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Unintended Consequences: Marijuana Use Tied to Changes in the Brain

Unintended Consequences: Marijuana Use Tied to Changes in the Brain

Over the past few decades, growing numbers of people in the U.S. have come to think about marijuana as harmless. Others have even embraced it as beneficial under certain circumstances, pointing to its purported medical value. So it’s not too surprising that long-running legalization efforts in some states have recently led to marijuana’s decriminalization and increased availability.  However, a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience sheds new light on the subject—and its findings come out against the commonly held belief that marijuana use is completely innocuous. Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have found that even casual use of marijuana can cause structural changes to areas of the brain that control emotion, motivation, and reward.

The study analyzed 40 students between the ages of 18 to 25 in the Boston area. Half of the subjects used marijuana recreationally—at least once a week—and the other half did not use it at all. Psychiatric interviews and tests revealed that none of the students met the criteria for drug dependence, and their cannabis use did not interfere with their studies, work, or social habits. However, when using MRI scans to study the students’ brains, the researchers found changes to the volume, shape, and density of the neurons in two important areas: the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens. The changes were found to be more pronounced in people who reported using marijuana more frequently during an average week. Study leader Dr. Hans Breiter said of the findings, “There was a direct, consistent relationship between how much marijuana they used and the abnormalities we saw.”

While the brain abnormalities and their relationship to marijuana use are clear, it’s less clear what these changes to the brain’s structure might actually mean for these individuals. Breiter continues, “These are two brain regions you do not want to mess around with. All parts of the brain are important, but some, like these, are more fundamental. It raises a very serious issue, given that we saw these changes in casual marijuana users.” Previous studies had revealed similar changes in brain structure among heavy users of cannabis, but this is the first study that indicates that even casual use can alter a person’s brain.

“The earlier the onset of marijuana use in a kid, the worse potential implications you could be seeing,” Breiter said. Another study author, Jodi Gilman of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Addiction Medicine, says, “We just don’t know how much is safe. It’s not harmless. We don’t know the harm, but it’s not free from harm.”

Breiter also commented that the concentrations of THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) are not the same as they used to be: “Levels of THC are about sevenfold what they used to be. That’s a substantial change in the dosing of THC that these young people are getting. The experience of people in the ’60s and ’70s may not be the same experience as people today.”

Interestingly, some proponents of cannabis decriminalization have welcomed the research findings. Paul Armentano, deputy director of the pro-marijuana advocacy group NORML, says that his group presents an argument for legalizing marijuana but tightly regulating it, as alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs are. He says, “It’s precisely because of these consequences that these products are legally regulated, and their use is restricted to particular consumers and specific settings. A pragmatic regulatory framework that allows for the legal, licensed commercial production and retail adult sale of marijuana but restricts its use among young people—coupled with a legal environment that fosters open, honest dialogue between parents and children about cannabis’ potential harms—best reduces the risks associated with the plant’s consumption or abuse.”

Marijuana consumption in the Netherlands—where cannabis use has been condoned but controlled since the 1980s, just as Armentano recommends for the U.S.—certainly supports his case. Despite its availability, fewer than 26% of the Dutch population has ever tried marijuana, compared with 41.9% of Americans, and the Netherlands has the lowest problem drug rate in Europe.

But this is a touchy subject, with scientific and humanitarian arguments often clashing with economic interests and many people’s moral judgments about any type of drug use. The trend toward marijuana decriminalization in America—for both medical and recreational use—seems at this point to be irreversible. The one new issue this study brings to the already heated debate is that cannabis use is NOT necessarily without long-term impact, especially on young people. More studies are needed to determine exactly what the effects of this drug actually are so that society can balance the risks and manage the costs that will inevitably come with decriminalization. Whether it’s legal or illegal, though, it’s critical for people to understand the potential consequences of marijuana use.

 

Honey Chocolate Bundt Cake

Honey Chocolate Bundt Cake

Honey Chocolate Bundt Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Category: Desserts

Yield: 10 - 12 Servings

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • ½ cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk or parve milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together eggs, sugar, oil, honey, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt until creamy.
  3. Add cocoa, half the flour, half the milk, then the remaining flour and milk. Beat until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool completely before adding glaze (see below), if using.

