Addiction, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Opiods / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50985" align="alignleft" width="133"]Greg Midgette, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice University of Maryland Dr. Midgette[/caption] Greg Midgette, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice University of Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This report estimates marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine use in the U.S. between 2006 and 2016 on three dimensions: the number of past-month chronic users per year, where "chronic" has previously been defined as consuming the drug at least four days in the past month, expenditure per drug among those users, and consumption of each drug. These measures are meant to aid the public and policy makers' understanding of changes in drug use, outcomes, and policies.  
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Depression, OBGYNE / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50618" align="alignleft" width="128"]Jamie A. Seabrook, Ph.D.  Associate Professor, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences  Brescia University College at Western University Adjunct Research Professor, Dept of Paediatrics, Western University Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Western University Scientist, Children's Health Research Institute Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute Faculty Associate, Human Environments Analysis Laboratory London, ON Dr. Seabrook[/caption] Jamie A. Seabrook, Ph.D. Associate Professor, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences Brescia University College at Western University Adjunct Research Professor, Dept of Paediatrics, Western University Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Western University Scientist, Children's Health Research Institute Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis are the most commonly used substances during pregnancy. High alcohol consumption has been linked with preterm birth, and tobacco and/or cannabis use is associated with low birth weight. Much of what we know about predictors of drug use during pregnancy comes from the United States and Australia, with limited studies in Canada. The objective of our study was therefore to assess the relative effects of socioeconomic, demographic, and mental health risk factors associated with drug use during pregnancy. Our retrospective cohort study consisted of 25,734 pregnant women from Southwestern Ontario. We found that maternal depression was the top risk factor associated with all three substances. Compared to women who were not depressed during their pregnancy, women who were depressed were 2.2 times more likely to use alcohol (95% CI: 1.6, 2.9), 1.7 times more likely to smoke tobacco (95% CI: 1.5, 2.0), and 2.6 times more likely to use cannabis (95% CI: 2.0, 3.4).
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, JAMA, Opiods / 18.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28490" align="alignleft" width="165"]Silvia S. Martins, MD, PHD Associate Professor of Epidemiology Department of Epidemiology Mailman School Of Public Health Columbia University New York, NY 10032 Dr. Silvia Martins[/caption] Silvia S. Martins, MD, PHD Associate Professor of Epidemiology Department of Epidemiology Mailman School Of Public Health Columbia University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior studies have suggested t6hat medical marijuana legalization might play a role in decreasing opioid use. We aimed to test this hypothesis using individual level data on nonmedical use of prescription opioids and opioid use disorder  from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 09.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50165" align="alignleft" width="200"]D. Mark Anderson, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics Montana State University, IZA, and NBER Dr. Anderson[/caption] D. Mark Anderson, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics Montana State University, IZA, and NBER MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys for the period 1993-2017, we explore the effect medical and recreational marijuana laws have on teen use. We find that medical marijuana laws (MMLs) are not associated with teen marijuana consumption, but recreational marijuana laws (RMLs) are actually negatively associated with teen use. 
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pediatrics / 21.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49903" align="alignleft" width="133"]Marilyn Cyr, Ph.D., Psy.D. Postdoctoral Research Scientist Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry New York State Psychiatric Institute Columbia University Medical Center New York, NY 10032 Dr. Cyr[/caption] Marilyn Cyr, Ph.D., Psy.D. Postdoctoral Research Scientist Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry New York State Psychiatric Institute Columbia University Medical Center New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A hallmark feature of problematic substance use is compulsive drug-seeking long after the drug is no longer experienced as pleasurable and despite the associated adverse consequences of this behavior. Disturbances in cognitive control—an ensemble of processes by which the mind governs behaviors, regulates impulses and guides decisions based on goals—are believed to be involved in the initiation and maintenance of the compulsive drug-seeking that characterizes problematic substance use. Most adults with problematic substance use began having problems with drugs and alcohol in adolescence, a developmental period during which the neural circuits underlying cognitive control processes continue to mature. As such, the adolescent brain may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of substance use, and particularly cannabis, the most commonly used recreational drug by teenagers worldwide.
