Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cognitive Issues, Memory / 18.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Italia V. Rolle, PhD and Dr. Tim McAfee, MD Office on Smoking and Health National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion CDC Ana Maria Sebastião, PhD Professor of Pharmacology and Neurosciences Director Institute of Pharmacology and Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Francisco Mouro, PhD Unit of Neurosciences, Institute of Molecular Medicine University of Lisbon, Portugal MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: There is pressing need to comprehend how cannabinoid exposure impacts brain functioning. While cannabinoid-related research has increased exponentially in the last decade, the mechanisms through which cannabinoids affect brain functioning are still elusive. Specifically, we need to know how prolonged cannabinoid exposure affects important cognitive processes, such as memory, and also find the roots of those effects. This is particularly relevant considering that several countries have already approved cannabis-based medicines. In this sense, our work sheds new light into the mechanisms underlaying the memory-deficits provoked by a continuous exposure to a cannabinoid drug. More precisely, using brain imaging techniques, we found that long-term exposure to a synthetic cannabinoid drug impairs the ability of key brain regions involved in learning and memory to communicate with each other. Our data points to the necessity of considering cannabinoid actions in a broader perspective, including brain circuitry and communication.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Gastrointestinal Disease / 14.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Beth A. McCormick, Ph.D. Professor and Vice Chair | Department of Microbiology & Physiological Systems Founding Executive Director | University of Massachusetts Center for Microbiome Research Board of Editors | Gastroenterology University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester, MA 01655 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been extensive, but to date mostly anecdotal, support for a beneficial role for cannabinoids and cannabis-derived agents to provide benefit for symptoms in individuals suffering from intestinal inflammatory disease (IBD). Our studies have provided one possible rationale for these previous findings: that there is a constitutively active efflux system at the luminal surface of cells that line the intestine that pumps out one class of lipids of the family known as endocannabinoids. In doing so, the intestine floods this surface with these endocannabinoids in a manner that counteracts the actions of a particular potent stimulators of intestinal inflammation that appears to be over-active in certain forms of IBD. This is most significant because a number of cannabinoids and cannabis-derived agents can mimic the actions of this class of endocannabinoids. Moreover, while cannabinoids and endocannabinoids have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory actions, these studies have identified one mechanism used by the body to localize and focus this protective function at a critical site where pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory events intersect, providing new insights into how to treat that imbalance in these process that occurs in certain forms of IBD. Therefore, there is the immediate opportunity to use this research to identify new therapeutic strategies to treat individuals suffering from IBD that could include either agents extracted from marijuana plants or novel molecules selected based upon superior properties made obvious by this newly defined mechanism. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cannabis, Pancreatic / 01.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Marco Falasca Head Metabolic Signalling Group School of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences Faculty of Health Sciences Curtin University Western University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Each year around 9,800 people in the UK are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The disease is particularly aggressive and has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers. Indeed, the life expectancy for pancreatic cancer patients has barely changed in the last 40 years because there are very few, and mostly only palliative care, treatments available. Given the five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is less than seven per cent, the discovery of new treatments and therapeutic strategies is urgently needed. In this study, we decided to concentrate on a protein, named GPR55, found in high levels in pancreatic cancer. Our results show that GPR55 promotes pancreatic cancer progression. Consequently, we decided to use its inhibitor cannabidiol, a naturally occurring constituent of medicinal cannabis, as a pharmacological strategy to block GPR55 activity. Strikingly, mice with pancreatic cancer that were treated with cannabidiol alongside chemotherapy, survived almost three times longer than those treated with chemotherapy alone, our study reports.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, McGill, Pulmonary Disease / 30.