Tag Archives: studies

4 Sketchy Claims about Cannabis and Your Health

October 17, 2018 will go down in history as the day that the Y2K bug finally hit Canada legalized cannabis. It’s also getting legalized or decriminalized in more and more locations around the world

Over the past year, I’ve been asked a ton of questions about this. In particular, people want to know whether I’m “for” or “against” legalization…

But I’m not the right person to answer that. The legal, social, and economic reasons for legalizing weed aren’t my area of expertise. My expertise is within science and health.

We know that criminalizing marijuana simply hasn’t worked. So I guess it’s a good idea to try something else.

And we have to face the facts: in Canada, at least 15% of people are known to consume cannabis. For young people, that number is 30-40%.

Still, I find myself annoyed by the two types of comments I hear most often, namely :

 

I do think it’s important to speak openly about cannabis. Unfortunately, I hear a lot of sketchy claims going around… so let’s assess their scientific accuracy!

 

Note #1 : For the sake of transparency, I should admit that I’ve never consumed cannabis in my life, not even a single toke. In general, I don’t really enjoy psychotropic substances (i.e. substances that produce an altered state of consciousness), including alcohol. I assume this doesn’t disqualify me from discussing the topic, considering that I haven’t consumed 99.999% of the medication I work with on a daily basis…

Note #2 : There are certain points that I don’t cover in the comic: driving under the influence of pot; the lack of a legal limit on the amount of THC in products containing marijuana; children or animals becoming intoxicated by accidentally consuming cannabis products; microdosing…This comic is pretty long as it is, so if need be, I’ll revisit the topic another time!

Note #3 : Many thanks to Robyn Penney for the translation!

 

 

 

 

cannabis natural cannabinoids

THC CBD prescription strains

 

 

 

cannabis smoking tobacco alcohol

 cannabis vaporizer secondhand smoke stoned

is alcohol worse than pot

 

 

 

 

cannabis effective for many health problems hype

 

evidence-based medical cannabis use

cannabis derived products dog treats creams

 

 

 

 

cannabis risks or harmless

 

cannabis occasional or chronic use young people

 

cannabis psychosis

 

cannabis amotivational syndrome

 

cannabis addiction dependence

 

 

 

 

 

Cyberbullying, doxxing, vitamin C injections and cancer

Have you heard about the petition in Quebec that gained nearly 120,000 signatures, asking the government to “approve and reimburse” vitamin C injections for people with cancer?

And about how it almost succeeded through political lobbying?

I spent several months working on this case, trying at first to help people understand the issues and pitfalls with this petition, and then addressing politicians directly, and trying to rally scientific associations. I did this because the petition was moving forward rapidly and very few people were raising doubts about it.

As a result, a group of vitamin C supporters tried to make me lose my job. I was doxed. A smear campaign was organized against me. My family was harassed and threatened.

Eventually, after months of cyberbullying, I came forward publicly with what was going on behind the scenes. The result was a massive outcry from the scientific community, which could not be ignored by the government this time.

Ultimately, the petition did not go forward into parliamentary proceedings.

But more importantly, these events had positive consequences for the future: a government task force was created in order to protect scientists who speak publicly about sensitive topics (I am fortunate enough to be involved in it). Also, an inter-professional advisory committee was created to help healthcare professionals, such as myself, speak publicly without fear of disciplinary action.

 

This case received little attention in the English-Canadian press, so here are translations of a few articles on what happened.

(Please note that these were translated automatically by the Google Translate URL tool with no revision, so some of the text is weird and possibly funny-sounding)

 

A summary of the events in March 2019 by Radio-Canada (CBC) :


Another one, focusing on the challenges and personal risks of doing science communication:

 

 

The events were also discussed in France, and generated support from the French Association for Scientific Information:

 

 

The government can no longer ignore what is going on:

 

 

And the conclusion…


Fellow science communicator Jonathan Jarry, from the McGill Office for Science and Society, was kind enough to write a post on the topic too. Thanks so much Jonathan!

https://jonathanjarry.com/2019/03/07/harassing-a-skeptic-into-silence/

 

For those interested in reading my original article on the topic, there’s a  complete translation here.

TOP 10 useless remedies for the common cold

The cold season has begun.