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 03.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49531" align="alignleft" width="150"]Julie Bobitt, PhD Director Interdisciplinary Health Sciences College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Champaign, IL  61820 Dr. Bobitt[/caption] Julie Bobitt, PhD Director Interdisciplinary Health Sciences College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Champaign, IL  61820 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Older adults are using cannabis at an increasing rate but little is known about their attitudes about, and experiences – including outcomes- with, recreational and medical cannabis use. We believed a qualitative study, where we conducted focus group interviews, would provide a novel perspective to our understanding and help to identify the most salient themes concerning the use of medical and recreational cannabis by adults aged 60 and older living in Colorado.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, PLoS / 09.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kyle Gardiner B.Pharm(Hons)PhD candidateDiscipline of PharmacyQueensland University of Technology | QUT · Brisbane, Australia Kyle Gardiner B.Pharm(Hons) PhD candidate Discipline of Pharmacy Queensland University of Technology | QUT · Brisbane, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The background to this study was a personal interest in behavioural science. I am often intrigued as to why health professional behave the way they do. Studies exploring health professional behaviour are seldom complete or comprehensive, however. Medicinal cannabis presents an interesting case point to explore health professional behaviours due to its topical nature. The socio-political discussion surrounding medicinal cannabis is often quite different from the medical discussion, yet for legal and regulated access to be achieved across most jurisdictions, a health professional is required to be involved in that process. Simply, if health professionals are not willing to behave, the delivery of medicinal cannabis does not occur. For purposes of transparency, I neither support or reject the use of medicinal cannabis and this paper has nothing to do improving or reducing access. This paper is about beginning to understand health professional behaviours within the context of medicinal cannabis. Yet, if we hope to change practice in the future, by definition, we need to change behaviour. We cannot change behaviour without first understanding the behaviour in context.
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pediatrics, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 30.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48927" align="alignleft" width="120"]Joan S. Tucker, Ph.D.Senior Behavioral ScientistRAND CorporationSanta Monica, CA Dr. Tucker[/caption] Joan S. Tucker, Ph.D. Senior Behavioral Scientist RAND Corporation Santa Monica, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: In light of young adults’ expanding access to cannabis through legalization for recreational use, there has been growing interest in the co-use of cannabis with tobacco/nicotine products.  Although existing data show that young adults who use cannabis products also tend to use tobacco/nicotine products, little is known about how these products are typically used together. Existing research on co-use has mostly focused on combustible products, not accounting for the recent proliferation in cannabis and tobacco/nicotine product types and methods of use (e.g., vaping). Further, not much is known about whether there are important differences between types of co-use (e.g., using both products on the same occasion, one right after another, but not mixing them vs. using both products by mixing them in the same delivery device) in terms of heaviness of use, consequences from use, or associations with young adult functioning. This study was designed as an important first step toward understanding cannabis and tobacco/nicotine co-use behavior among young adults and addressing these gaps in the research literature.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 26.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Angela Eichelberger, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist Insurance Institute for Highway Safety MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dr. Romano and Dr. Kelley-Baker have previously studied the problem of child endangerment in alcohol-related crashes. In the United States, each year, about 200 children die and another 4,000 are injured while being driven by a drinking adult. For this study, we wanted to take the opportunity to look at the prevalence of alcohol and cannabis use among drivers who participated in a roadside survey in Washington State. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine cannabis use among drivers transporting a child.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Psychological Science, Social Issues, Weight Research / 24.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Chocolate Brownies" by Kurtis Garbutt is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0Jessica S. Kruger PhD Clinical Assistant Professor Department of Community Health and Health Behavior School of Public Health and Health Professions University of Buffalo Daniel J. Kruger PhD Adjunct Faculty Associate, Population Studies Center. Michigan's Population Studies Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The legal environment for cannabis is changing rapidly and an increasing proportion of people are using cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. All policy and practice should be informed by science, yet there is a large gap between evidence and existing practices, and the current scope of research on cannabis users is limited. Public Health has the responsibility of protecting the public, maximizing benefits and minimizing harm in any area. However, the Public Health approach to cannabis has largely been limited to a focus on abstinence, and Federal regulations have restricted the scope of cannabis-related research.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cannabis, End of Life Care, NYU / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48264" align="alignleft" width="200"]Arum Kim, MDAssistant professor of Medicine and Rehabilitation MedicineNYU School of MedicineDirector of the Supportive Oncology ProgramPerlmutter Cancer Center Dr. Kim[/caption] Arum Kim, MD Assistant Professor Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine NYU School of Medicine Director of the Supportive Oncology Program Perlmutter Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: There is increasing interest in medical marijuana and its applications for patients with cancers. Despite increasing access, little is known regarding doses of cannabinoids - specifically tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)  and cannabidiol (CBD), methods of drug delivery, and differences in patterns of use between cancer and non-cancer patients.