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Study finds older adults using cannabis to treat common health conditions

10/7/20--University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that older adults use cannabis primarily for medical purposes to treat a variety of common health conditions, including pain, sleep disturbances and psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression. The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that of 568 patients surveyed, 15 percent had used cannabis within the past three years, with half of users reporting using it regularly and mostly for medical purposes. Read

Is cannabis being used as a substitute for non-medical opioids by adults with problem substance use in the United States?

10/8/20--According to a prospective cohort study, among US adults with problem substance use who use non‐medical opioids, the odds of opioid use appear to be approximately doubled on days when cannabis is used. This relationship does not appear to differ between people with moderate or more severe pain versus less than moderate pain, suggesting that Cannabis is not being used as a substitute for illegal opioids. Read

Assessment of Changes in Alcohol and Marijuana Abstinence, Co-Use, and Use Disorders Among US Young Adults From 2002 to 2018

10/12/20--The findings of this study suggest that US colleges and communities should create and maintain supportive resources for young adults as the substance use landscape changes, specifically as alcohol abstinence, marijuana use, and co-use increase. Interventions for polysubstance use, alcohol use disorder, and marijuana use disorder may provide valuable opportunities for clinicians to screen for prescription drug misuse. Read

More young adults are abstaining from alcohol

10/12/20--Between 2002 and 2018, the number of adults aged 18-22 in the U.S. who abstained from alcohol increased from 20% to 28% for those in college and from about 24% to 30% for those not in school, say researchers at the University of Michigan and Texas State University. And alcohol abuse among both groups decreased by roughly half. Read

Marijuana use among teens at highest level in decades

9/22/20--Marijuana remains the most widely used illicit drug in Maryland, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center, with teen use the highest in decades. Health experts cite legalization efforts as one reason for these increases, along with common misperceptions that marijuana is harmless. Read

2019 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Releases

9/13/20--NSDUH’s latest annual report focuses on substance use and mental health in the United States based on NSDUH data from 2019 and earlier years. The annual report presents estimates that meet the criteria for statistical precision and facilitate stable examination of trends over time to study changes in society and emerging issues. Read

Does how you use matter? The link between mode of use and cannabis-related risk

9/1/20--With the recent legalization of cannabis there are more cannabis products available to consumers today than ever before. However, little is known about the relation of distinct modes of use to cannabis-related risks. The current study estimated the prevalence of different modes of use among a sample of university students, and quantified the magnitude of association between modes of use (type and number) and cannabis-related risks. Read

CDPHE releases latest Healthy Kids Colorado Survey data

8/3/20--Today, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released the latest statewide and regional results from the bi-annual statewide Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS), the state’s only comprehensive survey on the health and well-being of young people, in middle school and high school. Read

Healthy Kids Colorado Survey data tables and reports

8/3/20--The purpose of the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey is to better understand youth health and what factors support youth to make healthy choices. The survey, conducted every two years, is supported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Department of Public Safety, and an advisory group of state and local stakeholders. Read

Characteristics of marijuana use during pregnancy — Eight states, pregnancy risk assessment monitoring system, 2017

8/14/20--Continuous surveillance of marijuana use in the perinatal period can inform clinical guidance, provider and patient education, and public health programs to support evidence-based approaches to addressing substance use. Yet, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend refraining from marijuana use during pregnancy and lactation because evidence on safety and health effects are inconclusive or insufficient. Read

United Kingdom drug situation 2019: summary

8/7/20--The overall prevalence of drug use reported in the UK has remained relatively stable throughout the last decade. However, the most recent surveys covering England and Wales, and Scotland reported the highest prevalence of drug use in the past 10 years. From the most recent surveys, the prevalence of any drug use in the last year was 9.4% in England and Wales, 12% in Scotland, and 5.9% in Northern Ireland. Read

Marijuana Legalization and Youth Marijuana, Alcohol, and Cigarette Use and Norms

7/9/20--This study tests whether nonmedical marijuana legalization predicts a higher likelihood of teen marijuana, alcohol, or cigarette use or lower perceived harm from marijuana use in a longitudinal sample of youth aged 10–20 years. Results indicated that it is important to consider recent broad declines in youth substance use when evaluating the impact of nonmedical marijuana legalization. Furthermore, states that legalize nonmedical marijuana for adults should increase resources for the prevention of underage marijuana and alcohol use. Read

