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.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cost of Health Care, Opiods / 07.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_39890" align="alignleft" width="130"]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 <a href=michigan dispensaries and other dispensaries across America 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. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: We find that the introduction of medical marijuana dispensaries has the potential to reduce opioid-related harms quite significantly. More broadly, it also suggests that, when we think about the opioid crisis, improving access to pain management alternatives may be a useful mechanism for reducing dependence on opioids. MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? Response: During most of the time period that we studied, prescription opioids were driving the opioid crisis, but it has recently transitioned to the point where heroin and illicit synthetic opioids are playing more prominent roles. We are hesitant to suggest that medical marijuana access will have the same scope in a climate in which synthetic opioids and heroin are the primary substances of abuse. Future work could do more to explore the potential of different types of medical marijuana laws to reduce overdoses related to these substances. Citations: Do medical marijuana laws reduce addictions and deaths related to pain killers? ? •David Powella, , , • Rosalie Liccardo Paculaa, b, Mireille Jacobsonb RAND, Santa Monica, United States NBER Cambridge, MA, United StatesUniversity of California, Irvine, United States Received 14 November 2015, Revised 15 August 2017, Accepted 30 December 2017, Available online 3 February 2018 Journal of Health Economics Volume 58, March 2018, Pages 29–42 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2017.12.007 [wysija_form id="3"] The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website." width="130" height="150" /> Dr. Powell[/caption]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.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Heart Disease / 24.01.2018

[caption id="attachment_18486" align="alignleft" width="300"]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 Marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa)[/caption] 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.
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
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 16.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38983" align="alignleft" width="200"]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.</p/>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?  We found that some clusters of dispensaries were more conservative in their marketing, continuing and even accentuating an organizational identity focused on therapy and patients.  This was reflected in statements like: “We aim to educate our patients about cannabis treatments and other alternative health approaches to supplement their medicine.”  Counties where the majority of voters voted against legalizing recreational marijuana tended to encourage this increasing focus on therapy.  Dispensaries that embraced the new recreational market took more risk by advertising to a broader, emerging consumer class, which has been bolstered by a growing tourism industry.  These dispensaries de-emphasized their medical orientation and focused more on themes such as product variety and prices.  Dispensaries with this more recreational-oriented marketing tended to be in counties that voted in favor of legalizing recreational use.  Overall, our research suggests local communities hold a great deal of power in affecting how dispensaries present themselves both to consumers and the broader population.  MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Response:  In states that have legalized cannabis for adult recreational-use and sales, the law often gives local municipalities flexibility in deciding how easily dispensaries can operate within their boundaries. Many counties have chosen to ban cannabis-related businesses. Others are carefully regulating sales and businesses through zoning and taxes.  Our research suggests that dispensaries are responsive to the level of concern raised by local community members about recreational-use cannabis.  How dispensaries choose to market and present themselves will be shaped by their need to project a positive organizational identity and be accepted as legitimate members of the local community.   MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?  Response: Many national polls indicate strong support for legalizing the use of cannabis for medical and, to a somewhat lesser degree, recreational uses.  The progression of state-level legalization has been fast and is likely to continue in the coming years.  The overall landscape in the United States is incredibly complex.  Different states has enacted different types of state-level regulations, and different localities within each of these states also differ widely in the types of regulations enacted.  Future research studying dynamics in different states is needed to better understand how this fast-growing industry will continue to evolve.   MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.  Citation: Co-opt or co-exist? A study of medical cannabis dispensaries’ identity-based responses to recreational-use legalization in Colorado and Washington Greta Hsu* University of California, Davis Özgecan Koçak Emory University Balázs Kovács Yale University https://gsm.ucdavis.edu/sites/main/files/file-attachments/cannabis_os_final.pdf  Note:  Content is Not intended as medical advice.  Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.  [wysija_form id= Dr. Hsu[/caption]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?
