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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

Medical marijuana: A clinical handbook provides readers the most up-to-date insights on the science of cannabis and its medicinal use

7/7/20--A new textbook, Medical Marijuana: A Clinical Handbook provides an objective look at the history and science of the plant and strips away the cultural and political baggage that often clouds any meaningful examination of cannabis's therapeutic value. The authors, Drs. Samoon Ahmad and Kevin P. Hill, wrote the book to provide clinicians with the most accurate information available on cannabis and empower them to give their patients the best advice on treatment. Read

Is marijuana really harmless?

7/8/20--According to an article published in Rare Lake National News, it is reported that many people who regularly use marijuana may believe that the drug is relatively safe. However, marijuana is a mind-altering substance that can create negative long-term consequences, both bodily and mentally. Furthermore, regular marijuana use can create long-term memory problems, issues with brain development in younger users, and detrimental mental health problems. Read

Marijuana use while pregnant boosts risk of children’s sleep problems

7/2/20--Sleep Health: The Journal of The National Sleep Foundation is the latest paper to link prenatal cannabis use to developmental problems in children and the first to suggest it may impact sleep cycles long-term. It comes at a time when—while the number of pregnant women drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes has declined in the United States—It has risen to 7% of all pregnant women as legalization spreads and more dispensaries recommend it for morning sickness. Read

Interactions between cannabidiol and Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol in modulating seizure susceptibility and survival in a mousae model of Dravet syndrome

7/1/20--Extracts from the cannabis plant can dramatically improve the health of children suffering from refractory epilepsies such as Dravet syndrome. These extracts typically contain cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocannabinoid with well‐documented anticonvulsant effects, but may also contain Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9‐THC). It is unclear whether the presence of Δ9‐THC modulates the anticonvulsant efficacy of CBD. The Scn1a +/‐ mouse model of Dravet syndrome was used to examine this question. Read

A scoping review on clinical trials of pain with cannabis administration in adults

7/1/20--Indications of cannabis use are numerous although the indication to relief pain remains a major research interest and clinical application. Studies investigating the effect of herbal cannabis and cannabis-based medicine on neuropathic, non-neuropathic pain, acute pain and experimentally induced pain were reviewed. Cannabis-based medications were found most effective as an adjuvant therapy in refractory multiple sclerosis, and weak evidence was found to support the treatment of cancer pain especially in advanced stages. Read

Research identify more than 100 toxic chemicals in cannabis smoke

6/25/20--University of Alberta engineering researchers have characterized the potentially hazardous particles in cannabis smoke and have raised awareness about their potential health effects. Read

Association of Naturalistic Administration of Cannabis Flower and Concentrates With Intoxication and Impairment

6/10/20--This study provides information about the association of pharmacological and neurobehavioral outcomes with legal market cannabis. Short-term use of concentrates was associated with higher levels of THC exposure. Across forms of cannabis and potencies, users’ domains of verbal memory and proprioception-focused postural stability were primarily associated with THC administration. Read

Parents’ marijuana use may increase children’s risk of marijuana use and favorable views of marijuana

6/30/20--When parents use drugs such as marijuana, their children may also be affected. Numerous studies have shown that current parental marijuana use increases the children’s risk of substance use and other psychiatric problems. A recent NIDA-sponsored study demonstrates that the parents’ history of marijuana use throughout their lifetime may also affect their children’s outcomes and that some lifetime use patterns are more harmful than others. Read

Centers for Disease Control Director testimony on Coronavirus Response

6/4/20--Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the federal government’s coronavirus response. Committee members questioned Dr. Redfield on a range of issues including contact tracing, CDC coronavirus data reporting, vaccine development, and efforts to address health disparities in minority communities. Read

Cases of cannabis-induced psychosis increase during COVID-19 pandemic

6/5/20--Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital in New Lenox has noticed an increase in cannabis-induced psychosis. Such patients tend to be highly agitated and aggressive and need a lot of support and “calming down," according to Dr. Jyoti K. Randhawa, chief medical officer of Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital. She also stated that she saw a patient with cannabis-induced psychosis maybe once every few months, but now she’s seen an average of four a month. Read

No evidence marijuana raises stroke risk

6/3/20--A new study indicates that marijuana does not increase the risk of stroke. Specifically ischemic stroke, which is the most common type of stroke and is caused by a blood clot in the brain. After taking into account other factors, a connection between the risk of stroke and marijuana use could not be found, but the study can't prove that recent marijuana use does not affect the risk of stroke, only that the researchers didn't find any. Read