Legal marijuana may be slowing reductions in teen marijuana use, study says

7/20/20--The legalization of marijuana for Washington state adults may be thwarting a steady downward trend in teen marijuana use, according to new research from the University of Washington. The longitudinal study of more than 230 teens and young adults finds that teens may be more likely to use marijuana following legalization — with the proliferation of stores and increasing adult use of the drug — than they otherwise would have been. Read

Cannabis use among US adults with anxiety from 2008 to 2017: The role of state-level cannabis legalization

9/1/20--According to study results, cannabis use is increasing among American adults overall, yet is disproportionately common among Americans with anxiety especially among those residing in states where cannabis has been legalized. Read

Ancient people in the Kingdom of Judah may have gotten high off weed

5/30/20--More than 2,700 years ago, worshipers at a "holy of holies" shrine in Israel may have gotten high on weed. Researchers discovered burnt cannabis and frankincense at the site, which was located in the Kingdom of Judah. Read

Minimum legal age for cannabis use should be 19, study suggests

5/13/20--A team of researchers at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, investigated how Canadians who started using cannabis at several young ages differed across important outcomes (educational attainment, cigarette smoking, self-reported general and mental health) in later-life. According to this new study, the optimal minimum legal age for non-medical cannabis use is 19 years of age. Read

Intensity of cannabis use: Findings from three online surveys

5/1/20--Respondents who reported using cannabis daily (i.e., 30 days in the past month) consumed almost twice as much per day of use on average as did those reporting less than daily. The study finds only modest increases in intensity among those using less than daily, but then a substantial increase (p< 0.001) for those who use daily. Read

Trends in marijuana vaping and edible consumption from 2015 to 2018 among adolescents in the United States

4/6/20--There is growing evidence associating adolescent marijuana use with developmental and societal consequences. Prevalence and trends from 2015 to 2018 in noncombustible marijuana use and differences by use frequency and sociodemographic characteristics have been documented. Vaping has increased rapidly among adolescents, and Regional data suggest boys vape more than girls, but there are conflicting reports of sex differences in edible use, and differences across modes of use for race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES). Read

Michigan is smoking more marijuana than any other state during coronavirus pandemic, survey says

3/23/20--According to a Twitter survey, Michigan residents are smoking marijuana more than any other state during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Analysts used trends software with direct access to geotagged twitter data to arrive at the conclusion. Overall, the southern half of the U.S. has the most activity when it comes to smoking marijuana, with the exception of Michigan, which was the number one state overall. Read

Texas among top states using marijuana during Coronavirus outbreak according to Twitter data

3/25/20--According to geotagged Twitter data gathered this month, it appears more Texans are using marijuana than people in most states during the coronavirus pandemic. The map featured in this article is based on data since March 1, tracking tweets and hashtags about using marijuana, including phrases such as “smoke weed,” “get high,” and all related slang terms. Read

Cannabis sales, deliveries explode as Californians stock up on pot amid coronavirus

3/24/20--Cannabis sales and marijuana deliveries are exploding as Californians stock up on pot amid the coronavirus pandemic. Marijuana dispensaries are allowed to stay open during the coronvirus pandemic because they are considered an "essential" service. Read

‘Dabbing’ concentrated THC is troubling new trend among teens

2/14/20--NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez joins TODAY to inform parents about a much more potent way to use marijuana called “dabbing” that is getting more popular among teens.  Read

Sierra Middle School parent wants teens caught with marijuana to face consequences

2/3/20--Four Las Cruces teens caught with marijuana at Sierra Middle School on Friday, Jan. 31, are now facing the consequences. John Rivera, a parent of a Sierra Middle School student, said they need to face the consequences to set an example for all the other kids so they know it’s not OK, and hopefully they learn a lesson and don’t do it again. Read

Study outlines concerns around natural psychoactive substances

12/3/19--New research finds that over a period of 17 years, people in the United States increased their use of natural psychoactive substances, believing them to be safe. This has led to many reports of adverse symptoms in adults and children alike. Read

Study outlines concerns around natural psychoactive substances

12/3/19--New research finds that over a period of 17 years, people in the United States increased their use of natural psychoactive substances, believing them to be safe. This has led to many reports of adverse symptoms in adults and children alike. Read

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, problematic use increased among adults and teens

11/13/19--Problematic use of marijuana among adolescents and adults increased after legalization of recreational marijuana use, according to a new study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Read

Association between recreational marijuana legalization in the United States and changes in marijuana use and cannabis use disorder from 2008 to 2016