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 17.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38357" align="alignleft" width="165"]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. 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.    MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Response:  The readers should take away several things.  First, despite men being more likely to use marijuana than women are in all age groups, there were relatively few gender differences in terms of the impact of medical marijuana on marijuana use. Second, we found no evidence of an effect of medical marijuana law enactment in any marijuana use outcome for both men and women aged 12-17.  Lastly, we did see an increase in both past-month use and daily use among past-year users in both men and women aged 26+ after enactment, but no changes in past year marijuana used disorder.    MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?  Response: Because most states in our sample more recently passed medical marijuana laws, it is possible that not enough time has elapsed to observe meaningful and significant changes in Marijuana Use Disorder. Given the impact Marijuana Use Disorder may have on individuals, families, and society, the prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorder should continue to be monitored regularly.   Second, there is considerable variation across provisions included in different states’ medical marijuana laws; some aspects, such as allowances on home cultivation or dispensaries, might have a role in changes in several health outcome indicators.  In addition, eight states have now legalized recreational marijuana, which may also have an impact on marijuana use outcomes over time. Future analyses should account for this variability in marijuana related policies.   MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Response: As marijuana use becomes more prevalent, monitoring state-wide trends in marijuana use by age and gender is important for public health planning. In particular, efforts to prevent and limit injury that may be associated with specific activities, such as driving, may be needed as daily marijuana use increases among adults. Downstream effects, either positive or negative, of a growing proportion of the adult population reporting daily marijuana use in states with medical marijuana laws warrants further attention. Disclosure: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse (grant R01 DA037866 to S. S. Martins).   MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.  Citation: Christine M. Mauro, Paul Newswanger, Julian Santaella-Tenorio, Pia M. Mauro, Hannah Carliner, Silvia S. Martins. Impact of Medical Marijuana Laws on State-Level Marijuana Use by Age and Gender, 2004–2013. Prevention Science, 2017; DOI: 10.1007/s11121-017-0848-3   Note:  Content is Not intended as medical advice.  Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.  [wysija_form id= Dr. Mauro[/caption]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.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 08.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_18486" align="alignleft" width="300"]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 Marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa)[/caption] 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).
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cognitive Issues, HIV / 03.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37849" align="alignleft" width="107"]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 Dr. Saitz[/caption] 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.
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 19.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37603" align="alignleft" width="200"]Sheryl Cates RTI International Sheryl Cates[/caption] 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.

Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cannabis / 27.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_18486" align="alignleft" width="200"]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 Marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa)[/caption] 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.
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 13.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin Hansen, Keaton Miller, Caroline Weber [caption id="attachment_21721" align="alignleft" width="200"]A dried Cannabis bud, typical of what is sold for drug use- Wikipedia image A dried Cannabis bud, typical of what is sold for drug use- Wikipedia image[/caption] 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.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Kidney Disease, UCSF / 31.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36714" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr. Julie H. Ishida MD Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine San Francisco and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center University of California Dr. Ishida[/caption] 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.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Social Issues / 31.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36238" align="alignleft" width="145"]Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D. Clinical Assistant Professor Washington State University Department of Psychology Pullman, WA, 99164-4820 Dr. Cuttler[/caption] 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.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pediatrics / 14.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35341" align="alignleft" width="200"]David Kerr PhD Associate professor in the School of Psychological Science College of Liberal Arts Ohio State University  Dr. Kerr[/caption] 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.
Accidents & Violence, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia / 13.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35292" align="alignleft" width="165"]Guohua Li DrPH, MD Professor and Director Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention Department of Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University Dr. Li[/caption] 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.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 06.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35087" align="alignleft" width="199"]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 Mitchell Doucette[/caption] 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.
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 27.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34181" align="alignleft" width="165"]Deborah S. Hasin, Ph.D. Professor of Epidemiology Columbia University New York, New York 10032 Dr. Hasin[/caption] 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.
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.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 04.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33647" align="alignleft" width="200"]James McIntosh PhD Economics Department Concordia University Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Dr. McIntosh[/caption] James McIntosh PhD Economics Department Concordia University Montreal, Quebec, Canada. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study Response: Marijuana is about to become legal in Canada. Consequently, an analysis of its effects on users is a high priority. This issue has been explored by Canadian researchers to some extent but there are gaps in what is known about the effects of using marijuana. Most of the Canadian studies focus on youth or adolescent use. This is clearly important but adult use is as well. Establishing the link between early usage and the effects of use over an individual’s lifetime was a major objective of the study.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Opiods / 01.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32519" align="alignleft" width="200"]Philippe Lucas VP, Patient Research & Access, Tilray Graduate Researcher, Centre for Addictions Research of BC Philippe Lucas[/caption] Philippe Lucas VP, Patient Research & Access, Tilray Graduate Researcher, Centre for Addictions Research of BC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2001 Canada become one of the first nations to develop a federally regulated program to allow access to cannabis for medical purposes with the launch of the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR). The program has undergone numerous convolutions, culminating in the establishment by Health Canada of the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) in 2014, which was replaced by the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes (ACMPR) in 2016. One of the primary changes in the new program(s) has been to move from a single Licensed Producer (LP) of cannabis to multiple large-scale Licensed Producers. This is the first comprehensive survey of patients enrolled in the MMPR/ACMPR, and with 271 complete responses, it’s the largest survey of federally-authorized medical cannabis patients to date.
