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Genetic predisposition to schizophrenia may increase risk of psychosis from cannabis use

4/14/21-- A new study published in Translational Psychiatry by researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and King’s College London shows that while cannabis users had higher rates of psychotic experiences than non-users across the board, the difference was especially pronounced among those with high genetic predisposition to schizophrenia. Read

Association between adolescent cannabis use and young-adult functioning in three longitudinal twin studies

4/6/21--The purpose of the present study was thus to examine associations between prospectively assessed adolescent cannabis use and young-adult outcomes (psychiatric, cognitive, and socioeconomic) in three longitudinal studies of twins (n = 3,762). findings thus suggest that cannabis use in adolescence has potentially causal, deleterious effects on adolescent academic functioning and young-adult socioeconomic outcomes despite little evidence suggesting a strong, causal influence on adult mental health or cognitive ability. Read

Teenage brains may be especially vulnerable to marijuana and other drugs

3/29/21--According to a new study, published in JAMA Pediatrics and led by a team of scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, adolescents and teenagers who experiment with marijuana and prescription drugs are more likely to get hooked on them than young people who try these drugs for the first time when they are college-aged or older. Read

Evaluation of state cannabis laws and rates of self-harm and assault

3/18/21--In this cohort study based on health insurance claims data from 75,395,344 beneficiaries between 2003 and 2017, rates of self-harm injuries among males younger than 40 years increased more in states legalizing recreational cannabis dispensaries compared with states without cannabis legalization laws. For other age and sex groups and for more restrictive legalization approaches, no association with self-harm and assault was found. Read

Nikki Fried says THC caps would ‘tax’ patients, marijuana industry

3/2/21--Commissioner Nikki Fried inveighed against a measure filed last week in the House by Rep. Spencer Roach that would cap flower at 10% THC, edibles at 15%, and concentrates at 60%. Fried said that people should be “very worried” about the THC caps, noting that the leadership in the House and Senate are entertaining arguments. Read

A geospatiotemporal and casual inference epidemiological exploration of substance and cannabinoid exposure as drivers of rising US pediatric cancer rates

2/25/21--Data from this study confirms a close relationship across space and lagged time between cannabis and TPCIR which was robust to adjustment, supported by inverse probability weighting procedures and accompanied by high e-Values making confounding unlikely and establishing the causal relationship. Cannabis-liberal jurisdictions were associated with higher rates of TPCIR and a faster rate of TPCIR increase. Data inform the broader general consideration of cannabinoid-induced genotoxicity. Read

Drinking, smoking, and drug use linked to premature heart disease in the young

2/15/21--Recreational drinking, smoking, and drug use is linked to premature heart disease in young people, particularly younger women, finds research published online in the journal Heart. Read

Comment: Don’t ignore science on cannabis concentrates’ potency

2/7/21--State Rep. Lauren Davis, D-Lynnwood, founding executive director of the Washington Recovery Alliance who also represents the 32nd District, presents and emphasizes in a commentary published in HeraldNet that lawmakers must address research that shows these concentrates can have mental health consequences. Read

Media Advisory: Public hearing for Davis bill addressing serious mental health consequences of high-potency cannabis products by regulating the sale of cannabis concentrates

2/10/21--A public hearing for House Bill 1463—Addressing serious mental health consequences of high-potency cannabis products by regulating the sale of cannabis concentrates will occur on Friday, February 12 at 10am at the House Commerce and Gaming Committee. Read

A Colorado Democrat wants to cap THC levels in marijuana products at 15%

2/4/21--State Rep. Yadira Caraveo, a pediatrician and Thornton Democrat, said she is still revising the bill she plans to introduce this month, but one of the main provisions would ban legal marijuana products above 15% THC — the psychoactive compound responsible for the marijuana high. The ban would apply to flower and edibles. THC in flower products can top off close to 30%, while concentrates generally run at 70-80%. Read

Meet Carl Hart: parent, Columbia professor – and heroin user

2/6/21--In a startling new book, Drug Use for Grown-Ups, Carl Hart, an Ivy League professor and five year regular heroin user, argues that the dangers of recreational drug use have been wildly overstated. Furthermore, Hart states that he's actually better for his drug use, and believes that when used in an informed and responsible manner, they fulfill a purpose with only the smallest risks.. Read

Report marijuana and tobacco smoke incursions among families living in multiunit housing in New York City

