Marijuana may help combat substance abuse, mental health disorders

Contrary to research that suggests marijuana may act as a gateway drug, encouraging the use of other harmful substances, a new study indicates it may have the opposite effect.

Marijuana may be an effective ‘exit drug’

The researchers came to their conclusion after conducting a systematic review of 60 studies assessing the effects of either medical or non-medical marijuana on mental health and substance abuse.

The analysis revealed that medical marijuana shows potential for treating symptoms of PTSD, depression, and social anxiety.

“Research suggests that people may be using cannabis as an exit drug to reduce the use of substances that are potentially more harmful, such as opioid pain medication,” Zach Walsh, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia in Canada explains.

The evidence to date suggests that medical marijuana does not raise the risk of self-harm or harm to others, the researchers note, although they caution that acute marijuana intoxication and recent use of medical marijuana may affect short-term memory and other cognitive functions.

The team concludes that more research is required to further assess the effects of marijuana use on mental health and substance abuse.

Medical News Today

A mix of Topical and Ingested Natural Ingredients Key to Anti-Aging Skin

While the eyes are the window to our soul, our skin is a mirror to our physical and emotional wellbeing. Our general health, our nutrition, our lifestyle and our emotional state are all reflected in the way our skin looks. So, there is real truth in the saying “beauty starts from the inside.”

Many ingredients play in both topical and ingestible products. Examples would be collagen or collagen peptides, lipids and different antioxidants and vitamins. In fact, research shows that by utilizing a combined approach one can experience better results. For example, providing carotenoid antioxidants via topical and ingestible treatment led to greater accumulation in human skin compared to each delivery method alone.

So, how can we maintain and support skin longevity?

Collagen is the major protein of skin cells. It supplies the firmness and structural integrity of the young skin. As a result of intrinsic aging as well as environmental factors, collagen production is reduced while collagen fragmentation is increased.

Ceramides belong to a family of lipid molecules that are an integral part of cell membranes. As such, ceramides are important for skin protective barrier function. Using ceramides in a supplement or in a cream can support skin barrier function and help keep skin hydrated and moist.

Our first line of defense against UV is the antioxidant reservoir in our skin. This reservoir is gradually depleted as we age, and ironically, UV radiation serves as a catalysis to this harmful depletion process. Therefore, there is the sense in replenishing antioxidants into our skin.

Combining the different protective approaches (topical and ingestible) is a sweet spot in the industry, and we will probably see more brands coming out with this holistic skin care approach. With the topicals facilitating the consumer expectation for short-term effects and the ingestible complementing the bigger picture and providing long-term, 24/7 benefits for skin parameters as well as for overall wellness which is reflected in our skin.

Natural Product Insider

What the Reversed Kratom Ban Teaches Us About Drug Advocacy in America

You may not be familiar with the drug kratom, but many Americans are. Kratom is known to relieve pain and anxiety, and has often been used to ease the challenges of getting off of more harmful drugs, namely opioids. The DEA was slated to ban kratom until late September, when an outpouring of public activism by kratom users led to an indefinite delay on such a ban.

Earlier this year, the DEA announced its intent to place kratom on the list of Schedule I drugs. This is the most restrictive category of banned substances that includes drugs like heroin and LSD. The DEA describes a Schedule I like so: “Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence.” Kratom users have used the drug to help them kick their OxyContin habit. Despite being a far more addictive substance, OxyContin is a Schedule II drug. Advocates for kratom compare the drug’s addictive power to coffee. No deaths have been linked to the drug.

Read the full story on Merry Jane.

Be Happy and Gay! These 7 Nutrients are Guaranteed to Boost Happiness Levels!

If you’ve been feeling a little moody lately (or if those PMS symptoms are getting you down), perhaps it’s time to look at your diet. You might be lacking in a few important nutrients that could be the reason why your happiness levels are down and you feel lethargic and unmotivated
Let’s put the pep back in your step and the smile back in your face!