Today’s high potency weed raises risk of anxiety and addiction, study says

6/9/20--A new study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, surveyed more than 1,000 UK residents who reported marijuana use in the past year. The study found high-potency weed users appear to have a significant increase in the likelihood of developing generalized anxiety disorder than those who smoke less robust strains of marijuana. In addition, high-potency weed users are more likely to use weed at least once a week, twice as likely to have used illicit drugs within the past 12 months, and more than three times as likely to be tobacco smokers. Read

Users of high-potency cannabis four times more likely to report associated problems

5/28/20--Users of high-potency cannabis are four times more likely to report associated problems, and twice as likely to report anxiety disorder, than users of lower-potency strains, according to new research. Read

Association of high-potency cannabis use with mental health and substance use in adolescence

5/27/20--A study designed to explore the association between cannabis potency and substance use and mental health outcomes, accounting for preceding mental health and frequency of cannabis use suggests that the use of high-potency cannabis is associated with mental health and addiction. Limiting the availability of high-potency cannabis may be associated with a reduction in the number of individuals who develop cannabis use disorders, the prevention of cannabis use from escalating to a regular behavior, and a reduction in the risk of mental health disorders. Read

Pregnancy outcome among women with drug dependence: A population-based cohort study of 14 million births

5/11/20--A study examining the association between drug dependency in pregnancy (DDP) and maternal and newborn outcomes shows an increase in frequency associated with maternal and newborn deaths and adverse events. Further research and public health initiatives have been suggested to be undertaken to address prevention, screening, and treatment. Read

Assessing the public health impacts of legalizing recreational cannabis use: the US experience

5/11/20--Wayne Hall Michael Lynskey review US research on the effects of legalization on cannabis use among adults and adolescents and on cannabis‐related harms; the impact of legalizing adult recreational use on cannabis price, availability, potency and use; and regulatory policies that may increase or limit adverse effects of legalization. Read

Considering the health and social welfare impacts of non‐medical cannabis legalization

5/11/20--Hall and Lynskey review the state of knowledge to date regarding cannabis le­galization's impact on public health out­comes. As they correctly observe, the cur­rent (mostly North America‐based) evi­dence base re­garding the impacts of legalization is limit­ed, and mixed, including heterogeneous ef­fects on cannabis use and related harms. Read

To legalize or not to legalize cannabis, that is the question!

5/11/20--Hall and Lynskey highlight that two of the key arguments of the legalization lobby are: a) that it will reduce adolescent access, and b) that the available cannabis will be ­safer and less potent because of state‐con­trolled levels of its active ingredient, tetra­hydrocannabinol (THC). They also give a comprehensive snapshot of the outcomes that have followed the changes in cannabis law since 2012 in the US. Read

Recreational cannabis legalization presents an opportunity to reduce the harms of the US medical cannabis industry

5/11/20--According to a published commentary by Keith Humphreys Chelsea L. Shover, Hall and Lynskey's masterful essay provides a comprehensive assessment of the public health consequences of recreational cannabis legalization, which wise policy‐makers will consider as they design regulatory systems. They urge US policy‐makers to recognize that recreational cannabis legalization changes the political environment in a way that creates an important public health opportunity: cleaning up the under‐regulated and frequently harmful US medical cannabis industry. Read

Cannabis and public health: a global experiment without control

5/11/20--According to a review by Hall and Lynskey, two seemingly easy indicators may be prevalence and patterns of canna­bis use as far as the public health effects of le­galization, as both are potentially linked to health and social problems in the presence or absence of legalization. Read

Being thoughtful about cannabis legalization and social equity

5/11/20--According to a commentary published by Wiley Online Library by Beau Kilmer and Erin Kilmer Neel, Hall and Lynskey highlight several out­comes featured in cannabis policy debates and correctly note that they will be shaped by the type of legalization that is imple­mented. Kilmer and Neel mention how excellent the review of the e­merging evidence about how the commercial ap­proach influences health outcomes will hopefully inform future debates in the US and elsewhere. Read

The effects of recreational cannabis legalization might depend upon the policy model

5/11/20--Based on a published commentary written by Rosario Queirolo via the Wiley Online Library, the features of each legalization policy model might have a different impact on the expected outcomes. Some regulatory policies might increase certain legalization adverse effects, while decreasing other neg­ative impacts. For example, the Uruguayan cannabis legislation forbids the selling of cannabis edibles, which might reduce intoxications among minors but increases the percentage of users that smoke cannabis. Read

Legalizing recreational cannabis use: a promising journey into the unknown

5/11/20--An overview of the public health consequences of legalizing recreational cannabis use is provided by Hall and Lynskey. With this legalization, some US states have become frontrunners in international cannabis policy. Research‐wise and policy‐wise, there are two main issues, i.e. how legalization affects cannabis use and how cannabis use affects health. Apparently, there are quite a few uncertainties regarding both is­sues. Read

Assessing the public health effects of cannabis use: can legalization improve the evidence base?

