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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Cannabis: Non-addictive pathway to pain relief?

OHSU research suggests an avenue for developing treatments for chronic pain that harness the medicinal properties of cannabis while minimizing the threat of addiction.

The study, conducted in a rodent model, provides additional rationale for the development of therapeutics using cannabinoid receptors to treat chronic pain, which afflicts about 30 percent of the U.S. population. OHSU investigators studied the function of two forms of cell membrane receptors that bind cannabinoids that occur naturally within the body, called…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


More older Americans using cannabis, underscoring need for research

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has reported that cannabis use by persons over age 50 has outpaced recent growth observed across all other age groups. In 2000, about one percent of Americans over 50 had used it within the past year; by 2012, that number had risen to 3.9 percent.

Now, a team of researchers at the University of Iowa has analyzed the divergent pathways of cannabis use among the older adult population to demonstrate how attitudes, laws, and individual health needs can shape these paths.

“Some…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Researchers scrutinized four transitions in AUD development using data on adolescents and young adults from high-risk families: time to first…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Scrapping excessive neural connection helps build new connections

Researchers found that neural activity that retracts excessive early innervation in a certain pathway helps make late neural connections in a different pathway. 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.

The formation and refinement of neural networks is known to be often an activity-dependent process, but mechanisms and nature of activity are not yet clearly understood.

During neuronal circuit formation, afferent…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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

A new study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that 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). Findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers used data from the annual National…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Further evidence found for causal links between cannabis, schizophrenia

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.

The study from the University of Bristol comes on the back of public health warnings issued earlier this year by scientists who voiced concerns about the increased risk of psychosis for vulnerable people who use the drug. Those warnings followed evidence to suggest an increased use of particularly high potency strains of cannabis…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

That’s according to new research from a team at Colorado State University seeking scientific clarity on how cannabis — particularly chronic, heavy use — affects neurological activity, including the processing of emotions.

Researchers led by Lucy Troup, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, have published a study in PeerJ describing their findings from an in-depth, questionnaire-based analysis of 178 college-aged, legal…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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

An over-the-counter antioxidant known as N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is showing early promise at promoting abstinence from or reduced use of alcohol in marijuana-dependent adolescents, report researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in the December 2016 Addictive Behaviors. In a cohort of treatment-engaged marijuana-dependent adolescents, reduced marijuana use was associated with reductions in alcohol use in the NAC-treated group, but not placebo group. NAC is believed to restore neuronal glutamate homeostasis disrupted by…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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

The recent legalization of recreational marijuana (cannabis) use in California, Colorado, and Washington reflect the sweeping changes in the attitudes and perceptions towards marijuana use in the United States. Eight states have voted in favor of legal recreational marijuana and 26 states in total allow medicinal marijuana.

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.

“Given the…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Marijuana use gender gap widens, mainly among low-income

A new study of changes in marijuana use over time in the U.S. found that the prevalence of past-year marijuana use increased for both men and women between 2002 and 2014. Throughout this period, more men reported past-year use than women, but since 2007, the rate of increase was greater for men than for women, leading to a widening of the gender gap in marijuana use over time. An estimated 6 million additional men and 4 million additional women used marijuana in 2014 compared to 2002.

Results of the study conducted at Columbia University’s…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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

Indiana University neuroscientist Andrea Hohmann took the stage at a press conference Nov. 14 in San Diego to discuss research conducted at IU that has 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.

The study was discussed during the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health. Hohmann was joined by three other international researchers…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), together with colleagues from Virginia Commonwealth University, examined the relationship between cannabis and psychosis using psychiatric interviews of Norwegian twins. The interviews reveal whether the twins had symptoms of psychosis and cannabis abuse.

“Previous research has shown that patients with psychotic disorders use cannabis more often than…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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 released at the American Public Health Association’s 2016 Annual Meeting in Denver.

Researchers from the Yale School of Public Health sampled more than 500 people living in five states where marijuana legalization is on voting ballots for 2016 Election Day (Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Florida) or likely will be in coming years…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


A FAAH Better Thing for Cannabis Users

A new paper in Biological Psychiatry reports that 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.

“This exciting study sheds new light on cannabis dependence,” said John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. The study provides clues that may help develop treatments for cannabis use…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

Researchers say this could mean heavy users of the drug are at greater risk of osteoporosis in later life.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh assessed 170 people who smoke cannabis regularly for recreational purposes and 114 non-users.

