Quick Hits

Welcome to Project CBD Quick Hits, where we collect some of the most interesting and informative tidbits of research into cannabis over the past week.
Posted: January 1, 2020
Two dropper bottles lay on an aqua background. Their pink labels read "Acid" and "LSD," respectively.
One of the biggest issues with an unregulated drug market is the presence of adulterants. Many of the adulterants found in samples of LSD are potentially lethal - unlike the drug they intend to mimic. Read more
Posted: November 26, 2019
A rat looks out of a hear-shaped hole in a pink background.
Uruguayan researchers found that a low dose of cannabis increased some mating behaviors, a high dose reduced them, and any dose increased sensitivity to pleasurable touch.  Read more
Posted: November 15, 2019
A cannabis leaf sits on the middle console of a car with a car key laid on top. There's a sun spot in the upper left hand corner of the photograph.
High cannabis users consistently drive more slowly than those who don’t use. And when users aren’t high, they drive more cautiously and consistently than non-users. Researchers try to make this sound like a bad thing. Read more
Posted: November 14, 2019
Three happy students looking at you with thumbs up in an university campus.
A letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) highlighted that legalizing adult use of cannabis is correlated with lower rates of teen use. Read more
Posted: November 5, 2019
An illustration of a person in a white hazmat suit with a backpack-style sprayer on their back. They are standing and spraying on an aqua background.
The EPA has refused to provide pesticide regulations for the cannabis industry. So states have to create their own regulations by banning and “recommending” the pesticides they deem appropriate. A new study examines batches of cannabis that failed pesticide screening in Oregon.  Read more

More quick hits

Posted: May 6, 2019
Placebo effect cannabinoid receptors

Throughout history, cannabis has been described as a treatment for hundreds of different conditions. If scientists find it hard to believe cannabis can do so much, they may chalk up the results as just a placebo. But the placebo effect is powerful. It accounts for roughly half of the efficacy of opioids and antidepressants.

Posted: May 6, 2019

A major benefit of legalization is regulation (at least in theory). Cannabis in a legal market can be held to safety standards such as the absence of dangerous pesticides. While autonomous community-enforced regulation can exist without government intervention, this does not happen at the global scale which the cannabis industry has reached today. So how well are governments doing with their pesticides regulations?

Posted: May 1, 2019

A pilot study recently demonstrated that cannabis extracts can be safely used to ameliorate symptoms of severe dementia. Swiss researchers at Geneva University Hospitals decided to use cannabinoids to help ten patients with severe dementia. They took a 2:1

Posted: May 1, 2019

There are curious cases of people who feel no pain or have extreme resistance to discomfort. These individuals are often studied by researchers who hope to develop better methods of pain management. One such woman was discovered after she recovered from a highly painful wrist surgery using Tylenol alone. As researchers at the University College of London found out, she had a history of this sort of endurance, and it appeared to have been passed on to her son. With her consent, they ran genetic tests, identifying two mutation in genes related to FAAH.

Posted: April 29, 2019

As CBD and recreational cannabis have gained considerable momentum, important aspects of medical marijuana are falling by the wayside. The magnified focus on economic incentives and tax revenue has overshadowed the significance of cannabis as medicine.

Posted: April 28, 2019

In 2017, Michigan’s government founded a commission to recommend policy on cannabis and driving, specifically how to set THC limits. Two years later, in March 2019, they released their conclusion: [T]he Commission finds there is no scientifically supported threshold of ∆9-THC bodily content that would be indicative of impaired driving (emphasis added).

Posted: April 28, 2019

Cannabinoids play a diverse role in addiction. They confer some of the euphoric feelings of many drugs, but also help eliminate memories that trigger cravings. The also regulate dopamine in a part of the brain called the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Normally, dopamine release in the VTA helps orient animals, including humans, to new kinds of stimuli.

Posted: April 23, 2019
Tobacco is a known fetal toxin. Cannabis is not. The negative effects that have been associated with using cannabis during pregnancy could be because of simultaneous use of other substances, like tobacco.
Posted: April 23, 2019

“What about the children?” is a mantra that has been used to propel prohibition with misplaced fear. Scientists and politicians increasingly warn about the dangers of using cannabis during pregnancy. There’s only one issue: data doesn’t back them up. But a lack of evidence has never stopped the tides of prohibition.

Posted: April 23, 2019
A new study from researchers at San Diego State University examined the interaction between cannabinoids and alcohol on the fetus.
Posted: April 22, 2019

There is little evidence to show a directly harmful effect of cannabis in pregnancy. However, cannabinoids consistently amplify the toxic effects of nicotine and alcohol on the fetus. Preclinical research suggests one possible reason: activating the CB2

Posted: April 22, 2019
CBD could protect against hypoxic ischemia, a complication that prevents a baby from getting enough oxygen during birth. Researchers in Spain show that its protective effects could have to do with the dimerization of CB2 and 5-HT1A.
Posted: April 16, 2019

Legalization has led to lower rates of cannabis use among teens, while middle-aged and elderly adults are adopting extracts for the aches of aging.

Posted: April 16, 2019
Epidiolex makers studied how liver impairment affected metabolism of CBD. They found that while hundreds of mgs of CBD were still safely tolerated, it was metabolized more poorly. Doses should be lowered depending on the severity of liver impairment.
Posted: April 16, 2019

Heavy or even moderate drinking causes maladaptions in humans, ranging from cardiovascular disease to cirrhosis. Underlying many of these ill effects is alcohol’s ability to amplify inflammation. But the immune system is immensely complex, and “inflammation” is a catch-all term that accounts for most degenerative and age-related disease, so it is important to distinguish the specific molecules promoting inflammation. Interleukins are a class of proteins that orchestrate the movement of immune cells – most, but not all, increase inflammation.

Posted: April 15, 2019

A new study from researchers at Yale University suggests that an antipsychotic called haloperidol decreases the psychoactive effects of THC. Reading between the lines in research, it’s always important to check the dose administered. These scientists gave participants an i.v. injection of THC (0.0286 mg THC per kg bodyweight, to be exact). For an average adult in the U.S. that means injecting about 2 mg of THC.

Posted: April 15, 2019

One of the many political hurdles that cannabis researchers face is the supply chain – for decades the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has been the sole producer of «research grade» cannabis. Most cannabis supplied by the U.S. government has less than 10% THC and it may have been stored for more than a yearr – which makes it very different from what is sold in most dispensaries.

Posted: April 10, 2019
The last four years have seen a glut of patents filed for compounds that interact with the CB1 receptor. Agonists, antagonists, and allosteric modulators, oh my!
Posted: April 10, 2019

A new study suggests that marijuana use among working 12th graders has increased since legalization in Colorado, and therefore interventions to reduce youth use are necessary. But working 12th graders were the only subgroup whose cannabis use increased since legalization. Everyone else — working 8th and 10th graders and all unemployed survey participants — used cannabis at a lower rate.

Posted: April 10, 2019

The gateway theory of addiction is a slippery slope fallacy. It argues that when people are introduced to mild drugs like cannabis, they later escalate to dangerous drugs like amphetamines and opioids. In the era of reefer madness, this was an excuse to demonize cannabis by associating it with lethal drugs. Although the theory is wrong, there are a few real aspects of addiction it captures.