Author Interviews, Cannabis / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Washington State University Department of Psychology Pullman, WA, 99164-4820  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While many studies have examined the acute effects of cannabis on other mental health symptoms such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and psychosis there is almost no research on acute effects of cannabis on symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in humans.  Nevertheless, we have previously found that acute cannabis intoxication is associated with reductions in anxiety as well as with reductions in the intrusive thoughts characteristic of PTSD. Further previous research using a rodent model of compulsive behavior has provided pre-clinical evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) - which is the second most common constituent in the cannabis plant - reduces compulsive behavior. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 09.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher Kaufmann, PhD Co-first author of the study and assistant professor Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology in the Department of Medicine UC San Diego  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We examined cannabis use by older patients seen in our geriatrics clinic at the University of California San Diego. We surveyed patients who came to our clinic for routine care, and found that 15% of those surveyed had used cannabis within the past 3 years. Half of users reported using cannabis regularly and most used for medical purposes. The most common targeted conditions were pain, problems sleeping, and anxiety, and patients found cannabis to be helpful in treating these conditions. We also found that 61% had initiated cannabis use after age 60, and these new users engaged in less risky consumption practices than current users who also used earlier in life.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Tobacco Research / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isabella Lanza, PhD Associate Professor of Human Development California State University, Long Beach   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is the first study to examine both nicotine vaping and cannabis vaping trajectories across adolescence and young adulthood, which allowed us to assess whether poly-substance vaping is common among adolescents and young adults. Poly-substance vaping (nicotine and cannabis vaping) was reported among a significant proportion of participants in the study (25% were identified as poly-substance vapers). For those that either escalated to frequent nicotine vaping use in adolescence or initiated frequent nicotine vaping use in young adulthood, the probability of engaging in cannabis vaping was very high (85%+).    (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pediatrics / 02.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Heather Breeze Clayton, PhD, MPH Senior Scientist, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia now have policies in place legalizing marijuana for medical or adult use. While the health effects of marijuana use continue to be studied, substantial evidence suggests that a number of health risks – including cognitive and mental health outcomes- are made worse by earlier initiation of marijuana, and heavier use patterns. Scientific knowledge about the association between marijuana use and other health and risk-taking behavior in youth is still evolving. Accordingly, we sought to use nationally representative data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to assess what the relationship is between different patterns of marijuana use in youth (more established use vs. non-established use patterns) and a number of risk-taking and violence related behaviors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 25.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah E. Paul, BA , Graduate Student and Ryan Bogdan, PhD, Associate Professor BRAIN Lab Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 63130 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Sarah Paul: This study was motivated by several trends in cannabis use, its legal landscape, and people's perception of risk. As more states legalize recreational cannabis use, cannabis has become more accessible as well as more potent. Over the past couple of decades, the percentage of adolescents and adults who think that cannabis use is risky or harmful has fallen substantially. Cannabis dispensaries have been reported to actually recommend cannabis to pregnant women for the treatment of pregnancy-related nausea. And finally, between 2002/2003 and 2016/2017, the percentage of women reporting cannabis use during their pregnancies rose 106%. Given these trends and the mixed literature regarding the potential consequences associated with prenatal cannabis exposure, we aimed to comprehensively examine a range of outcomes in a large, representative sample while accounting for a host of important potentially confounding covariates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cognitive Issues, Memory, Pediatrics / 04.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jarrod Ellingson PhD Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry Anschutz Medical Campus University of Colorado Denver  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that cannabis use is associated with many negative outcomes, but there could be many of reasons for that. For example, socioeconomic factors and peer influences both affect adolescent cannabis use and poorer cognitive functioning. To account for some of those risk factors, we studied nearly 600 sibling pairs with moderate to heavy cannabis use. We found that, as a person uses more cannabis than their sibling, they tend to have worse memory recall than their sibling. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, NYU / 23.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julian Santaella Tenorio, MSc DrPH Epidemiology Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy Division of Epidemiology, Department of Population Health New York University Langone School of Medicine, New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? car-accident-traffic-accidentResponse: This study found that recreational cannabis laws were associated with increases in traffic fatalities in Colorado (mean of 75 excess fatalities per year) but not in Washington State.  These findings suggest that unintended effects of recreational cannabis laws can be heterogeneous and may be specific to variations in how these laws are implemented