5/11/20--Hall and Lynskey reviewed evidence on the effects of legalization of recreational cannabis, and they concluded that it is too early to tell. So, what matters going forwards is whether there will be sufficient investment in generating evidence and conducting research into both the association of cannabis use with health and social harms and the impact of alternative methods of legislating cannabis consumption on the prevention of those harms. Read

Cannabis use and fungal infections in a commercially insured population, United States, 2016

6/1/20--In this study, health insurance claims data from 2016 was used to evaluate the prevalence of fungal infection diagnosis codes among persons who use cannabis and persons who do not use cannabis and to compare demographic and clinical features between these 2 groups. Study results indicate that within this large commercially insured population in the United States, cannabis use was associated with a higher prevalence of certain fungal infections. Although these infections were uncommon, they can result in substantial illness and even death, particularly in immunocompromised persons. Read

Acute effects of cannabinoids on symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A human laboratory study

5/7/20--This is the first placebo-controlled investigation of cannabis in adults with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The data suggest that smoked cannabis, whether containing primarily THC or CBD, has little acute impact on OCD symptoms and yields smaller reductions in anxiety compared to placebo. Read

Heavy pot use linked to mental problems, even after quitting

4/30/20--Nearly half of people who have been or are now dependent on pot have some form of mental illness or dependence on another substance, according to a report this month in the journal Advances in Preventative Medicine. That compares with 8% of people with no history of pot dependence have mental illness or another drug or alcohol addiction. Read

Cannabis use during adolescence and the occurrence of depression, suicidality and anxiety disorder across adulthood

4/29/20--According to a longitudinal cohort study over 30-years examining the association between cannabis use in adolescence and the occurrence of depression, suicidality and anxiety disorders during adulthood, young age at first use and high frequency of use in adolescence may particularly increase the risk of depression in adulthood. All associations were independent of cannabis use and other substance abuse during adulthood. Read

Delta-9 THC can be detected and quantified in the semen of men who are chronic users of inhaled cannabis

4/30/20--The purpose of this proof-of-concept study was to determine whether delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and THC metabolites (11-OH THC and THC-COOH) can be detected in semen. This is the first study to identify and quantify THC in human semen, demonstrating that THC can cross the blood-testis barrier in certain individuals. Seminal THC was found to be moderately correlated with serum THC and THC metabolites. Read

Cannabidiol improves survival and behavioral co‐morbidities of Dravet syndrome in mice

4/22/20--A study investigated cannabidiol's potential to prevent premature mortality and improve associated co‐morbidities. Results indicate that cannabidiol treatment reduced premature mortality and improved several behavioral co‐morbidities in Dravet syndrome mice. These crucial findings may be translated into human therapy to address behavioral co‐morbidities associated with Dravet syndrome. Read

What are the side effects of secondhand marijuana smoke?

4/16/20--Studies have shown that although possible, it is unlikely that a person who breathes in secondhand marijuana smoke will get high. However, if there is poor or no ventilation, the likelihood of a person becoming high from the surrounding smoke drastically increases. In short, for a contact high to be possible, a person would need to be in close contact with highly concentrated marijuana smoke for an extended period in a poorly ventilated area. Read

Medical cannabis for the reduction of opioid dosage in the treatment of non-cancer chronic pain

4/22/20--Based on a review assessing medical cannabis (MC) used in combination with opioids to treat non-cancer chronic pain would reduce opioid dosage, it is likely that opioid dosage is reduced when used in combination with MC. However, more research is needed to elucidate whether MC used in combination with opioids in the treatment of non-cancer chronic pain is associated with health consequences that are yet unknown. Read

Marijuana may impair female fertility

4/2/20--Female eggs exposed to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, have an impaired ability to produce viable embryos, and are significantly less likely to result in a viable pregnancy, according to an animal study. Read

Marijuana use may impair female fertility: Study

4/4/20--Female eggs exposed a psychoactive ingredient in marijuana have an impaired ability to produce viable embryos and are significantly less likely to result in a viable pregnancy, claims a study. According to the researchers, preliminary data also showed THC affected the activity of a total of 62 genes in the treatment groups compared with the non-treated groups. "This implies lower quality and lower fertilization capability, therefore lower fertility in the end," according to study researcher Megan Misner. Read

Daily use of high-potency cannabis is associated with more positive symptoms in first-episode psychosis patients: the EU-GEI case–control study

