Chronic Pain Patients Swapping Opioids for Medical Cannabis

Almost one third of patients with chronic pain report using medical cannabis to manage that pain, with more than half of them decreasing use of other pain medications, including opioids, new research shows. “That patients report substituting cannabis for pain medicines so much really underscores the need for research on the benefits and risks of … Read more

Placebo Effect a Major Driver of Pain Reduction in Cannabis Trials

A strong placebo response may be largely responsible for the significant pain reduction observed in clinical trials of cannabis-based therapies, results of a new meta-analysis suggest. Investigators found that while the effect of cannabinoids on pain intensity was significant, the placebo effect was about the same. “The data from the present meta-analysis, including 1,459 patients … Read more

States’ Push to Legalize Psychedelics Gaining Momentum

The push to legalize psychedelic drugs is gaining momentum in states across the country, with a sevenfold increase in the number of decriminalization bills since 2019, new research shows. Researchers identified 74 bills and referendums in 25 states introduced during the study period that either sought to reform existing laws and expand access to psychedelic … Read more

Is Medical Cannabis the Answer to the Opioid Crisis?

Medical cannabis may be an important alternative to opioids for pain management, new research suggests. In a large survey, patients with a variety of ailments, including pain and mental health problems, reported less pain and better functioning, after using medical cannabis — and most were able to stop or cut back on their opioid use. … Read more

Mental Disorders Up in Youth With Prenatal Cannabis Exposure

Exposure to cannabis in the womb may leave children at risk for psychiatric disorders and problematic substance abuse, particularly as they enter peak periods of vulnerability in late adolescence, new research shows. In a study published September 12 in JAMA Pediatrics, the investigators say the results should prompt further caution against the use of cannabis … Read more

Time to Test Effects of CBD in Cardiovascular Disease?

Well-designed clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) for cardiovascular disease are needed, based on evidence from preclinical studies showing that it has anti-inflammatory effects, a new report suggests. The systematic review of nine preclinical studies found reproducible positive adverse outcomes in vivo models with CBD. Mechanisms for the findings included … Read more

Cannabis for Pain Linked to Slight Risk for Arrhythmia

Patients who received a first prescription for medicinal cannabis for chronic pain were more likely to have new onset of arrhythmia — bradyarrhythmia, tachyarrhythmia, or a conduction disorder — within 6 months than were similar nonusers, in a new case-control study. There were no between-group differences in the incidence of heart failure or acute coronary … Read more

Local Public Health Efforts in Schools May Not Work

Efforts to prevent and curb substance use in schools through public health engagement (PHE) appear to be effective where use of cigarettes and cannabis is high but had the opposite impact in where use of alcohol and cannabis is low, according to a cross-sectional study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health. The study … Read more

Potent Cannabis Linked to More Worldwide Addiction

Cannabis potency has increased worldwide in recent decades and is linked with more people becoming addicted to marijuana, according to a new study published in Lancet Psychiatry. People who use higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, are more likely to have addiction and mental health problems, the study authors found. For research, scientists have established … Read more

Study Sees Surge in Use of Medical Cannabis

In 2020 nearly 3 million people in the United States sought out medical cannabis, in marijuana or other forms, more than four times the number who did so in 2016, a new study has found. Much of the increase involved people seeking medical cannabis for chronic pain, which remains the leading reason Americans say they … Read more