(eg, density of recreational cannabis stores).   (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Opiods / 22.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amalie K. Kropp Lopez, MS MD Candidate Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Class of 2023 Scranton, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The opioid crisis is still affecting America, effecting millions of people from all walks of life. With the high risks of abuse and overtreatment with opioids, marijuana has been a newly reconsidered alterative for pain treatment. This study sought to quantify the changes in prescription opioid distribution using data reported by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Colorado after the legalization of recreational marijuana which gave the public increased access to its pain-relieving effects. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 22.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Russell Kamer, MD Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla 15 North Broadway, Suite E White Plains, NY 10601 New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? "marijuana apocalypse - weed is a stimulant !" by Blind Nomad is licensed under CC BY 2.0Response: It is well known that marijuana usage impairs driving ability, yet the early studies of the effects of recreational marijuana legalization on traffic fatalities were inconclusive. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: By analyzing data over a longer time period, we found that the legalization of recreational marijuana increased traffic deaths in the first four states to legalize. Traffic fatalities increased about 20% in those states. If we apply these numbers to the nation as a whole, nationwide legalization would be associated with about 7,000 excess traffic fatalities each year. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Emergency Care / 20.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D. Associate Professor Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD 21224  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background for this study is that 33 states in the U.S. have legalized medicinal cannabis use and millions of people are using cannabis for therapeutic purposes, but we have very little data on the broad health impacts of medicinal cannabis use. We surveyed medicinal cannabis users and non-using controls who had a variety of health problems and found that the cannabis users reported better health, quality of life, and less healthcare utilization compared with controls.  Because we worried about group characteristics accounting for the differences observed, we then did an analysis of people who switched groups over time (e.g. non-users who later initiated cannabis use or cannabis users who later quit) and found the same differences emerged in the same individuals over time.  Important to note here is that not all individuals who used cannabis benefited from it and that most participants were using high CBD varieties of cannabis in conjunction with more traditional treatments. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Gender Differences / 21.05.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Francesca Filbey, PhD Associate Provost and Professor of Cognition and Neuroscience Bert Moore Chair The University of Texas at Dallas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Studies have reported differences in how males and females respond to cannabis and how they develop problems related to cannabis use.  We sought to determine whether craving may underlie this difference in male and female cannabis users. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, CDC, JAMA, Pediatrics, Tobacco Research / 18.05.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Hocevar Adkins, MD Lead Author, Senior Medical Officer, and Commander United States Public Health Service CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since August 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state, local, and territorial health departments have been investigating a national outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). Although clinical presentation and outcomes of EVALI patients generally have been reported, data on adolescent patients are more limited. This article fills this gap by using data from national EVALI surveillance at CDC to examine demographic, substance use, and clinical characteristics of adolescent EVALI patients relative to young adult and adult EVALI patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pulmonary Disease / 22.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alex Hollingsworth PhD Assistant Professor O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs Indiana University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I've been working with Coady Wing and Ashley Bradford on a few different studies of the effects of recreational marijuana laws on drug and alcohol use. Soon after EVALI became a major issue, the prevailing theory from the CDC and others was that EVALI was caused by the use of vitamin E acetate in illegal THC vaping products. Our group read about this and we thought about some of the things that often happen in black markets for illegal drugs. For instance, during the alcohol prohibition era, bootleg alcohol producers often made and sold alcohol products that were not that safe to drink. In more recent years, there are cases where black market sellers of illegal drugs like heroin try to increase profit margins by adding other substances, which can be harmful. We thought that maybe something like that could be happening in EVALI. Perhaps people in states where recreational marijuana is legal tended to purchase marijuana products from the legal market and the legal market was not selling any marijuana vaping products that included vitamin E acetate. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 10.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anees Bahji, MD PGY5, Department of Psychiatry, Queen’s University M.Sc. Candidate, Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University Kingston, ON, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • There has been much speculation into the existence of a withdrawal syndrome involving cannabis much like withdrawal syndromes from opioids or alcohol. Our goal for this study was to estimate the prevalence of cannabis withdrawal syndrome (CWS) and to identify any risk factors for CWS.
  • There has been a lot of research into cannabis withdrawal syndrome (CWS) in the past. A big part of this review involved understanding where the CWS field is in terms of the shared understanding on its epidemiology and physiology.
  • To that end, we were not surprised to find that the prevalence of cannabis withdrawal syndrome was high. However, we found that some of the characteristics of CWS are consistent with other substance use disorders, which really serves to legitimize the decision to classify CWS and cannabis use disorders as psychiatric conditions.