11/13/19--Findings in a multilevel, difference-in-difference survey study with 505 796 respondents comparing marijuana use before and after the legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States, revealed that the proportion of respondents aged 12 to 17 years reporting cannabis use disorder increased from 2.18% to 2.72%, while the proportion of respondents 26 years or older reporting frequent marijuana use increased from 2.13% to 2.62% and those with cannabis use disorder, from 0.90% to 1.23%. Read

Marijuana use among pregnant women continues to rise

11/5/19--Marijuana use by pregnant women appears to be on the rise. According to new data, more women are using cannabis while pregnant. A new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association says that marijuana is now the most commonly used illicit drug among pregnant women in the U.S. Data collected from 276,000 pregnant women in a Northern California study found that cannabis use nearly doubled from 2009 to 2017. Read

A national survey of marijuana use among US adults with medical conditions, 2016-2017

9/20/19--This survey study using data from 169,036 participants in the 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys found that, compared with adults without medical conditions, adults with medical conditions had a significantly higher prevalence of current and daily marijuana use, were more likely to report using marijuana for medical reasons, and were less likely to report using marijuana for recreational purposes. Read

High-schoolers’ pot use fell in the decade before legalization. Will that continue?

9/16/19--Fewer Massachusetts high school students used marijuana in the years before the state’s first marijuana stores opened last year, according to a new report. However, it’s too early to know whether these trends have changed since legalization. But officials said the report, by the state Cannabis Control Commission, establishes a baseline for future study. Read

Spending on illicit drugs in US nears $150 billion annually

8/20/19--Spending on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine by Americans reached nearly $150 billion in 2016, with a large proportion of spending coming from the small share of people who use drugs on a daily or near-daily basis, according to a new RAND Corporation report. Read

The impact of recreational marijuana legalization on rates of use and behavior: A 10-year comparison of two cohorts from high school to young adulthood.

8/19/19--A study was conducted focusing on understanding the risk and protective factors related to substance use from adolescence to young adulthood. Overall, results suggest that young adults after recreational marijuana legalization are more likely to use marijuana than young adults were before recreational marijuana legalization 10 years earlier. Read

Maternal marijuana exposure and birth weight: An observational study surrounding recreational marijuana legalization

8/23/19--A study to examine the relationship between prenatal marijuana and infant birth weight using natural cohorts established before, during and after the 20-month lapse between legalization and legal recreational sales in Washington State revealed marijuana exposure verified by UDS was associated with LBW and SGA. However, recreational marijuana legalization and availability did not have direct impact on newborns' risk of LBW or SGA. Read

A whiff of the music festival future? Outside Lands sells cannabis for the first time

8/12/19--Outside Lands, the largest event in California, and the country, is the first to allow legal sales and consumption of cannabis. It is a preview of what may eventually become commonplace for other big gatherings such as Southern California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (though no such permit has yet been requested) as marijuana rules solidify. Read

Four takeaways from National Drug Use and Health Survey on marijuana use

8/5/19--As more states introduce medicinal and adult-use marijuana legislation, robust and reliable data helps to improve the understanding of the impact legalization has on use and public health. However, even though there are limitations on what can be inferred, there are clear upward trends in the usage of marijuana and a steady decrease in the perception of risk from smoking once a month across the country. These outcomes are important for policymakers to consider when determining their position on legalizing forms of marijuana. Read

Teen marijuana use drops amid legalization

7/12/19--Legalizing recreational marijuana has lead to a decrease in teen use in many states, according to a study published this week that contradicts previous research of how legalization affects teen pot use. The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, found that recreational marijuana laws were associated with an 8% decrease in teen pot use, and a 9% decrease in frequent use. Read

Youth marijuana use declined in states that legalized, study finds

7/8/19--Legalizing marijuana is associated with a decline in youth cannabis consumption, according to a new study in a journal published by the American Medical Association. The research, which analyzed federal data on marijuana use trends among 1.4 million high school students from 1993 to 2017, showed that self-reported past-month youth cannabis use declined by an average of 8 percent in states that legalized recreational marijuana. Read

Recreational marijuana legalization tied to decline in teens using pot, study says

7/9/19--Marijuana use among young people in the United States overall has climbed in recent years, but a new study suggests that in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized, marijuana use among youth may actually be falling. The study involved analyzing data, from 1993 to 2017, on about 1.4 million high school students in the United States from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. Read

