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A third of high school students ride with drivers who have been drinking

One in three high school students reports riding with a driver who has been drinking, while nearly one in five was in a car where the driver had consumed marijuana, according to a new study.


Trying new marijuana products and edibles is associated with unexpected highs

Unexpected highs are a consequence of using new marijuana products and edibles, products that have flooded the marijuana market since legalization of recreational marijuana use.


Marijuana use tied to poorer school performance

When high school students started smoking marijuana regularly they were less likely to get good grades and want to pursue university, according to a new study.


Cannabis reverses aging processes in the brain, study suggests

Memory performance decreases with increasing age. Cannabis can reverse these ageing processes in the brain. This was shown in mice by scientists at the University of Bonn with their colleagues at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel). Old animals were able to regress to the state of two-month-old mice with a prolonged low-dose treatment with a cannabis active ingredient. This opens up new options, for instance, when it comes to treating dementia.


ER visits related to marijuana use at a Colorado hospital quadruple after legalization

Visits by teens to a Colorado children’s hospital emergency department and its satellite urgent care centers increased rapidly after legalization of marijuana for commercialized medical and recreational use, according to new research.


Neuroscientists seek brain basis of craving in addiction and binge eating

A new article details the first step in revealing how craving works in the brain. Scientists have now proposed a quantitative model for drug addiction research. The model focuses on craving: the intense, urgent feeling of needing or wanting drugs. Their ongoing research and subsequent findings have the potential to open a new frontier of alcohol and substance abuse treatment.


Cannabis use in adolescence linked to schizophrenia

A new study points to cannabis as a trigger for schizophrenia. The research finds that smoking pot or using cannabis in other ways during adolescence may serve as a catalyst for schizophrenia in individuals already susceptible to the disorder.


Do medical marijuana laws promote illicit cannabis use and disorder?

Illicit cannabis use and cannabis use disorders increased at a greater rate in states that passed medical marijuana laws than in other states, according to latest research. The new study is among the first to analyze the differences in cannabis use and cannabis use disorders before and after states passed medical marijuana laws, as well as differentiate between earlier and more recent periods and additionally examine selected states separately.


Chili peppers and marijuana calm the gut, study suggests

You wouldn’t think chili peppers and marijuana have much in common. But when eaten, both interact with the same receptor in our stomachs, according to a new paper. The research could lead to new therapies for diabetes and colitis, and opens up intriguing questions about the relationship between the immune system, the gut and the brain.


Genetic factors may contribute to adverse effects produced by synthetic cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoid abuse is a growing problem in the US. New discoveries tied to genetic factors that increase a person’s risk for experiencing the most dangerous effects of these drugs could lead to more effective treatments and antidotes.


Risk of psychosis from cannabis use lower than originally thought, say scientists

Scientists have shown that the risk of developing psychosis, such as hallucinations, from cannabis use is small compared to the number of total users.


For young adults, cigarettes more pleasurable with alcohol than with pot

Young adults get more pleasure from smoking cigarettes while they are drinking alcohol than they do while using marijuana, according to a new American study.


Natural chemical helps brain adapt to stress

A natural signaling molecule that activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain plays a critical role in stress-resilience — the ability to adapt to repeated and acute exposures to traumatic stress.


Early use of marijuana can increase its negative health impacts

The need for age guidelines for marijuana use is the focus of a new study. The findings show that young users report the most impact to their physical and mental health.


Depression, alcohol, and marijuana linked to later use of synthetic marijuana among teens

In the first prospective study of synthetic cannabinoids or SCs — the group of chemicals that mimic the effects of marijuana — researchers have found that symptoms of depression, drinking alcohol, or using marijuana was linked to an increased risk of SC use one year later.


Marijuana use associated with increased risk of stroke, heart failure

Using marijuana raises the risk of stroke and heart failure even after accounting for demographic factors, other health conditions and lifestyle risk factors such as smoking and alcohol use, according to new research.


Cannabis use in people with epilepsy revealed: Australian survey

The first Australian nationwide survey on the experiences and opinions of medicinal cannabis use in people with epilepsy has revealed that 14 per cent of people with epilepsy have used cannabis products as a way to manage seizures. The study showed that of those with a history of cannabis product use, 90 per cent of adults and 71 per cent of parents of children with epilepsy reported success in managing seizures after commencing using cannabis products.


Consumption of alcohol and marijuana associated with lower GPA in college

College students who consume medium-to-high levels of alcohol and marijuana have a consistently lower GPA, according to a new study.


Pro-pot arguments fly higher with likely voters

As more states consider legalizing recreational marijuana, a range of arguments for and against legalization is swirling around the national conversation. Which of these arguments resonate most strongly with Americans? It’s the arguments that support legalization, according to a new study.


Given the choice, patients will reach for cannabis over prescribed opioids

Chronic pain sufferers and those taking mental health meds would rather turn to cannabis instead of their prescribed opioid medication, according to new research.


Lollipop or edible?