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sara Abdallah, PhD Student, first author and Dennis Jensen, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education Associate Dean – Infrastructure, Faculty of Education Director, McGill Research Center for Physical Activity and Health Canada Research Chair in Clinical Exercise & Respiratory Physiology Associate Member, Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) suffer from severe breathlessness at rest and on minimal exertion despite receiving optimal drug therapy for their underlying disease (e.g., bronchodilators). In these patients, breathlessness significantly diminishes exercise capacity and quality of life. Thus, research focused on identifying adjunct therapies for management of breathlessness in patients with advanced COPD is clinically relevant. A series of studies conducted in the 1970’s found that smoked cannabis caused bronchodilation (i.e., improved airway function) in healthy individuals and in patients with asthma. More recently, it has been demonstrated that delta-9 (∆9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the major cannabinoid constituent of cannabis) inhibits cholinergic contractions in isolated human bronchi and that a positive association exists between measure of lung function (e.g., forced expiratory volume in 1-sec) and cannabis use in patients with COPD. These studies lead us to hypothesize that inhalation of vaporized cannabis may alleviate exertional breathlessness and improve exercise tolerance in patients with advanced COPD by improving airway function at rest and during exercise. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Mental Health Research / 15.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Cannabis sativa” by Manuel is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Leen Naji, BHSc, MD Family Medicine Resident McMaster University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cannabis use has consistently been linked to suicide attempt in the general population, but little data exists linking the association between cannabis use and suicide attempt amongst patients with psychiatric disorders. This is important data as we know that patients with psychiatric disorders are both more likely to use cannabis and to attempt suicide. Therefore, our goal was to study the association between cannabis use and suicide attempt amongst patients with psychiatric disorders. Additionally, since we know that women are more likely to suffer from mental health disorders, are more likely to attempt suicide and are more likely to incur the deleterious consequences of drug use at lower doses, we sought to compare the association between cannabis use and suicide attempt in men and women amongst our study population. We conducted our analysis on a large sample of over 900 adults with psychiatric disorders (465 men, 444 women), of whom 112 men and 158 women had attempted suicide. The average age of our study sample was 40 years. We found that cannabis use is not associated with an increased risk of suicide in patients with psychiatric disorders, though this association may vary when looking at specific subpopulations and/or amount of cannabis use. For instance, we found that heavier cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of suicide attempt amongst men with psychiatric disorders. Specifically, there was a 3% increased risk of suicide attempt for every day of cannabis use per month in men with psychiatric disorders. We also found that amongst those with psychiatric conditions, women, unemployed individuals and those with a mood disorder were at increased risk of suicide attempt.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pediatrics / 21.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Natalie Castellanos Ryan, PhD École de Psychoéducation Université de Montréal Outremont Canada  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our study followed a group of boys living in low socioeconomic neighbourhoods in Montreal (N=1030) from early childhood to 28 years of age to investigate: 1) whether the age at which one starts to use cannabis across adolescence is associated with the risk of developing drug abuse by early adulthood, when one controls for  arrange of known risk factors for cannabis use and problems assessed across development (risk factors in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood); and 2) the developmental pathways from early risk factors to drug abuse problems. To examine these associations, the study collected  self-reported cannabis use information from these boys annually from ages 13 to 17 years and drug abuse symptoms at 28 years, as well as teacher, parent and child reported information on a number of environmental (family and friend) and child characteristics (e.g., impulsivity, delinquency, school performance) across childhood and adolescence. Alcohol and other drug use was also assessed across adolescence and early adulthood. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Opiods / 02.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hefei Wen, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health Management & Policy University of Kentucky College of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Marijuana is one of the potential, non-opioid alternatives that can relieve pain at a relatively lower risk of addiction and virtually no risk of overdose. Medical and adult-use marijuana laws, has made marijuana available to more Americans. Yet no study to date has focused on the effect of medical and adult-use marijuana laws on opioid prescribing in particular. Our study provides some of the first empirical evidence that the implementation of medical and adult-use marijuana laws between 2011 and 2016 was associated with lower opioid prescribing rates and spending among Medicaid enrollees.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Opiods / 02.