Legalizing marijuana not a trigger for teen toking

7/9/19--According to a new study surveying more than 1.4 million U.S. high school students, legalizing marijuana does not encourage pot use among teenagers, and it may actually discourage them from smoking weed. And teen marijuana use actually seems to decline in states that have gone further and legalized recreational pot, researchers report online in the July 8 issue of the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Read

Marijuana manpower: Those kids you gave summer jobs to, yeah, they’re probably stoned

7/9/19--A team of researchers at the Washington State University College Of Nursing say they have evidence showing that gainfully employed minors in their neck of the woods are more likely to use marijuana than those who are non-working. The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, reads in part, "Among working 12th graders, marijuana use increased significantly over time relative to non-working youth. … Associations were stronger for youth who worked more hours per week." Read

Teen odds of using marijuana dip with recreational use laws, study finds

7/8/19--New research suggests legalizing recreational marijuana for U.S. adults in some states may have slightly reduced teens' odds of using pot. The researchers analyzed national youth health and behavior surveys from 1993 through 2017 that included questions about marijuana use. Responses from 1.4 million high school students were included. Read

Marijuana use by U.S. teens has jumped 10-fold since 1990s

6/20/19--A study looked at 1991-2017 U.S. federal health data on more than 200,000 high school students. It found that the number who said they'd used pot at least once over the past month rose 10-fold -- from 0.6% in 1991 to 6.3% by 2017. Many are becoming "dual users" of both marijuana and alcohol: The number of teens who admit to using both substances at least once a month has almost doubled -- from 3.6% in 1991 to 7.6% in 2017. Read

Potent pot, vulnerable teens trigger concerns in first states to legalize marijuana

6/16/19--The first two states to legalize recreational marijuana are starting to grapple with teenagers’ growing use of highly potent pot. Parents, educators, and physicians say youths are easily getting hold of edibles infused with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive component that causes a high, and concentrates such as “shatter,” a brittle, honey-colored substance that is heated and then inhaled through a special device. Read

Modes of cannabis use: A secondary analysis of an intensive longitudinal natural history study

6/24/19--There is a paucity of research on modes of marijuana use (e.g., joint vs. blunt), and further, little consensus on how to accurately assess both modes of use and route of administration. A secondary analysis used a longitudinal design with data collected daily to characterize mode of marijuana use. Although the major limitation of this study was use of a convenience sample and lack of detailed data on vaporizer use, results indicate that joint use is no longer the most common mode of use in either White or Black participants and exclusive use of a single modality is uncommon. Read

‘I’m too high. Something’s wrong.’ Teens caught vaping marijuana in scary new trend

5/3/19--Students are vaping in the presence of teachers, and they typically don’t realize a student has indulged until the teen confesses. There is no telltale odor, and the handheld devices used are small enough that a surreptitious student can indulge in class. Compounding the trouble, experts say, is the potency the devices can deliver, giving a student a much more intense high than expected. Read

Most Washington teens report using marijuana less often since legalization

3/15/19--Marijuana use went down significantly among the state's 8th and 10th graders after it was legalized in Washington, according to a new study by WSU. The study looked into whether legalizing marijuana made any difference among 8th and 10th graders, plus high school seniors who work in jobs. Read

Teen pot use fell in states that legalized medical marijuana

2/14/19--A new study suggests that fewer teen marijuana users are in states that have adopted medical marijuana laws. States with medical marijuana laws had 1.1 percent fewer teenage pot smokers than states without such laws, researchers said. Researchers analyzed survey data gathered between 1999 through 2015 from 45 states, including more than 860,000 students. Read

Qualifying conditions of medical marijuana license holders in the United States

2/1/19--Chronic pain is currently and historically the most common qualifying condition reported by medical marijuana patients. According to a conducted analysis by Kevin F. Boehnke, Saurav Gangopadhyay, Daniel J. Clauw, and Rebecca L. Haffajee, 85.5 percent of all patient-reported qualifying conditions had either substantial or conclusive evidence of therapeutic efficacy. As medical marijuana use continues to increase, creating a nationwide patient registry would facilitate better understanding of trends in use and of its potential effectiveness. Read

What drives patients to use medical marijuana: Mostly chronic pain

2/4/19--A new study seeks to understand whether people are using medical marijuana for evidence-based reasons. According to the report consisting of a comprehensive review of 10,000 scientific abstracts on the health effects of medical and recreational marijuana use, there was conclusive or substantial evidence that chronic pain, nausea, and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity symptoms were improved as a result of marijuana treatment. Read

