or “herbal” Viagra claim to enhance performance; however, these illegal products have not undergone FDA review or approval. Fraudulent Viagra products contain unknown chemical ingredients that may pose a serious health risk.

 

Will Viagra Be Approved For Women?

More than 50 million women experience some type of sexual dysfunction. Studies looking at Viagra in women have theorized that sildenafil could increase genital blood flow and boost arousal. However, most studies have found a limited beneficial effect of Viagra for women. Lack of sex drive in a woman is a complicated process, often magnified by stress, hormonal changes, or lack of intimacy.

However, medications to help boost libido in women are becoming available. Addyi (flibanserin) was approved in August 2015 to treat low sex drive — generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in pre-menopausal women. Osphena (ospemifene), as well as Intrarosa (prasterone) are available for vaginal dryness and dyspareunia (painful intercourse) that can interfere with sex in menopausal women.

 

When Where There Be a Generic Viagra?

At least one generic PDE5 inhibitor will be available in December 2017, when sildenafil (generic Viagra) becomes available from Teva Pharmaceuticals. However, Teva will be the only manufacturer distributing generic Viagra until 2020, and it’s generic price is not yet known. Other generic PDE5 inhibitors should be on the market around this same time, in 2017 or 2018, when Levitra and Cialis are projected to lose patent.

In 2015, many insurance companies stopped covering payments for several PDE5 inhibitors, but there still may be at least one on their formulary, so check with your insurance directly to determine price.

 

 

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Phicklephilly Special Report: A CURE FOR CANCER? ISRAELI SCIENTISTS SAY THEY THINK THEY FOUND ONE!

https://www.jpost.com/HEALTH-SCIENCE/A-cure-for-cancer-Israeli-scientists-say-they-think-they-found-one-578939

 

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