Coffee affects cannabis and steroid systems

Coffee affects your metabolism in dozens of other ways besides waking you up, including your metabolism of neurotransmitters typically linked to cannabis, a study reports. The neurotransmitters related to the endocannabinoid system — the same ones affected by cannabis — decreased after drinking four to eight cups of coffee in a day. That’s the opposite of what occurs after someone uses cannabis. The study also gives possible insight in the cause of munchies. Coffee may also increase the elimination of steroids.

Smoking heightens risk of psychoses

Smoking at least ten cigarettes a day is linked to a higher risk of psychoses compared to non-smoking young people. The risk is also raised if the smoking starts before the age of 13.

How does resolving cannabis problems differ from problems with alcohol or other drugs?

Individuals who report having resolved a problem with cannabis use appear to have done so at younger ages than those who resolved problems with alcohol or other drugs and were less likely to use any formal sources of assistance or support, report investigators.

Experts challenge claims about medical marijuana’s impact on teen recreational use and opioid deaths

Two papers published today look at the current evidence of the effects of medical marijuana laws and conclude there is little support that such laws increase recreational marijuana use among adolescents or reduce opioid overdose deaths.

New guideline warns pain benefits of medical cannabis overstated

A new medical guideline suggests Canada’s family physicians should take a sober second thought before prescribing medical cannabis to most patients.

Medical cannabis significantly safer for elderly with chronic pain than Opioids

A new study found cannabis therapy is safe and efficacious for elderly patients who are seeking to address cancer symptoms, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other medical issues. After six months, more than 18 percent of patients surveyed had stopped using opioid analgesics or had reduced their dosage.

New cannabis products highly potent, pose mental health risks

With states rapidly legalizing cannabis for medicinal and recreational use, physicians will be increasingly pressed to counsel patients on their frequency of use and dosage, as well as associated risks.

Risk of fatal traffic crash higher during annual 4/20 cannabis celebration

US drivers are more likely to be in a fatal traffic crash during the annual April 20 cannabis celebration. Twenty-five years’ worth of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes after 4:20 pm on April 20 is higher compared to the same time intervals on control days one week earlier and one week later.

Evidence that medical marijuana outlets sell to other users

A study of four medical marijuana outlets in California suggests that many of their customers don’t fit the profile expected for businesses focused on sick patients.

Study questions link between medical marijuana and fewer opioid deaths

Several studies have shown an association between legalizing medical marijuana and lower death rates from opioids. A new study finds that link is more complex than previously described and appears to be changing as both medical marijuana laws and the opioid crisis evolve.

Developing a roadside test for marijuana intoxication isn’t as easy as it sounds

As marijuana legalization gains momentum in the United States, researchers worry about keeping the public safe, particularly on the roads. Recent studies have identified new biomarkers that can be used to estimate a person’s recent cannabinoid intake. But, using those markers to judge cognitive and behavioral impairment is complex, say toxicologists.

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

Marijuana use — by either men or women — does not appear to lower a couple’s chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study.

Recreational marijuana legalization: Do more youth use or do youth use more?

Recent results indicate that the effects of recreational marijuana legalization on Oregon teens’ use depends on whether the teens were already using marijuana when legal sales began.

Cigarette smoking is increasing among Americans with drug problems

While cigarette smoking has declined in the US for the past several decades, since 2002 the prevalence of smoking has increased significantly among people with an illicit substance use disorder, according to a new study. Researchers found more than half of individuals with a substance use disorder (56 percent) reported cigarette use in the past month, compared with 18 percent of those without a substance use disorder. 

Marijuana may help HIV patients keep mental stamina longer

A chemical found in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has been found to potentially slow the process in which mental decline can occur in up to 50 percent of HIV patients, says a new study.

Medical marijuana for children with cancer? What providers think

Most providers willing to consider medical marijuana use in children with cancer, but those with legal eligibility to certify are less likely to approve.

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

New research finds that frequent marijuana use seems to strengthen the relationship between pain and depression and anxiety, not ease it.

Cannabis linked to bipolar symptoms in young adults

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

Synthetic cannabis-like drug reduces sleep apnea

A synthetic cannabis-like drug in a pill was safe and effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea in the first large multi-site study of a drug for apnea.

More adults use marijuana in states where it is legal

Daily use of marijuana as well as past month rates rose for both men and women aged 26 and older in states with medical marijuana laws in effect. Marijuana use among those younger than 26 years old was generally unaffected by changes in the law.

