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Study shows that cannabis combats stress, anxiety and depression

A Washington State University study has examined how cannabis combats stress, anxiety and depression by looking at different strains and quantities of cannabis being inhaled by patients at home.

The work, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, suggests that inhaling cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety, and stress but may contribute to worse overall feelings of depression over time.

Carrie Cuttler.
Cuttler

This new study, led by Carrie Cuttler, WSU clinical assistant professor of psychology, is one of the first attempts by United States scientists to assess how cannabis with varying concentrations of THC and CBD affect medicinal cannabis users’ feelings of wellbeing when inhaled outside of a laboratory.

Previous research to see whether cannabis combats stress and anxiety has be done with THC only strains that have been put into a capsule – but this study looks at the impact of cannabis when it is inhaled.

“Existing research on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety and stress are very rare and have almost exclusively been done with orally administered THC pills in a laboratory,” Cuttler said. “What is unique about our study is that we looked at actual inhaled cannabis by medical marijuana patients who were using it in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to a laboratory.”

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HealthEuropa

420 Intel

Check your selfie before you wreck your selfie

That cool selfie you just posted on social media might not be getting the flattering reaction you’re expecting — and may in fact have the opposite effect, new research from Washington State University suggests.

Scientists there used hundreds of actual Instagram users to see if those who take selfies cause others to make “snap judgments about the user’s personality.”

Professor Chris Barry displays a selfie (left) and a posie (right) on two phones. Photo illustration by Bob Hubner/WSU.

“Their work shows that individuals who post a lot of selfies are almost uniformly viewed as less likable, less successful, more insecure and less open to new experiences than individuals who share a greater number of posed photos taken by someone else,” writes Will Ferguson with WSU News. “Basically, selfie versus posie.”

The study was published in the Journal of Research in Personality by Washington State University psychologists.

The lead author of the study, WSU professor of psychology Chris Barry, says that even when two feeds had similar content, such as depictions of achievement or travel, feelings about the person who posted selfies were negative and feelings about the person who posted posies were positive.

“It shows there are certain visual cues, independent of context, that elicit either a positive or negative response on social media,” Barry said.

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Note: Many more outlets published about this research than could be listed here.

A dose of fact

The history of cannabis is full of myths and hype, and that’s never been more true than the present moment as medical science tries to catch up with capitalism.

Rebecca Craft.
Rebecca Craft

Medical marijuana is now legal in 22 states, while recreational use is legal in 11. A tide of claims about the plant’s healing powers has accompanied its rise in acceptance. If you believed the pervasive advertising, you might think THC and CBD are miracle cure-alls for anything that ails you.

The truth is, there are very few scientific studies to substantiate claims at this time, said Rebecca Craft, one of dozens of researchers at Washington State University studying cannabis.

On Tuesday, Craft will share what is known in the talk “Marijuana: Evil Weed or Medical Miracle” at Basalt Cellars in Clarkston as part of the Wine and Wisdom series organized by the Asotin County Library.

Because of cannabis’ federally regulated status, it has been difficult for scientists to do controlled testing on humans, Craft said. Instead, most of the testing has been done on animals and extrapolated to humans.

“Unfortunately, right now the list of what we don’t know is considerably longer than the list of what we do know,” said Craft, who has spoken around the state as part of Humanities Washington programs. In a preview to Tuesday’s discussion, the professor shared some facts with Inland 360.

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Lewiston Tribune

How did ‘Social Justice Warrior’ Become an Insult?

Why we say bad things about people who do good things

Why is there this persistent myth that those who do good things are boring, annoying or even morally questionable?

This paradox has a long history, and has been given a new lease-of-life via the internet, with the derogatory term “Social Justice Warrior.” Do-gooders have long been met with resentment, suspicion and hostility. Feelings which manifest as people inferring ulterior motives for altruistic actions, implying real or imagined hypocrisy or attacking do-gooders on unrelated dimensions.

Craig Parks.
Parks

“Do-gooders are seen as deviant rule breakers. It’s as if they’re giving away Monopoly money so someone can stay in the game, irking other players no end,” explains social psychologist Craig Parks, of Washington State University, who is the author of one such study.

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Medium.com

Fulbright Summer Institute to the U.K. award takes WSU sophomore to Wales

Ava Beck.
Beck

Washington State University linguistics major and Spokane native Ava Beck will study at Aberystwyth University in Wales for three weeks this summer, thanks to a Fulbright Summer Institute to the U.K. award.

Beck is one of around 60 U.S. students selected to undertake short academic and cultural programs at any of nine hosting institutions throughout the United Kingdom. At Aberystwyth, on that country’s western coast, Beck will join fellow Americans exploring contemporary issues in identity and nationhood “through the lens of Wales.” She will attend classes in the university’s Dept. of International Politics, explore the city, visit the National Library of Wales, and learn a bit of the Welsh language.

“I am eager to learn and study during the experience and apply that knowledge to my future studies,” Beck said. “But I am also eager to just experience a new place and culture. I hope to grow in obvious and subtle ways and to bring this experience back with me to share with my peers as well as those I am closest to. It really is an exciting opportunity.”

The aspiring speech language therapist chose to apply to the Aberystwyth program for two reasons. She is interested that Wales is striving toward bilingualism in English and Welsh. Plus, she believes her academic area of interest—linguistics, or the study of the nature and structure of human language—is “irrefutably connected” to the summer themes of identity and culture.

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WSU Insider