Magnesium – its role in the development of serotonin means it is a major contributor to how happy you feel throughout the day. Low levels of magnesium have been linked to a higher risk of depression.

Chromium – helps the body regulate insulin, which in turn regulates your brain’s level of serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin, the chemicals your brain uses to manage emotion and mood. While a standard, well-balanced diet should ease

Calcium – low levels of calcium can have a negative effect, particularly in women. Studies have found that those deficient in calcium tend to suffer more intense PMS symptoms, and are more prone to PMS-related depression

Iron – having adequate levels of iron ensures that your body is in top form, fighting off fatigue, apathy, and mood swings.

Vitamin B6 – Neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers in charge of getting information from your brain to the rest of your body, love vitamin B6.

Vitamin B12 – a deficiency of B12 commonly results in fatigue, slowed reasoning, and even paranoia in some cases. Conversely, higher levels of the vitamin allow the body to synthesize optimal conditions for the brain to send and receive signals, which plays a large part in your mood.

Vitamin D – If you’re feeling consistently down in the dumps, an increase in Vitamin D may be all it takes to lift your spirits. Much like calcium, low levels of vitamin D have been associated with symptoms of depression in both men and women.

Marie-France Asia

Oral Health: These 6 Foods can Whiten your Teeth Naturally

Yellow teeth are a major turn off; it’s something everyone wants to avoid. Here are some foods which you can include in your diet to maintain the whiteness and shine along with a beautiful, healthy smile.

Nuts – Nuts comprise of proteins, which aid in teeth whitening. Also, munching them helps in rubbing the stains off and scraping the plaque away, thanks to their coarse texture.

Apple – natural ingredient called malic acid leads to salivation in our mouth which aids in maintaining teeth’s cleanliness and removing any stuck food particles and stain

Strawberry – contains malic acid as well.

Pears – neutralize the stains on the teeth caused by the germs

Broccoli – protects teeth and gets rid of the germs and bacteria that generate because of the enamel-harming acid.

Carrots – triggers the production of saliva which clears the food debris away and whitens the teeth

International Business Times India

This Organic Juice Can Help Beat Diabetes

Insulin injections and several other medications are available over the counter to help control diabetes. However, this method will shock you.

All that one needs is a few straws of wheat grass and water. Wheat grass is one of the best organic ingredients that is rich in fiber. It helps in preventing the fluctuation of blood sugar level and also it keeps one full for a longer period of time.

Rich in several nutrients like vitamins, minerals, iron, calcium and amino acids, apart from managing diabetes, wheat grass has several other health benefits too. It aids in building up the immunity level, lowers cholesterol level and also helps build up the hemoglobin level.

Methods:
#1. Take a few strands of tender wheat grass.
#2. Wash the wheat grass thoroughly with cold water.
#3. Put this wheat grass along with a glass of water into the mixer grinder and then blend it well.
#4. Strain the juice and then drink the juice early in the morning on an empty stomach.
#5. Continue this for about a month or two and then see the difference in the blood sugar level.

BoldSky

6 Natural Laxative Foods to Make You Poop

There are different laxatives available on the market to solve constipation woes; most people choose to buy over-the-counter stimulants. However, over time, these laxatives can weaken the body’s ability to go to the bathroom, and possibly lead to a “laxative dependency” or abuse. People who abuse laxatives find its “quick fix” appealing to lose unwanted calories and weight, “feel thin” or “feel empty.” Eating foods that act like natural laxatives can help us meet our 25 to 40 grams of fiber per day to avoid constipation.

Here are 6 natural food laxatives for constipation relief.

CHIA Seeds – They are an excellent source of fiber at 10 grams per ounce

Figs – This fruit provides high levels of fiber and water in addition to antioxidants, which act as an anti-inflammatory in the digestive system.

Probiotics – creates a healthy environment in the gut microflora to keep the digestive system free of issues like constipation and diarrhea.

Leafy Greens – Inevitably, leafy greens are an excellent source of fiber and possess a high magnesium content.

