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It’s all the rage! Exploring the nuances in the link between vaping and adolescent delinquency

5/6/19--The findings of a study examining the relationship between vaping different substances and adolescent delinquency while accounting for traditional forms of nicotine and marijuana use suggest that there may be something criminogenic about vaping among adolescents. However, the strength of the relationship between vaping and delinquency is contingent on what is being vaped, with marijuana vaping being most heavily correlated with delinquency. Read

Large reduction in psychiatric admissions after head-shop ban

4/8/19--There was a significant and immediate reduction in admissions to psychiatric facilities after the strict laws banning head shop drugs were introduced, new research shows. Read

Joe Biden applauds anti-marijuana speech at opioid forum

4/15/19--During an opioid forum, professor Bertha Madras claimed that patients who consume marijuana experience the same levels of pain and don’t decrease their opioid use, and she also characterized legislative efforts to allow patients with opioid use disorder to access medical marijuana as “disrespectful”—a rant that Biden enthusiastically applauded. The tacit endorsement of the panelist’s anti-cannabis speech appears to signal that Biden remains opposed, or at least skeptical about, changing marijuana policies. Read

Regular cannabis users require up to 220% higher dosage for sedation in medical procedures

4/15/19--Researchers in Colorado examined medical records of 250 patients who received endoscopic procedures after 2012, when the state legalized recreational marijuana. They found patients who smoked or ingested cannabis on a daily or weekly basis required 14% more fentanyl, 20% more midazolam, and 220% more propofol to achieve optimum sedation for routine procedures, including colonoscopy. Read

Indicators of despair rising among Gen X-ers entering middle age

4/15/19--Indicators of despair -- depression, suicidal ideation, drug use and alcohol abuse -- are rising among Americans in their late 30s and early 40s across most demographic groups, according to new research. These findings suggest that the increase in 'deaths of despair' observed among low-educated middle-aged white Baby Boomers in recent studies may begin to impact the youngest members of Generation X more broadly in the years to come. Read

Acute illness associated with cannabis use, by route of exposure

4/16/19--According to an observational study conducted to describe and compare adult emergency department (ED) visits related to edible and inhaled cannabis exposure, visits attributable to inhaled cannabis are more frequent than those attributable to edible cannabis, although the latter is associated with more acute psychiatric visits and more ED visits than expected. Read

History of lifetime marijuana use is associated with better cognition and worse real-world functioning in schizophrenia spectrum disorders

3/20/19--According to a study designed to examine the effect of cannabis on psychopathology, cognition and real-world functioning in SSD patients, lifetime cannabis use is associated with better working memory and processing speed and worse real-world functioning in the area of socially useful activities in patients with schizophrenia-related disorders. Clinicians should, therefore, be aware of it to provide patient-centered care in their daily clinical practice. Read

Medical marijuana laws linked to health and labor supply benefits in older adults

3/19/19--A study that examined older Americans' well-being before and after medical marijuana laws were passed in their state found reductions in reported pain and increased hours worked. The study suggests medical marijuana laws could be improving older Americans' health. Read

Could medical marijuana help older people with their ailments?

2/28/19--According to a preliminary study, medical marijuana may bring relief to older people who have symptoms like pain, sleep disorders or anxiety due to chronic conditions including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, neuropathy, spinal cord damage and multiple sclerosis. The study not only found medical marijuana may be safe and effective, it also found that one-third of participants reduced their use of opioids. Read

Junk food purchases increase after recreational marijuana legalization

2/28/19--A study released this month from assistant professor of economics Michele Baggio found a link between state recreational marijuana legalization and increased consumption of certain high-calorie foods, suggesting there may be something more substantial to the urban myth of "the munchies." The trend was consistent across the three legalizing states included in the study. Read

10 things we know (as in, actually have published evidence for) about marijuana and health

3/1/19--Considering the many controversies over marijuana, Nutrition Action Healthletter's Senior Nutrition Scientist Caitlin Dow presents a summary of the (limited) science on marijuana products, as well as 10 things that should be known about marijuana. Read

Association between cannabis use and complications related to Crohn’s Disease

3/2/19--Crohn’s disease is an idiopathic inflammatory process that is occasionally associated with complications. The anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis in intestinal inflammation has been shown in several experimental models. This study concluded that cannabis use may mitigate several of the well-described complications of Crohn’s disease among hospital inpatients. These effects could possibly be through the effect of cannabis in the endocannabinoid system. Read