Addiction, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Education, Pediatrics, Smoking / 23.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. James Williams UCL Medical School UCL, London, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite a downward trend over the last decade in the usage of particular substances amongst adolescents in the UK, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis remain prevalent behaviours in this demographic. These risky health behaviours present a large problem in terms of public health due to the immediate and long-term health problems they cause, as well as negative non-health outcomes such as poor educational attainment and reduced employment. The role of academic ability in determining patterns of substance use is not clear and no study has evaluated academic ability at age 11 in relation to the onset and persistence of all three substances from early to late adolescence and into young adulthood. Our study sought to determine the association between academic ability and the onset and persistence of substance use in adolescence in a representative sample of English school pupils. This would answer for the first time whether ability was associated with ‘experimentation’ in early adolescence or if the association persists into late adolescence.
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 17.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31289" align="alignleft" width="124"]Kathleen K. Bucholz, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Psychiatry Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis MO 63110-1547 Dr. Kathleen Bucholz[/caption] Kathleen K. Bucholz, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Psychiatry Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis MO 63110-1547 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that development of alcohol use disorder progresses through several stages of alcohol use, from beginning to drink, to engaging in problem drinking, and then to developing alcohol use disorder, but we don’t know whether the same factors are associated with each step in this progression. Stage-specific associations have implications for prevention, where targeting certain characteristics might stave off progression to the next level of alcohol involvement, potentially. That is what this particular study set out to investigate. The data were from nearly 3600 adolescents and young adults, the majority of whom came from families with alcohol use disorder in their relatives. Thus, this sample was enriched with individuals who were at high risk for progressing to more severe stages of alcohol involvement. In studying the associations at each stage, we strengthened our analysis by defining wherever possible variables as risk factors only if they occurred before or at the same age as the particular alcohol stage. For example, we counted cannabis use as a risk factor for starting to drink only if it either preceded or occurred at the same age as taking the first drink. With this definition, we can infer that a particular factor is antecedent and not simply a correlated influence.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics, UC Davis / 02.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30899" align="alignleft" width="115"]Magdalena Cerda, DrPH, MPH Vice Chancellor's Chair in Violence Prevention Associate Director, Violence Prevention Research Program UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program Dr. Magdalena Cerda[/caption] Magdalena Cerda, DrPH, MPH Vice Chancellor's Chair in Violence Prevention Associate Director, Violence Prevention Research Program UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The potential effect of legalizing marijuana for recreational use has been a topic of considerable debate since Washington and Colorado first legalized its use for adults in 2012. Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., followed suit in 2014, and voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational use this past November. In our study, we examined changes in perceived risk of marijuana use, and in use of marijuana among school-attending adolescents, in Washington and Colorado, following legalization of recreational marijuana use, and compared pre- to post-legalization changes in these two states to changes in the 45 contiguous US states that had not legalized recreational marijuana use. Marijuana use significantly increased and its perceived harm decreased among eighth- and 10th-graders in Washington state following enactment of recreational marijuana laws. There was no change in use or perceived harm among 12th graders or among similar grades in Colorado. In particular, the data showed that legalization of recreational marijuana use significantly reduced perceptions of marijuana’s harmfulness by 14 percent and 16 percent among eighth and 10th graders and increased their past-month marijuana use by 2 percent and 4 percent in Washington state but not in Colorado. Among states without legalized marijuana use, the perceived harmfulness also decreased by 5 percent and 7 percent for students in the two grades, but marijuana use decreased by 1.3 percent and .9 percent. Among older adolescents in Washington state and all adolescents surveyed in Colorado, there were no changes in perceived harmfulness or marijuana use in the month after legalization.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Gender Differences, Heart Disease / 14.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29640" align="alignleft" width="200"]Amitoj Singh MD Chief Cardiology Fellow St. Luke’s University Health Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Dr. Amitoj Singh[/caption] Amitoj Singh MD Chief Cardiology Fellow St. Luke’s University Health Bethlehem, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana use in steadily increasing and it is the most commonly used illicit drug in the US and worldwide. There has been a recent increase in reports of heart and vascular complications associated with its use. These include Myocardial infarctions, stroke and takotsubo. We had two questions that we wanted to answer with our study: a) Is there an association between marijuana use and development of Transient Regional Ventricular Ballooning [TVRB] (aka Stress Cardiomyopathy /Broken Heart Syndrome/ Takotsubo)? b) If the above is true, what are the differences between Marijuana users (MU) and Non Marijuana Users (NMU) who developed Stress Cardiomyopathy.