(more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 25.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ryan J. McLaughlin, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience College of Veterinary Medicine Washington State University, Pullman, WA Ryan J. McLaughlin, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience College of Veterinary Medicine Washington State University, Pullman, WA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The evolving legal landscape concerning the use of cannabis has increased urgency to better understand its effects on the brain and behavior. Animal models are advantageous in this respect; however, researchers traditionally use forced injections of synthetic cannabinoids which fails to capture the complex effects of volitional cannabis consumption. In our study, we developed a novel model of cannabis self-administration using response-contingent delivery of vaporized cannabis extracts containing high concentrations of Δ9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD). (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Yale / 19.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua D. Wallach, MS, PhD Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health Sciences) Yale School of Public Health New Haven, CT MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the past few years, there has been growing interest in the potential health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound in cannabis. Although only one CBD-derived prescription drug has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of epilepsy, I recently started seeing products containing CBD advertised and sold across the US (e.g. CBD in foods, beverages, dietary supplements, and cosmetics). I noticed that many of these products were being marketed with unproven claims to prevent, cure, and treat various conditions, and became interested in learning more about the research supporting the use of CBD, the potential for misleading claims, and impact that the CBD-industry may be having on research that is being generated and disseminated to the public. Research funding sources and other author conflicts of interests (e.g. consulting fees, honoraria, travel expenses) can influence the way that research is designed, conducted, and reported. Previous studies have consistently demonstrated associations between authors' conflicts of interest and proindustry conclusions in clinical research. Given the growing number of companies invested in CBD's commercial success, we decided to analyze the disclosed funding sources, conflicts of interest statements, author employment details, and CBD-related conclusions in a large sample of published articles on the characteristics, use, and therapeutic effects of cannabidiol. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Geriatrics, JAMA, NYU / 24.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin H. Han, MD MPH Assistant Professor Division of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care New York University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the past, the prevalence of cannabis use (both for recreational and for medicinal purposes) was very low among adults age 65 and older. As a reference, the national prevalence rate of past-year cannabis use among adults age 65 and older in 2006-2007 was 0.4%, it has increased dramatically since then. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, Heart Disease, JACC / 21.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ersilia DeFilippis, MD Second-year cardiology fellow Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana use has been increasing significantly and is the most commonly illicit drug used in the United States. In recent years, more states have been legalizing its use for both recreational and medicinal purposes. We have all seen news reports regarding the rise of vaping-related health hazards. Yet, data are limited regarding the cardiovascular effects of marijuana which is what drove us to explore this topic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 20.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hongying (Daisy) Dai, PhD Associate Professor Department of Biostatistics | College of Public Health University of Nebraska Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: E-cigarette use increased significantly from 2017 to 2019 among U.S. adolescents, and marijuana and other substances besides can be used in e-cigarettes. Meanwhile, restrictions on marijuana use have been relaxing and social acceptability of marijuana use is shifting among youth. This study analyzed 38,061 middle and high school students from the 2017 and 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey.  (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 05.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathan J. Connealy Doctoral student John Jay College of Criminal Justice CUNY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background, or what prompted this study, is that research on this topic is pertinent right now as more states continue down a path towards legalization. A large share of the research base and public debate centers around the potential adverse effects of marijuana accessibility, consumer-based concerns, and health specific outcomes associated with usage. This research instead focuses on a lesser explored question related to the potential for the physical dispensary locations to impact crime levels, which is also an important consideration when assessing the impact of recreational marijuana legalization. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 26.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bertha K. Madras PhD Director, Laboratory of Addiction Neurobiology Psychobiologist, Substance Use Disorders Division, Basic Neuroscience Division Professor of Psychobiology, Department of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Parent use of marijuana is rising, and I wondered whether this could be associated with offspring use of specific substances and across several substances
  • Several fathers have confided in me that they used marijuana to bond with their sons. They became horrified after witnessing their sons progress to using other drugs, especially heroin.
