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: November 15, 2019
Data from a study out of the University of Toronto shows that while 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 - but is it? 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
Posted: November 4, 2019
An illustration of two doctors, on female-presenting and one male presenting. She carries an giant prescription pill bottle while he gives a thumbs up and carries a clipboard.
A recent publication described some aspects of the interaction between cannabidiol and the antiepileptic drug clobazam. But they’re a little late to the game.  Read more
Posted: October 29, 2019
An illustration of a subway car on an acqua background.
CBD has shown some promise in anxiety and panic disorders, from public speaking to schizophrenia. A group of London researchers followed up on these results with an experiment published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Read more

More quick hits

Posted: 8 months 1 week ago
A rat smoking weed

Preclinical studies are supposed to provide precise, controllable, and translational models for human diseases. But the manipulations that researchers use — like injecting a precise dose of THC into a rat — may sometimes miss important points. What if smoking and injection have different effects? How might this bias results? University of Florida researchers asked just that question, studying the effects of injected vs. smoked THC in rats. Injecting low doses of THC impaired memory.

Posted: 8 months 1 week ago
Rainbow Boa Snake

Panic, as a mental health disorder, results from overactive stress hormones, hypersensitivity to certain neurotransmitters, and a desensitization to the parasympathetic system — which is supposed to quell the fight-or-flight reaction after a threat has disappeared. New research from Brazilian scientsts in São Paulo examined how endocannabinoids, specifically anandamide, plays a role in panic-like reactions in mice.

Posted: 8 months 2 weeks ago

A few researchers have tried to answer this question, with mixed results. Alex Stevens at the University of Kent reanalyzed the data from a 2015 paper which claimed that liberal cannabis policies increase teen use. The data included a multi-year survey of over 170,000 people in 38 different countries.

Posted: 8 months 2 weeks ago

Most everyone has had the experience of biting into a spicy pepper and feeling heat permeate their mouth. This feeling comes from the activation of TRPV (pronounced trip-vee) receptors. These are ion channels that sense stimuli like heat, pressure, light, acidity, herbs, and toxins. TRPV receptors exist on many kinds of cells — from taste buds to neurons.

Posted: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Drawing of child with stomach ache

Cannabis is used by many individuals with inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD), which includes conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. IBD is not uncommon among people younger than 18, and about one in three of these individuals use cannabis to manage symptoms such as nausea, pain, and fatigue.

Posted: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Black widow on leaf

Scientists from the Netherlands recently published the protocol for an upcoming study examining how CBD might be helpful in treating specific phobias. The endocannabinoid system is required for eliminating fearful memories, or at least making them palatable. But why have they only published their methods?

Posted: 8 months 3 weeks ago

A number of surveys have asked doctors what they know about cannabis and how comfortable they feel talking with patients about it. A similar survey was recently conducted about CBD and dogs among over 2000 veterinarians in the United States. Less than half of vets were comfortable talking to clients about CBD for pets.

Posted: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Improved brain function

THC and other cannabinoids are known to induce neurogenesis — the creation of new neurons — in the brain. There are reasons to believe that this can positively influence diseases like dementia or traumatic brain injury, as well as the ability to learn. Malaysian researchers recently probed the question, does THC improve cognition by inducing neurogenesis? Yes, but only at the right dose.

Posted: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Ketamine
Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic that has shown some promise for treating severe depression. Those effects could be because of its interactions with the endocannabinoid system.
Posted: 8 months 3 weeks ago

Systemic lupus erythomatosus, often simply called lupus, is a severe autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the nucleus of cells — their genetic control center. Problems can be expressed anywhere in the body, though rashes in the skin, joints, and vital organs are most common. Treatment of lupus generally requires intense immunosuppresive drugs, often targeting inflammatory molecules called interferons. But these drugs make a person more susceptible to other diseases.

Posted: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Hoarding money

The US is considered to have one of the least efficient medical systems among developed countries.

Posted: 8 months 3 weeks ago

An unfortunate slogan of the cannabis legalization movement has been “Regulate cannabis like alcohol.” But cannabis, unlike alcohol, is not associated with domestic violence, sexual assault, liver toxicity, cancers, neurodegeneration, and the list goes on. Cannabinoids can, in fact, attenuate many of these issues, as described in a recent review.

Posted: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Marijuana leaf and handcuffs

Possession of cannabis in the UK is currently punishable by up to 5 years in prison and an unlimited fine. On January 23, 2019, the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London attempted to hold a debate on the British laws that criminalize cannabis use. But it didn’t take place because none of the psychiatrists present were willing to argue for criminalization.

Posted: 8 months 3 weeks ago
stop sign and crossing guard

Driving accidents cause about 60,000 deaths in the US each year, and nearly all of these are due to driver errors. Regulators are still trying to understand the risks associated with driving while high. Canadian epidemiologist recently analyzed data from the stoner holiday 4/20, finding that there was up to a 12% increase in the number of fatal accidents that that day. This is within typical daily variations, suggesting that, if there is an increase in crash risk, it is small.

Posted: 8 months 3 weeks ago

Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are one of the most common classes of painkillers, which includes aspirin, ibuprofen, celecoxib, and other pharmaceuticals. Their primary target is an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which metabolizes many lipids (including endocannabinoids!) into a class of inflammatory molecules called prostaglandins.

Posted: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Image of PPAR-Gamma molecule

The entourage effect was a term first used to describe the various endocannabinoids that work together. Recent research emphasizes how two of these chemicals (OEA and PEA) exert subtle anti-inflammatory and antidepressant effects through a receptor called PPAR-alpha.

Posted: 9 months 1 week ago

Little needs to be said about the devastating impact methamphetamine abuse can have. It is a highly addictive substance whose use can lead to transient psychotic behavior and long-term cognitive problems. As part of an Iranian researcher’s PhD thesis, two scientists demonstrate that CBD can reduce the likelihood of methamphetamine relapse, even while one deals with stresses like sleep deprivation. This is particularly important because drug withdrawal often causes temporary insomnia, yet many of the medications that induce sleep are highly addictive.

Posted: 9 months 1 week ago
Image of a lab technician at work

Much funding has been devoted to studying drug use and risky sexual practices. While this is a serious issue that should be addressed, such research has been misused to stigmatize marginalized groups. It is used to justify greater enforcement of racist drug laws in communities of color by insinuating that poor black women are misusing their autonomy, and hence need to be forced into rehabilitation programs for their own good.

Posted: 9 months 1 week ago
Image on an insect on a plant

A new article from the California Department of Pesticide Regulations (CDPR) warns of the dangers of cannabis because it may be contaminated with organophosphate pesticides (e.g. chlorpyrifos, glyphosate). The CDPR walks through what could happen if a pregnant woman uses chlorpyrifos-contaminated cannabis.

Posted: 9 months 1 week ago
Illustration of human lungs
Activating the CB2 receptor ameliorated nicotine-induced fibrosis, while blocking the receptor exacerbated the problem.