But there’s something worse out there: the plethora of esoteric remedies to allegedly prevent and cure the common cold, like…

  • Rubbing Vicks on your feet
  • Sticking your face above a bowl of hot, scented water
  • A swig of gin and/or cayenne and/or oregano oil
  • Sweating out the virus
  • The mustard plaster
  • Flu busters
  • Putting something in your bum (like suppositories)
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Cough syrups
  • Antibiotics

Being a pharmacist, I get asked about those all the time. And really, I don’t care if people wanna use medication, natural health products or home remedies… as long as what they do is safe, effective, evidence-based and science-based.

Would you like to know what works and what doesn’t? Here are the TOP 10 useless remedies for the common cold. Please laugh at each of them. They deserve it.

Translated by Valentin Nguyen; edits and proofreading by Robyn Penney.

 

 

 

Rubbing Vicks on your feet

Rubbing Vicks on your feet continued

 

 

 

Sticking your face above a bowl of hot, scented water

Sticking your face above a bowl of hot, scented water continued

 

 

 

The mouth-burning contest

The mouth-burning contest continued

The mouth-burning contest continued even more

 

 

 

Sweating out the virus

 

 

 

The mustard plaster

The mustard plaster continued

 

 

 

Flu busters

Flu busters 06b

 

 

 

Putting something in your bumPutting something in your bum continued

 

 

 

Chicken noodle soupChicken noodle soup continued

 

 

Cough syrups

Cough syrups continued

 

 

Antibiotics

Antibiotics continued

 

 

Conclusion

 

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How to make your milk NONTOXIC

milk_header_02

You’re probably aware that milk is a disgusting, toxic, white poison filled with blood and pus, threatening mankind every day.  I read that online.

If you drink milk, you will have cancer, osteoporosis, divorce and your credit card debts will increase significantly. You’ll also die one day because of dairy.

Chances are that you’re lactose intolerant too, because everyone is. So if you give milk to your kids, you’re basically a criminal.

But fortunately, I’ve found a way to make milk slightly better for you. Here’s how.

Translation by Olivier Bernard, proofreading by Lauren Knight.

 

How to make your milk nontoxic

Milk is white poison according to the Internet

I share my findings about milk on Facebook

Lactose intolerance mammals and the milk industry

You are lactose intolerant and also an idiot

Adding lemon juice to milk makes it less poisonous

Curdled milk with lemon kicks ass

The ultimate testimony about sour milk

 

A note from the author (me):

You think that the arguments brought forward in this comic are too good to be true, overly simplified and unproven? Well done! You should do the same with most of what you read on the Internet.

I created this comic in order to provide something more entertaining than all the propaganda articles found on the web about milk. Really, I believe it’s better to read the above-written crap than anything found elsewhere, because at least my crap doesn’t take itself seriously.

A few things to consider about milk:

  • Milk is not unhealthy. But you don’t “need” to drink milk to be healthy. Dairy is an excellent source of protein, calcium and vitamin D, but if you can find those nutrients elsewhere, go for it.
  • Milk does not have positive, negative or otherworldly properties. It’s a food… and you shouldn’t choose foods according to whether they allegedly have special benefits (because they don’t).
  • Milk does not make your bones weaker. What studies actually say is that milk is not enough to prevent fractures, which comes to no surprise.
  • No, there is no pus, blood or bacteria in milk… if it’s pasteurized. As for antibiotics, the industry is (fortunately) under a lot of public pressure to stop using them routinely in livestock.
  • 9 to 23% of Caucasians are lactose intolerant, compared to 60 to 100% of African-Americans and Asians, so we’re very far from the “epidemic” that some people speak about; it has more to do with genetics. Also, lactose intolerant people can still consume dairy moderately.
  • Some large-scale, well-built studies suggest that people who drink a lot of milk have a higher mortality rate and a higher risk of developing some types of cancer, but these studies cannot conclude that milk is the cause. People who drink more drink may have other risk factors, such as having more sugar or fat in their diet. People who consume a moderate amount of dairy don’t seem affected by this.

In the end, my impression is that the anti-milk panic exploding online right now comes from activists trying to stop the exploitation of livestock. I am 100% with them regarding the need for ethical treatment of animals, but if this requires demonizing milk, telling outright lies and making me feel guilty to drink it… no thanks.

 

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