Man Regains Consciousness After 15 Year Coma—How Weed Comes Into It


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The scientific community is abuzz this week after news that a man who was in a coma for 15 years suddenly regained consciousness. Lying in a vegetative state for just one year radically reduces a patient’s chances of recovery. So the fact that a man regained consciousness after a 15 year coma is extremely significant to the medical and scientific community.

The twist, however, is what cannabis has to do with his recovery. No, the man in a coma wasn’t dosed with medical cannabis. In fact, marijuana has nothing to do with his particular recovery at all.

But that’s not the point. Rather, it’s how the man regained consciousness that matters. And that’s where cannabis comes in. Although weed didn’t wake this particular patient up from his coma, it does have something very important to do with how he woke up.

Waking Up From A 15 Year Coma

In a study which appeared in the September 2017 issue of Current Biology, researchers argued that stimulating a central nerve in the brain can benefit the process of recovering consciousness.

When patients lie in a vegetative coma, they suffer severe impairments of consciousness. Doctors use the word “unresponsive” to describe patients in such a state. Since the likelihood of regaining consciousness drops dramatically after one year in a coma, finding new and promising ways to repair lost consciousness is critical.

In their report, the researchers presented evidence showing that stimulating a key brain nerve called the “vagus nerve” can raise the consciousness level of someone in a coma. The study issued findings related to a single patient, a man, who had been in a vegetative state for more than a decade. The remarkable outcome? He regained consciousness after 15 year coma.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation

The vagus nerve plays an extremely important role in the brain. Think of it like an internet router. The vagus nerve distributes information in the form of nerve impulses throughout the brain. In essence, the vagus nerve is plugged in to every major part of the brain and central nervous system.

Brain researchers have linked activity in certain parts of the brain to the spontaneous recovery of consciousness. The idea goes, if you can create activity in those parts of the brain in a coma patient, you might be able to wake them up.

Sure enough, stimulating the vagus nerve with electrical impulses creates a flurry of activity in the regions of the brain that can help a person recover consciousness.

In fact, because of the central role the vagus nerve plays, stimulating it can benefit many other neurological disorders, including epilepsy, fibromyalgia and chronic pain. In one January 2016 study, researchers concluded that vagus nerve stimulation is “one of the most promising chronic pain interventions under development today.”

Best of all, vagus nerve stimulation has a high safety profile, which means it is much less riskier than many prescription medications or invasive procedures offered to treat those symptoms.

This list goes on, but enough about the vagus nerve. It’s important, and stimulating it can produce many therapeutic benefits. So what does cannabis have to do with all of this?

Cannabis Can Stimulate The Vagus Nerve

Here’s a wild thought: what if the reason weed gives people the munchies is the same reason it stimulates the vagus nerve? It sounds far-fetched. But the way cannabis interacts with our gut-brain connections is actually a primary mechanism for stimulating the vagus nerve.

When humans get hungry and experience that stomach pang that means it’s time to eat, their brains are reacting to a hormone called ghrelin. The vagus nerve is tied into the GI tract. The hormone, ghrelin, stimulates the nerve in the gut. The signals pass along the gut-brain axis to the hypothalamus, causing hunger pangs.

Typically, the stomach produces ghrelin when it’s empty. But when you get high, THC tricks the ghrelin receptors into activating. The result? A classic case of the munchies.

But the fact remains, THC stimulates the vagus nerve through its connections to the gut. More rigorous studies, like this 2016 report published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, have verified the active role cannabis plays in vagus nerve stimulation.

Ever since the discovery of the human endocannabinoid system, researchers have been exploring every avenue into its relevance for health and treating disease. Our bodies naturally make their own “cannabis-like” chemicals with their own network of receptors. Cannabis stimulates that network, producing far-reaching effects.

Many of those effects concern our GI tracts and the connections between our brains and our gut.

In other words, activating the endocannabinoid system with cannabis directly stimulates the vagus nerve. And that’s what cannabis has to do with the story of a man who regains consciousness after a 15 year coma.

Importance of Further Research On Cannabis

And there are many other indirect ways that medical cannabis use can stimulate the vagus nerve. Due to its integral nature in our bodies, there are dozens of ways to stimulate the vagus nerve, many of which cannabis makes possible.

Besides the ghlerin mechanism, things like coughing and laughter, which tense the stomach muscles, can stimulate the vagus nerve. Even maintaining positive social relationships, something marijuana excels at, will tickle that special brain-gut connection.

Perhaps there’s even another link.  The vagus nerve can help treat chronic pain and fatigue, and so can cannabis. Many testimonials from cannabis patients attest to the effective relief weed provides, but hard evidence is scant.

So of course, we’re not claiming that cannabis can help someone in a coma. It can’t. But stimulating the vagus can, and cannabis can stimulate that, along with many other things that also stimulate the nerve.

And that’s exactly why so much more research needs to be done on medical cannabis, the endocannabinoid system and the complex ways our bodies and minds communicate.

The potential is clearly there. We’re not saying cannabis is some miracle cure that on top of everything else can make a man regains consciousness after a 15 year coma.

But medical cannabis does continue to reveal its potential for helping treat a broad spectrum of physiological problems.

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Can Smoking Weed Damage Sperm Count?


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Can smoking weed damage sperm count? If you thought you only had to worry about hot tubs and cell phones, you might be wrong. Some recent studies warn against this insidious side-effect of reefer. Are you at risk?

Is Your Sperm Getting Smoked?

An epidemic has been making the rounds in media headlines. It’s scary and anxiety-inducing. It’s a deeply personal matter that can impact self-esteem and the traditional family structure. Even worse, it can affect the fate of the human race.

We’re talking, of course, about low sperm count.

A man’s sperm count is pretty much the driving factor of whether or not he can get someone pregnant. If he has a sperm count that’s too low, the chances that he’ll be able to biologically father children is lowered significantly. To prevent a lowered sperm count, physicians and fertility specialists recommend some lifestyle tips.

Wearing underwear that’s too tight can affect your sperm, so they recommend wearing loose underwear during the day and going commando at night. It is also recommended that wannabe fathers and sperm donors limit their time in hot tubs.

OK, so don’t chill in the hot tub all day and switch from briefs to boxers. Not too much of a change right? Don’t get too comfy yet, guys.

Recent studies suggest that chronic cannabis use can also screw your sperm.

