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Study Links Cannabis Use to Fitness, Utah’s Push for Mushrooms, & Massachusetts Removes Barriers for Veterans

Cesar Gallegos

by Cesar Gallegos

June 16, 2023 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 3 Minutes

A study linked cannabis use and fitness, Utah politicians are exploring psilocybin legalization, and Massachusetts is making its medical cannabis program more accessible to veterans.

Let’s dive into this week’s canna-news.

Researchers Discover Surprising Link Between Cannabis, Fitness, and Diabetes

The “munchies” are one of the most common side effects of cannabis use. Despite this, a new study suggests that cannabis users may actually be fitter and less prone to diabetes than those who don’t use the substance.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of California. It focused on how cannabis use during teenage years impacts fat cell functionality. To test this, the team gave teenage mice low doses of THC over several years. During this time, researchers monitored how the mice’s metabolism changed as they aged into adulthood.

At the study’s conclusion, researchers found that the mice exposed to THC showed reduced fat mass and increased lean mass. Further, the THC-exposed mice also showed increased resistance to obesity and high blood sugar compared to the control group.

These findings demonstrate that cannabis’ effects go beyond the brain and, in fact, also affect the body. Researchers say this should serve as a cautionary tale to teenage users who may be endangering their long-term organ function, which could have negative consequences for their physical and mental health.

What do you think about the findings of this new study? Let us know in the comments!

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Utah Pushes for Psilocybin Despite Early Failures

Earlier this year, Utah had a chance to make psychedelic history. A bill to launch a pilot program allowing medical patients to consume psilocybin for medical reasons was introduced into Utah’s state Senate. Ultimately, the bill stalled—being neither approved nor rejected—with lawmakers saying they needed more time to consider the issue.  

Despite the disappointment, there is still hope that Utah can legalize mushrooms in the near future. State Sen. Luz Escamilla, a Democrat from Salt Lake City, is one of the individuals making the push. Escamilla hopes to re-center the conversation around psilocybin legalization as one of mental health.

Utah is one of the states with the highest suicide rates in the country. Further, the state is currently experiencing a shortage of mental health professionals. Escamilla, and other advocates, hope that legalization will allow more people to access life-changing mental health care without worrying about breaking drug laws.

Do you think Utah will be able to rally and make psychedelic history? Let us know in the comments!

Massachusetts Looks to Increase Veteran Access to Cannabis

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (MCCC) is considering the removal of registration fees for veterans looking to participate in the state’s medical cannabis program. The state hopes expanding access to the program will help curb opiate use among veterans.

The issue first came up when the commission discovered that a significant number of veterans in the state were not signed up for the program despite being more than qualified to join. By removing the fee, the MCCC hopes to make enrollment in the medical cannabis program more budget-friendly.

Another major factor behind the lack of Veteran enrollment is the federal illegality of cannabis. This means veterans who use the Veterans Administration (VA) for healthcare can not legally join. To get around this issue, Massachusetts is looking to expand the definition of a “qualifying patient” to include veterans using VA healthcare. Additionally, the MCCC is also looking at adding PTSD and opioid addiction to its list of qualifying conditions.

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