3/18/20--Daily use of high-potency cannabis has been reported to carry a high risk for developing a psychotic disorder. However, the evidence is mixed on whether any pattern of cannabis use is associated with a particular symptomatology in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients. Findings of a conducted study indicates that patients with a history of daily use of high-potency cannabis present with more positive and less negative symptoms, compared with those who never used cannabis or used low-potency types.  Read

Mapping cannabis potency in medical and recreational programs in the United States

3/26/20--The current lack of knowledge surrounding advertised potencies in the legal cannabis market limits the ability to generate clear policies regarding online advertising to protect patients that are willing to use cannabis for their condition. Mary Catherine Cash, Katharine Cunnane, Chuyin Fan, and E. Alfonso Romero-Sandoval evaluated the advertised THC and CBD content of cannabis products offered online in dispensaries in the United States to determine products’ suitability to medicinal use and compare the strength of products offered in legal medical and recreational programs. Read

Psychiatric symptoms caused by cannabis constituents: a systematic review and meta-analysis

3/17/20--The potential for increased cannabis use highlights the need to better understand its risks, including the acute induction of psychotic and other psychiatric symptoms. This study aimed to investigate the effect of the cannabis constituent Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) alone and in combination with cannabidiol (CBD) compared with placebo on psychiatric symptoms in healthy people. Read

Opinion: What’s really driving the homelessness crisis

3/1/20--According to a op-ed by Christopher Rufo of The Daily Signal, there has been little clarity on what’s really driving the homelessness crisis in West Coast cities. For the past decade, progressive political leaders, activists, and media organizations have insisted that housing costs are the primary cause of homelessness. Yet, as an emerging body of evidence shows, homelessness in America’s West Coast cities is driven by three interrelated phenomena: addiction, mental illness, and permissive public policies. Read

Duke: Study shows impact of paternal marijuana exposure on brains of offspring

2/25/20--A male’s marijuana use appears to alter sperm prior to mating, causing offspring to develop distinct abnormalities in areas of the brain that help govern learning, memory, reward and mood, according to a Duke-led study conducted on rats. Read

Dose-ranging effect of adjunctive oral cannabidiol vs placebo on convulsive seizure frequency in Dravet Syndrome

3/2/20--Adjunctive cannabidiol at doses of 10 and 20 mg/kg/d led to similar clinically relevant reductions in convulsive seizure frequency with a better safety and tolerability profile for the 10-mg/kg/d dose in children with treatment-resistant Dravet syndrome. Dose increases of cannabidiol to greater than 10 mg/kg/d should be tailored to individual efficacy and safety. Read

Cannabis increases susceptibility to false memory

3/3/2020--This unique randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial examined the susceptibility to false memories under the influence of cannabis, using a basic (DRM) and two applied (misinformation) paradigms. Read

Preclinical study links human gene variant to THC reward in adolescent females

2/12/20--A common variation in a human gene that affects the brain's reward processing circuit increases vulnerability to the rewarding effects of the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis in adolescent females, but not males, according to preclinical research. As adolescence represents a highly sensitive period of brain development with the highest risk for initiating cannabis use, these findings in mice have important implications for understanding the influence of genetics on cannabis dependence in humans. Read

Medical Cannabis

2/11/20--Medical cannabis refers to preparations of the cannabis plant that patients use to treat medical conditions, and it has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years by many civilizations. As of January 2020, 33 states and the District of Columbia had put laws into place so physicians can certify the use of “medical marijuana,” or medical cannabis, for debilitating medical conditions—although cannabis remains illegal federally. Read

What should I know about medical cannabis?

2/11/20--The JAMA Internal Medicine Patient Page outlines pertinent details about medical marijuana, it's use, the dangers, and how it's regulated in the United States. Read 

Study: Frequent marijuana users make riskier decisions

2/15/20--A study using a card simulation where participants try to earn as much money as possible by choosing from different decks found that participants who used marijuana at least five times a week in the past year were prone to choosing decks with large rewards but larger losses, leading them to have a low net score for the task. Those who reported minimal to no use of marijuana chose decks with small rewards and small losses, but scored a high net score by the end of the task, researchers note. Read

Marijuana during labor: A survey of maternal opinions

2/3/20--Seemingly, there is increasing use of marijuana during pregnancy, and online accounts indicate that women are considering use of marijuana for labour pain. According to the survey, one third of women would consider the use of marijuana for labour pain, although many are unsure of its effects. Furthermore, most women would feel comfortable discussing this topic with their obstetrician, but the number and attitudes of women who would consider this are unknown. Read