1/15/21--About one third of the families enrolled in this study reported smelling secondhand marijuana smoke (SHMS) while at home with their child. Participants in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments were more likely to report smelling SHMS. Therefore, according to study results, policies that limit all smoke in multiunit housing should be supported. Read

Association between county level cannabis dispensary counts and opioid related mortality rates in the United States

1/27/21--This study was conducted to examine county level associations between the prevalence of medical and recreational cannabis stores (referred to as dispensaries) and opioid related mortality rates. Findings indicate that higher medical and recreational storefront dispensary counts are associated with reduced opioid related death rates, particularly deaths associated with synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Read

GW Pharmaceuticals soars 46% after Jazz Pharma agrees to $7.2 billion acquisition of the CBD biopharma company

2/3/21--GW Pharmaceuticals soared as much as 46% on Wednesday after Jazz Pharma said it would acquire the company for $7.2 billion in cash and stock. According the press release announcement, the merger is expected to accelerate double-digit top-line revenue growth and will be accretive in the first full year of combined operations, and "substantially accretive thereafter." Read

Legal cannabis stores linked to fewer opioid death in the United States

1/30/21--According to a study published by The BMJ, access to legal cannabis stores is associated with a reduction in opioid related deaths in the United States, particularly those linked to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Read

Frequent cannabis use by young people linked to decline in IQ

1/28/21--A study has found that adolescents who frequently use cannabis may experience a decline in intelligence quotient (IQ) over time. The findings of the research provide further insight into the harmful neurological and cognitive effects of frequent cannabis use on young people. Read

Intelligent quotient decline following or dependent cannabis in youth: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies

1/30/21--This systematic review and meta-analysis found a significant effect for the association between frequent or dependent cannabis use in youth and IQ change. Read

A comprehensive review of cannabis potency in the USA in the last decade

1/30/21--This report examines the concentration of seven major cannabinoids including Δ9-THC and CBD in illicit herbal cannabis products seized by the Drug enforcement Administration (DEA) over the last ten years in the USA. Results indicate that an overall increase in potency of illicit cannabis going from approximately 10% in 2009 to approximately 14% in 2019. Read

Cannabis use disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: The prevalence of comorbidity in veterans of recent conflicts

1/30/21--This study analyzed data from the Veterans Affairs Corporate Data Warehouse (2010-2016) for returning war veterans who were diagnosed with CUD (N = 46,268). The findings highlight that the majority of returning war veterans with CUD are highly complex and substantiate the need for urgent, comprehensive care for veterans with co-occurring CUD and PTSD, including integrated and transdiagnostic treatment approaches. Read

And now for some bad news about marijuana: Addiction and health risks

1/18/21--A paper published January 11th in EClinicalMedicine reported that marijuana smokers were found to have several smoke-related toxic chemicals in their blood and urine such as naphthalene, acrylamide, and acrylonitrile metabolites. Another recent study, this one published January 5th in the journal Addiction reported that over half of individuals who use medical marijuana to ease pain also experience clusters of multiple withdrawal symptoms in between uses. Read

Cannabis use both helps and hurts entrepreneurial creativity

1/26/21--According to a new study in the Journal of Business Venturing by Washington State University researchers, when entrepreneurs dream up ideas for new businesses, cannabis use might help, and hinder, their creativity. The study found that cannabis-using entrepreneurs generated new business ideas such as a weightless, gravity-free virtual reality workout, that were more original, but less feasible, compared to those who do not use cannabis. Read

Association of cannabis use with self-harm and mortality risk among youths with mood disorders

1/19/21--Study results indicate that cannabis use and cannabis use disorder (CUD) are common among youths and young adults with mood disorders, but the association of CUD with self-harm, suicide, and overall mortality risk is poorly understood in this already vulnerable population. Read

Association of cannabis use with self-harm and mortality risk among youths with mood disorders

1/19/21-- This population-based cohort study of Medicaid-enrolled youths with mood disorders found that the presence of cannabis use disorder was significantly associated with an increased risk of nonfatal self-harm, all-cause mortality, and death by unintentional overdose and homicide. Read

Intoxication by a synthetic cannabinoid (JWH-018) causes cognitive and psychomotor impairment in recreational cannabis users

