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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

Novel Insights on Cannabis and Psychosis

7/28/20--There is evidence in both patients with psychotic disorders and the general population that cannabis use is associated with adverse effects of psychopathology and cognition. 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

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

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

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 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

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