Notes

http://chiroaddict.com/honey-chocolate-bundt-cake/

Chicken Florentine Casserole

Chicken Florentine Casserole

Chicken Florentine Casserole

Category: Main Dishes

Yield: 2 Servings

Tip: Cooked brown rice can be refrigerated for up to 4 days as long as you cool it quickly and store it in a shallow sealed container. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week to use for speedy salads, side dishes and casseroles.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlice
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cooked, skinless, boneless chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, mushrooms, carrot, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour until it looks pasty, about 1 minute. Stir in the milk and continue stirring until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Add the cheese and nutmeg. Season with pepper.
  3. Put the chicken, rice, and spinach in a large bowl, pour the sauce over, and mix well with a large spoon.
  4. Spoon the chicken mixture into an 8 x 8 cassarole dish. Bake until bubbly and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Notes

Today's recipe is shared from Healthy Cookbook for Two by Rockridge Press

http://chiroaddict.com/chicken-florentine-casserole/

Why is chiropractic care essential for Crossfit?

Why is chiropractic care essential for Crossfit?

Crossfit is intense. It exercises the body and pushes it to perform at its maximum ability. However, like any exercise (especially high-intensity exercise), you should take steps to prevent injury. Of course, taking time to warm up and ensuring your form is correct, will help you reduce the chance of injury. But, there is one more step to add to your routine: regular chiropractic care.

You may think going to the chiropractor is only for adjustments and to relieve pain, but it’s more than that. Chiropractic care may actually increase your overall performance by giving you better range of motion and even improving your balance. It can also assist in helping you heal quicker.

Chiropractors can help your body stay aligned and flexible to reduce injury. They can also assist you when you’re dealing with neck pain, back pain, or injuries.

If you’re committed to putting your body to the test and keeping yourself in top notch shape, don’t disregard chiropractic care. Crossfit can push you to excel and to perform at a high level. However, as you’re pushing yourself to your limit, it can also lead to injury.

Just by practicing Crossfit, you’re showing how committed you are to staying healthy and fit. Just make sure you’re taking it a step further and taking care of your current and future health by practicing proper form and immediately addressing any issues with your chiropractor.

If you need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Oblander, please call 406-652-3553.

This article was shared from the following website: https://www.chirohealthusa.com/patients/why-is-chiropractic-care-essential-for-crossfit-2/

Got Neck Pain? Upper Back Adjustments Can Help!

Got Neck Pain? Upper Back Adjustments Can Help!

Almost everyone experiences neck pain from time to time during their lives. Doctors estimate that on any given day, 10% of the adult population is suffering from a “stiff neck.” However, it’s a different story when that neck pain persists and becomes chronic. Chronic neck pain can result in both physical and emotional distress. Employment statistics suggest that neck pain is second only to back pain as a cause of missed work, affecting as much as 45% of the workforce.

If you have experienced chronic neck pain yourself, you may know that traditional medical doctors offer relatively few treatment options. You may also know that most of these options are intended only to manage the pain, not to address the underlying cause. However, recent research published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeuticsis hopeful, suggesting that chiropractic spinal manipulation significantly improves patients’ neck pain in a short amount of time.

In the study, 60 patients with chronic non-specific neck pain received spinal manipulation delivered by chiropractors in a double-blind, randomized trial. Two groups of 30 patients were created, and two different techniques of spinal manipulation were employed to adjust the thoracic vertebrae in the upper back. One technique had the patient lying prone (face down), and the other had the patient supine (face up). Measurements were taken before manipulation, immediately afterwards, and twenty minutes later. Little or no difference was found in the relative effectiveness of the two techniques, but both groups reported significantly reduced neck pain, while objective measurements showed significantly improved mobility (cervical range of motion) and a reduced sensitivity to pressure pain.

This study‘s findings correspond with an earlier study that compared the effectiveness of manual therapies provided by a chiropractor, a medical doctor, and a physical therapist to relieve neck pain. In that study, the success rate of the chiropractic groups at the seven-week mark was two times better (68.3%) than the other two groups. Patients in the study were able to use far less medication to treat their pain and reported far fewer work absences.

The recent findings also correspond to a survey of alternative health care treatments conducted by Consumer Reports, polling 45,601 of their subscribers. One in four respondents felt that they received better care from their chiropractors than from their medical doctors. More importantly, in this survey, chiropractic care outperformed all other treatments for both back pain (65% reporting that it “helped a lot”) and neck pain (64% similarly reporting that it “helped a lot”). In contrast, the respondents reported that prescription medications only helped 49% of the time.