1/23/21--This study aimed to investigate the acute effects of JWH-018 on several cognitive and psychomotor tasks in participants who are demonstrating representative levels of acute intoxication. Findings indicate that in accordance with previous studies, acute psychomotor and cognitive effects of a relatively low dose of JWH-018 has been demonstrated. Read

Association of cannabis use with self-harm and mortality risk among youths with mood disorders

1/19/21--A population-based cohort study of Medicaid-enrolled youths with mood disorders found that the presence of cannabis use disorder was significantly associated with an increased risk of nonfatal self-harm, all-cause mortality, and death by unintentional overdose and homicide. Read

Association of cannabis use with self-harm and mortality risk among youths with mood disorders

1/19/21--This population-based cohort study of Medicaid-enrolled youths with mood disorders found that the presence of cannabis use disorder was significantly associated with an increased risk of nonfatal self-harm, all-cause mortality, and death by unintentional overdose and homicide. Read

NIH study suggests using cannabis while trying to conceive may reduce pregnancy chances

1/11/21--Women who use marijuana could have a more difficult time conceiving a child than women who do not use marijuana, suggests a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. Marijuana use among the women’s partners — which could have influenced conception rates — was not studied. The researchers were led by Sunni L. Mumford, Ph.D., of the Epidemiology Branch in NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The study appears in Human Reproduction. Read

Add-on cannabidiol treatment for drug-resistant seizures in Tuberous Sclerosis complex

12/23/20--In this study, both cannabidiol dosages were equally efficacious in reducing tuberous sclerosis complex–associated seizures compared with placebo, but the smaller dosage led to fewer adverse events. Read

Researchers find nationwide links between vaping and COVID-19

12/2/20--According to an analysis led by Dongmei Li, Ph.D., an expert in biostatistics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, states with more vapers had larger numbers of daily coronavirus cases and deaths in the early weeks of the pandemic — with New York state as a hot spot. The study adds to growing national data that links vaping and the coronavirus, and it raises more concerns about vaping, which has also been linked to outbreaks of other illnesses and deaths from the chemicals in vaping products. Read

Comorbid cannabis use disorder with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder

12/16/20--This review confirms the evidence of high prevalence and a 3-fold comorbid association between CUD with MD and CUD with GAD. Implementation of evidence-based policy interventions with effective, integrated management of comorbid CUDs with psychiatric disorders may contribute to positive patient outcomes. Read

Massachusetts Medical Society reverses course on marijuana

12/30/20--Eight years after the legalization of medical marijuana and four years after adoption of recreational cannabis, the Massachusetts Medical Society has recognized cannabis as a medical therapy. Read

Cannabis use, cannabis use disorder, and comorbid psychiatric illness: A narrative review

12/23/20--According to this narrative review designed to provide a concise overview of the literature on the comorbidity of cannabis use and cannabis use disorder (CUD) with other substance use and psychiatric disorders, empirical evidence shows that cannabis use is associated both with CUD and comorbid psychiatric illness -- although the general population in the United States increasingly perceives cannabis to be a harmless substance. Read

Cardiologists have ‘growing concerns’ about CV harm from marijuana, vaping

11/19/20--The rising use of vaping nicotine products for recreational use and smoking cessation has raised questions about the impact on the heart. Evidence has shown that recreational use of any of these products is not beneficial for the heart, although specific mechanisms behind these effects are still to be determined. Recent studies have determined specific pulmonary effects, particularly with THC-containing e-liquids causing e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). Read

Ranking the harm of psychoactive drugs including prescription analgesics to users and others – a perspective of German addiction medicine experts

10/26/20--Results of this study indicate that alcohol and illicit drugs (including new psychoactive substances) continue to rank among the most harmful addictive substances in contrast to prescribed agents including opioid analgesics and NOAs in Germany. Current laws are incongruent with these harm rankings. This study is the first of its kind to include comparative harm rankings of several novel abused substances, both licit/prescribed and illicit. Read

Marijuana use associated with complications after heart attack or procedures

11/9/20--Smoking marijuana increases the risk of complications after cardiovascular procedures, and marijuana users who had a heart attack or cardiac intervention were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital for recurrent heart attacks or coronary procedures, according to two preliminary studies to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020. Read

New review offers evidence-based advice for addressing cannabis use and cannabis use disorder