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with “Cannabis sativa” by Manuel is licensed under CC BY 2.0 David Bradford, Ph.D. Busbee Chair in Public Policy Department of Public Administration and Policy University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: To give you some background, in 2016, part of our research team (Bradford and Bradford) published the first study to directly examine the impact that medical cannabis laws (MCLs) may be having on prescription use. We used yearly physician-level Medicare Part D data, looked at nearly all prescription drugs used to treat 9 broad categories of illness/diagnoses, and found substantial reductions in prescriptions. We published a follow-up study in 2017, this time using data from Medicaid Fee-for-Service. Again, we found significant substitution away from prescription medications. In both of these studies, pain was included in the list of conditions for which cannabis may be used in patients, and in both studies, pain prescriptions fell. One of the unanswered questions from both of those studies, though, was what *type* of pain medications were being reduced.  From a public health standpoint, when we're worried about opioid overdose, it matters whether the substitution away from pain medications is coming from substitutions away from things like NSAIDs or whether there is substitution away from opioids. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, Pediatrics / 22.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “medical marijuana : strains and varieties” by torbakhopper is licensed under CC BY 2.0Professor Deborah Hasin PhD Department of Epidemiology in Psychiatry Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We began to think about this study after we published an earlier report (Hasin et al., The Lancet Psychiatry 2015) showing that after state medical marijuana laws (MML) were passed, U.S. teen marijuana use did not increase compared to the period before the laws were passed and to overall national trends. However, people continued to question whether MML led to teen increases in marijuana use. Therefore, in the present study, we combined findings from 11 large-scale national studies of teens to provide a more definite answer. The findings were clear that teen marijuana use did not increase after passage of medical marijuana laws. Medical marijuana is widely available from stores like kush guys, yet despite this prevalence, there is no conclusive evidence of abuse. Rather the benefits are plain to see. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 12.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. John A Staples, MD, FRCPC, MPH Scientist, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences Clinical Assistant Professor University of British ColumbiaDr. John A Staples MD, FRCPC, MPH Scientist, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences Clinical Assistant Professor University of British Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Around 64 million Americans live in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Many policymakers are trying to figure out what that means for traffic safety. On April 20th, some Americans participate in an annual "4/20" counterculture holiday that celebrates and promotes the use of cannabis. Some 4/20 events such as those in Denver and San Francisco involve thousands of participants. Much like celebrations at midnight on New Year's eve, public 4/20 events sometimes mark 4:20 p.m. by a countdown followed by synchronized mass consumption of cannabis. We thought this was a perfect natural experiment to evaluate the influence that cannabis intoxication has on the risk of motor vehicle crash. To examine this question, we analyzed 25 years of data on all fatal traffic crashes in the United States. We compared the number of drivers in crashes between 4:20 p.m. and midnight on April 20th to the number of drivers in crashes during the same time interval on control days one week earlier and one week later. We found that the risk of crash involvement was 12% higher on April 20th than on control days. In the subgroups of drivers younger than 21 years of age, the risk of crash involvement was 38% higher on April 20th than on control days. Assuming fewer than 12% of Americans celebrate 4/20, our results suggest that substance use at April 20th celebrations more than doubles the risk of fatal crash. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cost of Health Care, Opiods / 07.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Powell PhD Economist; Core Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School RAND, Santa Monica MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been some research suggesting that the adoption of state medical marijuana laws leads to reductions in prescriptions for opioid analgesics among certain populations and opioid-related overdoses overall. However, medical marijuana laws are very different across states and they have changed over time as well. We wanted to understand what components of a medical marijuana law could potentially lead to reductions in overdoses and substance abuse. We focused specifically on the role of dispensaries, given their importance in providing access to medical marijuana, and tested for different effects in states with and without legally-protected and operational dispensaries. We found that dispensaries are critical to reduce opioid-related overdoses and substance abuse. We also found evidence that more recently-adopting states have experienced smaller reductions in overdoses and opioid substance abuse, potentially because the more recent adopters tend to enforce more stringent guidelines for dispensaries than the early adopters. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Heart Disease / 24.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Divya Ravi, MD, MPH The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is evidence to suggest that Marijuana can bring about changes at the tissue level and has the ability to potentiate vascular disease, in ways similar to tobacco.  