Marijuana, cocaine may play role in young Americans’ rising stroke rate

2/4/19--The number of younger adults having strokes is rising. New research suggests growth in illegal drug use could be playing a role. According to a new study, although alcohol and cigarette use in the stroke victims remained stable over the two-decade study period, drug use rose dramatically, from 4.4 percent in 1993-1994 to 30.3 percent in 2015. It's necessary for doctors to increase their efforts to get young adults to understand the health consequences of using drugs. Read

Genetic study of impulsiveness reveals associations with psychiatric disorders

2/4/19--Impulsiveness and substance use share a genetic basis, according to genome-wide association studies published in JNeurosci by academic and industry researchers. With more than 20,000 participants, the research represents the largest genetic analysis of impulsive personality traits to date. Read

Depressive symptoms and suicidality in adolescents using e-cigarettes and marijuana

1/24/19--A study recently published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine reports that youth with single and dual e-cigarette and marijuana use had increased odds of reporting depressive symptoms and suicidality compared to youth who denied use. There is a need for effective prevention and intervention strategies to help mitigate adverse mental health outcomes in this population. Read

Effect of marijuana smoking on pulmonary disease in HIV-infected and uninfected men

1/24/19--Lung disease is a common comorbidity in people with HIV/AIDS, independent of smoking status. The effects of marijuana smoking on risk of lung disease in HIV-infected individuals are unclear. Read

A randomised controlled trial of vaporised Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol alone and in combination in frequent and infrequent cannabis users

1/19/19--A randomized placebo controlled trial was conducted to examine the acute effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) alone and in combination when administered by vaporization to frequent and infrequent marijuana users. CBD showed some intoxicating properties relative to placebo. Low doses of CBD when combined with THC enhanced, while high doses of CBD reduced the intoxicating effects of THC. Read

Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®)

1/17/19--Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant grown in many parts of the world which makes a resin with compounds called cannabinoids. The FDA has not approved Cannabis or cannabinoids for use as a cancer treatment. Read

States that legalize medical marijuana also see higher birth rates

1/9/19--States that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes can expect a moderate increase in birth rates, according to a new study by two UConn researchers. The study, led by UConn’s Michele Baggio and David Simon, both assistant professors of economics, along with Alberto Chong of Georgia State University, found that a birth rate increase corresponded with an increased frequency of sexual intercourse, and decreased purchase and use of condoms. Read

This reporter took a deep look into the science of smoking pot. What he found is scary.

1/5/19--New York Times reporter Alex Berenson’s new book,  Tell Your Children, delves into research linking heavy marijuana use with violent crime and mental illness. Berenson interviewed researchers who have quietly but methodically documented the effects of THC on serious mental illness, and he makes a convincing case that a recreational drug marketed as an all-around health product may, in fact, be really dangerous—especially for people with a family history of mental illness and for adolescents with developing brains. Read

Mental health expert warns of ‘significant increase’ in cannabis-induced psychosis

1/1/19--Schizophrenia Society of Canada's Chris Summerville discusses the dangers of cannabis-induced psychosis. According the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), 373 people were discharged from hospitals across the country – excluding Ontario and Quebec – after receiving treatment for cannabis-induced psychosis in the 2012/13 fiscal year. That number increased to 723 cases in 2016/17. Read

‘Reefer Madness’ not so mad after all, anti-pot author warns

1/3/19--As marijuana continues its seemingly inevitable march to legalization in all 50 states, most Americans simply accept that it’s relatively harmless. But what if it’s not? Alex Berenson, a reporter and novelist who authored the book “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence” thoroughly presents the case for caution. Read

Exposure to cannabis alters the genetic profile of sperm

12/19/18--New research from Duke Health suggests men in their child-bearing years should also consider how THC could impact their sperm and possibly the children they conceive during periods when they've been using the drug. Much like previous research that has shown tobacco smoke, pesticides, flame retardants and even obesity can alter sperm, the Duke research shows THC also affects epigenetics, triggering structural and regulatory changes in the DNA of users' sperm. Read

Acute effects of smoked and vaporized cannabis in healthy adults who infrequently use marijuana

11/30/18--Significant, sometimes adverse, drug effects can occur at relatively low THC doses in infrequent marijuana users, and accordingly this data should be considered with regard to regulation of retail marijuana products and education for individuals initiating marijuana use. Read

Greater risk for frequent marijuana use and problems among young adult marijuana users with a medical marijuana card

11/25/18--According to a study comparing young adults with and without a medical marijuana (MM) recommendation from a provider (“MM card”) on their developmental trajectories of frequent marijuana use and marijuana-related problems in young adulthood, young adult marijuana users with a MM card had a higher risk profile for marijuana use and related problems compared to those without an MM card. Given expanding state legalization of marijuana for medical use, this issue warrants further attention. Read