Pot brownies may be a thing of the past as there are new edible marijuana products, or edibles, on the market, including chocolates, candies, and cookies. These products are legally sold in Colorado and Washington, and according to a new study, changes to their labels are needed to ensure people know what they are consuming and that they are safely consuming the products.


How can marijuana policy protect the adolescent brain?

As more states begin to legalize the use of marijuana, more young people may believe that it’s safe to experiment with the drug. However, those under 25 are more vulnerable to the effects of drugs than are older adults. New legislation on legal marijuana use should include consideration of age limits and other guidelines for safe use, according to the authors of a new article.


Neurobiologist illuminates the underexplored potential of cannabis to address opioid addiction

Cannabinoids, extracts of cannabis legally sold as medical marijuana, could reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms in heroin users, a number of animal studies and a small human pilot study have revealed.


So-called ‘synthetic marijuana’ linked to serious health problems

Synthetic marijuana compounds are marketed as safe, legal alternatives to marijuana that cannot be detected by standard drug testing, but these substances differ chemically from marijuana; are linked to dangerous side effects, including seizures, psychosis, dependence, and death; and are not safe substitutes, research shows.


Delaying marijuana smoking to age 17 cuts risks to teens’ brains, new study suggests

Adolescents who smoke marijuana as early as 14 do worse by 20 points on some cognitive tests and drop out of school at a higher rate than non-smokers. But if they hold off until age 17, they’re less at risk.


Cannabis: Non-addictive pathway to pain relief?

New research suggests an avenue for developing treatments for chronic pain that harness the medicinal properties of cannabis while minimizing the threat of addiction. Therapeutics that target the endocannabinoid system might produce pain relief with fewer side effects compared with opioids.


More older Americans using cannabis, underscoring need for research

Cannabis use among older adults in the US is on the rise, yet there is currently a lack of biomedical, clinical, and public health research to inform policy related to this trend, according to a new article.


Legal or not, marijuana can increase the risk of developing alcohol use disorders

Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) develop with time and in stages. Following the initiation of drinking, some people progress to problem drinking, and then develop a “cluster” of specific problems to comprise an AUD. However, not all stages of AUD development have been studied equally. This report examines high-risk families to understand underlying influences across multiple stages of AUD development.


Scrapping excessive neural connection helps build new connections

Neural activity that retracts excessive early innervation in a certain pathway helps make late neural connections in a different pathway, research has found. This may provide a self-organizing mechanism of neural connections, and additionally, early excessive innervation may serve as a guide for making late neural connections.


Pain relief without the high

Researchers have set ‘gold standards’ for developing new painkillers based on the medicinal effects of cannabis, but without some of its side effects.


Did teen perception, use of marijuana change after recreational use legalized?

Marijuana use increased and the drug’s perceived harmfulness decreased among eighth- and 10th-graders in Washington after marijuana was legalized for recreational use by adults but there was no change among 12th-graders or among students in the three grades in Colorado after legalization for adults there, according to a new study.


New research shows uptick in past-month marijuana use among women of reproductive age

The prevalence of past-month marijuana use among reproductive-aged women rose from 2.4 percent in 2002 to 3.9 percent in 2014, an increase of 62 percent. Past-month marijuana use was highest among those ages 18 to 25 years, reaching 7.5 percent in 2014, and significantly higher among those ages 26 to 44 years (2 percent).


Causal links between cannabis, schizophrenia: New evidence

People who have a greater risk of developing schizophrenia are more likely to try cannabis, according to new research, which also found a causal link between trying the drug and an increased risk of the condition.


This is your brain on (legal) cannabis: Researchers seek answers

For those suffering depression or anxiety, using cannabis for relief may not be the long-term answer, say researchers.


N-acetylcysteine shows early promise in reducing alcohol use in marijuana-dependent teens

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reduced alcohol use in a small cohort of marijuana-dependent adolescents who exhibited reductions in marijuana use, report researchers. In this secondary analysis of data from an earlier trial of NAC in marijuana-dependent adolescents, researchers show that reduced marijuana use was associated with reductions in alcohol consumption in the NAC-treated, but not placebo-treated teens.


Beware: Children can passively ‘smoke’ marijuana, too

Relaxing with a joint around children is not very wise. Not only do youngsters inhale harmful secondary smoke in the process, but the psychoactive chemicals in the drug are taken up by their bodies as well.


Baby boomers on dope: Recreational marijuana use is on the rise among adults over 50

There is a common misperception that widespread marijuana use is limited to younger generations. However, the Baby Boomer generation has reported higher rates of substance use than any preceding generation.


Marijuana use gender gap widens, mainly among low-income

Americans have experienced a six percent increase in pot use among men earning less than $20,000, corresponding to rising unemployment rate during the Great Recession, a new report outlines.


Highest-resolution model to date of brain receptor behind marijuana’s high

Researchers report the most detailed 3-D structure to date of the brain receptor that binds and responds to the chemical at the root of marijuana’s high.