11/2/20--A new review provides practical advice for physicians on how to care for patients using cannabis and those with cannabis use disorder. The review offers evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about cannabis use, including the health consequences, medical benefits, legal issues, and available treatments. In the Clinic: Care of the Patient Using Cannabis is published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Read

State medical societies concerned with state governments’ efforts to legalize recreational recreational marijuana

10/30/20--The medical societies of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are again joining together to express mutually shared concerns about state governments’ efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Read

Number of THC-exposed newborns increases after recreational marijuana legalized

10/3/20--There was a 32.5% increase in tetrahydrocannabinol-exposed newborns at a Michigan hospital following the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state, according to a study presented during the AAP National Conference & Exhibition. Researchers said the finding suggests that pregnant women are more likely to smoke marijuana if it has been legalized for recreational use. Read

Burden of cannabis use and disorder in the U.S. veteran population: Psychiatric comorbidity, suicidality, and service utilization

10/14/20--Using data from a nationally representative sample of veterans, a study was conducted to evaluate associations of lifetime cannabis use and CUD with psychiatric problems, suicidality, and treatment utilization. It has been concluded that cannabis use and CUD are associated with substantial psychiatric and suicide-related burden among veterans, highlighting the need for screening, education, and treatment to mitigate potential cannabis-related harm. Read

Prenatal cannabis exposure linked to cognitive deficits, altered behavior

10/14/20--According to a new study by neuroscientists in Washington State University’s Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience unit that provides a rare look at the effects of using cannabis during pregnancy, regular cannabis exposure in rats during pregnancy may cause their offspring to have long-term cognitive deficiencies, asocial behavior, and anxiety later in adulthood. Read

Familial factors may not explain the effect of moderate‐to‐heavy cannabis use on cognitive functioning in adolescents: a sibling‐comparison study

9/3/20--A study designed to examine whether moderate adolescent cannabis use has neurocognitive effects that are unexplained by familial confounds indicates that moderate adolescent cannabis use may have adverse effects on cognitive functioning, specifically verbal memory, that cannot be explained by familial factors. Read

Using weed during pregnancy linked to psychotic-like behaviors in children, study finds

9/24/20--A new study found women who use marijuana while pregnant may increase psychotic-like behaviors in children. The study, published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry, analyzed data on 11,489 children who were followed as part of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which says it's the "largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States." The children's cognitive and behavior patterns were evaluated in middle childhood, around age 9. Read

Lessons Learned From State Marijuana report by SAM

9/27/20--Smart Approaches of Marijuana (SAM) has compiled publicly available state-level data, reports, and investigatory findings, peer-reviewed studies, and government health surveys to assemble the Lessons Learned From State Marijuana report, and they have attempted to be as transparent as possible in their evaluation. Read

Balancing the public health costs of psychosis vs mass incarceration with the legalization of cannabis

9/2/20--A recent Viewpoint in JAMA Psychiatry suggests that legalizing cannabis may be associated with increased incidence and prevalence of psychosis. Assuming an increase in use, epidemiologic research supports the association of cannabis with psychosis because there is convincing evidence that high-potency (>10% tetrahydrocannabinol) cannabis taken at frequent doses may be associated with nontransient cases of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Read

Familial factors may not explain the effect of moderate-to-heavy cannabis use on cognitive functioning in adolescents: a sibling-comparison study

9/3/20--This study aims to examine whether moderate adolescent cannabis use has neurocognitive effects that are unexplained by familial confounds, which prior family‐controlled studies may not have identified. Results indicate that moderate adolescent cannabis use may have adverse effects on cognitive functioning, specifically verbal memory, that cannot be explained by familial factors. Read

Local doctor sees increase in toddler pot overdoses

8/25/20--Dr. Erica Michiels, associate medical director pediatric emergency department at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, says though it’s legal, the marijuana of today is not the pot of past decades. Michiels says she’s seeing more and more kids getting a hold of more THC than their growing bodies can handle. Read

Study of siblings finds moderate cannabis use impacts cognitive functioning

9/3/20--A new study compares adolescent siblings to determine the impact of early and frequent use of marijuana on cognitive function. This study contrasts with previous studies by finding that moderate adolescent cannabis use may have adverse effects that cannot be explained by the genetic or environmental factors that siblings may have in common. Read

Frequent cannabis use in depression tripled over past decade

8/19/20--Investigators analyzed data from more than 16,000 US adults between the ages of 20 and 59 years and found that those with depression had almost twice the odds of any past-month cannabis use compared with those without depression. Read

Cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid poison control center cases among adults aged 50+, 2009–2019

8/25/20--A study used the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS), January 1, 2009–December 31, 2019, to examine 5201 cases aged 50+ in which cannabis was the only or primary substance. Although poison control center (PCC) cannabis cases involving older adults are relatively few, cases of other cannabis preparations than plant forms increased rapidly in recent years while cases of synthetic cannabinoids decreased. The rate of major medical outcomes also appears to be high. Read

Pediatric cannabis poisonings in France: more and more frequent and severe

8/25/20--Accidental pediatric cannabis poisonings are an incidental effect of cannabis use. The average THC content of cannabis resin and the number of consumers are rising sharply in the USA and in most European countries. The results of a study with an objective is to examine the evolution of prevalence and severity of pediatric exposures to cannabis in France indicates a significant increase in the number of cases of pediatric exposure to cannabis and a rise in the seriousness of poisonings between 2010 and 2017. Read

Self-reported cannabis use and biomarkers of inflammation among adults in the United States

8/15/20--Data from this nationally representative study suggest potential anti-inflammatory effects of recent cannabis use. Additional studies that biologically measure the THC and CBD concentrations of the cannabis used and employ prospective and or experimental study designs investigate cannabis and inflammation associations are needed. Read

The Treatment of Cognitive, Behavioural and Motor Impairments from Brain Injury and Neurodegenerative Diseases through Cannabinoid System Modulation

8/7/20--In this study, scientists aimed to overview the recent available literature regarding in vivo potential of natural and synthetic cannabinoids with underlying mechanisms of action for protecting against cognitive decline and motor impairments. Read

Clearing the smoke on cannabis

8/7/20--This is the fourth in a series of reports that reviews the effects of cannabis use on various aspects of human functioning and development. This report on the respiratory and cardiovascular effects of cannabis smoking provides an update of a previous report with new research findings that validate and extend our current understanding of this issue. Read

American Heart Association warns marijuana is a ‘substantial’ health risk

8/5/20--The American Heart Association has published a new scientific statement warning that cannabis (“marijuana”) is not without health risks — and that some of them may be ‘substantial.’ The advisory comes at a time when a number of states and countries have legalized cannabis to various degrees, offering the opportunity to study the drug and its potential health benefits and downsides. Read

Cannabinoids may affect activity of other pharmaceuticals

8/3/20--Cannabinoid-containing products may alter the effects of some prescription drugs, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. They published information that could help medical professionals make safe prescribing choices for their patients who use prescription, over-the-counter or illicit cannabinoid products. Read

Marijuana may hurt heart, more research needed, report finds

8/5/20--Marijuana use could hurt the heart and blood vessels, according to a report that found no cardiovascular benefits to cannabis use and called for more research of the drug that is growing in popularity. Observational studies have linked the chemicals in marijuana to an increased risk of heart attacks, heart failure and a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation, according to the report. Read

Cannabidiol for the treatment of cannabis use disorder

7/28/20--In the first randomised clinical trial of cannabidiol for cannabis use disorder, cannabidiol 400 mg and 800 mg were safe and more efficacious than placebo at reducing cannabis use. Read

Occupational Exposure to Particulate Matter and Volatile Organic Compounds in Two Indoor Cannabis Production Facilities

7/22/20--In this current study, occupational exposures to particulate matter (PM) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in various task zones of two indoor cannabis facilities in Washington State were quantified. The observations from this study can help inform the employer of the task zones where exposure to respiratory hazards are the highest, and where it may be beneficial to deploy control measures to reduce worker exposures. Read

A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of Cannabis and Cannabinoids for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

7/20/20--A number of studies have investigated the effectiveness  for treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). This study aimed to systematically analyze the effect of cannabis or cannabinoids in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) patients. Results indicate that Cannabi(noid)s do not induce clinical remission or affect inflammation in IBD patients. However, cannabi(noid)s significantly improve patient-reported symptoms and QoL. Read

Effect of inhaled cannabis for pain in adults with sickle cell disease a randomized clinical trial

7/17/20-- This randomized clinical trial found that, compared with vaporized placebo, vaporized cannabis did not statistically significantly reduce pain and associated symptoms, except interference in mood, in patients with SCD with chronic pain. Read