Coffee – The acidity in coffee helps to stimulate the distal colon, which helps dispel waste from the body

Kombucha – contains probiotics that help bring balance to the flora of your digestive tract, helping improve stomach troubles and digestion

Medical Daily

Natural Ingredients Make the Best Mens Skin Care Products

Men who suffer from dry and flaky skin, especially in the areas where hair grows may find that choosing men’s skin care items specifically designed for them is the best way to defeat the problem.

Shea butter is extremely soothing and paired with a few essential oils, honey and avocado oil, you couldn’t find a much better blend for your dry skin. Honey is added for the antimicrobial properties that can help to keep problem skin and inflammation under control. Men’s skin care products should be based on naturally occurring butter, oils, and other soothing ingredients that can heal the skin instead of simply covering it up.

Coconut oil is another favorite as it has antimicrobial properties as well, is nourishing and moisturizing and leaves a trace of sweet coconut fragrance on the skin.

Essential oils such as tea tree, peppermint, and cinnamon often find themselves in lotions and creams. These oils are chosen not only for their fragrances but also for their healing and stimulating qualities.

The Ground Report

7 of the Best Fruits for Diabetics

Loaded with nutrients and fiber, fruits make the perfect snack. This article takes a science-based look at the most suitable fruits for those with diabetes.

1. Blueberries – Blueberries are quite low in sugar, with 10 grams per 100 grams of fruit. But that sugar is also accompanied by 2 grams of fiber. This is important because when sugar and fiber are eaten together, blood sugar levels don’t spike as quickly. Interestingly, a study on over 187,000 people tracked over two decades found those who ate the most blueberries had more than a 25 percent lower risk of getting diabetes than those who ate the fewest

2. Strawberries – Strawberries contain even less sugar than blueberries, with only 5 grams per 100 grams of fruit.

3. Blackberries – Of all the berries, blackberries stand out most. Per 100 grams of fruit, they contain only 5 grams of sugar and an impressive 5 grams of fiber. High fiber diets help with glucose (sugar) metabolism, and can improve insulin sensitivity too

4. Grapes – 16 grams of sugar per 100g. However, research has found that those who ate the most grapes had 12 percent less chance of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate the fewest. It may have something to do with the polyphenols in grapes, which have been shown to have positive effects on blood sugar levels

5. Apples – 10 grams of sugar per 100g apples are linked with a reduced risk of diabetes. But they’re also linked with a lower risk of stroke, which is a huge risk factor for those with type 2 diabetes

6. Watermelon – 6 grams of sugar per 100g. Watermelon is also a great source of lycopene. This phytochemical has been shown to improve sensitivity to insulin, lower blood sugar and lower risk of type 2 diabetes

7. Avocado – 0 sugar and a whooping 7 grams of fiber per 100g! Even better, they are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. Research has shown that diets low in poor quality carbohydrates and high in monounsaturated fats can improve insulin sensitivity

Care2

Here Are 11 Everyday Superfoods That Won’t Break The Bank

So what are these everyday superfoods that are kind to our diet and wallet? And what do they have in common? Here are 11 everyday superfoods that won’t break the bank.

1. Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in vitamins A, K, and C, and is high in folate, potassium and fiber. Broccoli is also a good source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc and phosphorus.

2. Walnuts

“Walnuts are a rich source of polyunsaturated fats, vitamin E, folate and dietary antioxidants,” Bingley-Pullin said. “It’s recently been studied for their benefits on mood.”

3. Quinoa

“Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate and is higher in protein compared to other grains,” Bingley-Pullin said. Although quinoa is slightly more expensive than regular rice or barley, it’s now available at every supermarket and is becoming increasingly affordable.

4. Avocado

Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber, and are definitely one to add to your shopping trolley (if you don’t already).

5. Olive oil

Like nuts, extra virgin olive oil is heart healthy and is perfect for salads and cooking.

6. Blueberries

Now in season, blueberries are rich in the antioxidants pterostilbene and resveratrol. They’re also high in vitamins K and C, as well as manganese, copper, and fiber.

More at the HuffingtonPost Australia