Cannabis Increases Crashes

Drivers who consume cannabis within three hours of driving are nearly twice as likely to cause a vehicle collision as those who are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, claims a paper published recently on the British Medical Journal website.

The paper's authors, from Dalhousie University, reviewed nine studies with a total sample of 49,411 people to determine whether the consumption of cannabis increases the risk of a motor vehicle collision.

This is the first review to look at various observational studies concerned with the risk of vehicle collision after the consumption of cannabis. Previous studies have failed to separate the effects of alcohol and other substances from the use of cannabis, resulting in a lack of agreement.

Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance globally and recent statistics have shown a significant increase in use across the world. Rates of driving under influence have also increased. A roadside survey carried out in Scotland in 2007 showed that out of 537 drivers tested, 15% aged 17-39 admitted to having consumed cannabis within 12 hours of driving.

All motor vehicle collisions involved in the study took place on a public road and involved one or more moving vehicles such as cars, vans, sports utility vehicles, trucks, buses and motorcycles. Results were taken through blood samples or direct self-report.

Results show that if cannabis is consumed before driving a motor vehicle, the risk of collision is nearly doubled. Previous results have also found that there is also a substantially higher chance of collision if the driver is aged 35 or younger.

In conclusion, the authors suggest that the consumption of cannabis impairs motor tasks important to safe driving, increasing the chance of collisions and that future reviews should assess less severe collisions from a general driving population.

The author of an accompanying editorial, from the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, questions the benefits of roadside drug testing on public health. He argues that further evidence of this is required so that countries already carrying out drug testing can help to inform those countries that have yet to introduce it.

~ScienceDaily, 10 February, 2012


Ginger

Ginger root is a favorite among herbalists, used in a variety of situations. The spicy root, or rhizome, of the ginger plant can either be eaten raw, powdered, made into tea, juiced, tinctured, or even candied. One of the most common uses for ginger root is for nausea and vomiting. Placebo-controlled, double-blind studies have proven that ginger root effectively reduces nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness, surgery, and morning sickness during pregnancy. Because organic ginger root is completely safe to use during pregnancy, the herb is especially treasured by pregnant women around the world.

Ginger root is an effective antidote for motion sickness while at sea. A Danish study published in 1988 tested the effects of ginger root powder on 80 new Naval cadets who were out on the high seas in stormy weather for the first time. The sea-sick cadets were either given a placebo or 1 gram of ginger root powder, then measured every hour for symptoms of motion sickness for four hours. During this time, the control group of cadets experienced cold sweats, dizziness, and vomiting. The group of cadets who had taken ginger root powder had measurably fewer symptoms.

Ginger root has been demonstrated to reduce nausea and vomiting after surgery Researchers in a London hospital tested ginger root as an anti-emetic, a "drug" that prevents nausea and vomiting. In a double-blind, placebo controlled study of 60 women who had just had major gynecological surgery, ginger root was compared to a placebo and the drug metoclopramide (Metosalv ODT by Salix or Reglan by UCB). Ginger root compared very similarly to this commonly prescribed anti-nausea drug in reducing nausea after surgery.

Pregnant women may safely take ginger root for morning sickness. The venerable medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology published a 2001 study on the effectiveness of ginger for pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Seventy pregnant women who were less than 17 weeks pregnant were studied for five months to determine if ginger had any effect on morning sickness. They were given either 1 gram of ginger daily or a placebo. Both nausea and vomiting decreased significantly in the ginger group, while barely at all in the control group. No adverse outcomes were reported. The researchers concluded that ginger is safe and effective for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery reviewed safe alternatives for nausea and vomiting during morning sickness in pregnancy in 2002. The author noted that most pregnant women were reluctant to take any prescription drugs during pregnancy, but that these women did want to find relief from morning sickness. Ginger root was one of the alternatives noted as safe and effective.

~Donna Earnest Pravel, NaturalNews.com

Recipe of the Month

Broccoli and Ginger Stirfry

1 broccoli head
1½T Braggs Aminos*
2T oil or water
1½t tomato sauce
2T grated ginger root
2T chopped coriander
1 chopped red capsicum or parsley

Cut broccoli into bite size pieces. Bring to the boil 2 cups of water with 1t of salt. Add broccoli. Boil 2-3 minutes. Strain and keep aside. Sauté ginger and capsicum in oil or water for 4-5 minutes. Add Braggs Aminos, tomato sauce, and coriander. Mix well. Add broccoli. Stirfry for 5 minutes. Serves 4.