Adolescent cannabis use alters development of planning, self-control brain areas

11/6/18--Adolescent marijuana use may alter how neurons function in brain areas engaged in decision-making, planning and self-control, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The findings are the result of an animal model study focused on the structural development of the prefrontal cortex, or PFC, which controls high-level cognitive functions. Read

New insights into the neural risks and benefits of marijuana use

11/6/18--Research released today underscores both the dangers and the therapeutic promise of marijuana, revealing different effects across the lifespan. Marijuana exposure in the womb or during adolescence may disrupt learning and memory, damage communication between brain regions, and disturb levels of key neurotransmitters and metabolites in the brain. Read

Alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use between 2002 and 2016 in pregnant women from a nationally representative sample

11/5/18--In the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, the adjusted prevalence of past 30-day cannabis use in pregnant women aged 18 to 44 years rose from 2.37% in 2002 to 3.85% in 2014. Another study found a relatively similar increase from 4.2% in 2009 to 7.1% in 2014. Corresponding rates of alcohol use and cigarette smoking during pregnancy have generally decreased. These reports encourage more detailed characterization of patterns of substance use during the course of pregnancy. Read

Effect of cannabidiol on medial temporal, midbrain, and striatal dysfunction in people at clinical high risk of psychosis

11/8/18--In this investigation comparing 33 individuals at clinical high risk of psychosis who were part of a double-blind randomized clinical trial and 19 healthy control individuals, a single oral dose of cannabidiol modulated activation in the striatum, medial temporal cortex, and midbrain. In each of these regions, the level of activation following administration of cannabidiol to patients at clinical high risk of psychosis was intermediate between the response in healthy control individuals who did not receive any drug and in patients at clinical high risk receiving placebo. Read

Association of cannabinoid administration with experimental pain in healthy adults

11/8/18--This systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 studies including 442 adults found that cannabinoid drugs were associated with modest increases in experimental pain threshold and tolerance, no reduction in the intensity of ongoing experimental pain, reduced perceived unpleasantness of painful stimuli, and no reduction of mechanical hyperalgesia. Read

Marijuana use associated with faster kidney function decline in patients with CKD

10/27/18--Joshua L. Rein and his colleagues from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai analyzed data from the ASSESS-AKI parallel matched cohort study to investigate whether marijuana use was associated with kidney function decline and albuminuria. According to data presented at the ASN Kidney Week 2018, patients with baseline chronic kidney disease who used marijuana experienced more rapid eGFR decline. Read

Marijuana can help treat symptoms from multiple sclerosis, study finds

10/16/18--Multiple sclerosis (MS) could be yet another illness that could benefit from medical marijuana, according to new research. A study published in the journal JAMA Network Open found that “cannabinoids produce a limited and mild reduction of subjective spasticity, pain, and bladder dysfunction in patients with MS.” Read

Smoking cannabis may boost your risk of stroke scientists fear

10/19/18--Research suggests that smoking cannabis may boost the risk of having a stroke. Researchers analyzed hospitalizations of more than two million marijuana users between 2010 and 2014. Rates of stroke among non-marijuana users didn't change, but rates among recreational users jumped by 15 percent. However, the research was only conducted on adult cannabis users, leaving the scientists unsure if the same risk of stroke applies to children. Read

Study shows higher rate of stroke among pot smokers

10/19/18--A new study ties marijuana to a raised risk for stroke. The risk for any stroke could increase by 15 percent and it could jump 29 percent for an ischemic stroke -- the most common kind, said lead investigator Dr. Krupa Patel, a research physician at Avalon University School of Medicine in Willemstad, Curacao. In the study, Patel and her colleagues found that among more than 2.3 million American recreational marijuana users who were hospitalized, the risk of stroke rose, compared with people who didn't use the drug. Read

Marijuana caused more damage to teens’ brains than alcohol, study finds

10/6/18--Marijuana use may pose a greater risk to the developing brains of teenagers than alcohol consumption, according to a new study  this week. The analysis, published Wednesday in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that cannabis had greater short and long-term consequences than alcohol on four key components of teens' memory. The finding greatly surprised researchers. Read

Marijuana use among pregnant women is rising, and so are concerns

9/11/18--Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are using marijuana in increasing numbers. A 2017 JAMA study described both survey results and urine tests of nearly 280,000 pregnant women in Northern California, where marijuana for medical use was legalized in 1996. The study showed that in 2009, about 4 percent of the women tested used marijuana. In 2016, about 7 percent of women did. Those California numbers may be even higher now, since recreational marijuana became legal there this year. Read