An overview of cannabis use in pregnancy

1/15/20--Physicians have seen some of the outcomes associated with marijuana use in pregnant individuals. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 16.2% of pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 44 are daily. Estimates also indicate that between 2009 and 2016 cannabis use among pregnant females has nearly doubled, with young age being positively correlated with use. Read

Marijuana may accelerate the growth of this common cancer — study

1/14/20--In a new study, scientists lay out the evidence for a potentially deadly affect of THC on the body — accelerating the growth of a common cancer. According to Joseph Califano, researcher at the University of California, San Diego and study co-author, there is convincing scientific evidence that daily marijuana use can drive tumor growth in HPV-related head and neck cancer. Seemingly, doses used recreationally activate a cancer-causing pathway. Read

Birth and early developmental screening outcomes associated with cannabis exposure during pregnancy

1/17/20--A study comparing birth and early developmental screening outcomes for infants with and without in utero cannabis exposures may adversely impact fetal growth during pregnancy. Read

Real risks associated with cannabis exposure during pregnancy

1/17/20--A new study from researchers at Western University and Queen's University definitively shows that regular exposure to THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, during pregnancy has significant impact on placental and fetal development. Read

Can cannabis cure cancer?

1/16/20--As published in JAMA Oncology, a thorough review by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found moderate evidence of no statistical association between cannabis use and the development of lung and head and neck cancers. Furthermore, limited evidence of a statistical association was found between cannabis use and the development of nonseminomatous testicular carcinomas without good support for a causative effect. Read

2 million people with heart disease report using marijuana, Brigham and Women’s doctors find in new study

1/20/20--More than 2 million people with heart disease in the United States have used or are using marijuana, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found in a new study that called for more research about the drug’s potential cardiovascular risks. Although the researchers did not conclude that marijuana causes heart disease, “observational studies have linked marijuana use to a range of cardiovascular risks, including stroke, arrhythmia and diseases that make it hard for the heart muscle to pump properly,” the hospital in a statement. Read

Surge in ER visits after new marijuana laws take effect

1/11/20--Illinois doctors and other health officials report a surge in emergency room visits from people overindulging on cannabis. However, Illinois is not alone in the surge of marijuana-related hospital visits following its legalization for recreational use. According to multiple studies, Colorado doctors saw close to triple the number of cannabis-induced emergency room cases after it was legalized for recreational use there. Doctors say edibles tend to cause the majority of issues. Read

Birth and early developmental screening outcomes associated with cannabis exposure during pregnancy

1/7/20--According to a study comparing birth and early developmental screening outcomes for infants with and without in utero cannabis exposures, exposure to cannabis during pregnancy may adversely impact fetal growth. Read

The true cost of cannabis: Why don’t its illnesses, deaths command media headlines?

1/3/20--USA Today health policy writer Jayne O'Donnell started covering vaping lung injuries from high-potency THC in August, then added the link between cannabis and mental illness, as well as marijuana, psychosis, and other mental illness. O'Donnell indicates that this type of coverage presents a pretty solitary place to be. According to former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb, the news media seemed to lose interest once it became clear that the culprit to vaping lung illnesses was THC and not nicotine. Former New York Times business reporter Alex Berenson adds that the human cost of cannabis is too high — and that the press is too pro-pot. Read

California calls pot smoke, THC a risk to moms-to-be

A California panel voted Wednesday to declare marijuana smoke and the drug's high-producing chemical — THC — a risk to pregnant women and their developing fetuses and require warning labels for products legally sold in the nation's largest pot market. The decision by the little-known Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee will not take effect for a year, and it remains to be seen what impact it will have on the state's emerging marijuana industry. Read

Surface detection of THC attributable to vaporizer use in the indoor environment

12/9/19--The goal of this study was to determine whether cannabinoids can be quantitatively detected on room surfaces exposed to side-stream cannabis vapor, making these surfaces possible sources for third-hand exposure. Study results show that in a room in which cannabis was administered by vaporization, surfaces tested positive for THC at quantifiable levels. This study represents a first step in understanding how side-stream cannabis vapor deposits in the environment and may result in tertiary exposure to users and bystanders. Read

Opinion: Teen suicide has become normalized in our state. This is a crisis.

12/8/19--In an Op-ed by Dafna Michaelson Jenet published in The Colorado Sun, Jenet refers to the growth of youth suicide in Colorado at a rate of 59% over the past three years as an all-out emergency and a public health crisis. According to a study by the United Health Foundation, teen suicide now accounts for one out of every five adolescent deaths, and the teen suicide rate in Colorado has grown at a rate nearly double the national average. Read