A 2015 study conducted in Denmark found that regular weed smoking was associated with a lower sperm count in men aged between 18 and 28 years old. The exact figure was a 29 percent lower sperm count than men in the studied demographic who abstained from the herb. Furthermore, regular cannabis use combined with other recreational drug use lowered sperm count by a whopping 55 percent.

And it’s not just a lowered sperm count that chronic smokers need to worry about. Some urologists are reporting that regular heavy weed smokers are producing sperm cells that spin around in circles, rather than propelling themselves toward a potential egg.

Final Hit: Can Smoking Weed Damage Sperm Count?

OK, dudes. The bottom line is that there are a dozen factors that can negatively impact your sperm count. Wearing underwear and pants that are too tight, spending an excessive amount in a hot tub, anabolic steroid use and smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products can all affect a man’s sperm count as well as the quality of his sperm.

Overall poor health will also lower your chances of impregnating someone (as well as lower your sex drive). Even seemingly benign habits, like keeping your cell phone in your pocket or resting your laptop on your lap, can kill your sperm!

So can smoking weed damage sperm count? Maybe. But if you’re an occasional toker in good health, chances are, you have nothing to worry about. You know what they say: everything in moderation. If you’re a chronic cannabis smoker who wants to be a dad someday, it’s not too late to cut back. Sperm cells have a quick turnover rate, so it’s likely that you’ll be able to reverse any damage you may have done.

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First Medical Connection Recorded Between Spontaneous Orgasms & Weed


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Another day, another shocking new revelation about the untapped power of cannabis. According to a report from the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, a 40-year-old Netherlands woman was forced to seek medical help after experiencing spontaneous orgasms for five-weeks straight following a long night of heavy weed smoking and sex.

A First Time for Everything

Per the report, it is believed the occurrence is the first medically-recorded connection of spontaneous orgasms and cannabis-use.

The woman, referred to in the report as “Mrs. A,” claimed to have smoked weed with a partner before a five-hour sexual encounter. The subject described the extensive tryst as  “hard pounding sexual activity.”

Following the ordeal, the woman began receiving random orgasms without any sexual stimulation. Mrs. A reported she would typically experience them while laying down, and they would intensify as the evening progressed. Some, she claimed, lasted hours.

Throughout her typical day, Mrs. A was in constant fear she would experience another orgasm in public. At one point, she believed to have been experiencing Restless Genital Syndrome, which results in discomfort and unwanted sexual rousing.

She enlisted the help of Dr. Marcel Waldinger and showed him a video she had recorded of herself having one of her unwanted orgasms. Waldinger and his colleague Dave Schweitzer immediately dismissed the idea of Restless Genital Syndrome, as her symptoms didn’t add up.

However, the pair did manage to come up with an out of the box hypothesis of their own—he theorized her orgasms were a result of her long night of weed and sex, in addition to later cannabis-use.

The doctors believe that the intense sexual escapade led to an overactivation of a nerve, which in turn makes orgasms more intense. Weed itself is known to have stimulating sexual effects, so Waldinger and Schweitzer believe the plant itself is responsible for triggering the ensuing orgasms.

“She said she continued to use cannabis alone and without having sex. Even after several weeks, only a small amount of cannabis induced spontaneous orgasm. When she took higher doses, she got spontaneous orgasms that she ‘couldn’t handle’ anymore,” Waldinger told IBTimes UK.

Final Hit: First Medical Connection Recorded Between Spontaneous Orgasms & Weed

Although there have been studies regarding the link between orgasms and cannabis, this is the first time it’s been directly linked to a spontaneous occurrence.

“We need to know whether there are more incidents like this. So I’m interested in patients who will contact me if they’ve had the same sort of experiences,” Waldinger said. “That is important, to find out whether this is a very rare phenomenon or whether it occurs more often.”

Joseph Palamar of the New York University School of Medicine has studied the correlation between sex and marijuana in the past, and says the results vary from person to person.

“Using weed can make your body and your sexual organs more sensitive to touch. Weed also relaxes you and can also reportedly lead to tingly or warm sensations,” Palamar said. “Orgasms on marijuana are often described as magnified, longer and more intense. However, a lot of women find it hard to even achieve an orgasm while high on weed as they may become unfocused or paranoid. Many females have trouble getting lubricated after smoking weed—to the point of one of my interviewees referring to this as ‘dry mouth, but down there.’”

Regardless of the result, more research is needed to conclude whether or not Waldinger’s theory is correct.

“From a pharmacological point of view, this is very interesting,” Waldinger said. “What part of cannabis is inducing sexual pleasure and function, and what part is inhibiting it? It is fascinating to know that there is a drug that has a specific effect on orgasm.”

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Report: 6-Year-Old Girl’s Life Saved by Cannabis Oil


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News of a six-year-old girl’s life saved by cannabis oil hit headlines across the UK today, turning the public’s attention to the ongoing debates over medical cannabis treatments. The young patient, Jayla Agbonlahor, is in fact the youngest person with legal permission to use cannabis in the UK.

Back in 2015, Jayla’s parents finally received the go-ahead from UK officials to treat their daughter with cannabis oil. But since it’s illegal to purchase cannabis oil in the UK, Jayla’s mother, Louise Bostock, has to buy it from Holland.

6-Year-Old Girl’s Life Saved By Cannabis Oil: A Mother’s Saga

Prior to 2015, Bostock received word from her daughter’s doctors that Jayla was likely to die at a young age. Just days after her birth, Jayla was back at the hosital, having stopped breathing. And throughout her infancy, Jayla suffered from frequent, severe seizures.

She had difficulty eating and drinking, and difficulty walking and talking. These conditions led to Jayla’s hospitalization every three to four weeks, according to the Independent.

Because of the seizures, doctors initially thought Jayla was suffering from a rare form of epilepsy. But further tests ruled out epilepsy. Today, young Jayla still lives with an undiagnosed brain condition.

Doctors were unsure what was wrong with Jayla, and traditional treatments were proving ineffective. That’s when Jayla’s mother began researching medical cannabis oil.

When Jayla turned four, Bostock began secretly treating her with cannabis oil. When her child’s doctors found out, they were completely dismayed. What Bostock did, of course, was illegal. But Bostock insisted that Jayla’s condition was improving thanks to the cannabis oil treatments.

According to sources, Jayla was experiencing fewer seizures and even showed improvements eating and sleeping. Nevertheless, Bostock had to submit to a police investigation regarding her illegal administration of cannabis. Marijuana is a “Class-B” drug in the UK.