With change in legalization and increase usage trends, we conducted this review to examine the known effects of marijuana on cardiovascular outcomes and risk factors, given that cardiovascular disease remains the greatest cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Our review found insufficient evidence to draw meaningful conclusions that marijuana use is associated with cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes. The few studies that suggested a possible benefit from marijuana use, were cross-sectional, and were contradicted by more robust longitudinal studies that reported potential harmful effects. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, NIH, Pediatrics, Smoking / 17.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Checking your phone and vaping as you do” by Alper Çu?un is licensed under CC BY 2.0Richard Allen Miech, PhD Research Professor, Survey Research Center Institute for Social Research University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Monitoring the Future conducts annual, nationally-representative surveys of ~45,000 adolescents every year to assess trends in substance use. We track which drugs are gaining traction among adolescents and which are falling out of favor. The survey draws separate, nationally-representative samples of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students from about 400 total schools every year. Once a recruited school agrees to participate, a field interviewer travels to the school to administer the paper-and-pencil survey, typically in classrooms. The project is funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and is carried out by the University of Michigan. More details on the project's survey design and survey procedures can be found in chapter 3 here: http://monitoringthefutu re.org/pubs/monographs/mtf- vol1_2016.pdf (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 16.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Greta Hsu PhD Graduate School of Business Stanford University, Graduate School of Business MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: My co-authors, Ozgecan Kocak at Emory University and Balazs Kovacs at Yale University, and I became interested in the cannabis industry in early 2014, when Colorado and Washington states were in the early stages of licensing recreational cannabis operations. As organizational researchers, we were interested in how the emergence of the new legalized recreational-use dispensary stores would impact existing medical cannabis dispensaries that had already been in existence for years in both states. For decades, activists and many dispensaries had framed cannabis as medicine that relieves pain for patients suffering from a wide variety of illnesses. People who use marijuana for medical purposes do not always live near a dispensary, so accessing this product may be quite difficult for some than it would be for others. In and around where you live, you may be able to look into a local dispensary who would be able to administer the products you would need. For example, living in Florida, you'd look into something like florida dispensary to help you find your nearest dispensary. As long as you find a place that works for you, then that's all that matters. As recreational-use legalization took hold, would medical dispensaries emphasize their identities as medical providers or downplay their medical orientation to compete directly for potential customers? (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 17.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christine Mauro PhD Assistant Professor Biostatistics Columbia University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As of November 2016, 28 states have legalized medical marijuana with online dispensary canada providing information for anyone who is interested in finding out more. Several previous studies have found an increase in use for adults after legalization, but not for adolescents. We wanted to examine whether these age-specific findings varied by gender. Consistent with past findings, we found past-month marijuana use did not increase after enactment of medical marijuana laws in men or women ages 12-25. Among people 26+, past-month marijuana use increased for men from 7.0% before to 8.7% after enactment (+1.7%, p<0.001) and for women from 3.1% before to 4.3% after enactment (+1.1%, p=0.013). Daily marijuana use also increased after enactment in this age group for both genders (men: 16.3% to 19.1%, +2.8 %, p=0.014; women: 9.2% to 12.7%, +3.4%, p=0.003). There were no statistically significant increases in past-year Marijuana Use Disorder prevalence for any age or gender group after medical marijuana law enactment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 08.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marcel Bonn-Miller, PhD Adjunct assistant professor Department of Psychiatry Leader of the Substance Abuse and Anxiety Program U.S. Veterans Affairs Department  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A 2015 study found that edible cannabis products (e.g., brownies, cookies, drinks) are often mislabeled.  The FDA has also sent warning letters to a handful of companies selling cannabidiol extracts because of inaccurate labeling of content. This led us to conduct a systematic evaluation of the label accuracy of all cannabidiol extracts sold online.  We tested 84 products from 31 different companies. The primary take-home of this study is that nearly 70 percent of all cannabidiol extracts sold online had over 10% more or less cannabidiol than advertised; 26% of products were over-labeled (less cannabidiol than indicated) and 42% of products were under-labeled (more cannabidiol than indicated). (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cannabis, Pediatrics, Pediatrics / 07.