Can cannabinoids be used to treat cancer?

When cannabinoids activate signaling pathways in cancer cells they can stimulate a cell death mechanism called apoptosis, unleashing a potent anti-tumor effect.

Booze and pot use in teens lessens life success

Young adults dependent on marijuana and alcohol are less likely to achieve adult life goals, according to new research.

Marijuana use associated with cognitive dysfunction in people with HIV who have substance abuse disorder, study finds

Marijuana use is associated with cognitive dysfunction in people with HIV infection who have an alcohol or other drug use disorder, according to a new study.

Regular marijuana use linked to more sex, study finds

Despite concerns among physicians and scientists that frequent marijuana use may impair sexual desire or performance, the opposite appears more likely to be the case, new research indicates.

Pre-clinical study suggests path toward non-addictive painkillers

A pre-clinical study reports that the use of the positive allosteric modulator GAT211 enhances the effect of pain-relief chemicals produced by the body in response to stress or injury. The research is a promising step forward in the search for pain relief methods without the addictive side effects of opioids.

A quarter of problematic pot users have anxiety disorders, many since childhood

About a quarter of adults whose marijuana use is problematic in early adulthood have anxiety disorders in childhood and late adolescence, according to new data.

Limited data on medical cannabis use in children

A systematic review of published studies on the use of medical cannabis in children and adolescents finds a notable lack of studies and a minimal number of the randomized, controlled trials needed to confirm the effectiveness of a treatment.

A new target for marijuana

Cellular-level changes to a part of the brain’s reward system induced by chronic exposure to the psychoactive component of marijuana may contribute to the drug’s pleasurable and potentially addictive qualities, suggests a study in young mice.

Cannabis consumption increases violent behavior in young people in psychiatric care

A new study on cannabis use that involved 1,136 patients (from 18 to 40 years of age) with mental illnesses who had been seen five times during the year after discharge from a psychiatric hospital demonstrates that sustained used of cannabis is associated with an increase in violent behavior in young people. Moreover, the association between persistent cannabis use and violence is stronger than that associated with alcohol or cocaine.

Antidote to synthetic cannabis ‘Spice’ intoxication could be found in slimming drug

Early research has potentially found an antidote that can rapidly stop the intoxicating effects of cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids.

Up to one-quarter of cancer patients use marijuana

A new study conducted in a cancer center in a state with legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana found that approximately one-quarter of surveyed patients used marijuana in the past year, mostly for physical and psychological symptoms.

Cannabis, ‘spice’ – better think twice

Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug in the world, and the advent of synthetic cannabinoids creates additional challenges to the society because of their higher potency and ability to escape drug detection screenings.  Scientists have a warning about a new danger coming from cannabinoid abuse.

Medical students not trained to prescribe medical marijuana

More than half of the states in the US now allow some type of legal marijuana use, primarily medical marijuana. But, in a survey of medical residents and deans at the nation’s medical schools, researchers have found that the majority of schools are not teaching their students about medical marijuana, and the majority of students don’t feel prepared to discuss the subject with patients.

Marijuana may produce psychotic-like effects in high-risk individuals

Marijuana may bring on temporary paranoia and other psychosis-related effects in individuals at high risk of developing a psychotic disorder, finds a preliminary study.

Reversing the negative effects of adolescent marijuana use

Researchers have identified a specific mechanism in the prefrontal cortex for some of the negative mental health risks associated with adolescent marijuana use. By demonstrating that adolescent THC exposure modulates the activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain, they were also able to identify a mechanism to reverse those risks.

Do we need to reform international drug treaties as more countries legalize cannabis?

The future of international drug control treaties is in doubt because of recent treaty-violating decisions to legalize cannabis use in Canada, the United States and Uruguay. A professor, whose 2014 review of 20 years of cannabis research made world headlines, thinks so. If decriminalization is the way of the future, he advocates a cautious approach to policy reform that would involve trialing and evaluating the effects of incrementally more liberal drug policies.

CBD may protect against psychiatric risk from high-THC cannabis strains

A study by neuroscientists finds that a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis called cannabidiol, or CBD, appears to protect against the long-term negative psychiatric effects of THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Marijuana use amongst youth stable, but substance abuse admissions up

While marijuana use amongst youth remains stable, youth admission to substance abuse treatment facilities has increased.

Marijuana associated with three-fold risk of death from hypertension

Marijuana use is associated with a three-fold risk of death from hypertension, according to new research.