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48215" align="alignleft" width="160"]Jeremy FineB.A. in Philosophy, Neuroscience, and PsychologyWashington University in St. Louis, Class of 2019 Jeremy Fine[/caption] Jeremy Fine B.A. in Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology Washington University in St. Louis, Class of 201 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Alongside increasingly permissive marijuana use attitudes and laws, the prevalence of marijuana use among pregnant mothers has increased substantially (by 75% between 2002 and 2016), with some evidence that pregnant women may be using cannabis to combat pregnancy-related nausea. Our data came from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which included over 4,000 subjects with data on maternal marijuana use during pregnancy. Our main finding was that the children of mothers who used marijuana after learning they were pregnant had a small but significant increase in risk for psychosis in their future.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 22.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47609" align="alignleft" width="132"]Lonnie M. Schaible PhD Associate Professor School of Public Affairs University of Colorado Denver, CO Dr. Schaible[/caption] Lonnie M. Schaible PhD Associate Professor School of Public Affairs University of Colorado Denver, CO MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Following legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado, strong -- but unsubstantiated -- claims were being made about crime surrounding marijuana dispensaries.  We wanted to know what the data would show.  We were especially interested in determining whether the addition of recreational facilities had any effects above and beyond those which might exist for medical dispensaries.  To better capture the dynamic landscape of marijuana legalization, this is the first study to control for the prior existence of medical dispensaries and assess how effects of both of these types of establishments changed over time.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, University of Michigan / 17.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46988" align="alignleft" width="175"]Daniel J. Kruger, PhD Research Assistant Professor University of Michigan Dr. Kruger[/caption] Daniel J. Kruger, PhD Research Assistant Professor University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We study health-related behaviors, such as diet and the consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Given the recent trends in legalization of cannabis for medical and even recreational purposes, we were concerned with the narrow focus of current public health efforts regarding cannabis. Although some in the field take a harm-reduction approach to substance use, too many efforts focus solely on abstinence. These programs are a legacy from the era of prohibition, and we know that there are disadvantages to such a restricted scope in public health. For example, municipalities that eliminated or blocked accurate and effective sex education had increases in teenage pregnancy rates. There are so many public health-related aspects of cannabis, beyond risks and adverse effects, which need to be addressed by systematic scientific research. Because of the legal history of cannabis, there is little integration with the mainstream health care system. The focus of the current study was investigating how medical cannabis users perceived medical cannabis in comparison to pharmaceutical drugs and other aspects of the mainstream health care system and how they navigated they relationships between these currently separate systems
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cannabis, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 19.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46574" align="alignleft" width="132"]Sharon Levy, MD, MPH Director, Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program Boston Children's Hospital Associate Professor of Pediatrics Harvard Medical School Dr. Levy[/caption] Sharon Levy, MD, MPH Director, Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program Boston Children's Hospital Associate Professor of Pediatrics Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: ​For this study we analyzed data that were collected as part of a larger survey study that recruited a sample of adolescents who were coming to the doctor's office for routine medical care.  We asked them a lot of questions about their health, school, extracurricular activities, plans for the future, substance use patterns and problems associated with use among other things. The main finding was that among the participants who reported marijuana use in the past year, many of them, more than 40%, said that they had experienced either an hallucination, or paranoia/anxiety related to their use. Kids who used more frequently and those who met criteria for a substance use disorder were more likely to experience these symptoms, as were those who had symptoms of depression
Author Interviews, Cannabis, University of Pennsylvania / 02.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36623" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dan Romer PhD Research director, Annenberg Public Policy Center Director of its Adolescent Communication Institute University of Pennsylvania Dr. Daniel Romer[/caption] Daniel Romer PhD Annenberg Public Policy Center The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous research has found some troubling relations between adolescent cannabis use and subsequent increases in conduct problems and other unhealthy consequences.  These studies were done in New Zealand in the late 90’s and we wanted to re-examine those relationships using more contemporary data in the US. We had data on 364 adolescents who were followed from age 13 to 19 in Philadelphia that could provide a more up to date picture of the effects of using cannabis on one important outcome, conduct disorder.  We also wanted to use more sensitive methods than had been used in prior research that would enable us to examine reciprocal relations between cannabis use and c (CP).  That is, it might be the case that youth with CP are prone to using cannabis and that this helps to explain why there appears to be a relation over time between cannabis use and CP rather than cannabis use leading to CP. Our findings supported that hypothesis.  There was no prospective relation between changes in cannabis use and subsequent changes in conduct problems.  Instead, changes in conduct problems were found to predict changes in use of cannabis.  Youth with conduct problems also affiliated more with peers who used cannabis, adding further to their own use.  There was also no evidence that youth who used cannabis sought out peers who used it apart from the effects of CP. Finally, both use of cannabis and  conduct problems predicted subsequent development of a mild cannabis use disorder (CUD). 