It is gratifying to see that science is confirming what chiropractors and their patients have known for some time—that chiropractic spinal manipulation may be the most effective method for treating chronic neck pain. Whether your neck pain is acute or chronic, perhaps you should put your chiropractor at the top of the list of medical specialists to consult. Chiropractic care is safe, gentle, and—above all—it works.

If you are experiencing chronic neck pain, be sure to call Oblander Chiropractic and schedule an appointment with Dr. Greg Oblander! Our phone number is 406-652-3553.

Almond Coconut Granola Bars

Almond Coconut Granola Bars

Almond Coconut Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 ¾ cups quick-cooking oats (or old-fashioned oats, pulsed briefly in a food processor or blender to break them up)
  • 1 cup large, unsweetened coconut flakes (shredded coconut should work, too)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup creamy almond butter or peanut butter
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Line a 9-inch square baker with two strips of criss-crossed parchment paper, cut to fit neatly against the base and up the sides. The parchment paper will make it easy for you to slice the bars later.
  2. Toast the almonds for maximum flavor (you can skip this step, but your bars won’t be quite as awesome): In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and starting to turn lightly golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer them to a medium mixing bowl.
  3. To the mixing bowl, add the oats, coconut flakes, cinnamon and salt. Stir until blended.
  4. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, measure out 1 cup almond butter. Top with ½ cup honey, followed by the vanilla extract. Whisk until well blended. (If you must, you can gently warm the liquid mixture in the microwave or on the stovetop.)
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a big spoon to mix them together until the two are evenly combined and no dry oats remain. The drier the mixture, the more firm the bars will be, so stir in extra oats if the mixture seems wet. Conversely, if you used a super thick almond butter (cough, Justin’s), you might need to drizzle in another tablespoon of honey to help it all stick together.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared square baker. Use your spoon to arrange the mixture fairly evenly in the baker, then use the bottom of a flat, round surface (like a short, sturdy drinking glass) to pack the mixture down as firmly and evenly as possible. (If the mixture keeps sticking to the glass, cover the base of the glass with a small square of parchment paper.)
  7. Cover the baker and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight. This gives the oats time to absorb moisture so the granola bars can set.
  8. When you’re ready to slice, lift the bars out of the baker by grabbing both pieces of parchment paper on opposite corners. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice the mixture into 4 even rows and 4 even columns (these “bars” stick together better in a square shape).
  9. For portability, you can wrap individual bars in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Bars keep well for a couple of days at room temperature, but I recommend storing individually wrapped bars in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for best flavor. They’ll keep for several months in the freezer.

Notes

Today's recipe was shared from the following website: https://cookieandkate.com/2016/almond-coconut-granola-bars/

http://chiroaddict.com/almond-coconut-granola-bars/

Chiropractic Patients Recover Faster, Spend Less Money

Chiropractic Patients Recover Faster, Spend Less Money

Back pain is an expensive health problem for both patients and businesses. A 2012 study reported that we spend about $635 billion on pain every year, with a significant amount of that spent on back pain. Over the years, quite a few studies have shown that chiropractic care is more effective for back pain than medical care, plus chiropractic patients spend less money on their care than medical patients do.

Because back pain is such a common problem, a group of Canadian researchers recently investigated the role that the type of primary caregiver has on financial compensation.

This was a large study of 5,511 patients who experienced a work-related back injury in Ontario, Canada. The patients saw the following providers for their first visit:

  • 85.3% saw a medical doctor
  • 11.4% saw a chiropractor
  • 3.2% saw a physical therapist

The authors set out to “compare the duration of financial compensation for back pain” among patients from each care group.

The study found that chiropractic patients had the shortest amount of time receiving compensation for their pain and also were less likely to have a recurrence.

In addition, chiropractic patients didn’t need to see other healthcare providers for their pain. 75% of chiropractic patients saw no other provider, while 58.6% of physical therapy patients also saw a medical doctor.

The authors conclude:

“The type of healthcare provider first visited for back pain is a determinant of the duration of financial compensation during the first 5 months. Chiropractic patients experience the shortest duration of compensation, and physiotherapy patients experience the longest.”

Blanchette M, Rivard M, Dionne CE, et al. Association between the type of first healthcare provider and the duration of financial compensation for occupational back pain. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 2016 Sep 17.