More cases of severe bleeding linked to synthetic marijuana reported

8/31/18--According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, eight more cases of severe bleeding and hospitalizations due to synthetic marijuana laced with rat poison have been reported in Wisconsin. There have been 54 such cases in Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, since March, 40 confirmed and 14 probable, the department said in a news release. Read

Schizophrenia, cannabis use, and alcohol abuse are just several disorders that are related to accelerated brain aging

8/21/18--In the largest known brain imaging study, scientists from Amen Clinics (Costa Mesa, CA), Google, John's Hopkins University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Francisco evaluated 62,454 brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans of more than 30,000 individuals from 9 months old to 105 years of age to investigate factors that accelerate brain aging. SPECT tomography evaluates regional cerebral blood flow in the brain that is reduced in various disorders. Read

How to tell if you’re too tired to drive — and what to do if you are

7/8/18--This year, AAA reported that the number of crashes involving drowsiness is almost eight times higher than federal estimates indicate. And according to the National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America poll, 60 percent of adults admitted to driving drowsy and 37 percent admitted to having fallen asleep at the wheel. A more recent Sleep Health Index put out by the foundation found that 3 percent of Americans admitted to falling asleep at the wheel within a two-week period. Maureen Short, a Human Factors Expert and Senior Safety Engineer for Chevrolet, hopes to reduce this occurrence. Read

Content of illicit cannabis extracts used to treat children with epilepsy revealed

7/5/17--A pioneering study has found Australian parents who turned to medicinal cannabis to treat children with epilepsy overwhelmingly (75 percent) considered the extracts as "effective." Contrary to parental expectations, extracts generally contained low doses of cannabidiol (CBD) -- commonly considered to be a key therapeutic element and that has been successfully used in recent clinical trials to treat epilepsy. Read

In major study, cannabis shows no benefit for chronic pain

7/3/18--Cannabis' medical benefits have suffered a serious blow, with a major study finding it does almost nothing to help people with chronic pain. The study, one of the largest and most in depth ever done on the drug’s medical use, found cannabis does not cut pain, nor does it help sufferers replace opioids. And users seem to suffer higher levels of anxiety overall. Read

Marijuana use associated with respiratory issues

7/2/18--Individuals who smoke marijuana regularly are likely to experience cough, increased sputum production and wheezing, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Read

Even once-a-week pot smokers have more cough, phlegm

7/2/18--Smoking marijuana once a week can cause coughing, wheezing and phlegm, all signs of chronic bronchitis, a new evidence review reports. Pot smoking doubles a person's risk of developing a regular hacking cough. It also triples the risk of coughing up phlegm and suffering from wheezy constricted breathing, researchers found. Dr. Norman Edelman, senior scientific adviser to the American Lung Association, said he's concerned that heavy marijuana use could lead to larger health problems for those who develop chronic bronchitis. Read

Are there risks from secondhand marijuana smoke? Early science says yes

3/19/18--Scientists are finding that, just as with secondhand smoke from tobacco, inhaling secondhand smoke from marijuana can make it harder for arteries to expand to allow a healthy flow of blood. Read

Stronger cannabis linked to rise in demand for drug treatment programmes

1/31/18--Study drawing on data from the Netherlands is the first to show how admissions to treatment centres rise and fall in line with cannabis strength. Furthermore, it found that changes in demand for treatment typically lagged five to seven years behind changes to cannabis strength. Read

Cannabis use is associated with reduced prevalence of progressive stages of alcoholic liver disease

1/17/18--A study revealed that among alcohol users, individuals who additionally use cannabis (dependent and non‐dependent cannabis use) showed significantly lower odds of developing alcoholic steatosis (AS), steatohepatitis (AH), fibrosis, cirrhosis (AC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Additionally, findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with a reduced incidence of liver disease in alcoholics. Read

Cigarettes and pot linked to teen psychosis

1/19/18--For teens, using either marijuana or cigarettes is associated with higher odds of psychotic-like experiences, a new study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found. Psychosis describes the mental condition of losing touch with reality, such as experiencing hallucinations or delusions. Read

More women smoking marijuana while pregnant, U.S. study finds

12/26/17--A growing number of pregnant women are using marijuana, and the habit is expanding fastest among teens and young adults, a U.S. study suggests. Among teen mothers under age 18, marijuana use during pregnancy surged from about 13 percent in 2009 to almost 22 percent in 2016, researchers found. Over that same period, the proportion of pregnant women aged 18 to 24 using marijuana rose from 10 percent to 19 percent. Across all age groups, marijuana use during pregnancy increased from 4 percent at the start of the study to 7 percent by the end. Read