The scent of London has changed: all I can smell now is cannabis

1/26/19--The Spectator writer Mary Wakefield says marijuana is everywhere in London. She says this because the smell of the city has changed. A decade ago, the dominant scent was diesel and tobacco, but now the smell of London is marijuana. Research from the University of York examined the number of people accessing drug treatment services over the past ten years and found, not a rise in overall users, but a dramatic rise in the number of people over 40 smoking marijuana, nearly 120 percent. Read

Cannabis use disorder: The policy climate matters

1/23/19--Adolescents and young adults living in states with more liberal policies reported higher average rates of past-year marijuana use than those in states with more conservative policies, according to a new study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. However, the rates of marijuana use disorder -- abuse or dependence on the drug -- were significantly lower in states with more liberal policies compared to states with more conservative policies. Read

Impacts of medical marijuana laws on young Americans across the developmental spectrum

1/4/19--State legalization of marijuana for medical purposes could increase illicit marijuana use among young people. Medical marijuana laws may boost the availability of marijuana and reduce perceptions of its harmfulness, leading more young people to try it. Prior studies report little evidence that these laws are impacting marijuana consumption by young Americans, and none have systematically compared developmentally distinct age groups. Read

Older Americans are flocking to medical marijuana

12/7/18--Oils, tinctures and salves — and sometimes old-fashioned buds — are increasingly common in seniors’ homes. Doctors warn that popularity has outstripped scientific evidence. Physicians who treat older adults expect their marijuana use to increase as the number of states legalizing medical marijuana keeps growing. Read

The “real” number of Washington State adolescents using marijuana, and why: A misclassification analysis

10/26/18--Approximately 12% of Washington adolescents claimed to have used marijuana in the past 30 days. Estimates indicate this figure is likely closer to 18%. Determinants of use included use of other substances, gender, age, and measures of deviant social influences, personality/attitude, school and family bonds, bullying, and acquisition ease, while determinants of misreporting included use of other substances, gender, parental education, and family bonds. Failing to control for misreporting considerably underestimates the prevalence of marijuana use among adolescents. Read

We asked Florida candidates if they’ve smoked marijuana. Here’s what they said.

10/12/18--The Times asked all candidates for statewide office if they have ever smoked marijuana, and if their experiences with the drug have influenced their views on marijuana policy. Four of the 12 candidates acknowledged prior marijuana use. Five candidates said they have never smoked, and three wouldn't respond. Read

Teens who’ve tried marijuana have used it in more than one form

9/28/18--Most teens who've tried marijuana have used the drug in more than one form, including products that are smoked, eaten, or vaped, new USC research shows. The study, published Friday in JAMA Network Open, raises concerns about adolescent health amid a booming marijuana market that touts sleekly packaged products claiming an array of health benefits. Read

Marijuana use among young adults is at an all-time high, study finds

9/11/18--The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently released the results of its latest study, which examined trends on substance use among non-college and college young adults. More than 13 percent of young adults not in college reported using marijuana daily or near daily, which is the highest level ever among the group. As a result, NIDA said daily marijuana use is now three times as high among non-college young adults as among college students. Read

Report warns of ‘serious risk’ to Peace Corps from drug use by volunteers

8/24/18--The Peace Corps has a drug problem related to an increasingly outdated view of marijuana, but significant enough to the agency’s Office of Inspector General that it warns of a “serious risk to the integrity and reputation of the Peace Corps as well as the health and safety of Volunteers.” Read

Relationships between state laws legalizing marijuana for medical use and college students’ use of marijuana/other drugs

8/28/18--A study published in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice examined the relationship between medicalized marijuana laws and student utilization rates, perceptions, and experiences. Participants were students in 37 states attending institutions of higher education. Students who went to college in states that legalized marijuana for medical use were more likely to use marijuana and experience academic and health consequences than their counterparts who did not. Read

Snapshot: About one in four young adults use marijuana

8/15/18--While 13 percent of Americans say they "regularly" or "occasionally" use or smoke marijuana, the rate is significantly higher among young adults ages 18 to 29 and is higher in the West than in other regions of the country. Marijuana is most popular among young adults -- about one in four (24 percent) adults in this age group report regularly or occasionally using it. This is on par with an average 22 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds across three surveys from 2015 to 2017 who answered "yes" when asked whether they do, or do not, "smoke marijuana." Read