At the end of the process, however, Bostock gained legal permission to treat her daughter with cannabis.

How A 6-Year-Old Girl’s Life Saved by Cannabis Oil Could Change UK Law

Jayla’s case garnered extra attention in the UK press thanks to a high-profile relative. Jayla is the niece of UK soccer star Gabby Agbonlahor, who plays for Aston Villa.

And although Jayla is still in serious condition, her family hopes that the small sliver of hope cannabis oil gave them could move the needle on legalizing medical cannabis in the UK. Jayla’s family wants the National Health Service to use her case as a precedent for approving medical cannabis as a legal form of treatment.

Studies continue to attest to the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis, especially for neurological disorders. Research has shown that cannabis, especially CBD, can heal and repair damaged nerves, reduce seizure frequency and severity, and protect brain cells from some diseases.

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The Big Problem with All Studies about Marijuana and Learning


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When in doubt, lead with the bold claim—and worry about substantiating it, or addressing the crucial context that could contradict it completely, sometime later.

This is the trap into which “The Science of Learning” columnist Claudia Wallis, a respected veteran science journalist with impeccable credentials, falls in her piece headlined “How legalizing marijuana could hurt student achievement.”

Such an easily digestible takeaway no doubt generated many clicks and shares among those for whom the link between legal marijuana availability—not use, mind you, but the mere presence of legal cannabis in regulated storefronts as opposed to solely in the pockets of street hustlers—and poor academic performance is an irrefutable truth.

It also served as a convenient distraction from the heart of the matter, the nuance that also snares academic reviews: It is next to impossible to finger marijuana by itself as the cause of a general decline or boost in academic performance—not when there’s a host of other variables to weigh.

The test case here is Maastricht, a city in the Netherlands that in 2011 banned its 13 marijuana-dispensing coffeeshops from selling cannabis to foreign nationals. We’re not told how many of the students from other countries studying at the local university were patronizing these establishments—but at least some of them were, one assumes.

All we know is that after the ban, the percentage of foreign students passing their exams increased from 73.9 percent to 77.9 percent, according to the study, which was published in March. “A sizable jump,” Wallis writes.

At last, the neat conclusion that weed hurts students can be drawn. Rather than fall into the “correlation is not causation” traps that have weakened other studies with the necessary caveats, “we could cleanly identify the causal impact of a drug policy,” study co-author Ulf Zoelitz told Wallis.

This is an extremely bold claim—one of the boldest of them of all.

Because, parsing the publicly available abstract and summations of the study (alas, the genuine item is caged behind a paywall), it does not appear that they were able to control for a host of other factors—all of which are more encompassing and far more compounding than the availability of legal weed in the vicinity.

This is the same trap that all studies that purport to declare, with authority, what cannabis does to student performance.

Wallis does address this.

“It’s maddeningly difficult to separate the impact of cannabis from other factors, such as poverty and childhood trauma, which increase the odds of using marijuana and which themselves can directly alter the brain,” she wrote.

A 2015 Arizona State University study also encountered the problem of isolating marijuana from other, perhaps greater factors. Researchers could not weigh the impact of marijuana use independent of alcohol or tobacco consumption.

“The problem is that adolescents who use marijuana tend to also use alcohol and smoke tobacco,” psychologist Madeline Meier, who worked on the study, told Wallis.

Also unclear was whether the students were spending too much time playing video games, which might help academic performance, or wasting study hours scrolling through Instagram or looking for articles on Twitter, which apparently hurts students outcomes.

Every foray into weed and learning should lead with these disclaimers. They won’t, because nuance is boring and confusing. Get to the meat! Get to the viral headline! And so it goes.

But since you’re still here: What exactly, is the link between cannabis legalization and a drop in academic performance? Is it cognitive impairment, is it de-motivation, is it a change in brain chemistry, in reward systems—or something else?

Wallis won’t say—because she can’t. Nobody can—not even the academics studying how marijuana changes the body’s endocannabinoid system, which uses naturally-produced compounds similar to marijuana to regulate a host of human functions.

“(N)o one can say for sure that cannabis disrupts this system, and even less clear is the impact of short-term or moderate use,” she admits.

In the absence of incontrovertible fact, she opts instead for petty and ham-fisted moralizing.

“Obviously, students who are actively high in class are not doing themselves any favors,” she writes. “There’s a rich scientific literature demonstrating that learning, memory and attention all take a hit from cannabis intoxication.”

Yes, of course. This is not up for debate.

Someone stoned in class might not be at the top of their game. This is also not the issue—because this is not a phenomenon peculiar to marijuana. Someone drunk or hungover or tired or on their sixth energy drink while in class may also be similarly impaired. And yet there is a marked dearth of concerned moralizers asking us to tug the reins and slow down those wagons while halting the progress of legalization.

Buried, as well, is another takeaway that shows how damaging marijuana propaganda has been. Researchers pointed to the trend of marijuana legalization being associated with teens’ diminished perception that the drug is dangerous as some kind of trouble.

This should not be misinterpreted. Yet, it almost always is.

Remember how dangerous marijuana has been purported to be—for generations—and remember how false those claims have turned out to be.

Of course legalization should compel teens and everyone else to reconsider cannabis’s true nature; it is nowhere near as harmful as the decades of propaganda have insisted. This is the problem with telling and then attempting to maintain an obvious lie. It leads directly to response bias. If you lied about marijuana’s deadliness, why wouldn’t you lie about its negative impact on my studies?

There is at least one study whose model accounts for demographics, trauma and other mitigating or compounding factors. It, too, found that student performance dipped when cannabis use spiked. At the same time, research on marijuana and the developing brain is far from conclusive. “Significant, long-term effects” of use—including light use—is still unclear.

Suffice to say that teens should be discouraged from dabbing their faces off—nobody serious is saying this is something they should do. The legal age to use marijuana in states where it is available is 21 for a reason–the same reason why that’s the legal age to buy alcohol.

These are the best practices we cautiously employ when embarking on the experiment to legalize marijuana. (Surely, the impacts of banning the substance and arresting 1.5 million people a year for it, including parents and students, is disruptive as well!) To lead with a practiced insouciance that cannabis use by itself could be the sole reason why grades go up or down without an entire story’s worth of context—like what we present about—may make for neat copy, but it’s misleading and irresponsible.

