Addiction, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Education, JAMA, Pediatrics, Social Issues, UCLA / 06.10.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mitchell Wong, MD PhD Professor of Medicine Executive Vice Chair for Research Training Department of Medicine Executive Co-Director, Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program Director, UCLA CTSI KL2 Program UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research Los Angeles, CA 90024 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is estimated that social factors like poverty, education, and housing have a large impact on health. Yet, there are few interventions that exist to directly address those issues.  Schools are a promising solution since society already invests heavily in education and schools are an everyday part of most children’s lives. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Fertility / 30.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kanako Hayashi PhD Associate Professor Associate Director, Center for Reproductive Biology Washington State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There have been several correlative reports showing statistical associations between cannabis use and low sperm counts, dysregulated menstruation, abnormal placentation, preterm birth, stillbirth and offspring psychosis etc. However, the long-term consequences of cannabis use on reproductive functions and how it might impact the next generation have not been examined. In the present study, we examined the generational effects of cannabis vapor exposure on male reproductive function. Vaporization is the most common route of cannabis administration in humans. Therefore, in order to understand the generational effects of cannabis exposure on male reproductive functions, the present study was performed using an inhalation method as an administration route, by which adult male mice were exposed to dry cannabis plants to assess the toxicological effects of cannabis on F0, F1 and F2 male reproductive functions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 07.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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? Response: In a previous study that was published in JAMA Pediatrics, we used Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data and found that the adoption of recreational marijuana laws (RMLs) was associated with an 8% decrease in the odds of marijuana use among high school students.  This earlier study, however, had pre-legalization and post-legalization data from only 7 states and pre- and post-recreational sales data from only 3 states, calling into question the generalizability of our findings. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, CMAJ / 06.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Windle, MPH PhD Student in Epidemiology Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health McGill University (Montréal, Québec, Canada) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Concerns have been raised about the potential for increases in impaired driving following the legalization of recreational cannabis use in Canada in October 2018. Data from Statistics Canada suggest that cannabis use in the previous three months increased among adults (15 and older) from 14% before legalization in 2018 to 17% in 2019. Among those users with a driver’s license, 13% reported driving within two hours of cannabis use. While this proportion remained the same before and after legalization, this indicates that the absolute number of individuals who reported driving within two hours of use has increased following legalization (due to an increase in the number of users). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 08.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erica M. Wymore, MD MPH Assistant Professor, Neonatal- Perinatal Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatology University of Colorado School of Medicine Children's Hospital Colorado Maya Bunik, MD, MPH  |  Professor, Pediatrics Medical Director, Child Health Clinic, Primary Care  |  Breastfeeding Management Clinic Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science (ACCORDS) School of Medicine| University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Children's Hospital Colorado MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana legalization has been increasing in the United States, with increasing consumption of marijuana products. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) do not recommend marijuana use during pregnancy or lactation due to concerning though limited data on the effects of perinatal marijuana exposure. As there has been increasing prevalence of women using marijuana during pregnancy due to legalization and perceptions of safety, we sought to determine the duration of THC excretion in breast milk among women who had evidence of marijuana use at delivery and abstained post-partum.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 03.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin J. Warnick, PhD Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Carson College of Business Washington State University Vancouver MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Popular culture has perpetuated a notion that cannabis users are more creative. Along these lines, some successful CEOs and entrepreneurs—like Steve Jobs, for example—have claimed that cannabis use has benefitted their creativity at work. Despite such claims and increased legalization and use of cannabis, the implications of cannabis use for entrepreneurs’ creativity has yet to be rigorously tested. My coauthors and I were very intrigued to dive into the implications of cannabis use for entrepreneurs, whether good or bad. This seemed all the more relevant given the increasing legalization, destigmatization, and use of cannabis.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, UCSF / 15.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eric R. Pedersen, Ph.D. Adjunct Behavioral Scientist, RAND Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In November of 2016, CA voted to legalize cannabis for sale and possession to adults 21 and older for recreational use. It wasn’t until January of 2018 that stores in most parts of LA County (we call these “outlets”) were legally able to begin selling recreational cannabis. We were collecting data from about 2,500 young adults in LA County as part of a longitudinal study (Principal Investigator Elizabeth D’Amico at RAND) and were able to look at cannabis use and intentions assessed at a period prior to the opening of the recreational cannabis outlets (pre-January 2018) to a period when those outlets were open (after January 2018). It has been suggested that once cannabis was more available for recreational purchase (and not just for medical purposes among those enrolled in CA’s medical marijuana program), use of cannabis among young adults would increase.  (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 24.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Li Li, MS, PhD Candidate Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, Ohio State University Graduate Research Associate, Center for Injury Research and Policy The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana use impairs cognitive abilities necessary for safe driving, including reaction time, road lane-tracking ability, and attention maintenance. Given increasing legalization of marijuana use in the US, our study aimed to estimate marijuana-impaired driving among teens at a national level and help to identify the current prevalence to guide future intervention programs. (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…)
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, 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…)
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 / 13.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Magdalena Cerdá DrPH Associate Professor and Director Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy Department of Population Health NYU Langone School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Legalization of recreational marijuana use is increasingly enacted across US states and across the world. In the US, 11 states and D.C. have legalized recreational use of marijuana, while 33 states and D.C. have legalized medical use of marijuana. In light of these changes, we need to know the impact that recreational marijuana legalization has on marijuana use. To our knowledge, our is the first study to look at the impact that recreational marijuana legalization has had on both use and cannabis use disorder among different age groups.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Rheumatology / 11.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly Gavigan, MPH Manager, Research and Data Science CreakyJoints  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the past fifteen years, there have been significant improvements in quality of life among people living with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease with the introduction of biologics and targeted therapies. However, despite a variety of treatments to try, patients often seek non-pharmacological alternative and complementary treatments, such as marijuana for medical use (MMU), to help manage their condition and symptoms. MMU is becoming increasingly available in the United States as different states legalize it under specific circumstances. Legal or not, according to a survey conducted by CreakyJoints using the ArthritisPower Research Registry (n=1,059 participants), people with arthritis are trying marijuana for medical use.  (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…)