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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
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- Tue, 19 Nov 2019 04:20:21 PST

Driving Simulator: THC Dosing Associated with Decreased Speed, No Residual Effects on Performance

Toronto, Canada: Subjects typically decrease their driving speed, but demonstrate few other significant changes following cannabis inhalation, according to clinical data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

A team of Canadian investigators assessed simulated driving performance in a group of young adult subjects who had consumed cigarettes containing either high-THC, low-THC, or placebo (no THC). Participants in the trial were regular users of cannabis. Subjects' performance was analyzed 30 minutes after dosing, and then again 24 hours and 48 hours later.

Authors reported, "Smoked cannabis (12.5 percent THC) led to an acute decrease in speed in young adults," a finding that is consistent with prior research. They added: "There was no clear effect of smoked cannabis on lateral control. ... There was no evidence of residual effects ... over the two days following cannabis administration."

They concluded, "Among young regular but non-dependent cannabis users, smoked cannabis led to a significant reduction in driving speed, ...but there was little evidence of residual effects."

Separate studies have previously reported that repeated cannabis exposure is associated with either partial or even full tolerance among subjects in particular domains, including cognitive and psychomotor performance.

Full text of the study, "Acute and residual effects of smoked cannabis: Impact on driving speed and lateral control, heart rate, and self-reported drug effects," appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Additional information appears in the NORML fact-sheet 'Marijuana and Psychomotor Performance.'

CDC Identifies Vitamin E Oil Additive as a "Very Strong Culprit of Concern" in Vaping-Related Lung Injuries

Washington, DC: Representatives at the US Centers for Disease Control have for the first time identified vitamin E acetate as a "very strong culprit of concern" in EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury). The agency's announcement, issued on Friday, comes after health officials found the oil in the lungs of 29 patients who were sickened following their use of portable e-liquid vaporizers.

Writing in the agency's journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, investigators concluded, "Based on these data from 29 patients, it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with EVALI."

Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, added, "These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs."

In early September, health officials in New York State publicly acknowledged finding high levels of Vitamin E oil in products suspected of being linked to the lung illness, which has been associated with over 2,000 cases nationwide and 39 fatalities.

Several extensive reports regarding the recent rise in popularity of vitamin E among illicit market vendors of e-liquid products are available online. Their reporting indicates that beginning in late 2018, some vendors began to use the oil as an additive in an effort to thicken the consistency of their e-liquids and to mask dilution.

Other investigations have suggested that at least some lung-related injuries may be the result of the presence of a specific metal-binding agent in certain types of portable cartridges. Some have separately speculated that synthetic cannabinoids, which are occasionally added to unregulated products by unscrupulous manufacturers, may be to blame.

The CDC's latest advisory does not rule out the possibility that other possible agents may also be playing a role in the illness, but affirms, "This is the first time that we have detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries." The agency adds, "The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly from informal sources like friends, or family, or in-person or online dealers, are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak."

Full text of the CDC's November 8 advisory is online. Full text of the MMWR report is online.

Study: Cannabis Use Among Post-Traumatic Stress Patients Associated with Reduced Depression

Vancouver, Canada: The use of cannabis among those clinically diagnosed with post-traumatic stress (PTS) is associated with reduced rates of severe depression and suicidal ideation, according to clinical data published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Canadian researchers assessed the use of cannabis among PTS patients in a nationally representative sample. Researchers reported that PTS patients who did not consume cannabis were approximately seven times more likely to have experienced a recent major depressive episode and 4.7 times more likely to have thoughts of suicide as compared to those who acknowledged using marijuana.

Authors concluded, "This study provides preliminary epidemiological evidence that cannabis use may contribute to reducing the association between post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depressive and suicidal states."

Data published earlier this year reported that PTS patients enrolled in a state-sponsored medical cannabis access program experienced a "clinically meaningful" reduction in their symptoms following the initiation of marijuana therapy.