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Getting a New York Medical Marijuana Card Just Got Easy, Here’s How


The post Getting a New York Medical Marijuana Card Just Got Easy, Here’s How appeared first on High Times.

This post is sponsored by NuggMD, where you can get a New York medical marijuana card online by speaking to a NY marijuana doctor today!

If you’re a resident of New York, reading this article right now, chances are you already use cannabis. Chances would also suggest that you’re using it illegally, at least according to federal and state law, and that you’re here because you’re interested in learning how you can become a legal, licensed and registered patient under New York’s medical marijuana laws.

So, how DO you get your medical marijuana card and certification in New York? Is it a relatively easy process, or incredibly difficult? Truth is, it used to be pretty hard, but with the addition of chronic pain to the list of conditions that qualify you for a medical marijuana card in NY (and the fact you can complete the entire process online), things just got a whole lot easier.

In fact, click here to start your New York certification process 100% online with the nation’s leading telemedicine provider for cannabis evaluations. They’ve helped over 50,000 California patients, and now offer their service in New York!

After all, in 2014 the State of New York passed Assembly Bill 6357, which made medical marijuana legal in New York under a state-regulated medical marijuana program, so we KNOW it’s possible.

While the New York Medical Marijuana Program is stricter than others in the country, it’s available for patients with a variety of different conditions, and as of recently, those suffering from chronic pain (which come on, that’s a LOT of us).

To legally participate and buy medical cannabis from New York dispensaries, you need to get a certification (AKA doctor’s recommendation) from a practitioner registered with the state’s MMJ program.

We know all the legal stuff and processes can get a little overwhelming. Spend a few minutes here while we break down everything you need to know about legal medical marijuana access in New York.

We’ll cover everything you need to know about:

  1. New York’s medical marijuana laws
  2. How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York
  3. How to Find a New York Medical Marijuana Doctor
  4. What are the Requirements for Medical Marijuana in New York?
  5. How to See a Licensed Doctor via Telemedicine (Video Evaluation)
  6. How to Get Medical Marijuana in New York After Receiving a Certification
  7. Which Registered Organizations (Dispensaries) are Legally Allowed to Sell Medical Cannabis
  8. FAQ

NY Marijuana Laws: Is Weed Legal in New York?

 

 

Is marijuana legal in New York? Not quite, there’s not any slated plans for recreational marijuana in the state, but the good news is that medical cannabis has made some major progress.

For instance, Assembly Bill 6357 was approved and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 19, 2014.

This did several things. First off, it removed state-level criminal penalties (found through new york pen code 221) on both the use and possession of marijuana provided the patient have a written letter from a physician. That letter has to state that the patient may benefit from the usage of marijuana for a debilitating medical condition or as the result of treating such a condition.

Practitioners must clearly state the following on a patient’s certification: authorized brand and form of the approved medical cannabis, how it may be administered, and then any limitations. Dosage, however, is not required.

Assembly Bill 6357 also regulates the manufacturing, sale, and use of marijuana also known as The Compassionate Care Act (New York). It states that only five registered organizations may cultivate, manufacture, and dispense medical marijuana. Those registered organizations must go through an extensive vetting process by the Commissioner of the Department of Health.

Once selected, each registered organization may have up to four state-regulated dispensaries to sell and dispense medical marijuana. We’ll point you towards these registered organizations (New York medical marijuana dispensaries) in a later section.

After ironing out the details, New York launched the medical marijuana program with eight dispensaries on January 7, 2016. Total dispensed product may not exceed a 30-day supply. Allowable forms of medical marijuana include liquids, vape oil, inhaler, and capsules. Under New York law, smoking cannabis is not permitted, and neither are edibles. Cultivation of medical cannabis is not allowed under New York law.

So there you have it. Indeed, weed is decriminalized in NY to some degree, in that you won’t go to jail for a minor first-offense. It’s treated more like a minor traffic violation. That isn’t to say you can’t be prosecuted for the unlawful possession of marijuana in New York; it depends on the amount you’re found carrying.

Needless to say though, it’s now easier than ever for people with legitimate medical conditions to finally gain access to medical marijuana doctors in New York, and get their medical marijuana card.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York

Medical Marijuana Doctors New York

To obtain a medical marijuana card in New York, you must be a legal resident of the state of New York with authentic identification as a proof of residency. If you do not have a state-issued ID, a passport with a New York address can also be used. In the event you do not have either, bank statements and utility bill copies also may be accepted as proof of residency.

The next step of the process is obtaining a written certification from a registered practitioner. You can do this either by doing an in-person visit (there are currently only 800 doctors in New York registered to do this) or online with a telemedicine doctor authorized to write a recommendation for medical cannabis. For now, let’s cover the in-person process, and we’ll circle back later to explain the super simple and convenient telemedicine version (which we recommend).

If you’re unsure about medical marijuana, it may be in your interest to ask your primary physician first for an in-depth discussion about whether medical marijuana may help manage your condition or not.

If he or she has determined that medical marijuana is an appropriate treatment for and is registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program, your doctor may issue your certification for medical marijuana. If your doctor is not registered with the program, they can refer you to a doctor who is registered for your certification. If your doctor refers you to another doctor for your certification, all your medical records and any relevant document should be sent to the recommending doctor’s office.

Keep in mind, it’s incredibly difficult to find medical marijuana doctors in New York who are registered through the state’s MMJ program, since the State Health Department refuses to make public these doctors’ information (and hence the reason why telehealth is vastly more effective for many patients).

What Are the New York Medical Marijuana Requirements?

You must have one of the qualifying conditions for New York’s Medical Marijuana Card. The qualifying conditions include Cancer, HIV positive status, AIDS, Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Spasticity, Huntington’s Disease, and neuropathies.

Effective March 22, 2017, chronic pain was added to the list of qualifying conditions by Dr. Howard Zucker, Health Commissioner, who is in favor of the improvements.

Dr. Zucker said: “Improving patient access to medical marijuana continues to be one of our top priorities, as it has been since the launch of the program,” he said in a statement. “These key enhancements further that goal.”

Chronic pain is described as any severe, debilitating pain that the practitioner determines worsens health and functional capability, pain that has intolerable side-effects, that has or is expected to last three months or longer, and other types of therapy that have either failed to treat or are too harmful to apply. Chronic pain also includes wasting syndrome (cachexia), seizures and severe muscle spasms, and severe nausea.

