Researchers Think Cannabis Can Treat Autism
Green Rush Daily - By. Chuck Ludley - 09/07/2016
Long Story Short
Researchers in Israel think that CBD could be used to treat autism. And to test their theory, they’re coming up with a brilliant new experiment. The results of their test could seriously expand the scope of what medical cannabis is capable of.
Can Cannabis Treat Autism?
Dr. Adi Eran has put together a team of researchers who aim to answer the question: Can cannabis treat autism? Here’s how they plan to find out.
Researchers will look at a group of 120 autistic individuals ranging in age from 4 to 30. After splitting them up into two smaller groups, researchers will give one group CBD oil and the other a placebo. Halfway through the trial, they’ll switch it up. The group that got the real oil first will then be given the placebo, and the placebo group will start getting real CBD oil.
Throughout the trial, researchers will pay attention to some specific behavior indicators. They’ll be looking to see if cannabis can help decrease behaviors like:
- physical aggression toward others
- physical aggression toward themselves
- anxiety attacks.
Researchers haven’t started the project yet. They’re currently trying to get all the necessary permits. That includes getting authorization from the Israel Health Ministry as well as psychiatric facilities and childhood development centers.
A Chance Discovery
Although they haven’t conducted their tests yet, the researchers on this project are optimistic. That’s because there are already a bunch of stories of autistic individuals benefitting from CBD.
Many of those stories come from people who are both autistic and epileptic. Medical cannabis is used very often to help treat seizures in people with epilepsy. And because roughly 30% of all autistic people also have epilepsy, there have been a lot of folks with autism who have taken medical cannabis.
And although the cannabis was originally intended to treat their epilepsy, many of these patients experienced other benefits as well. A large number of them saw positive behavioral changes while taking medical cannabis.
Despite these stories, nobody’s done any focused studies on cannabis and autism yet. If Dr. Eran’s team gets approval to move forward, their study could be truly groundbreaking.
Using LED Lighting Tech in Commercial Grows
Cannabis Now - By. Dave Carpenter - 08/21/16
Indoor-grown marijuana is an energy-hungry leviathan. A national study released by the U.S. Department of Energy reports that a full one percent of the U.S. electric grid is now dedicated to growing cannabis. Equivalent to the energy output of 1.7 million American homes (and counting) the emerging industry is putting a significant strain on the national power grid and is the country’s most energy-intensive crop at a cost of nearly $6 billion annually.
For decades, the traditional indoor grow light of choice has been high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps. The same sodium lamps that illuminate a majority of world’s city streets have for years been lighting grow rooms from San Diego to Syracuse. Meant to mimic the intense rays of the sun, flowering rooms equipped with HIDs — typically outfitted with multiple lamps burning for 12 hours at a time — require continuous air conditioning and de-humidification. And all that usage translates to excessive power waste. LED lighting, on the other hand, consumes less power and emits far less heat, which means greater return to the grower’s bottom line.
Because common cultivator wisdom follows the philosophy of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ there’s a pervasive reticence to switch to new tech and invite the high cost of re-outfitting a grow room. But with the ever-expanding evidence around global warming, and subsequent soaring cost of electricity, LEDs are in the limelight as a more sustainable approach to indoor cultivation.
Head grower Kevin Biernacki at The Grove Nevada’s 50,000-sqft. cultivation facility was interested in LED and looking for low-heat, cost-saving lights during the manufacture of their vertical-grow site in Las Vegas. “We really needed a multi-tiered system that wouldn’t cook the roots above,” he says.
Stacking grow racks in tiers means the Grove can double or triple their square footage — and vastly increase profits at the same time. Biernacki says he went through a host of LED companies, putting each to the test with side-by-side independent lamp tests. He explains why, after an exhaustive search, they ended up purchasing 650 LED grow lights from the company Heliospectra.
“It really came down to grams per watt,” he says. “Also, we liked that Heliospectra [LED] lights allow you to customize light recipes, which other people simply don’t have.”
The Grove is now able to design light combinations that mimic sunrise, mid-day and sunset, combined with a “far red push” during the last few weeks of flowering. “The last three weeks of harvest we are able to push the light spectrum a little differently,” says Biernacki. “At the very end, we are getting that far red and we are able to speed up the product to harvest.”
Affecting harvest times by as much as one full week shaved from a 10-week flowering period, the dollars saved speak for themselves. Biernacki says it was also important to the Grove to consult other commercial cultivators who use Heliospectra’s LED lights, like Pink House in Colorado, and found that the growers were “continually expanding their number of Heliospectra lights. We obviously looked at that as very positive,” he says.
“It was a little daunting at first to learn how to manipulate lighting,” says Biernacki, “but we soon learned that with the click of a button we could change the light recipes.” He adds that the Grove’s first harvest with LEDs yielded a strain with a whopping 10 percent myrcene cannabinoid level and another boasting a powerhouse 31.4 percent of THC.
The unprecedented level of control over grow rooms that LED lights give cultivators is a giant leap forward for cannabis tech. Rapid return on investment, cutting down on wasteful energy bills and increased control over cannabinoid levels could very well change the entire cannabis growing paradigm as we know it.
Would you switch from HID to LED lights in your grow room?
Parliament will debate a revision to the current law to provide for alternative treatment for those with debilitating illnesses.
Growing cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes came a step closer to legislation in Australia, as ministers announced planned changes in legislature.
Health Minister Sussan Ley said in a statement Saturday that the parliament will debate a revision to the current law to provide for alternative treatment for those with debilitating illnesses, VICE News reports.
The announcement follows the move by the state of Victoria to create a legal framework around medical cannabis, and statewide sales are set to begin before 2017. Access will be given to children suffering severe epilepsy.
"This government is incredibly sympathetic to the suffering of those Australians with debilitating illnesses, and we want to enable access to the most effective medical treatments available," Ley said.
Victoria will become the first Australian state to allow the manufacture and sale of products containing THC - though the state of South Australia opened the way in 1987 by decriminalizing low-level marijuana offenses.
The amendments to the Narcotics Drugs Act would permit marijuana to be grown without violating Australia’s international obligations to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
Recreational cannabis use will remain illegal.
"Allowing the cultivation of legal medicinal cannabis crops in Australia under strict controls strikes the right balance between patient access, community protection, and our international obligations," Ley said.
Meanwhile, the Mexican Supreme Court could legalize the consumption and production of marijuana for recreational later this month if it decides that parts of a federal law forbidding its production and consumption are unconstitutional.