Like what we do? Donate to support Word on the Tree


    Oh my science

  • If You Smoke Pot, Your Anesthesiologist Needs To Know

    Marijuana use may affect patients’ responses to anesthesia on the operating table.

    August 5, 2019

    DENVER — When Colorado legalized marijuana, it became a pioneer in creating new policies to deal with the drug.

    Now the state’s surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists are becoming pioneers of a different sort in understanding what weed may do to patients who go under the knife.

    Their observations and initial research show that marijuana use may affect patients’ responses to anesthesia on the operating table — and,

  • CBD: The next weapon in the war against opioid addiction?

    A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study shows that CBD holds promise for treating addiction.

    May 28, 2019

    CBD, or cannabidiol, is everywhere, with word on the street saying that it can cure everything from a bad mood to cancer. However, most of these claims are not based on scientific evidence. Animal studies suggest that CBD might be beneficial for some health indications, such as pain,

  • People Who Use Marijuana Tend to Weigh a Bit Less

    People who use marijuana weigh less compared to those who don’t, according to a new study.

    April 23, 2019

    The finding runs contrary to the belief that marijuana users who get “the munchies” will ultimately gain more weight.

    “Over a three-year period, all participants showed a weight increase, but interestingly, those who used marijuana had less of an increase compared to those that never used,” says Omayma Alshaarawy,

  • Marijuana is a lot more than just THC

    A pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

    March 20, 2019

    Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states as of November 2018. Yet the federal government still insists marijuana has no legal use and is easy to abuse. In the meantime, medical marijuana dispensaries have an increasing array of products available for pain, anxiety, sex and more.

    The glass counters and their jars of products in the dispensary resemble an 18th century pharmacy.

  • Cannabis use in teens not a gateway to conduct problems, study suggests

    While youth marijuana use has its risks, a study finds no evidence that it leads to behavioral problems or using other drugs

    December 12, 2018

    With the legalization of cannabis for adults becoming increasingly widespread, more adolescents will be trying the drug. And parents will be wondering what the consequences will be for their teens should they try and continue to use marijuana.

    A few decades ago, there was considerable concern that cannabis use was a gateway to more serious problems,

  • How masculinity affects young men’s marijuana use

    Social bonds between men may increase, rather than decrease, marijuana use, contrary to what was previously thought.

    March 28, 2018

    Friendships and ideas about masculinity have a powerful effect on marijuana use among young minority men, report researchers.

    Researchers discovered that strong social bonds between men may increase, rather than decrease, marijuana use, contrary to what was previously thought. They also found that men who believe in more traditional masculine gender roles—men are supposed to be strong,

  • If cannabis is getting stronger, why aren’t cases of schizophrenia rising?

    Prohibitionists like to claim that cannabis causes psychosis. But as pot potency has increased over the years, rates of schizophrenia have remained the same.

    March 26, 2018

    Most people who smoke pot enjoy it, but a smaller proportion experience psychotic-like symptoms, such as feeling suspicious or paranoid. The question that polarizes researchers is whether smoking cannabis is associated with a risk of developing psychotic problems, such as schizophrenia, in the long term.

    Of course, cannabis use is common,

  • There’s a surprising link between coffee and cannabis

    Scientists were surprised to discover coffee changed many more metabolites in the blood than previously known.

    March 22, 2018

    New research shows coffee can affect our metabolism in dozens of ways—including our metabolism of steroids and the neurotransmitters typically linked to cannabis—beyond the caffeine boost we expect in the morning.

    “These are entirely new pathways by which coffee might affect health.”

    After drinking four to eight cups of coffee in a day,

  • The link between drugs and music, explained by science

    As every toker knows, listening to music while high can make it sound better.

    January 26, 2018

    For centuries, musicians have used drugs to enhance creativity and listeners have used drugs to heighten the pleasure created by music. And the two riff off each other, endlessly. The relationship between drugs and music is also reflected in lyrics and in the way these lyrics were composed by musicians,

  • Marijuana may keep HIV patients sharp, finds study

    THC seems to slow mental decline in HIV patients thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect says researchers at Michigan State University.

    December 13, 2017

    Researchers have found that a chemical in marijuana, called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, could potentially slow the process of mental decline that affects up to 50 percent of HIV patients.

    “It’s believed that cognitive function decreases in many of those with HIV partly due to chronic inflammation that occurs in the brain,” says Norbert Kaminski,