After your doctor confirms you have a qualifying condition that can benefit from medical marijuana, the doctor will give you a written certification. You must then complete an application for a New York Medical Marijuana Card through the Department’s online system through NY.gov and submit to the designated state authority. There is a $50 application fee, which is billed later unless you obtained a financial hardship waiver. You will need to submit proof of identity and residency during the process.

As long as you conduct your evaluation with a trusted, high-quality doctor (like you’ll find with NuggMD, the service we recommend shortly), they should provide you the resources & instruction necessary to complete your registration process with the state.

Once you are approved, you will receive your New York Medical Marijuana Card in the mail. You will need both the card and your certification to purchase medical marijuana products at a state-regulated dispensary.

How to Find a Medical Marijuana Doctor in New York

There are currently only 800 registered practitioners able to recommend medical cannabis in New York legally. Recently, physicians’ assistants became eligible to certify patients so long as their supervising physician is also registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program.  If you practitioner is not registered, they will be able to refer you to someone who is. You also have the option to get your certification via Telemedicine Evaluation, which is much easier than finding a MMJ doctor evaluations near you.

In March 13, 2015, the State of New York passed Senate Bill 2405, “The Telehealth Amendment Act” allowing for “the use of electronic information and communication technologies by telehealth providers, to deliver health care services, which shall include the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management and/or self-management, of a patient.” With the passage of Assembly Bill 6357, New York law allows for the use of telemedicine to obtain a medical marijuana evaluation.

How An Online Telemedicine Evaluation Works

Is Weed Legal in New York

There are but a few (and none but one has been properly vetted or recommended by patients) options for getting your doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana in New York.

Here we will take you through the entire process found at NuggMD, where getting a Medical Marijuana Evaluation online is fantastically simple and easy. And it’s no wonder, the company has already helped over 50,000 patients in California connect with a licensed doctor online to get their medical marijuana license.

Exceptional customer service, an easy-to-use system, the cheapest price available, and well-informed doctors who take the time to understand your medical history and answer your every question make NuggMD the standout in a web of potential providers.

Bonus: NuggMD also helps you make your medical marijuana miraculously materialize (say that five times fast) once approved.  They connect you with legal, state-regulated marijuana dispensaries near you once you have received your recommendation, and card. But that service, that is, ordering marijuana delivery in New York, is not yet available in the state. The company hopes to introduce online cannabis ordering and marijuana delivery in New York State in the coming months.

Regarding the online process, your information is safely stored. All your sensitive data is securely tucked away in an HIPAA compliant and encoded database, so all your information stays secure. NuggMD also guarantees completely safe credit transactions through its website.

Here’s the best way you get your New York medical marijuana card super quick, and at the lowest cost we’ve seen:

  1. Create a profile at NuggMD.com on any tech gadget with internet access like your desktop, laptop, tablet or even cell phone.
  2. Complete a short profile with your basic information. You can expect to provide the basics like name, address, and birthdate. The next step requires you to discuss your medical history and conditions in greater detail so the recommending doctor can measure best to educate you on ways medical marijuana may benefit you.
  3. Then you enter your payment information and which allows you to video chat with a fully New York board-licensed, medical marijuana-friendly doctor to finish your evaluation. It isn’t a long chat, just 5 or 10 minutes, but can last as long as you need if you have questions.
  4. If you’re approved to receive a medical marijuana recommendation, as a NuggMD member, you’ll pay $199 total (again, it is the lowest online price we’ve seen so far). And if you didn’t get approved (sorry), your evaluation is free!
  5. Once you’re approved, you can expect an email afterwards with your certification, as well as instructions on how to complete your medical marijuana registration process for NY state.
  6. With those instructions, you’ll want to complete your application and register with the New York Medical Marijuana Card Program (and pay your $50 application fee). The card will be mailed to you once approved, and after that you’ll be all set to purchase cannabis from designated state-regulated dispensaries!

Per New York Law, recommendation letters (AKA certification, weed card, prop 215 card cannabis card, etc.) are good for one year from the date on the letter, and then you will be required to obtain a medical cannabis card renewal.

While that may seem like a pain, it’s refreshing to know that you can go through this same simple process again next year!

However, New York also stipulates that patients follow up at least every 90 days with the same physician that issued their recommendation, so you’ll want to schedule a follow-up appointment (which can be done online through NuggMD) after completing your initial 420 evaluation.

Now here’s the question I know is on your mind…

After Being Approved, How Do You Get Medical Marijuana in New York?

New York Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Let’s start with the rules for marijuana access:

  1. Those with a Medical Marijuana Card may only purchase approved types of medical marijuana sold only at state-monitored dispensaries associated with the five registered organizations in New York.
  2. The types of medical marijuana available for legal purchase and consumption are liquids, oils for vaporizing, inhalers, or capsules.
  3. Per New York law, edibles and smoking the flowers of the cannabis plants are still illegal and are not included in the approved medical marijuana types.

So, where can you buy medical marijuana in New York? The answer is at Registered Organizations.

Registered Organizations may legally cultivate, manufacture, and dispense approved medical marijuana products in the state. They must meet the highest quality standards in New York State. Final products must be tested for their cannabinoid profile and pesticides or other contaminants. They also must adhere to New York’s product and dispensing label requirements which include, but are not limited to: warnings of potential allergens which may be in the product, warnings of adverse effects, contraindications, and much more. Each Registered Organization is valid for two years unless they violate any part of their agreement.

According to Assembly Bill 6357, there may only be five Registered Organization in the state, and each Registered Organization can have up to four dispensing facilities which must be owned and operated by the Registered Organization. These facilities must report dispensing information to the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program Registry. They also must consult with the registry before dispensing approved medical marijuana products to certified patients or their designated caregivers.

Each Registered Organization can sell up to five brands of medical marijuana. One brand must be low THC and high CBD, and one brand must contain equal amounts of THC and CBD. They also are banned from selling the unprocessed whole flower. Additionally, they must adhere to the marijuana pricing policies of the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health.

Here is a list of the five Registered Organizations and their associated dispensaries:

Bloomfield Industries, Inc.
Bloomfield Industries does not refer to their dispensaries as retail areas and instead call them Patient Resource Centers. They currently have three locations but will be opening their fourth location in Manhattan soon. They recommend making an appointment to ensure short wait times and the best service possible

Available Locations:

Williamsville (serving the Buffalo-area)
52 South Union Road, Suite 102

Salina (serving the Syracuse-area)
1304 Buckley Road, Suite 106

Lake Success
2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W75

Columbia Care NY LLC
Columbia Care NY has four dispensaries in New York providing premium product and education. You will need to schedule an appointment or attend the very specific Walk-In Hours each week.