Muted stress response linked to long-term cannabis use

A new study reveals a dampened physiological response to stress in chronic cannabis users. This is the first study to examine the effects of acute stress on salivary cortisol levels in chronic cannabis users compared to non-users.

Pattern of marijuana use during adolescence may impact psychosocial outcomes in adulthood

A pattern of escalating marijuana use in adolescents is linked to higher rates of depression and lower educational accomplishments in adulthood.

Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids

Chemical compounds called cannabinoids are found in marijuana and also are produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids. A well-known cannabinoid in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, is responsible for some of its euphoric effects, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits. A new study in animal tissue reveals the cascade of chemical reactions that convert omega-3 fatty acids into cannabinoids that have anti-inflammatory benefits – but without the psychotropic high.

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18

Young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence, found a study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth.

Canada should continue with separate medical stream after cannabis is legalized for recreational use: Study

After cannabis is legalized, Canada should continue with a separate medical cannabis stream to keep patients safe, argues a new commentary.

Closing medical marijuana dispensaries increases crime, according to new study

Contrary to popular belief, medical marijuana dispensaries (MMDs) reduce crime in their immediate areas, suggests a new report.

Scientists lay the groundwork for a reliable marijuana breathalyzer

An important step has been taken toward a reliable marijuana breathalyzer by measuring the vapor pressure of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — a measurement that, due to the compound’s chemical structure, is very difficult and has not been accomplished before.

Marijuana and vulnerability to psychosis

The link between marijuana use and psychotic-like experiences has been confirmed in a Canadian adolescent cohort.

Legal cannabis laws impact teen use

A new study has found that adolescents living in medical marijuana states with a plethora of dispensaries are more likely to have tried new methods of cannabis use, such as edibles and vaping, at a younger age than those living in states with fewer dispensaries.

Rates of marijuana use, heavy use, and cannabis use disorder depend on where you live

Adult marijuana use rose significantly in states that passed loosely regulated medical marijuana laws (MMLs) according to a new study. The highest increases were reported among adults ages 26 and over. Little change was found in past-month marijuana use among adolescents or young adults between the ages 18 and 25.

Marijuana use among college students on rise following Oregon legalization, study finds

College students attending an Oregon university are using more marijuana now that the drug is legal for recreational use, but the increase is largely among students who also report recent heavy use of alcohol, a new study has found.

Mixing booze, pot is a serious threat to traffic safety

Use of marijuana in combination with alcohol by drivers is especially dangerous, according to a study. Drivers who used alcohol, marijuana, or both were significantly more likely to be responsible for causing fatal two-vehicle crashes compared to drivers who were involved in the same crashes but used neither of the substances.

Why the marijuana and tobacco policy camps are on very different paths

New research looked at diverging trajectories of cannabis and tobacco policies in the US and attempts to explain some of the reasoning behind the different paths, while discussing possible implications.

Teen cannabis use and illicit drug use in early adulthood linked

Researchers have found regular and occasional cannabis use as a teen is associated with a greater risk of other illicit drug taking in early adulthood. The study also found cannabis use was associated with harmful drinking and smoking.

Low-dose THC can relieve stress; more does just the opposite

Low levels tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, does reduce stress, but in a highly dose-dependent manner, new research confirms.

Why pot-smoking declines, but doesn’t end, with parenthood

Adults who smoke marijuana often cut back after becoming parents — but they don’t necessarily quit. The influence of a significant other and positive attitudes toward the drug overall, in addition to the onset of parenthood, also are factors in whether someone uses marijuana.

Legalizing marijuana will harm health of youth in Canada, study shows

The Canadian federal government’s bill C-45 to legalize marijuana in Canada will jeopardize the health of young people and Parliament should vote against it, argues a new article.

Cannabidiol reduces seizures in children with severe epilepsy

Children with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, had fewer seizures after taking a daily oral solution of the cannabis compound called cannabidiol, which does not have the psychoactive properties of marijuana, results from a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial reveal.

Benefits of medical marijuana for treatment of epilepsy examined

Although cannabis had been used for many centuries for treatment of seizure disorders, medical use became prohibited in the 20th century. However, with the loosening of laws regarding medical marijuana, research and clinical use of marijuana-derived substances are increasing. This has prompted the publishing of an in-depth assessment of the potential of cannabinoids for the effective treatment of epilepsy. Cannabinoids are components of the cannabis plant.

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.