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Study: Cannabis May Cure Addiction To Hard Drugs

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A new study suggests that cannabinoids may play a crucial role in helping with stimulant addiction.

“A growing number of studies support a critical role of the ECBS and its modulation by synthetic or natural cannabinoids in various neurobiological and behavioral aspects of stimulants addiction. Thus, cannabinoids modulate brain reward systems closely involved in stimulants addiction, and provide further evidence that the cannabinoid system could be explored as a potential drug discovery target for treating addiction across different classes of stimulants.” – US Natural Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health [1]

In a study published by the ‘National Institute of Health,’ researchers discovered cannabinoids affect the brain’s reward system, which includes the components of an individual’s brain responsible for determining their behavior displayed and the amount of pleasure they feel in response to a substance, in a manner similar to that of stimulants. Evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system (ECBS) produces neurological processes similar to ones present in the brains of individuals suffering from stimulant addictions. Researchers at ‘The Psychiatry Research Unit at Centre Hospitalier de Montreal’ in Canada claim this discovery opens the door for further exploration regarding the possibility of the cannabinoid system as a “potential drug discovery target for treating addiction across different classes of stimulants [1].”

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It is no secret that methamphetamine addiction only continues to dramatically increase with each passing year, especially in the United States. Although a wealth of diverse research focused on stimulant addiction has been executed over the past few decades, a pharmacological therapy that is able to successfully treat primary symptoms of stimulant addiction withdrawal such as anxiety and cravings, or one that aids in reducing the risk of relapse, has yet to be clearly identified. Several pharmacological agents have been tested to no avail including antidepressants, anticonvulsants and antipsychotics. However, all hope remains far from lost as evidence continues to surface proving that the endocannabinoid system (ECBS) plays a major role in cognitive and physiological activities related to ones present during stimulant addiction. Such activities include the “reward” feeling stemming from stimulant abuse, responsiveness to stress and drug induced synaptic plasticity, which relates to the power of brain synapses to strengthen or weaken with time as a result of activity increase or decrease.

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The endocannabinoid system’s relation to the brain’s reward system deems it a factor endowed with the potential to possibly be utilized to interfere with, and perhaps halt, the neurological effects seen in those suffering from stimulant addiction. In relation to relapse, cannabis may lower the risk, as it was also found to effect specific receptors that help reduce the triggers and temptations often prompt recovering addicts to fall from sobriety and use again. The similarities in how cannabis and stimulants affect the brain’s reward system are unparalleled, pointing to the possibility of the development of future pharmacological therapies derived from cannabis to successfully treat stimulant addiction, due to the fact that the plant is generally well tolerated and non-addictive to the vast majority of the population. Still, further research must be conducted in order for this exciting and seemingly promising treatment to become a readily available option for addiction sufferers, but the evidence gathered thus far leaves many hopeful that the unveiling of a ground breaking answer to stimulant abuse may lie on a not so distant horizon after all.

 

RESOURCES
1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24069004
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synaptic_plasticity
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3780360/
4. http://www.drugaddictiontreatment.com/types-of-addiction/stimulants-types-of-addiction/marijuana-may-treat-stimulant-addiction/
5. http://www.theweedblog.com/new-study-marijuana-may-treat-addiction-to-hard-drugs/

 

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These Futuristic Pollution-Cleaning Towers Will Be the Tallest Skyscrapers in the World

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Image Credit: Chetwoods

These Futuristic Pollution-Cleaning Towers Will Be the Tallest Skyscrapers in the World Image Credit: Chetwoods

These two gigantic skyscrapers could be the tallest buildings in the world — and they would scrub the air of pollution.

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Image Credit: Chetwoods
Construction of the mega futuristic towers in Wuhan, China, could be completed by 2017 or 2018 pending the approval of the city’s mayor.

The taller of the two buildings will have a planned height of almost exactly a kilometer, beating out Dubai’s Burj Khalifa as the tallest man-made structure in the world. According to Fast Company, they’ll also be extremely environmentally friendly and may even help restore local air quality. Built on an island within a lake, the larger of the two buildings sucks up air and water cleans it, and then puts it back. Both towers will have pollution-absorbent coatings designed to help tone down local air pollution, and vertical gardens to help clean more air. The bigger building has a central chimney designed to help ventilate the structure naturally.

Local lake “water goes up through a series of filters,” Laurie Chetwood, chairman of Chetwoods. “We don’t use power to pull the water up, we’re using passive energy. As it goes through the filters and back, we’re also putting air back into the lake to make it healthier.”

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Image Credit: Chetwoods
As an added bonus, the towers could feature photovoltaic cladding and wind turbines, making them generate sustainable electricity.

The two towers will be known as the Feng (male) and Huang (female) towers, coming from the Fenghuang, a mythical Chinese bird. “We were asked to create an iconic building for Wuhan, which embodied a strong environmental and social content as well as reflecting Chinese tradition,” Chetwood says.

If approved in time and built quickly, the project could outpace Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, which will reach the same height but not until 2019.

Other strange new eco-friendly projects that could happen in the near future include a 2,250 foot (686 meter) solar-wind energy tower that could be built in San Luis, Arizona, by 2018.

Sources: Mic.com