Pueblo doctors see rise in marijuana sickness cases

12/11/17--Emergency room doctors at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo are seeing a rise of illnesses due to an excessive intake of marijuana. It's a condition called scromiting, commonly referred as Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, which results in symptoms like screaming and vomiting. Medical experts believe the symptoms are the result of people consuming heavy amounts of marijuana over extended periods of time. Read  

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

12/4/17--Many patients who are being treated for opioid addiction in a medication-assisted treatment clinic use marijuana to help manage their pain and mood symptoms. But, new research led by Marian Wilson, Ph.D., of the Washington State University College of Nursing found that frequent marijuana use seems to strengthen the relationship between pain and depression and anxiety, not ease it. Read

Rates and predictors of conversion to schizophrenia or bipolar disorder following substance-induced psychosis

11/28/17--The authors investigated the rates of conversion to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder after a substance-induced psychosis, as well as risk factors for conversion. The study concludes that substance-induced psychosis is strongly associated with the development of severe mental illness, and a long follow-up period is needed to identify the majority of cases. Read

Rare and mysterious vomiting illness linked to heavy marijuana use

11/30/17--Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a condition only recently acknowledged by the medical community, affects a small population — namely, a subset of marijuana users who smoke multiple times a day for months, years or even decades. Doctors say it's difficult to treat the condition. There is no cure other than to quit using marijuana. Furthermore, doctors can do little to relieve the symptoms, since traditional anti-nausea medications often don't work and there are no pills to prevent the onset of an episode. Read

Vomiting syndrome discovered in some long-term marijuana users

11/30/17--Long-term and very heavy marijuana use may cause severe stomach pain and vomiting in a very small percentage of users, according to local San Diego researchers. County and health officials say Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) causes symptoms ranging from severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and the impulse to take hot showers. The condition is linked to long-term, heavy marijuana use and causes abdominal discomfort that may mimic other intestinal illnesses. Read

Cannabis use in youth is linked to bipolar symptoms in young adults, finds new research

11/30/17--Researchers from Warwick Medical School found that adolescent cannabis use is an independent risk factor for future hypomania -- periods of elated mood, over-active and excited behaviour, and reduced need for sleep that are often experienced as part of bipolar disorder, and have a significant impact on day-to-day life. The Warwick research is the first to test the prospective association between adolescent cannabis use and hypomania in early adulthood, whilst controlling for important other factors that might explain this connection. Read

Using cannabis just twice a week as a teenager increases the risk of bipolar disorder in later life

12/1/17--Teenage cannabis use may increases a person's risk of suffering from bipolar disorder in later life, new research suggests. People who used cannabis at least two-to-three times a week at 17 years old are more likely to experience hypomania in their earlier 20s, according to the first study of its kind. Read

Research finds link between marijuana use and testicular cancer

11/8/17--New research from Northern Medical Program Professor Dr. Russ Callaghan has found that use of marijuana is associated with the development of testicular cancer. As part of a retrospective study, Dr. Callaghan and his team looked at data from young men conscripted for military service in Sweden in 1969 and 1970, and tracked their health conditions over the following 42 years. They found that heavy cannabis use (defined as more than 50 times in a lifetime, as measured at conscription) was associated with a 2.5-fold increased risk of developing testicular cancer. Read

Cannabis use and incidence of testicular cancer

11/1/17--Given current drug policy reforms to decriminalize or legalize cannabis in numerous countries worldwide, the current study assesses the relation between cannabis use and the development of testicular cancer. Read

Marijuana and alcohol negatively impact lifetime achievement in young adults

10/31/17--UConn Health examined the effects of marijuana use and dependence on life achievement in young adults. Research found that young adults dependent on marijuana and alcohol were less likely to achieve adult life goals, defined by the study as educational achievement, full-time employment, marriage, and social economic potential. Research also revealed that dependence may have a more severe effect on young men. Read

Teens who drank or smoked marijuana heavily are less likely to marry, go to college, or work full time

11/5/17--Young adults dependent on marijuana and alcohol are less likely to achieve adult life goals, according to new research by UConn Health scientists. They examined data from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) to track the effect teenage alcohol and marijuana use has on the achievement of life goals, defined as educational achievement, full time employment, marriage, and social economic potential. The researchers also found that dependence may have a more severe effect on young men. Read

Medical marijuana won’t help most sick kids

10/23/17--A new review suggests that medical marijuana appears to hold only limited promise for sick children and teenagers, and according to study author Dr. Shane Shucheng Wong there's not enough evidence to say that medical marijuana can specifically help kids with medical conditions, such as neuropathic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or Tourette's syndrome. Even though there seem to be some good uses for medical pot, doctors and families need to weigh potential negative effects in treating children and teens with marijuana, Wong noted. Read