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Diabetes, JAMA / 06.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45647" align="alignleft" width="150"]Viral Shah, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine & Pediatrics Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, Adult Clinic School of Medicine University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Dr. Shah[/caption] Viral Shah, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine & Pediatrics Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, Adult Clinic School of Medicine University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cannabis use is increasing in Colorado and many patients with type 1 diabetes (which is an autoimmune form of diabetes that requires life insulin therapy) are using cannabis. Therefore, we surveyed adult patients with type 1 diabetes to study the association between cannabis use and glycemic control and diabetes acute complications (such as diabetic ketoacidosis) in adults with type 1 diabetes. Main findings of the study:  The risk for diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious condition where body produces high levels of acids called ketones in patients with diabetes)  was two times higher among adults with type 1 diabetes who reported using cannabis in the past 12 months compared to adults with type 1 diabetes who reported not using cannabis.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cognitive Issues, OBGYNE / 05.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45711" align="alignleft" width="133"]Ryan J. McLaughlin, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience College of Veterinary Medicine Washington State University Pullman, WA 99164-7620 Dr. McLaughlin[/caption] Ryan J. McLaughlin, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience College of Veterinary Medicine Washington State University Pullman, WA 99164-7620 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The use of cannabis during pregnancy is a growing health concern, yet the long-term cognitive ramifications for developing offspring remain largely unknown. Human studies exploring the long-term effects of maternal cannabis use have been sparse for several reasons, including the length and cost of such studies, as well as the fact that experimentally assigning mothers to smoke cannabis during pregnancy is obviously ethically impractical. Animal models of maternal cannabis use have been advantageous in this respect, but they have been limited by the drugs used (synthetic cannabinoids vs. THC vs. cannabis plant) and the way that they are administered. In our study, we used a more translationally relevant animal model of maternal cannabis use that exposes pregnant rat dams to whole plant cannabis extracts using the intra-pulmonary route of administration that is most common to human users. Our preliminary data indicate that twice-daily exposure to a high-dose cannabis extract during pregnancy may produce deficits in cognitive flexibility in adult rat offspring. Importantly, these rats did not experience general learning deficits, as they performed comparably to non-exposed offspring when required to follow a cue in their environment that dictate reinforcer delivery. Instead, deficits were observed only when rats were required to disregard this previous cue-based strategy and adopt a new egocentric spatial strategy in order to continue receiving the sugar reinforcers.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Kidney Disease / 29.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Big bags of medical #marijuana on Cannabis Culture News LIVE - watch now on www.pot.tv" by Cannabis Culture is licensed under CC BY 2.0Praveen Kumar Potukuchi, B.Pharm, MS The University of Tennessee Health Science Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several case reports have indicated that synthetic cannabinoid use is associated with acute kidney injury (AKI). However, it is unclear whether similar adverse effects could occur with medicinal or recreational cannabis use. Previous research has shown that the use of medical marijuana /cannabis for an average of two weeks resulted in no serious adverse effects and no incidence of AKI. However, there are no studies which investigated the effects of marijuana/cannabis use on the incidence of AKI in patients with advanced CKD.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 28.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45541" align="alignleft" width="200"]Prof. Mark A. R. Kleiman PhD Affiliated Faculty, NYU Wagner; Professor of Public Policy NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management Prof. Kleiman[/caption] Prof. Mark A. R. Kleiman PhD Affiliated Faculty, NYU Wagner; Professor of Public Policy NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: As state after state legalizes the sale of cannabis, the question of cannabis-impaired driving is getting more attention. There is evidence that the practice has become more common, both because cannabis use - and especially heavy, frequent use - has increased and because a distressingly large fraction of cannabis users believe, falsely, that stoned driving is safe. The natural response to the problem is to treat cannabis on a par with alcohol: fairly severe criminal penalties for impaired driving, with impairment defined by a specific level of the drug in the body. The paper argues that this would be a mistake, for four independent reasons: - While cannabis makes driving riskier, it does so by about a factor of two, with no strongly observed dependency on dosage. Alcohol, by contrast, has a steep dose-effect curve. At the legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content by weight, the relative risk of drunk driving is at least eight; at 0.15%, which is fairly common, the relative risk has been estimated at 30-50. So there is no justification for punishing stoned driving as severely as we punish drunk driving. - The lack of evidence of a strong dose-effect relationship suggests that a legal standard based on the content of cannabinoids in blood may not be appropriate. - Even if a blood standard were valid, the lack of a breath test would make enforcing that standard nearly impossible as a practical matter. - The long and unpredictable course of cannabis metabolism means that frequent users will be at risk of failing a drug test even when they are neither subjectively intoxicated nor objectively impaired. Worse, they would have no way of judging in advance whether or not driving would be legal. The result would be a re-criminalization of cannabis use through the back door. 