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cognitive Issues, Depression, Pediatrics / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28754" align="alignleft" width="115"]Elizabeth Osuch, M.D. Associate Professor; Rea Chair Department of Psychiatry FEMAP--London Health Sciences Centre London, ON   Dr. Elizabeth Osuch[/caption] Elizabeth Osuch, M.D. Associate Professor; Rea Chair Department of Psychiatry FEMAP--London Health Sciences Centre London, ON    MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As a researcher and psychiatrist doing clinical work in youth aged 16-25 with mood and anxiety disorders I often see patients who are depressed and believe that using marijuana (MJ) improves their mood.  Yet they remain depressed.  This was the clinical inspiration for this brain imaging study, where we investigated emerging adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).  Subject groups included patients with MDD who did and did not use MJ frequently.  Our results showed that the MDD+MJ group did not have significantly less depression than the MDD alone group, and the brain abnormalities found in MDD were not corrected by MJ use in the MDD+MJ group.  In fact, some of the brain differences were worse with the addition of MJ, while others were just different.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, Opiods / 17.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28045" align="alignleft" width="163"]June H. Kim Doctoral candidate,Department of Epidemiology Mailman School Public Health Columbia University June Kim[/caption] June H. Kim Doctoral candidate,Department of Epidemiology Mailman School Public Health Columbia University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A previous study indicated that states with medical marijuana laws had a reduced rate of opioid overdoses. If this is true, we'd expect to see similar reductions in opioid use associated with these laws. For this study, we used data from the FARS, a national surveillance system that records any crash events on US public roads that result in a fatality. Some states provide uniform testing of the majority of their deceased drivers, year to year. Among these states, we found that there was a lower prevalence of positive opioid toxicology tests among drivers crashing in states with an operational medical marijuana versus drivers crashing in states before a future medical marijuana law is implemented, particularly among drivers aged 21-40.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Lancet, NIH / 06.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_27683" align="alignleft" width="125"]Dr. Wilson Compton MD, Deputy Director National Institute on Drug Abuse Dr. Wilson Compton[/caption] Dr. Wilson Compton MD, Deputy Director National Institute on Drug Abuse MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The study found that overall past year marijuana use by adults in the U.S. increased by more than 30% in the past dozen years, and 10 million more people were using marijuana in 2014 than in 2002. Use of marijuana on a daily (or near daily) basis increased even more markedly. In 2002, 3.9 million adults in the U.S. reported using marijuana daily or nearly every day, and the number more than doubled to 8.4 million by 2014. Along with this increase in use, we found that U.S. adults perceptions of the potential harms from using marijuana greatly decreased. Despite scientific evidence of potential harms, adults are much less convinced about dangers associated with using marijuana. These reductions in perceived harm were strongly associated with the increases in use.
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pulmonary Disease, UCSF / 27.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26428" align="alignleft" width="200"]Matthew L. Springer, Ph.D. Professor of Medicine Division of Cardiology University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Dr. Matthew Springer[/caption] Matthew L. Springer, Ph.D. Professor of Medicine Division of Cardiology University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We've known for many years that secondhand smoke from tobacco cigarettes is harmful, and the vast majority of deaths thought to result from secondhand smoke are from cardiovascular disease. However, very little has been known about cardiovascular consequences of exposure to secondhand smoke from marijuana, and people tend to mistake the lack of evidence that it is harmful, for evidence that is it not harmful. As a result, many people seem relatively unconcerned about smoking marijuana and being exposed (or exposing others) to marijuana secondhand smoke. Politicians and policy makers also seem less willing to limit where people can smoke marijuana (under legal circumstances) than tobacco. What has been lacking is research into how exposure to marijuana smoke affects cardiovascular health. It has been difficult to do such experiments because marijuana is illegal in the eyes of the federal government. However, we have been studying the harmful effects of secondhand tobacco smoke on the function of rat blood vessels, which is similar to its harmful effects on human blood vessels, and we now have studied how the function of rat blood vessels is affected by exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 25.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26469" align="alignleft" width="144"]George Sam Wang MD FAAP Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Section of Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology Department of Pediatrics University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Children's Hospital Colorado Dr. Wang[/caption] George Sam Wang MD FAAP Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Section of Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology Department of Pediatrics University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Children's Hospital Colorado MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many states have allowed medical and now recreational marijuana. The impact on pediatric population has not been fully described. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Unintentional exposures presenting to our children's hospital and calls to our regional poison center significantly increased after our state allowed recreational marijuana. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: Exposures in children are increasing in our state that allows medical and recreational Marijuana, many were edible products. Marijuana products should be treated like medications and household products in home and properly and safely stored. States looking to legalize marijuana need to consider safety rules and regulations during rule making processes.