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shane Shucheng Wong, MD Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, Massachusetts  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Medical cannabis is now legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia, and in those areas with active programs, children and adolescents can legally access medical cannabis with certification from their doctor and consent from a parent. This means that doctors and families need to understand what we know and what we don’t yet know about medical cannabis in order to make the best decision for the health of the individual child. Two synthetic cannabinoids – compounds that act on specific receptors in the brain – have been approved for medical use in the U.S., both of which mimic a form of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound responsible for the “high” of recreational cannabis use. Dronabinol (Marinol) is approved to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in both children and adults, while the pediatric use of nabilone (Cesamet) carries a caution. A third cannabinoid, cannabidiol, is currently in phase 3 trials for treatment of seizures. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cognitive Issues, HIV / 03.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM Department of Community Health Sciences Boston University School of Public Health Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicin Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center Boston , Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many people living with HIV infection use alcohol and other drugs including marijuana. People with HIV infection are also susceptible to cognitive dysfunction from many causes from HIV infection itself to aging. The main findings were that among people with HIV and substance use disorder, lifetime marijuana and alcohol use were not associated with cognitive dysfunction, likely due to competing risks.  But current marijuana use was associated with cognitive dysfunction. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 19.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sheryl Cates RTI International Durham, NC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The goal of this research was to provide a better understanding of consumer perceptions of edible marijuana products, including why users prefer edibles relative to other forms of marijuana such as smoking and vaping and concerns regarding the consumption and questions related to, how long do edibles last? And many more! This is important as more states legalize the use of recreational marijuana products. With the increasing popularity of edibles, concerns exist that do not exist with other methods of using marijuana, such as smoking or vaping. These concerns include delayed activation time; accidental ingestion, particularly by children and older adults; and dose titration.

The study team conducted eight focus groups (four groups in Denver, Colorado, and four groups in Seattle, Washington) with users of edibles. Most participants preferred edibles to smoking marijuana because there is no smell from smoke and no secondhand smoke. Other reasons participants like edibles included convenience, discreetness, longer-lasting highs, less intense highs, and edibles’ ability to aid in relaxation, reduce anxiety, and alleviate pain more so than smoking marijuana. Concerns and dislikes about edibles included delayed effects, unexpected highs, the unpredictability of the high, and inconsistency of distribution of marijuana in the product. No participants in either location mentioned harmful health effects from consuming edibles as a concern. Although focus group findings are not generalizable, the findings are useful for helping inform policy makers and regulators as they establish regulations regarding the manufacture, labeling, and sale of edibles.

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Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cannabis / 27.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jiries Meehan-Atrash Department of Chemistry, Portland State University Portland, Oregon MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The need for this study stems from the rising popularity of cannabis, and specifically the fact that many consumers are under the belief that vaporizing extracts thereof is safer than smoking. While this may in fact have some truth to it, it is clear that we must assess the safety of vaporization a route of administration. The main findings are that vaporizing terpenes under dabbing conditions generates some levels of methacrolein (a noxious irritant) at all temperatures that are hot enough to vaporize cannabinoids, but significant levels arise at higher temperatures that are more commonly used. To do this, you'll need to make sure your dab rig is in excellent condition. At the highest temperature used by consumers, significant levels of benzene arise, a compound that is a potent carcinogen and should be avoided at all costs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 13.