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 25.10.2018

[caption id="attachment_45471" align="alignleft" width="200"]Jonathan Rothbard, MA, PhD Steinman Lab Stanford Medicine Co-founder Katexco Pharmaceuticals Dr. Rothbard[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Rothbard, MA, PhD Steinman Lab Stanford Medicine Co-founder Katexco Pharmaceuticals MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this new company? How did Katexco get its name? Response: Researchers with Stanford University, Jonathan Rothbard and Lawrence Steinman, formed Katexco Pharmaceuticals. Katexco will focus on developing oral therapies for inflammatory diseases based on cannabis and nicotine receptors. Katexco will work to develop the first drug to focus on a key receptor on immune cells that are involved in inflammatory disease. The first primary target indications include gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease, gout and multiple sclerosis. Katexco is from the Greek word to restrain or regulate, and we are trying to restrain the immune system in inflammatory disease.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Genetic Research, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 17.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Nicole Karcher, PhD Post-doctoral scholar with the NIMH Training in Clinical Sciences fellowship Department of Psychiatry Washington University School of Medicine   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For over fifteen years, researchers have debated the role that cannabis use plays in the development of both psychotic disorders as well as subthreshold psychotic symptoms, such as psychotic-like experiences (PLEs). There is still a lack of consensus regarding the nature of the association between cannabis use and psychosis risk, with some research finding evidence for genetic overlap, while other research finds evidence for potentially causal pathways. The current study examined data from twins and siblings from two different samples, the U.S.-based Human Connectome Project and the Australian Twin Registry, with a total of 4,674 participants. Overall, psychotic-like experiences were associated with three separate cannabis use variables [frequent (≥100 times) use, a Cannabis Use Disorder diagnosis, and current cannabis use]. Furthermore, the current research found evidence for both shared genetic and individual-specific contributions to the association between PLEs and these three cannabis use variables. More specifically, while the association between cannabis use and psychotic-like experiences was largely attributable to shared genetic factors, cannabis users were more likely to endorse PLEs in comparison to the relative who used cannabis less. 