Available Locations:

New York City
212 E 14th Street

Riverhead
1333 E Main Street

Plattsburgh
345 Cornelia Street

Rochester
200 West Ridge Road

Etain LLC
Etain is a family-owned, and female-owned business providing safe and consistent products with a high level of compassionate care through their four dispensaries. Appointments are highly encouraged and can be scheduled online.

Tip: Be sure to pay particular attention to their days and hours of operation.

Available Locations:

Albany
402 North Pearl Street

Kingston
445 State Route 28

Syracuse
2140 Erie Boulevard East

Yonkers
55 Main Street

PharmaCannis LLC
PharmaCannis has an impressive website with a wealth of information and four dispensaries to serve clients.

Available Locations:

Amherst
25 Northpointe Parkway, Suite #30

Liverpool
642 Old Liverpool Road

Albany
10 Executive Park Drive

Bronx
405 Huntspoint Avenue

Vireo Health of New York LLC
Vireo’s major focus is on safety and precision. They also offer online ordering and delivery from their four dispensaries, but you must make an in-person or online appointment before you can purchase approved medical marijuana.

Available Locations:

White Plains
221-223 E. Post Road
*only accepts cash payments

Queens
89-55 Queens Boulevard
*only accepts cash payments

Binghamton
589 Harry L Drive
Johnson City, NY
*only accepts cash payments

Albany
38 Fuller Road

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Medical Marijuana in New York

New York Marijuana Laws

  1. What conditions qualify for a medical marijuana card in New York?

Cancer, HIV positive status, AIDS, Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Spasticity, Huntington’s Disease, and neuropathies. Chronic pain is also now a qualifying condition.

  1. Where can I find a registered doctor?

If your primary physician is not registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program, he or she can recommend a physician who is registered. You can also use a qualified telemedicine service like NuggMD.

  1. What if my primary care physician is not registered with the Medical Marijuana Program?

Your doctor can refer you to a physician who is registered with the New York’s Medical Marijuana Program or you can use a telemedicine service to get your certification.

  1. What types of marijuana are allowed?

New York State allows liquids, vape oil, inhaler, and capsules. The smoking of cannabis and edibles are both illegal in New York even with a Medical Marijuana Card.

  1. Can I grow my own marijuana if I have a New York Medical Marijuana Card?

No. The Compassion Care Act does not allow private cultivation of marijuana in New York.

  1. How much medical marijuana can I purchase at one time?

You may purchase up to 30-days’ worth of approved medical marijuana from a state-regulated dispensary, owned and operated by one of the five Registered Organizations in New York.

  1. Once I get certification from a registered practitioner, how do I get a Medical Marijuana Card?

You will need to complete an application for a New York Medical Marijuana Card through the Department’s online system NY.gov. You will also have to pay a $50 application fee and submit proof of identity and residency in additional to your written certification from a registered doctor.

  1. When will my card arrive?

Once your application has been successfully submitted and approved (watch for any follow-ups in email or regular mail for missing documents or clarification), you will receive your card within three business days.

  1. Where can I purchase my medical marijuana?

You can buy your medical marijuana through any of the dispensaries owned and operated by the five Registered Organizations in New York who are: Bloomfield Industries, Inc., Columbia Care NY LLC, Etain LLC, PharmaCannis LLC, and Vireo Health of New York LLC.

  1. What if I am unable to go to the dispensary physically?

Some dispensaries have delivery and online appointments. You can also add up to two caregivers (you will need to do this when you complete your application) who are authorized to pick-up medical marijuana on your behalf.

  1. Will all dispensing facilities have the same products?

All Registered Organizations can sell up to five brands of medical marijuana in different approved forms (liquid, vape oil, capsule, and inhaler). One of those brands must be a low THC/high-CBD product, and at least one brand must contain equal amounts of THC and CBD. Each Registered Organization will likely have different products but should carry similar stock at each of their associated dispensaries.

  1. Can I use my out-of-state medical marijuana card to purchase medical marijuana while I am in New York?

No. Only patients with a New York Medical Marijuana Card may purchase legal medical marijuana in approved New York dispensaries.

So there you have it folks. This massive essay should serve as everything you’ll ever need to know about becoming a licensed medical marijuana patient in New York (remember, seeing a NY medical weed doctor is as easy as connecting with one through video chat using a service like NuggMD) and accessing the wondrous healing herb that is cannabis.

Should you have any questions about the process at all, NuggMD actually offers live chat support during almost all hours of the day on their website!

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The Big Problem with All Studies about Marijuana and Learning


The post The Big Problem with All Studies about Marijuana and Learning appeared first on High Times.

When in doubt, lead with the bold claim—and worry about substantiating it, or addressing the crucial context that could contradict it completely, sometime later.

This is the trap into which “The Science of Learning” columnist Claudia Wallis, a respected veteran science journalist with impeccable credentials, falls in her piece headlined “How legalizing marijuana could hurt student achievement.”

Such an easily digestible takeaway no doubt generated many clicks and shares among those for whom the link between legal marijuana availability—not use, mind you, but the mere presence of legal cannabis in regulated storefronts as opposed to solely in the pockets of street hustlers—and poor academic performance is an irrefutable truth.

It also served as a convenient distraction from the heart of the matter, the nuance that also snares academic reviews: It is next to impossible to finger marijuana by itself as the cause of a general decline or boost in academic performance—not when there’s a host of other variables to weigh.

The test case here is Maastricht, a city in the Netherlands that in 2011 banned its 13 marijuana-dispensing coffeeshops from selling cannabis to foreign nationals. We’re not told how many of the students from other countries studying at the local university were patronizing these establishments—but at least some of them were, one assumes.

All we know is that after the ban, the percentage of foreign students passing their exams increased from 73.9 percent to 77.9 percent, according to the study, which was published in March. “A sizable jump,” Wallis writes.

At last, the neat conclusion that weed hurts students can be drawn. Rather than fall into the “correlation is not causation” traps that have weakened other studies with the necessary caveats, “we could cleanly identify the causal impact of a drug policy,” study co-author Ulf Zoelitz told Wallis.

