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Study: Cannabis Use Not Associated with Adverse Outcomes for Couples Undergoing IVF

Montreal, Canada: A history of marijuana use among men and women is not associated with compromised effects on IVF (in vitro fertilization) outcomes, according to data published in the Journal of Cannabis Research.

A team of researchers from Canada and Israel assessed IVF treatment outcomes among male-female, non-donor IVF patients that were either cannabis users or non-users.

Authors reported: “Our study did not show any detrimental impact of current cannabis use on any of the measured IVF outcomes. … All the reproductive outcomes of cannabis users and non-users in our study were comparable. These parameters included measures of ovarian response, sperm quality, efficiency of fertilization, early embryonic development, and implantation. In fact, the ongoing pregnancy rate per cycle start trended higher for the group of cannabis users (35.2 percent vs. 29.1 percent). This could partially relate to the female participants in the user group being younger than the non-user counterparts.”

They concluded, “The results of this study are in line with the newer studies suggesting that the use of cannabis is not associated with a compromised outcome for couples undergoing IVF.”

Other recently published studies have affirmed that a history of cannabis use does not negatively impact fertility rates in either men or women, nor does it adversely impact overall reproductive health in men.

Full text of the study, “The relationship between cannabis use and IVF outcome โ€“ a cohort study,” appears in the Journal of Cannabis Research.

Canada: Marijuana Legalization Not Associated with Upticks in Vehicular Accidents Resulting in Emergency Room Visits

Toronto, Canada: The enactment of adult-use marijuana sales in Canada is not associated with any increase in motor vehicle injuries requiring hospitalization, according to data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

A team of investigators affiliated with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and with University of British Columbia assessed emergency department records in two provinces (Alberta and Ontario) to determine trends in traffic-injury emergency department visits in the months immediately prior to and immediately after legalization.

Authors reported: “The current study found no evidence that the implementation of the Cannabis Act was associated with significant changes in post-legalization patterns of all drivers’ traffic-injury ED visits or, more specifically, youth-driver traffic-injury ED presentations. … Given that Canada’s Cannabis Act mandated that the Canadian Parliament review the public health consequences of the Act no later than 2023, the findings of the current study can provide empirical data not only for the Canadian evaluation of the calculus of harms and benefits, but also for other international jurisdictions weighing the merits and drawbacks of cannabis legalization policies.”

The Canadian data is consistent with prior studies from the United States also showing no significant changes in traffic safety in the months immediately following the enactment of adult-use legalization. However, separate assessments evaluating longer-term trends in traffic safety following legalization have yielded mixed results.

Full text of the study, “Canada’s cannabis legalization and drivers’ traffic-injury presentations to emergency departments in Ontario and Alberta, 2015-2019,” appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Delaware: Supreme Court Says Marijuana Odor Isn’t Grounds for a Warrantless Arrest

Dover, DE: Police officers may not make a warrantless arrest of a person based solely upon the odor of marijuana emanating from them, according to a ruling by the state’s Supreme Court.

In a 4-1 decision, the court determined that the smell of marijuana alone does not provide police with “reasonable grounds to believe” that either a felony has been committed or that a suspect “has committed a misdemeanor … in the officer’s presence.” Under state law, a warrantless arrest is only permissible in those two instances, or if the suspect is under 18 years of age. The possession of up to one ounce of cannabis is a civil violation in Delaware, regardless of the age of the person possessing it.

The majority of the court ruled that there was no possibility that the arresting officer could have reasonably presumed the suspect’s age at the time of the arrest or that the suspect possessed felony quantities of marijuana. The court further found no evidence that the defendant committed a crime while in the arresting officer’s presence.

The court’s ruling reverses a lower court decision and suppresses all further evidence of drug law violations that were identified following the defendant’s arrest.

The case is Juliano v. Delaware.

Survey: Patients Report Benefits of Cannabinoids for Blistering Skin Condition

Groningen, The Netherlands: The use of various preparations of whole-plant cannabinoids is associated with perceived benefits among patients with the painful skin disease epidermolysis bullosa (EB), according to survey data published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. Epidermolysis bullosa is a rare genetic condition that results in blistering skin.

A team of investigators from the Netherlands and from the United States surveyed EB patients on five continents who reported using cannabis preparations to treat their illness. Patients reported using cannabinoids as topical agents in addition to inhaling cannabis flowers and consuming marijuana-infused edible products.

Authors reported that cannabis preparations improved subjects “perception of pain, pruritus, wound-healing, and well-being … and reduced concomitant medication use.” They concluded, “Future prospective controlled clinical studies are warranted to elucidate the potential role of CBMs (cannabis-based medicines) in EB treatment.”

Case reports have previously documented the efficacy of both topical and oral cannabinoid preparations for the treatment of EB symptoms. Other case reports have also documented the use of cannabinoids in patients with intractable leg ulcers and pruritus.

Full text of the study, “Cannabinoid use and effects in patients with epidermolysis bullosa: An international cross-sectional survey study,” appears in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases.

Clinical Trial: CBD Administration Associated with Short-Term Improvements in Verbal Recall

Basel, Switzerland: The administration of CBD is associated with short-term improvements in verbal recall in healthy subjects, according to randomized trial data published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

A team of Swiss researchers compared the effects of vaporized CBD versus placebo on verbal episodic memory performance in a cohort of 34 young adult subjects (ages 18 to 30).

They reported that those provided CBD exhibited better verbal recall than those provided with a placebo.

Investigators determined: “The present study revealed an average increase of recalled words 20โ€ฏminutes after vaping CBD compared to placebo condition by 10 percent. Importantly, we did not detect medication effects on attention or working memory performance, suggesting that CBD has no negative impact on these basic cognitive functions.”

They concluded: “CBD might prove useful to enhance disease-related memory impairments being present in psychiatric disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, as well as in stress and stress-related exhaustion related to episodic memory deficits. … [W]hile further research is needed to identify dose-response and time-response relationships, our results show that CBD can improve episodic memory, a drug effect with possible therapeutic potential.”

Full text of the study, “Cannabidiol enhances verbal episodic memory in healthy young participants: A randomized clinical trial,” appears in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

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