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Gastrointestinal Disease / 10.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tarek Alansari, MD Metropolitan HospitalTarek Alansari, MD Metropolitan Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cannabis is the most frequently consumed recreational drug in the world. The use of cannabis is becoming increasingly accepted by the general public in the United States. The estimates of the prevalence of cannabis use in the United States is about 9.5% in the adult population and the prevalence of dependence or abuse approaches 2.9%. Those under the age of 35 years are the most frequent consumers. According to Business Insider as of June 2018, recreational cannabis is legal in 9 states and medical cannabis is legal in 30 states. Recent surveys show that about 35 million Americans are frequent cannabis users. Aiming for symptomatic relief, some patients with different gastrointestinal disorders have turned to cannabis without fully understanding the effect of its use for their individual condition. Biliary tract disease, ethanol abuse, infections, autoimmunity, and genetics are well known causes of acute pancreatitis. However, medication-induced pancreatitis remains a less common etiology. In about 20% of cases of acute pancreatitis despite of the great improvement in genetic testing and imaging modalities, the workup still fails to reveal an etiology. These cases are labeled idiopathic. Cannabis use is emerging as a rare, possibly overlooked cause of acute pancreatitis with few cases reported in the literature. In the United States, only 5 cases of cannabis - induced acute pancreatitis (AP) have been reported till September 2017. The review of literature revealed that only 26 cases of cannabis-induced AP have been reported worldwide.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pain Research / 20.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Cannabis” by Don Goofy is licensed under CC BY 2.0Martin De Vita, MS Doctoral Candidate Clinical Psychology Department Syracuse University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Despite widely held beliefs that cannabis is effective for pain relief, experimental trials have produced mixed results. As result, the analgesic properties of cannabinoid drugs have remained poorly understood. We aimed to clarify these findings by extracting data from every available experimental pain study and analyzing the results as a whole. We found that numerous aspects of pain were being influenced in different ways. We found that cannabinoid drugs did not significantly reduce the intensity of experimental pain, but they did produce small-sized reductions in pain unpleasantness. Cannabinoids produced significant analgesic effects on pain threshold and tolerance. There was no significant effect of cannabinoids on mechanical hyperalgesia.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Neurology, University Texas / 17.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44588" align="alignleft" width="149"]Dr. Francesca M. Filbey PhD Professor Program Head, Cognition and Neuroscience PhD Bert Moore Chair in BrainHealth UT Dallas Dr. Filbey[/caption] Dr. Francesca M. Filbey PhD Professor Program Head, Cognition and Neuroscience PhD Bert Moore Chair in BrainHealth UT Dallas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The cannabis literature has generally focused on changes in brain function when engaged in a task. We were interested in examining whether these differences are present when not engaged in a task (i.e., during resting state) to understand baseline functional organization of the brain. Changes to baseline functional organization may reflect changes in brain networks underlying cognition. We also wanted to investigate whether specific brain waves, as measured by electroencephalography (EEG), are associated with measures of cannabis use, such as craving.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, CDC, JAMA, Pediatrics / 17.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44480" align="alignleft" width="132"]Katrina Trivers, PhD, MSP Lead author and lead epidemiologist Office on Smoking and Health CDC Dr. Trivers[/caption] Katrina Trivers, PhD, MSP Lead author and lead epidemiologist Office on Smoking and Health CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although we’ve seen considerable declines in the use of regular cigarettes among U.S. youth over the past several decades, the tobacco product landscape is evolving, and the use of other tobacco products have become increasingly popular. For example, as of 2014, e-cigarettes have become the most commonly used tobacco product among US youth. During 2011-2015, e-cigarette use increased 900% among U.S. high school students before declining in 2016. No change was observed in 2017, with about 2 million youth, including 12% of high school students and 3% of middle school students, reporting they had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. This is a public health concern because the use of any form of tobacco product is unsafe among youth, irrespective of whether it’s smoked, smokeless, or electronic. The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that the aerosol emitted from e-cigarettes is not harmless. It can contain harmful ingredients, including nicotine, carbonyl compounds, and volatile organic compounds known to have adverse health effects. The nicotine in these products is of particular concern given that nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain. In recent years, many youth have also been using other psychoactive substances in e-cigarettes, including cannabinoids and other illicit drugs. This could have been fueled, in part, by shifts in the social acceptability and access to cannabis as several states have or are considering legalized cannabis sales for adults. A previous CDC study found that in 2015, almost 1 in 3 students reported using e-cigarettes with non-nicotine substances. However, it wasn’t possible to identify what exactly those substances were based on the question. Given the high concurrent use of tobacco and other substances, including cannabis, a more detailed question was added to a future survey to assess the use of cannabis in e-cigarettes among U.S. youth. This study presents the findings from that question.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pain Research / 13.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jacob M. Vigil, PhD Department of Psychology University of New Mexico MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: For the past several years we have been using observational research designs as a means to overcome some of the logistical and legal barriers for conducting patient outcomes medical cannabis research. In partnership with the software developers of the Releaf App which currently is the largest repository of user-entered information on the consumption and effects of cannabis use in the United States, we have been able to measure how patients choose to consume cannabis and the effects of those choices in real-time.  Since its release in 2016, the commercially developed Releaf App has been the only publicly available, incentive-free patient educational software program designed for recording how individual cannabis usage sessions correspond to immediate changes in symptom intensity levels and experienced side effects.