Blocking the CB1 receptor may be useful in medical conditions like metabolic syndrome, but strong inhibitors can have severe side effects. So chemists have attempted to produce new kinds of CB1 modulators, like inhibitors that can’t get into the brain and only affect CB1 receptors in peripheral organs. Many of these ideas have been patented, as scientists at the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina recently reviewed.
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. The study’s data actually illustrate that legalization reduces youth use of cannabis, but the authors emphasized the 12th grade data and ignored the key take-away.
In recent years, the use of cannabis in veterinary medicine has gone from obscure concept to a mainstream issue. This explosion of interest in the use of cannabis and CBD for animals has led to the development of a multi-million dollar industry creating cannabis-based products for pets. As so often happens, however, public demand is a few steps ahead of the medical and legal establishment.
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. Such a large data set has many variables that can be analyzed.
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. Instead of a debate, David Nutt of the Imperial College of London gave a speech.
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.
In this edition of Cannabis Conversations, former municipal court judge Doug Bench discusses his transformation from ardent prohibitionist to medical cannabis advocate.
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. Pesticide toxicity is important concern, but this is a bit ironic coming from the CDPR, which has consistently failed to provide sensible limits for pesticides on cannabis.
On June 25, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its first-ever approval of a marijuana-derived pharmaceutical drug.