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin Hansen, Keaton Miller, Caroline Weber Department of Economics University of Oregon MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recreational marijuana is now, or will soon be, legally available to 21% of the United States population after they follow in Canada's path. All around Canada people can buy marijuana on an online dispensary canada legally with no repercussions but a major concern among policymakers at all levels of government in the US is the trafficking or "diversion" of marijuana from states where it is legal to other states. Though significant measures are in place to prevent large scale drug trafficking by licensed producers, consumers may easily purchase in one state and travel to a different state for consumption or re-sale. Though this policy concern has existed since medical marijuana became available in the 1990s, the extent of this diversion by consumers has been unknown. With recreational marijuana becoming the norm within the states that have made it legal, although policymakers are worried about the potential for trafficking over state lines, it is still legal for those who which to enjoy their cannabis filled vape carts without any repercussions. The cultivation of marijuana is a completely different topic when it comes to the trafficking of marijuana. Although states like Colorado and Oregon have allowed the cultivation of marijuana for both uses, there are states that have legalized cultivation or at least have it for medical use. This has the effect of businesses like LED Grow Lights HQ growing to supply the growing demand. We take advantage of a unique natural experiment in the Pacific Northwest: Oregon opened a recreational market on October 1, 2015, well after Washington's market opened on July 8, 2014. By examining the sales of Washington retailers along the Washington-Oregon border in the months before and after Oregon's market opened, we can measure the extent to which consumers from Oregon crossed state lines to purchase marijuana in Washington. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Kidney Disease, UCSF / 31.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Julie H. Ishida MD Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine San Francisco and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center University of California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Marijuana is becoming increasingly accepted in the United States, and animal studies suggest that marijuana could affect kidney function. However, data in humans are limited to case reports of acute kidney injury related to synthetic cannabinoid use and small cohort studies of relatively short duration. Among 3,765 participants with normal kidney function in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults or CARDIA study, my colleagues and I found that higher marijuana use was associated with lower kidney function at the start of the our study. However, we did not find that marijuana was associated with change in kidney function or albuminuria, which is a sign of kidney damage, over long-term follow-up. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Social Issues / 31.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D. Clinical Assistant Professor Washington State University Department of Psychology Pullman, WA, 99164-4820 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: One of the most common reasons cannabis users report using cannabis is to cope with stress. In support of this, previous research has shown that acute administration of THC or cannabis dampens affective responses and subjective stress ratings. This has made strains of cannabis popular for use for stress and other ailments with some online outlets, like high thc having reviews such as the og kush strain review to perpective users. However, our study is the first to compare the stress response of sober cannabis users to non-users. More specifically, we randomly assigned 42 non-cannabis users and 40 cannabis users (who abstained from using cannabis for at least 12 hours prior to the study) to either a stress or no stress condition. Participants in the stress condition were required to perform multiple trials of placing their hand in ice water and counting backwards from 2043 by 17s. Each time they made an error they were given negative feedback and told to start again. Further, they were being video recorded and their image was displayed in front of them. Participants who were assigned to the no stress condition were simply required to perform multiple trials of placing their hand in lukewarm water and counting from 1 to 25. They were not given feedback or recorded. Participants were asked to rate their level of stress and to provide a saliva sample, from which the stress hormone cortisol was measured. The results showed that, as expected, non-users in the stress condition had higher cortisol levels and higher self-reported stress than non-users in the no stress condition. In contrast, cannabis users in the stress condition demonstrated the same levels of cortisol as cannabis users in the no stress condition and their increase in self-reported stress was smaller than that of the non-users. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pediatrics / 14.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Kerr PhD Associate professor in the School of Psychological Science College of Liberal Arts Ohio State University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Oregon legalized sale and use of marijuana for recreational purposes and the part of the law (regarding use) took effect in July 2015. However, there have been no controlled studies of which we’re aware of the possible effects of the Oregon law that take into account the trends toward increased marijuana use across the country and differences in use rates between states that predated the law. We used survey data on college students in Oregon and in 6 states without recreational legalization to examine the issue. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia / 13.