This is an extremely bold claim—one of the boldest of them of all.

Because, parsing the publicly available abstract and summations of the study (alas, the genuine item is caged behind a paywall), it does not appear that they were able to control for a host of other factors—all of which are more encompassing and far more compounding than the availability of legal weed in the vicinity.

This is the same trap that all studies that purport to declare, with authority, what cannabis does to student performance.

Wallis does address this.

“It’s maddeningly difficult to separate the impact of cannabis from other factors, such as poverty and childhood trauma, which increase the odds of using marijuana and which themselves can directly alter the brain,” she wrote.

A 2015 Arizona State University study also encountered the problem of isolating marijuana from other, perhaps greater factors. Researchers could not weigh the impact of marijuana use independent of alcohol or tobacco consumption.

“The problem is that adolescents who use marijuana tend to also use alcohol and smoke tobacco,” psychologist Madeline Meier, who worked on the study, told Wallis.

Also unclear was whether the students were spending too much time playing video games, which might help academic performance, or wasting study hours scrolling through Instagram or looking for articles on Twitter, which apparently hurts students outcomes.

Every foray into weed and learning should lead with these disclaimers. They won’t, because nuance is boring and confusing. Get to the meat! Get to the viral headline! And so it goes.

But since you’re still here: What exactly, is the link between cannabis legalization and a drop in academic performance? Is it cognitive impairment, is it de-motivation, is it a change in brain chemistry, in reward systems—or something else?

Wallis won’t say—because she can’t. Nobody can—not even the academics studying how marijuana changes the body’s endocannabinoid system, which uses naturally-produced compounds similar to marijuana to regulate a host of human functions.

“o one can say for sure that cannabis disrupts this system, and even less clear is the impact of short-term or moderate use,” she admits.

In the absence of incontrovertible fact, she opts instead for petty and ham-fisted moralizing.

“Obviously, students who are actively high in class are not doing themselves any favors,” she writes. “There’s a rich scientific literature demonstrating that learning, memory and attention all take a hit from cannabis intoxication.”

Yes, of course. This is not up for debate.

Someone stoned in class might not be at the top of their game. This is also not the issue—because this is not a phenomenon peculiar to marijuana. Someone drunk or hungover or tired or on their sixth energy drink while in class may also be similarly impaired. And yet there is a marked dearth of concerned moralizers asking us to tug the reins and slow down those wagons while halting the progress of legalization.

Buried, as well, is another takeaway that shows how damaging marijuana propaganda has been. Researchers pointed to the trend of marijuana legalization being associated with teens’ diminished perception that the drug is dangerous as some kind of trouble.

This should not be misinterpreted. Yet, it almost always is.

Remember how dangerous marijuana has been purported to be—for generations—and remember how false those claims have turned out to be.

Of course legalization should compel teens and everyone else to reconsider cannabis’s true nature; it is nowhere near as harmful as the decades of propaganda have insisted. This is the problem with telling and then attempting to maintain an obvious lie. It leads directly to response bias. If you lied about marijuana’s deadliness, why wouldn’t you lie about its negative impact on my studies?

There is at least one study whose model accounts for demographics, trauma and other mitigating or compounding factors. It, too, found that student performance dipped when cannabis use spiked. At the same time, research on marijuana and the developing brain is far from conclusive. “Significant, long-term effects” of use—including light use—is still unclear.

Suffice to say that teens should be discouraged from dabbing their faces off—nobody serious is saying this is something they should do. The legal age to use marijuana in states where it is available is 21 for a reason–the same reason why that’s the legal age to buy alcohol.

These are the best practices we cautiously employ when embarking on the experiment to legalize marijuana. (Surely, the impacts of banning the substance and arresting 1.5 million people a year for it, including parents and students, is disruptive as well!) To lead with a practiced insouciance that cannabis use by itself could be the sole reason why grades go up or down without an entire story’s worth of context—like what we present about—may make for neat copy, but it’s misleading and irresponsible.

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Report: 6-Year-Old Girl’s Life Saved by Cannabis Oil


The post Report: 6-Year-Old Girl’s Life Saved by Cannabis Oil appeared first on High Times.

News of a six-year-old girl’s life saved by cannabis oil hit headlines across the UK today, turning the public’s attention to the ongoing debates over medical cannabis treatments. The young patient, Jayla Agbonlahor, is in fact the youngest person with legal permission to use cannabis in the UK.

Back in 2015, Jayla’s parents finally received the go-ahead from UK officials to treat their daughter with cannabis oil. But since it’s illegal to purchase cannabis oil in the UK, Jayla’s mother, Louise Bostock, has to buy it from Holland.

6-Year-Old Girl’s Life Saved By Cannabis Oil: A Mother’s Saga

Prior to 2015, Bostock received word from her daughter’s doctors that Jayla was likely to die at a young age. Just days after her birth, Jayla was back at the hosital, having stopped breathing. And throughout her infancy, Jayla suffered from frequent, severe seizures.

She had difficulty eating and drinking, and difficulty walking and talking. These conditions led to Jayla’s hospitalization every three to four weeks, according to the Independent.

Because of the seizures, doctors initially thought Jayla was suffering from a rare form of epilepsy. But further tests ruled out epilepsy. Today, young Jayla still lives with an undiagnosed brain condition.

Doctors were unsure what was wrong with Jayla, and traditional treatments were proving ineffective. That’s when Jayla’s mother began researching medical cannabis oil.

When Jayla turned four, Bostock began secretly treating her with cannabis oil. When her child’s doctors found out, they were completely dismayed. What Bostock did, of course, was illegal. But Bostock insisted that Jayla’s condition was improving thanks to the cannabis oil treatments.

According to sources, Jayla was experiencing fewer seizures and even showed improvements eating and sleeping. Nevertheless, Bostock had to submit to a police investigation regarding her illegal administration of cannabis. Marijuana is a “Class-B” drug in the UK.

At the end of the process, however, Bostock gained legal permission to treat her daughter with cannabis.

How A 6-Year-Old Girl’s Life Saved by Cannabis Oil Could Change UK Law

Jayla’s case garnered extra attention in the UK press thanks to a high-profile relative. Jayla is the niece of UK soccer star Gabby Agbonlahor, who plays for Aston Villa.