  • In general, living with a parent using substances or having substance use disorders is an explicit risk for use of substances among young offspring. Yet, few studies have directly examined whether parental marijuana use elevates the risk for opioid misuse among adolescent and young adults living with parents.  Most importantly and to the best of our knowledge, none of the existing research  simultaneously explored frequency of  parental marijuana use and whether it related to adolescent and young adult offspring’s marijuana, tobacco, alcohol use, and opioid misuse.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Heart Disease, Stroke / 17.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rupak Desai, MBBS Research Fellow, Division of Cardiology Atlanta VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Amidst legalization of therapeutic and recreational use of marijuana/cannabis in the United States, cerebrovascular effects of marijuana use remain largely unknown, especially among young adults. We examined the association between cannabis use (18–44 years) among young adults and stroke events. The study analyzed pooled data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2016–2017)—a nationally representative cross-sectional survey collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, 13.6% of total 43,860 young adults (18-44 years) reported using cannabis recently (in the last month), with 63.3% of them being men. Compared with nonusers, marijuana users were often younger, non-Hispanic white or black, and with some college education. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, UCSD / 23.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John W. Ayers, PhD, MA Vice Chief of Innovation | Assoc. Professor Div. Infectious Disease & Global Public Health University of California San Diego MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Touted as a “cure all,” researchers have documented unfounded claims that  cannabidiol (CBD) treats acne, anxiety, opioid addiction, pain, and menstrual problems. You can buy CBD droplets, massage oils, CBD gummies, or even ice cream. But public health leaders have been mostly silent on the subject because they lacked data that demonstrates just how popular CBD is and the future trajectory might be. To fill this data-gap we analyzed Google search queries that mentioned “CBD” or “cannabidiol” emerging from the United States from January 2004 through April 2019 and forecasted searches through December 2019. Rather than relying on self reports, where some might not be willing to discuss CBD openly, our strategy allowed us to directly observed millions of instances of people seeking out information or even shopping for CBD online. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 14.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Smoking Marijuana” by Martin Alonso is licensed under CC BY 2.0Ruibin Lu Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Stockton University Absecon, New Jersey MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We are witnessing a trend of legalizing marijuana in the United States and in the world. Many states have either legalized recreational marijuana or are considering it. At the same time, there are concerns about what will happen to our society if weed is legal. One of the concerns is about crime rates: are we going to experience more or fewer crimes after legalizing recreational marijuana? This is a legitimate question that we should consider when making cannabis-related public policies. Our research provides a preliminary answer to this question. It analyzes crime rates before and after the legalization using rigorous scientific methods and provides more information on how marijuana legalization may affect crime rates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 05.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hongying (Daisy) Dai, PhD Associate Professor Department of Biostatistics | College of Public Health University of Nebraska Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug at the Federal level, as of June 2019, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized one or more forms of marijuana; 11 states and the District of Columbia have approved both medical and recreational uses. Public opinion on marijuana has changed dramatically over the last two decades and support for legalization has doubled since 2010. However, very little is known about the prevalence and patterns of marijuana use among adults with medical conditions. This study analyzed the 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to report the prevalence and patterns of marijuana use among adults with self-reported medical conditions.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, Gender Differences / 06.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Morgan Philbin, PhD MHS Assistant Professor Department of Sociomedical Sciences Columbia University School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana is the most frequently used substance in the United States (US) after alcohol and tobacco. In 2017, 15.3% of the US population ages 18 and up reported past-year marijuana use (MU) and 9.9% past month use. Individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB), also report higher levels of marijuana use and marijuana use disorder than their heterosexual counterparts. Researchers have begun to explore potentially modifiable factors, such as state-level marijuana policies, that affect marijuana use and related outcomes at the population-level and within subgroups—though as of yet not among sexual minority populations. We therefore examined whether LGB individuals living in states with medical marijuana laws (MMLs) have higher levels of marijuana use and marijuana use disorder compared to LGB individuals in states without MMLs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 31.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Angela Birnbaum, Ph.D., FAES Professor, Director of Graduate Studies Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology College of Pharmacy University of Minnesota  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Little was known about the effect food has on the amount of cannabidiol (CBD) that is actually absorbed into the body. Because of various state laws, CBD preparations vary from state to state. In Minnesota, however, the law only allows pure forms of cannabidiol providing a consistent supply of product including a purified CBD capsule formulation. Due to its pharmacological properties a low amount of a CBD dose reaches the blood stream and the effect of food had not been well described. Our study was done to determine the amount of cannabidiol that is absorbed with food as compared to an empty stomach at doses used in epilepsy patients, which can be higher than the dose often used for other conditions.   (more…)
Addiction, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Opiods / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Depression, OBGYNE / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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). (more…)