The team…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Early marijuana use associated with abnormal brain function, lower IQ

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

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in the world. Previous studies have suggested that frequent marijuana users, especially those who begin at a young age, are at a higher risk for cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric illness, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and the Dr. Joseph Rea Chair in…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Cannabis makes you less alert

Regular users of cannabis are less aware of their own mistakes, and they are not good at creative thinking. This is the conclusion drawn by psychologist Mikael Kowal from his research on the effects of cannabis. PhD defence 6 October.

Dopamine

Kowal conducted experiments on 40 regular users of cannabis. The control group of 20 non-users were given a placebo. Kowal studied the direct and chronic effects of cannabis on dopamine-related functions, such as creative thinking and the ability to recognise one’s own mistakes. The brain chemical…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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.

The policy analysis by researchers at UC San Francisco is intended as a roadmap to help prevent a legalized marijuana industry from becoming a new version of the tobacco or alcohol industries, replete with aggressive marketing and political strategies to protect their economic interests.

Policymakers Could Learn from Alcohol, Tobacco

The paper draws upon historical…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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

A study led by researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Pitt Department of Psychology has identified a possible link between adolescent sleep habits and early substance abuse. The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, found that both sleep duration and sleep quality during late childhood predict alcohol and cannabis use later in adolescence.

“Treating problems with drugs and alcohol once they exist and preventing them can be challenging, and we are always…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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

A study conducted at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that 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. The study is one of the first to assess the link between state medical marijuana laws and opioid use at the individual level. Findings will be published online in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers analyzed 1999-2013 Fatality Analysis Reporting System data from 18 U.S. states that tested…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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 UCL study.

The research, published in Psychopharmacology, 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.

“Although cannabis is commonly thought to reduce motivation,…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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 published in The Lancet Psychiatry. 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.

While the study did not find an increase in the overall prevalence of marijuana use disorders (marijuana abuse or dependence) among…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Factors that might attract children to marijuana edibles

When Washington legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, a primary concern was how to ensure it was kept out of the reach of children.

While skunky-smelling buds of dried marijuana are not likely to appeal to children, cannabis-infused edibles such as brownies, cookies and candies could. And with edibles making up a sizable and growing segment of the pot market, states are grappling with how to regulate those products to most effectively protect children.

A new report from the University of Washington School of Law’s Cannabis Law and…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Researchers find new role for cannabinoids in vision

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

Scientists used a variety of methods to test how tadpoles react to visual stimuli when they’ve been exposed to increased levels of exogenous or endogenous cannabinoids. Exogenous cannabinoids are artificially introduced drugs, whereas endogenous cannabinoids occur naturally in the body.

They found that, contrary to what they expected,…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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

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

The study, published today in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, makes rats less willing to try a cognitively demanding task.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found that when we gave THC to these rats, they basically became cognitively lazy,” said Mason Silveira, the study’s lead author and a PhD…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Smoking marijuana provides more pain relief for men than women

Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) found that men had greater pain relief than women after smoking marijuana.

Results of the study were recently published online in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

“These findings come at a time when more people, including women, are turning to the use of medical cannabis for pain relief,” said Ziva Cooper, PhD, associate professor of clinical neurobiology (in psychiatry) at CUMC. “Preclinical evidence has suggested that the experience of pain relief from cannabis-related products may…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


A minute of secondhand marijuana smoke may damage blood vessels

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, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

When rats inhaled secondhand marijuana smoke for one minute, their arteries carried blood less efficiently for at least 90 minutes, whereas similar exposure to secondhand tobacco…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


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 an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

More than half of U.S. states allowed medical marijuana and four states allowed recreational marijuana use as of 2015. Colorado is one of those states, having allowed medical marijuana…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Chronic low back pain linked to higher rates of illicit drug use

People living with chronic low back pain (cLBP) are more likely to use illicit drugs — including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine — compared to those without back pain, reports a study in Spine, published by Wolters Kluwer.

In addition, cLBP patients with a history of illicit drug use are more likely to have a current prescription for opioid analgesic (pain-relieving) drugs, according to the new research by Dr. Anna Shmagel of University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and colleagues. While it’s not clear which direction the…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Not blowing smoke: Research finds medical marijuana lowers prescription drug use

Medical marijuana is having a positive impact on the bottom line of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit program in states that have legalized its use for medicinal purposes, according to new research.The savings, due to lower prescription drug use, were estimated to be $165.2 million in 2013, a year when 17 states and the District of Columbia had implemented medical marijuana laws.

Click Here to Continue Reading…