And although Jayla is still in serious condition, her family hopes that the small sliver of hope cannabis oil gave them could move the needle on legalizing medical cannabis in the UK. Jayla’s family wants the National Health Service to use her case as a precedent for approving medical cannabis as a legal form of treatment.

Studies continue to attest to the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis, especially for neurological disorders. Research has shown that cannabis, especially CBD, can heal and repair damaged nerves, reduce seizure frequency and severity, and protect brain cells from some diseases.

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First Medical Connection Recorded Between Spontaneous Orgasms & Weed


The post First Medical Connection Recorded Between Spontaneous Orgasms & Weed appeared first on High Times.

Another day, another shocking new revelation about the untapped power of cannabis. According to a report from the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, a 40-year-old Netherlands woman was forced to seek medical help after experiencing spontaneous orgasms for five-weeks straight following a long night of heavy weed smoking and sex.

A First Time for Everything

Per the report, it is believed the occurrence is the first medically-recorded connection of spontaneous orgasms and cannabis-use.

The woman, referred to in the report as “Mrs. A,” claimed to have smoked weed with a partner before a five-hour sexual encounter. The subject described the extensive tryst as  “hard pounding sexual activity.”

Following the ordeal, the woman began receiving random orgasms without any sexual stimulation. Mrs. A reported she would typically experience them while laying down, and they would intensify as the evening progressed. Some, she claimed, lasted hours.

Throughout her typical day, Mrs. A was in constant fear she would experience another orgasm in public. At one point, she believed to have been experiencing Restless Genital Syndrome, which results in discomfort and unwanted sexual rousing.

She enlisted the help of Dr. Marcel Waldinger and showed him a video she had recorded of herself having one of her unwanted orgasms. Waldinger and his colleague Dave Schweitzer immediately dismissed the idea of Restless Genital Syndrome, as her symptoms didn’t add up.

However, the pair did manage to come up with an out of the box hypothesis of their own—he theorized her orgasms were a result of her long night of weed and sex, in addition to later cannabis-use.

The doctors believe that the intense sexual escapade led to an overactivation of a nerve, which in turn makes orgasms more intense. Weed itself is known to have stimulating sexual effects, so Waldinger and Schweitzer believe the plant itself is responsible for triggering the ensuing orgasms.

“She said she continued to use cannabis alone and without having sex. Even after several weeks, only a small amount of cannabis induced spontaneous orgasm. When she took higher doses, she got spontaneous orgasms that she ‘couldn’t handle’ anymore,” Waldinger told IBTimes UK.

Final Hit: First Medical Connection Recorded Between Spontaneous Orgasms & Weed

Although there have been studies regarding the link between orgasms and cannabis, this is the first time it’s been directly linked to a spontaneous occurrence.

“We need to know whether there are more incidents like this. So I’m interested in patients who will contact me if they’ve had the same sort of experiences,” Waldinger said. “That is important, to find out whether this is a very rare phenomenon or whether it occurs more often.”

Joseph Palamar of the New York University School of Medicine has studied the correlation between sex and marijuana in the past, and says the results vary from person to person.

“Using weed can make your body and your sexual organs more sensitive to touch. Weed also relaxes you and can also reportedly lead to tingly or warm sensations,” Palamar said. “Orgasms on marijuana are often described as magnified, longer and more intense. However, a lot of women find it hard to even achieve an orgasm while high on weed as they may become unfocused or paranoid. Many females have trouble getting lubricated after smoking weed—to the point of one of my interviewees referring to this as ‘dry mouth, but down there.’”

Regardless of the result, more research is needed to conclude whether or not Waldinger’s theory is correct.

“From a pharmacological point of view, this is very interesting,” Waldinger said. “What part of cannabis is inducing sexual pleasure and function, and what part is inhibiting it? It is fascinating to know that there is a drug that has a specific effect on orgasm.”

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Can Smoking Weed Damage Sperm Count?


The post Can Smoking Weed Damage Sperm Count? appeared first on High Times.

Can smoking weed damage sperm count? If you thought you only had to worry about hot tubs and cell phones, you might be wrong. Some recent studies warn against this insidious side-effect of reefer. Are you at risk?

Is Your Sperm Getting Smoked?

An epidemic has been making the rounds in media headlines. It’s scary and anxiety-inducing. It’s a deeply personal matter that can impact self-esteem and the traditional family structure. Even worse, it can affect the fate of the human race.

We’re talking, of course, about low sperm count.

A man’s sperm count is pretty much the driving factor of whether or not he can get someone pregnant. If he has a sperm count that’s too low, the chances that he’ll be able to biologically father children is lowered significantly. To prevent a lowered sperm count, physicians and fertility specialists recommend some lifestyle tips.

Wearing underwear that’s too tight can affect your sperm, so they recommend wearing loose underwear during the day and going commando at night. It is also recommended that wannabe fathers and sperm donors limit their time in hot tubs.

OK, so don’t chill in the hot tub all day and switch from briefs to boxers. Not too much of a change right? Don’t get too comfy yet, guys.

Recent studies suggest that chronic cannabis use can also screw your sperm.

A 2015 study conducted in Denmark found that regular weed smoking was associated with a lower sperm count in men aged between 18 and 28 years old. The exact figure was a 29 percent lower sperm count than men in the studied demographic who abstained from the herb. Furthermore, regular cannabis use combined with other recreational drug use lowered sperm count by a whopping 55 percent.

And it’s not just a lowered sperm count that chronic smokers need to worry about. Some urologists are reporting that regular heavy weed smokers are producing sperm cells that spin around in circles, rather than propelling themselves toward a potential egg.

Final Hit: Can Smoking Weed Damage Sperm Count?

OK, dudes. The bottom line is that there are a dozen factors that can negatively impact your sperm count. Wearing underwear and pants that are too tight, spending an excessive amount in a hot tub, anabolic steroid use and smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products can all affect a man’s sperm count as well as the quality of his sperm.

Overall poor health will also lower your chances of impregnating someone (as well as lower your sex drive). Even seemingly benign habits, like keeping your cell phone in your pocket or resting your laptop on your lap, can kill your sperm!

So can smoking weed damage sperm count? Maybe. But if you’re an occasional toker in good health, chances are, you have nothing to worry about. You know what they say: everything in moderation. If you’re a chronic cannabis smoker who wants to be a dad someday, it’s not too late to cut back. Sperm cells have a quick turnover rate, so it’s likely that you’ll be able to reverse any damage you may have done.

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