A good night’s sleep could lower cardiovascular risk

Can the duration and quality of your sleep affect your cardiovascular health? A new study suggests there is a connection between how much sleep you get each night — and how well you sleep — and the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Many studies have emphasized the importance of sleep in maintaining our health and well-being in general. Increasingly, however, researchers are finding out how sleep quality affects specific aspects of a person’s health.

For instance, one recent study that was covered by Medical News Today found that poor sleep could well be a telltale sign of the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Another study tied sleep problems with high blood pressure, at least in women.

Full story at Medical News Today

Teen brain volume changes with small amount of cannabis use, study finds

At a time when several states are moving to legalize recreational use of marijuana, new research shows that concerns about the drug’s impact on teens may be warranted. The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, shows that even a small amount of cannabis use by teenagers is linked to differences in their brains.

Senior author and University of Vermont (UVM) Professor of Psychiatry Hugh Garavan, Ph.D., and first author and former UVM postdoctoral fellow Catherine Orr, Ph.D., say this research is the first to find evidence that an increase in gray matter volume in certain parts of the adolescent brain is a likely consequence of low-level marijuana use.

Few studies have looked at the effects of the first few uses of a drug, says Garavan. Most researchers focus on heavy marijuana users later in life and compare them against non-users. These new findings identify an important new area of focus.

Full story at Science Daily

Meth’s Resurgence Spotlights Lack Of Meds To Combat The Addiction

In 2016, news reports warned the public of an opioid epidemic gripping the nation.

But Madeline Vaughn, then a lead clinical intake coordinator at the Houston-based addiction treatment organization Council on Recovery, sensed something different was going on with the patients she checked in from the street.

Their behavior, marked by twitchy suspicion, a poor memory and the feeling that someone was following them, signaled that the people coming through the center’s doors were increasingly hooked on a different drug: methamphetamine.

Full story at Kaiser News

What is an herbal tincture? Recipes and uses

An herbal tincture is a concentrated liquid form of one or more herbs. To make a tincture, a person must soak parts of an herb for several weeks in alcohol or vinegar.

The soaking process extracts the active components of the herb or herbs. Alcohol is often the liquid of choice, as it can extract components, such as resins and alkaloids, that are not water-soluble.

People usually take tinctures orally by using a dropper to place the liquid under their tongue.

Full story at Medical News Today

Kratom: Everything you need to know

Kratom is a plant that grows in Southeast Asia. Its leaves have psychotropic and opioid-like pain-relieving effects.

People living in areas where kratom grows sometimes use it to treat diarrhea, pain, cough, and fatigue.

People living in the United States have shown increasing interest in using this substance as an alternative to opioid pain relievers. Other people use kratom to experience the psychotropic effects, or the “high.”

While kratom is currently legal in the U.S., the Drug Enforcement Agency list it as a “Drug of Concern” due to several potential safety issues.

Full story at Medical News Today