Today’s article was written by Michael Melton and is shared from the following website: https://www.chironexus.net/2016/09/chiropractic-patients-recover-faster-spend-less-money/

Herb Rice

Herb Rice

Herb Rice

Category: Rice and Grains

Today's recipe is shared from The New Natural Healing Cookbook by Bessie Jo Tillman, M.D.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice (or 3/4 cup brown rice and 1/4 cup wild rice)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
  • freshly ground pepper to tasted

Instructions

  1. Rinse brown rice and drain well. Heat oil in a pot (or electric skillet) and stir-coo brown rice and garlic over medium-high heat until rice looks transparent. Carefully stir in boiling water and seasonings. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove the lid to allow the steam to escape. After a few minutes, stir lightly with a fork to separate the grains.
http://chiroaddict.com/herb-rice/

The Human Longevity Project – Such Good Information and So Much Beneficial Information!

The Human Longevity Project – Such Good Information and So Much Beneficial Information!

This is not a short video but it has such important information! We hope all of you will take the time out of your busy lives to watch it! We will continue to share this series of videos as it is released. The information shared here is vitally important to understand for positive physical and mental health!

Does Having Young Children Really Build Your Immune System?

Does Having Young Children Really Build Your Immune System?

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but many moms and dads believe that having a young child or two around the house boosts their immune system.  It’s easy to see why this idea has some popular appeal.  After all, young children typically have lots of contact with other young children, often in environments where lots of germs can be spread. They then bring these same germs home, where parents’ immune systems need to fight them off over a sustained period of time. The thinking goes that this, in turn, helps make parents more resistant to them.

But what does the science actually say about this? Although there is at least one strong study and a lot of related or anecdotal evidence that suggests that the idea may be sound, more research needs to be done to see if this theory is valid.

The “strong study” is from Norway, and was published in the journal Science & Medicine. It’s important to note that the study did not specifically evaluate the immune response of parents and non-parents. Rather, this particular research was aimed at understanding the relationship between parenthood and overall health. The investigators looked into detailed medical records of more than 1.5 million men and women born between 1935 and 1968, and found that there was a strong negative correlation between being a parent and the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, becoming an alcoholic, and even dying in a car crash. The study found that the people most at risk of dying from any of these causes were those who were childless. The researchers theorized that this may be because the individuals felt less of a need to take care of their health.

Fascinatingly, the study also found that the positive health benefits or parenthood seemed to depend on the numberof children. Having only one child or having more than three children actually slightly increased the risk of dying from any of these factors, whereas having two children was “just right.” As researcher Emily Grundy of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, says: “Four-plus children might have adverse effects arising from stress, socio-economic disadvantages and lifestyles, off-setting, or even outweighing, social benefits of parenthood.”

In terms of other evidence, the strongest suggestions that having children might strengthen their parent’s immune system come from related studies that have consistently shown that having pets in the home strengthens and builds the children’s immune systems and helps to keep them healthy. For example, a 2012 study from the journal Pediatricsshowed that children who lived with dogs and cats during the first year of life tended to be significantly healthier than those who did not. The researchers theorized that the pets exposed children to a wide variety of “good germs,” some of which are beneficial for developing immunity to the “bad germs.” We may be able to infer that parents might also benefit from being exposed to a variety of germs, both from the pets and from their own children, as children pick them up at school and bring them home.

There is certainly anecdotal evidence of the latter to be found in the “common wisdom” imparted to people becoming new kindergarten and elementary school teachers. When one woman started teaching in California, her school board warned her that she should probably plan her finances for the first year of teaching based on being out sick more than her allotted number of “sick days,” and thus not being paid for them. The woman, who had always been remarkably healthy, laughed at this advice, but then spent 25% of her first year at home sick, because of all the germs she picked up from kids in the classroom.

However, this same schoolteacher rarely ever got sick again. Her exposure to a wide variety of germs transmitted by the kids did seem to boost her immune system over time, and enhanced her ability to be exposed to them in the future without getting sick herself. We can possibly infer that the same thing happens with small children in the home—they pick up germs at school and bring them home where the parents are exposed to them. This exposure then buildsimmunity over time rather than diminishing it. Dr. Jordan S. Orange, chief of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Texas Children’s Hospital explains the simple mechanics of this “early exposure” process this way: “When you get it [immunity], you have it. So, if you get it earlier, you’re going to be immune earlier.”

Related studies have indicated that many people feel happier when they have kids. If this is actually true, then their positive mental state can also certainly contribute to staying healthy. Besides, as all parents know, there are so many other joys associated with having kids that even if there aren’t a huge number of studies proving that they keep parents healthier, they’ll feel healthier.

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