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Guohua Li DrPH, MD Professor and Director Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention Department of Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Drugged driving has become a serious problem in the United States in the recent years due to increased consumption of marijuana and opioids. About 20% of fatally injured drivers used two or more substances, with alcohol-marijuana being the most commonly detected polydrug combination. Our study of over 14000 fatal 2-car crashes indicates that drivers testing positive for alcohol, marijuana, or both are significantly more likely to be responsible for initiating these crashes than those using neither of the substances. Specifically, compared to drivers not using alcohol and marijuana, the risk of being responsible for initiating fatal crashes increases 62% for those testing positive for marijuana and negative for alcohol, 437% for those testing positive for alcohol and negative for marijuana, and 539% for those testing positive for both alcohol and marijuana. These results suggest that when used in combination, alcohol and marijuana have a positive interaction on the risk of fatal crash initiation. The most common driver error leading to fatal 2-car crashes is failure to keep in proper lane, followed by failure to yield right of way and speeding. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cannabis, Pediatrics / 12.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Michelle Taylor PhD Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU) School of Social and Community Medicine University of Bristol Bristol UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many previous studies have looked at adolescent cannabis use, however most of these look at use at a single time point, for example whether an individual has ever used cannabis at age 16 years, or how regularly a person uses cannabis at age 18. However, as young people do not initiate use at the same time or follow the same pattern of use, using measures at a single time point does not always tell the whole story. We used a form of statistical modelling using data taken over the course of adolescence to try and characterise underlying patterns of cannabis use across adolescence. We used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children which had information on cannabis use at six time points between the ages of 13 and 18 years. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 06.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mitchell L. Doucette, MS PhD Candidate The William Haddon Jr Fellowship in Injury Prevention 2017 Co-Fellow Center for Injury Research and Policy Department of Health Management and Policy Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Baltimore, MD 21205 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Currently in the U.S., 8 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use and an additional 28 states permit marijuana for medical use. Some states have instituted a legal driving limit for marijuana intoxication, 5 ng/mL, and for Colorado specifically, research indicates the average time from law enforcement dispatch to blood sample collection was 2.32 hours—a period of time outside the window of legal sample collection under state law and peak THC detectability. Countries with similar marijuana driving limits perform roadside oral fluid testing for establishing intoxication at point of arrest. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, Dental Research / 26.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jaffer A Shariff DDS MPH cert.DPH Periodontal Resident | Research Scientist Division of Periodontics, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Marijuana use for both medical and recreational purposes has become increasingly common in recent years; it is the most commonly used recreational drug in the United States. Subsequent increase in its legalization among countries including the United States for recreational purposes, poses an emergent oral and periodontal health concerns. Our study revealed that frequent recreational marijuana users exhibited deeper periodontal probing depths, clinical attachment loss and higher odds of having severe periodontal disease than the non-frequent users, even after controlling for other risk factors linked to gum disease, such as cigarette smoking. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 27.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Deborah S. Hasin, Ph.D. Professor of Epidemiology Columbia University New York, New York 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Among adults, the prevalence of cannabis use and cannabis use disorders has increased in recent years. Concerns have been raised that for various reasons, medical marijuana laws would promote use of cannabis and consequently, cannabis-related consequences. Many studies show that this didn't happen among adolescents, but very little was known about the relationship between medical marijuana laws and adults. Using data from three surveys spanning the years 1991-2013, the study findings suggested that medical marijuana laws did play a role in increasing rates of cannabis use and cannabis use disorders. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 24.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ian Hamilton Department of Health Sciences University of York York, UK  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This review looked back over 40 years of research on the links between cannabis and psychosis to examine how knowledge has developed on this issue. The review found that there is sufficient evidence to suggest a dose response relationship exists in the risk for developing a psychosis that would not have happened if the individual had not been exposed to cannabis. Also for people with schizophrenia cannabis exacerbates their symptoms and prolongs recovery. (more…)