Full text of the study, "Does cannabis use modify the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder on severe depression and suicidal ideation? Evidence from a population-based cross-sectional study of Canadians" appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet, 'Marijuana and Veterans Issues.'

Clinical Trial: Oral CBD Administration Not Associated with Positive Drug Test Results

Baltimore, MD: The administration of 100mgs of oral CBD is not associated with a positive drug test result for cannabis, according to clinical trial data published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.

Investigators affiliated with John Hopkins University, School of Medicine, performed urinalysis examinations of six subjects following their use of pure CBD in a capsule formula, CBD-dominant vaporized cannabis, and placebo.

The consumption of pure oral THC was not associated with the presence of carboxy-THC in urine. By contrast, the administration of vaporized cannabis high in CBD (10.5 percent), but also containing trace amounts of THC (0.39 percent) did yield a positive drug test result for cannabis in two subjects.

Authors concluded: "These data indicate that acute dosing of pure CBD will not result in a positive urine drug test using current federal workplace drug testing guidelines. However, CBD products that also contain Delta9-THC may produce positive urine results for Delta9-THC-COOH. Accurate labeling and regulation of Delta9-THC content in CBD/hemp products are needed to prevent unexpected positive drug tests and unintended drug effects."

Full text of the study, "Urinary pharmacokinetic profile of cannabinoids following administration of vaporized and oral cannabidiol and vaporized CBD-dominant cannabis," appears in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology. Additional information about CBD pharmacokinetics is available in the NORML fact-sheet.

Report: Potency of CBD Products Sold Online Often Deviates from What Is Advertised

Portland, OR: CBD-infused products sold online frequently possess significantly lower percentages of CBD than advertised, according to a report published by the online.

Investigators lab-tested 30 CBD products obtained from leading online retailers. Twenty of the thirty products possessed significant deviations in CBD content as compared to what was advertised. Sixteen of the 20 products contained lower percentages of CBD than the amount stated on the product's label -- a finding that is consistent with prior analyses. Some of the products also tested positive for the presence of solvent residue and elevated levels of heavy metals – findings that are also consistent with those of other studies.

Authors also evaluated the marketing practices of 300 leading online CBD retailers. They reported that 92 percent of sellers marketed products in a manner that was non-compliant with current FDA guidelines -- such as by engaging in the sale of CBD-infused foods or by defining their products as 'dietary supplements.' Just over half (55 percent) of online retailers also made unsubstantiated health claims about their products. Most sellers also failed to provide information regarding the source of their CBD supply, and 63 percent did not post lab results specific to the purity of their products.

Full text of the LegitScript report, "Online CBD Sales: Why It's Still Buyer Beware," is available online here. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet 'FAQs About Cannabidiol.'

Study: Steady Decline in Reports of 'Cannabis Use Disorder'

New York, NY: The prevalence of so-called cannabis use disorder (CUD) among young people and adults has declined steadily since 2002, according to data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Investigators at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health assessed trends in CUD among frequent cannabis consumers between the years 2002 and 2016.

Contrary to their hypothesis, authors reported, "From 2002-2016, the prevalence of CUD among people reporting daily/almost daily cannabis use decreased by 26.8 percent in adolescents, by 29.7 percent in ages 18-25, and by 37.5 percent in ages 26 [and older]." Reports of CUD among those reporting less frequent cannabis use also declined during this same period of time.

Authors speculated that changes in cultural attitudes surrounding cannabis, as well as changes in the legal status of cannabis in various jurisdictions, may be playing a role in the decline.

They concluded: "[W]e found evidence that among people reporting daily/almost daily cannabis use, there were important reductions in the prevalence of CUD from 2002 to 2016. ... Further research examining whether structural, socio-demographic, and other factors may be linked to reductions in CUD prevalence could shed light on the underlying mechanisms and inform efforts to reduce the risk of CUD among people who use cannabis."

Full text of the study, "Cannabis use disorder among people using cannabis daily/almost daily in the United States, 2002-2016," appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
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