Welcome back to all of our faithful followers as well as to our new readers! If you are a returning reader, we don’t have to tell you that Dr. Scharf is a Periodontist in Long Island who enjoys educating his readers as well as his patients about all things dental, especially as they may apply to their overall general health. For those of you who are new to this blog, we welcome you and invite you to follow along as we learn some things you may not have known before, as we get into part 2 of a new article series which covers marijuana use and gum disease. So, without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?
A Brief Review
Before we get into part 2, let’s briefly review part 1… in part 1 we talked briefly about the new year and some changes that many of us across this great country are facing … things like changes in gun control rules and regulations, cell phone use while driving and American minimum wage increases. We also mentioned a change, for those in some areas, which could have an effect on your overall general health — specifically the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana. We explained that the purpose of this article series is to acquaint you, and those you love, with some things which have been shown to affect the human body with cannabis use.
Some Interesting “Did You Know” Facts About Marijuana
While researching for this article series, I came across some interesting, and perhaps unusual, facts about marijuana that I would like to share with you. Some of them may be as new to you as they were to me, while others may be quite familiar. But, before we get into the list of interesting facts, I’d like to point out a couple of facts which may help you understand why this series is important:
- First, recently, several states voted to approve the previously illegal use of marijuana for recreational purposes. The states that now have legalized marijuana for recreational use are: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Washington and the District of Columbia
- Second, these states are not alone in their legalization of a previously illegal substance, as there are also 21 states who have already (or who have recently) legalized marijuana use for medicinal purposes.
So, with now almost 30 of our states in the good old USA having passed legislation legalizing some type of use of a previously illegal substance, the problems which have been identified in research studies may be more important than ever before.
Now, the List
Now, to the list of 25 interesting marijuana facts, which are not in any particular order of importance or concern. We won’t get them all today, but we’ll cover them in subsequent parts of this article series:
- Mythical origins: While the exact origins are quite clouded, there seems to be some references made to cannabis use in ancient Chinese history, and, though the human user could not be positively identified, there are pieces of Taiwanese pottery and other artworks on which fibers of hemp were used decoratively approximately 10,000 years ago.
- Unusual uses for hemp: It seems that Marijuana is not just used for smoking … or at least it hasn’t always been used in this way. Historically, Marijuana fibers have also been used for fabric-making and for rope-making. Researchers have substantiated the strength in hemp fiber ropes in the research done into how the ancients moved the 9,600 lb. heads of stone found on Easter Island from their quarries to the places in which they have currently been found.
- Differences between hemp and pot: While the fibers from the hemp plant are great for making fabrics and ropes, they really aren’t great for smoking. Why is this, you ask? It seems that what we call industrial hemp plants are the same species as marijuana, but the industrial hemp plant doesn’t seem to produce a substance called tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) which is a necessary ingredient in the production of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which provides the psychoactive experience.
- Gender differences: Researchers have studied marijuana use in rats, using both male and female rats, they found that the females get a stronger pain-killing effect from the cannabis than males, but this also leads to development of a sensitivity to the substance with addiction as a result.They theorize the reason for the difference is the hormone estrogen, making the effects even stronger during ovulation when estrogen is at its highest in the female gender of any species.
- Can your pet use marijuana? This may seem like a stupid question, but, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, many pet owners are already using this cannabis to help their suffering dogs and cats, with them experiencing some benefit for a few hours. They do, however, caution any pet owners considering this cannabis use, pot can be deadly to your pet if ingested in large quantities.
- Marijuana and heart issues? There is a great deal of debate over the medical effects in the longer term with marijuana use and much of it seems to center around the effects it has on the brain. But in 2014, some researchers looked into how the cannabis affects the heart. They used over 2,000 recorded medical complications in France and found that about 2% involved a variety of heart issues, with 9 of those actually resulting in fatal heart attacks! While this study didn’t seek to ascertain the “why” behind these occasional incidents, it was felt that, because marijuana is known to increase heart rates and blood pressures, it is possible that someone who is already prone to heart issues could suffer increased cardiac risks.
In our next segment, we’ll cover more of these interesting and unusual facts about marijuana. In the meantime, we urge you to avail yourself of the expertise of a dental professional, like Dr. Scharf, to evaluate and treat gum disease in you and other members of your family. Dr. Scharf wants to be your Periodontist in Long Island and, in the role, he can help. Call him at (631)661-6633 or visit him on the web at https://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser rather than a scalpel.