Marijuana could help treat drug addiction, mental health, study suggests

Using marijuana could help some alcoholics and people addicted to opioids kick their habits, a new study suggests. The research also found some evidence that medical cannabis may help with symptoms of depression, PTSD and social anxiety. However, the review concluded that cannabis use might not be recommended for conditions such as bipolar disorder and psychosis.


Compound suggests chronic pain treatment without opioid or medical marijuana side effects

Neuroscientists have found evidence that the brain’s cannabis receptors may be used to treat chronic pain without the side effects associated with opioid-based pain relievers or medical marijuana.


Cannabis abuse possible cause of psychosis

The risk of developing psychosis is more than tripled for those who abuse cannabis, according to results from a new twin study.


State policies will determine whether or not most Americans smoke marijuana

More than 50 percent of Americans changed their minds about intentions to smoke marijuana based on ramifications — or lack thereof — set forth by their state of residency, according to new research.


A FAAH better thing for cannabis users

Chronic cannabis users have reduced levels of an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). The enzyme has been considered for treatment for cannabis dependence because it breaks down substances made in the brain that have cannabis-like effects, called endocannabinoids, rendering them inactive.


First atomic-level image of the human ‘marijuana receptor’ unveiled

In a discovery that advances the understanding of how marijuana works in the human body, an international group of scientists has, for the first time, created a three-dimensional atomic-level image of the molecular structure activated by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical in marijuana.


Does weed help you sleep? Probably not

Marijuana users may believe that frequent use helps them sleep, but that perception has been challenged by a new study. It found that daily marijuana users actually scored higher on the Insomnia Severity Index and on sleep-disturbance measures than those who did not use it daily.


Cannabis excess linked to bone disease, fractures

People who regularly smoke large amounts of cannabis have reduced bone density and are more prone to fractures, research has found. The study also found that heavy cannabis users have a lower body weight and a reduced body mass index (BMI), which could contribute to thinning of their bones.


Early marijuana use associated with abnormal brain function, lower IQ

In a new study, scientists have discovered that early marijuana use may result in abnormal brain function and lower IQ.


Cannabis reduces creativity, but user generally not aware

Regular users of cannabis are less aware of their own mistakes, and they are not good at creative thinking, concludes new research on the effects of cannabis.


If legalizing pot, consider health, not profits, analysis says

A new analysis of marijuana legislation offers a framework for states that are considering legalizing the drug and want to protect public health, rather than corporate profits.


Sleep habits, adolescent drug and alcohol use linked, shows research

A possible link between adolescent sleep habits and early substance abuse has been identified by researchers. The study found that both sleep duration and sleep quality during late childhood predict alcohol and cannabis use later in adolescence.


Study of fatal car accidents suggests medical marijuana may be helping curb opioid use

There were fewer drivers killed in car crashes who tested positive for opioids in states with medical marijuana laws than before the laws went into effect, investigators report.


Cannabis reduces short-term motivation to work for money

Smoking the equivalent of a single ‘spliff’ of cannabis makes people less willing to work for money while ‘high,’ finds a new study. The research is the first to reliably demonstrate the short-term effects of cannabis on motivation in humans. The researchers also tested motivation in people who were addicted to cannabis but not high during the test, and found that their motivation levels were no different to volunteers in the control group.


Increasing number of US adults using marijuana as fewer people perceive the drug as harmful

An increasing number of US adults are using marijuana, as fewer people perceive the drug as harmful, according to a survey of over 500000 US adults conducted between 2002 and 2014. As marijuana has become increasingly potent over the past decade, the authors say that the findings suggest the need for improved education and prevention messages regarding the risks of marijuana.


Factors that might attract children to marijuana edibles

A new report identifies factors that make food attractive to children. Commissioned by the state Liquor and Cannabis Board, the report studied research on what makes food appeal to children and the role that marketing and branding play.


Researchers find new role for cannabinoids in vision

A multidisciplinary team of researchers has improved our understanding of how cannabinoids, the active agent in marijuana, affect vision in vertebrates.


THC in marijuana makes rats lazy, less willing to try cognitively demanding tasks

New research suggests there may be some truth to the belief that marijuana use causes laziness — at least in rats.


Smoking marijuana provides more pain relief for men than women

Men had greater pain relief than women after smoking marijuana, a new study has found. Despite differences in pain relief, men and women did not report differences in how intoxicated they felt or how much they liked the effect of the active cannabis.


A minute of secondhand marijuana smoke may damage blood vessels: Study in rats

Rats’ blood vessels took at least three times longer to recover function after only a minute of breathing secondhand marijuana smoke, compared to recovery after a minute of breathing secondhand tobacco smoke. With many states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, and possible corporate expansion within the cannabis industry, this type of research is important to help understand the health consequences of exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke, researchers said.


Marijuana exposure in kids rose after recreational use legalized in Colorado

The legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado was associated with both increased hospital visits and cases at a regional poison center because of unintentional exposure to the drug by children, suggesting effective preventive measures are needed as more states consider legalizing the drug, according to a new article.