“Why am I always tired?”

That’s question #8 on the list of top health-related Google searches for 2018. It’s coincidentally question #1 on this writer’s mind when he wakes up, but that’s neither here nor there. Questions about the keto diet topped the list, with searchers presumably interested in the high-fat, low-carb lifestyle. Stephen Hawking’s death in March could be responsible for “What is ALS?” appearing at #2, while CNN posits that Lena Dunham could’ve driven searches for “What is endometriosis?” ringing in at #3. All we’ll say is, we did not expect to write a sentence where those two are mentioned in the same breath. As marijuana legalization slowly creeps over the US, would-be job applicants are worried about how long weed stays in urine, making it #4. It’s supposedly anywhere from 1 to 90 days, BTW.

Make the JUUL tide stop

A disappointing survey by the National Institute of Drug Abuse finds that about twice as many high schoolers are vaping this year as compared to 2017. So that’s 1 in 5 students. We’re gonna pick on JUUL in particular for driving this, considering they dominate the market. They’ve said before that they focus their marketing efforts on adult smokers, but weird “anti-vaping” curriculums and a massive $12.8B investment from tobacco giant Altria has us really doubting their sincerity. But hey, at the very least teens seem to be satisfied with an occasional flash drive puff: the rate of teens using illicit drugs like cocaine and ecstasy is at a historic low. That’s not counting marijuana use though, which hovers at 5-6.5% of students year to year.

Missed the midterms?

If you somehow didn’t know that US midterm elections were last week… can you recommend the rock you’ve been sleeping under? I could use some rest. Here are some election stories InsightCity readers will find interesting: Healthcare was on voters’ minds more than any other issue, as shown by exit polls and money spent on advertising. Antivax PACs funded candidates to retaliate against politicians who push vaccination requirements in their districts. Former Celgene head Bob Hugin lost to incumbent Bob Menedez in the battle of the Bobs New Jersey’s senate race. Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah voters decided to expand Medicaid in their states, while Montana voters said ‘no, thanks.’ Michigan and Missouri waved a green flag for recreational and medical marijuana, respectively. Need more? You can find a more detailed healthcare-related election round-up here (just without InsightCity’s signature snark.)

Oh, Canada okays Kush

Put on some Snoop Dogg (do we even have to say NSFW) and your favorite Bob Marley shirt, Canada is now the world’s largest legal marijuana market. Canada is the second country in the world behind Uruguay to legalize recreational use of cannabis, but unlike Uruguay, it won’t have to deal with the financial restrictions of using US dollars to sell the stuff. The safe regulatory environment means Canada will likely turn into the world’s center for agricultural research into the plant, on everything from increasing the potency of its compounds, to the genetic sequencing of its different varieties like “CBD God Bud” and “Cold Creek Kush.” If you want to get in on the reefer madness and make the trip up to the Great White North for some weed tourism, just make sure you do your own research beforehand.

This is your dog on drugs

Talk about unintended consequences. With the American public’s increasing acceptance of recreational marijuana use has come an increase in stoned pets. While this jpeg is funny, it’s actually a serious issue for dogs because, according to one veterinarian, they have larger concentrations of cannabinoid receptors than people, making them more sensitive to the effects than either of these two guys. NBC News reports that accidental ingestion of marijuana by pets has increased nearly 550% over the past 6 years alone. Cats are apparently less susceptible than dogs because they’re not as likely to just eat anything in front of them. Besides, cats are pretty chill already. Until they’re not. The moral of the story? Do a better job hiding your weed. Fido’s nose is better than your teenager’s.

Marijuana Mythbusting

This week, two studies in Addiction took aim at some arguments medical marijuana supporters and detractors use when fighting for and against that “dank chronic” (dope list of marijuana slang here.) Medical marijuana supporters argue that opioid abusers would substitute marijuana for pain relief, leading to fewer opioid overdoses. While studies do identify a correlation between a decline in overdose deaths and the passage of medical marijuana legislation, the first study determined that the evidence doesn’t support the laws causing the drop. On the flip side, detractors warn that one of the evils of passing this legislation is more adolescents picking up a pot habit. While that could be bad, the second study couldn’t identify that trend actually occurring in legal weed states.