science
You’d Be Surprised How Often Doctors Prescribe Placebos

Doctors in Australia commonly give their patients a placebo treatment intended mainly to ease their minds, according to a new study out Monday. But it’s not just an Australian practice – other research has found the same is true of doctors across the world. Read More >>

health
CBD Isn’t Just a Harmless Health Fad, U.S. FDA Warns

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration still isn’t cutting cannabidiol, or CBD, much slack. This week, the agency updated their stance on the cannabis-derived ingredient, warning the public that most products made with CBD on the market are untested, unregulated, and have the “potential to harm” users. It also issued more than a dozen warning letters to companies they claim are illegally selling CBD products. Read More >>

science
“Magic Mushroom” Ingredient Inches Closer to Becoming a Depression Treatment in the US

A future where a key ingredient of psychedelic mushrooms called psilocybin is regularly used to improve mental health is none too far off. This month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted a “breakthrough therapy” designation to a non-profit company developing psilocybin as a treatment for clinical depression. The label is intended to speed up the review process needed for approval in the US. Read More >>

drugs
Dark Web Drug Dealers Get in on the Black Friday Sales Bonanza

Analysis of traffic on the hidden, anonymous portion of the internet known as the dark web shows that criminals are getting in on the Black Friday sales campaigning too, with bargains offered in the realms of bulk stolen credit card information, drugs and "black hat" hacking tools. Read More >>

science
New Brain-Wave Study Shows How DMT Alters Our Consciousness

Scientists have completed the first ever placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of the hallucinogen DMT on resting brain activity, according to a new study. Read More >>

drugs
Lorry Driver Caught With £20m of Cocaine Hidden Inside Frozen Ham

Detectives operating in the port of Harwich had a hunch that something wasn't right in the back of a lorry purporting to be delivering ham for the nation's lunches, and the vehicle was indeed riding dirty and packed with cocaine rated at a street value of around £20m. Read More >>

health
NHS England Approves Two Cannabis-Based Medicines for Prescription

The advisors in charge of giving new NHS treatments the Yes or the No have decided in favour of two cannabis-based treatments for the first time, opening the doors to easy access to the formerly controversial medicines in England. Read More >>

drugs
Huge Medical Cannabis Trial Targets 20,000 UK Patients

Doctors hope to solve the issue of the benefits of medicinal cannabis once and for all this year, when a trial involving input from 20,000 UK patients is set to get under way. Read More >>

elon musk
Elon Musk Smoking Weed Somehow Ended Up Costing the US £3.9 Million

Last year, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk went on YouTube host Joe Rogan’s show and smoked some weed. That was unfortunate, because SpaceX happens to be a US military contractor, and the US government does not like marijuana – and in this instance, it disliked it so much it spent $5 million (£3.9 million) to demonstrate its displeasure. Read More >>

environment
The US War on Drugs Is a War on the Climate

The US War on Drugs has a troubled history riddled with racism, propaganda, and failure as the country remains one of the top markets for illegal drugs. The US crackdown on drugs is, unfortunately, also driving deforestation throughout Central America according to new research. Read More >>

science
‘Magic Mushroom’ Chemical Harvested From Bacteria For the First Time

New research shows that psilocybin – the psychoactive compound that puts the magic in magic mushrooms – can be made by bioengineered bacteria, highlighting a potential new way of mass-producing the valued chemical. Read More >>

vaping
Lab Test Finds Toxic Chemicals in Black Market THC Cartridges

A test of more than a dozen THC vape cartridges by NBC News has some produced some sobering results: Every sample bought on the black market was tainted by at least one toxic additive, including a chemical linked to the mysterious vaping illness that has sickened hundreds across the Atlantic. Read More >>

drugs
Can You Overdose on Weed?

At this very moment, behind a storage shed or at a friend's party, a too-high teen is convinced they’re going to die. Eventually that teen will calm down, and probably thank their friend for refusing to call an ambulance when they’d begged them to. Getting insanely high for the first time – or getting higher than you’ve ever personally been, via oils or edibles or whatever – can be a frightening experience. You reassure yourself by thinking: no one has ever overdosed from smoking weed. But – wait. Do you know that? Have there not been exceptions? And is it possible that you’re one of them? Frantically you pull out your phone and Google: ‘Can you overdose from weed?’ – and are brought right here, to this week’s Giz Asks, in which a number of experts in psychiatry, substance abuse, policy, and toxicology give their take on that very question. (The upshot, if you’re too high to read: you’ll almost certainly be fine, eventually.) Read More >>

science
A Rat Study Finds that Acupuncture Can Treat Alcohol Addiction… in Rats

Lab animals are used in all sorts of bizarre experiments, but a new study this week is definitely one for the scrapbook. A team of researchers in Korea and the US got rats addicted to alcohol, then attempted to alleviate their withdrawal symptoms using acupuncture. And according to their data, the treatment was fairly successful. But there’s more than a few reasons to be sceptical of acupuncture’s healing power when it comes to addiction. Read More >>

health
First Death From Vaping-Linked Lung Illness Reported by US Health Officials

A patient has died after suffering a mysterious lung illness linked to vaping, health officials said Friday. The death comes in the wake of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcing last week that more than a hundred similar possible cases have been documented across America. Read More >>