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Germs, Mold Found in Some Medical Pot

Posted 7 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2017 – Medical marijuana carries infectious bacteria and fungi that can pose a life-threatening risk to cancer patients who use pot to help with side effects of chemotherapy, a new study suggests. The study was initially prompted by the death of a man using medical marijuana to combat the side effects of cancer treatment. His death was believed to be caused by a fungus from his marijuana, his doctor said. Study researchers tested 20 different samples of dried marijuana obtained from Northern California dispensaries and found several potentially dangerous pathogens in the samples. The germs found by the researchers wouldn't harm an average pot user, but could be potentially fatal to people whose immune systems have been suppressed, said lead researcher Dr. George Thompson III. "We found basically everything that, if you're really immunosuppressed, you don't want," ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Infections, Nausea/Vomiting, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Bacterial Infection, Vomiting, Fungal Infections, Cannabis, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Nausea/Vomiting - Postoperative, Nausea/Vomiting - Radiation Induced, Mucormycosis, Invasive

E-Cigarettes Not a Smoking Deterrent for Kids

Posted 23 Jan 2017 by

MONDAY, Jan. 23, 2017 – There's no evidence that e-cigarettes are driving down teen smoking – and, in fact, they may be drawing in kids who otherwise would never have smoked, a new study suggests. Researchers said the findings add to concerns about teenagers' use of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine – along with flavoring and other chemicals – through a vapor rather than tobacco smoke. They are often marketed as a "safer" alternative to smoking, and a bridge toward quitting. But little is actually known about their health effects, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. In recent years, the devices have been soaring in popularity among U.S kids. A federal report found that between 2013 and 2014, e-cigarette use tripled among high school and middle school students nationwide. Still, cigarette smoking has continued to decline. ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Habitrol, ProStep, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS, Nicotrol NS

U.S. Report Cites the Good and Bad on Marijuana

Posted 12 Jan 2017 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 – Current medical science has proven there are legitimate medical uses for marijuana and cannabis-derived drugs, a new report from the National Academy of Sciences states. Conclusive or substantial scientific evidence has shown that marijuana products are effective at treating chronic pain, calming muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, and easing nausea from chemotherapy, the report said. However, there's little to no evidence supporting any of the other numerous health claims related to marijuana, the report said. And there's a downside as well – marijuana use comes with a host of potential health risks, whether someone is using the drug medicinally or recreationally, according to the report. The report calls on government to ease regulations that hamper research into marijuana, so scientists can sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Muscle Spasm, Muscle Pain, Social Anxiety Disorder, Chronic Pain, Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Cannabis, Breakthrough Pain, Chronic Spasticity, Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity

Vomiting Disorder on Rise in Weed-Friendly Colorado

Posted 6 Jan 2017 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 5, 2017 – Long-term heavy marijuana use can cause chronic vomiting and abdominal pain in some people, new research suggests. And the syndrome could become more frequent and pervasive as more states legalize use of the drug, according to health experts. Cases of the disorder, which is called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), doubled in Colorado as access to legal marijuana became widespread, said Dr. Kennon Heard. He is chief of medical toxicology for the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. "All of the emergency departments in the state now are seeing this on a daily to weekly basis," Heard said. "There are a lot of patients ending up in the emergency room with this, and presumably there are even more who don't come to the emergency room, who just ride it out at home." Patients who develop the syndrome typically smoke marijuana on a daily basis, and have ... Read more

Related support groups: Nausea/Vomiting, Vomiting, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Motion Sickness, Cannabis, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Nausea/Vomiting - Postoperative, Nausea/Vomiting of Pregnancy

Pot May Restrict Blood Flow to Brain: Study

Posted 30 Dec 2016 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 30, 2016 – Marijuana appears to hamper blood flow to the brain, which theoretically could affect your memory and ability to reason, a new study suggests. Brain scans of nearly 1,000 past and present marijuana users revealed abnormally low blood flow throughout their brains, compared with a smaller control group of 92 people who'd never used pot. "The differences were astonishing," said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Amen, a psychiatrist and founder of the U.S.-based Amen Clinics. "Virtually every area of the brain we measured was lower in blood flow and activity in the marijuana smokers than in the healthy group." Blood flow was lowest in the hippocampus of marijuana users, which Amen found most troubling. "The hippocampus is the gateway to memory, to get memories into long-term storage," Amen said. "That area distinguished healthy people from pot smokers better than any other ... Read more

Related support groups: Substance Abuse, Cannabis

Does Legalizing Pot Spur Kids to Try It?

Posted 27 Dec 2016 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 27, 2016 – States that legalize recreational marijuana use may be sending a message to teens that pot is harmless, a new study suggests. Fewer teenagers in Washington and Colorado saw marijuana as risky to their health following approval of recreational use by voters in those states, researchers report. Washington also saw an increase in recreational pot use among 8th and 10th graders following legalization there. "With legalization, marijuana use became less stigmatized and adolescents were more likely to use it," said study author Magdalena Cerda. She is an epidemiologist with the University of California, Davis, Violence Prevention Research Program. However, the study did not prove that legalizing recreational use of marijuana caused teens to find it less harmful or be more likely to try it. In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Where Medical Pot Is Legal, Fatal Car Crashes Often Decline

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21, 2016 – Traffic deaths have fallen in many – but not all – states with medical marijuana laws, a new study finds. The reason for this trend isn't clear, but the effect was most pronounced in younger drivers. That could mean that as marijuana becomes more easily accessible, more young people use it instead of alcohol, driving down drunk-driving rates, the researchers said. "The mechanisms by which medical marijuana laws reduce traffic fatalities mostly operate in those younger adults, a group also frequently involved in alcohol-related traffic fatalities," noted study author Julian Santaella-Tenorio. He's a doctoral student in epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City. For the study, the Columbia team looked at 1985-2014 records from a federal government database on traffic fatalities. They found an average 11 percent reduction in such deaths in states ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Chronic Pain, Smoking, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Breakthrough Pain, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Pot Use in Pregnancy on the Upswing, Study Finds

Posted 19 Dec 2016 by

MONDAY, Dec. 19, 2016 – Marijuana use by pregnant women in the United States is up significantly since the early 2000s, a new study finds. Researchers looked at national data from women ages 18 to 44. They found the rate of past-month marijuana use among pregnant women went up from 2.4 percent in 2002 to nearly 3.9 percent in 2014. That's an increase of 62 percent, the researchers said. Human and animal studies suggest that marijuana use during pregnancy may be associated with low birth weight and impaired neurodevelopment in babies, the researchers noted. Younger women were most likely to have used the drug during the past month, the study found. In 2014, 7.5 percent of women ages 18 to 25 had used pot in the past month. For women between 26 and 44, only 2.1 percent had used pot in the past month. More pregnant women (11.6 percent) said they'd used marijuana during the past year in ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

NYC 'Zombie' Outbreak Highlights Dangers of Synthetic Drug

Posted 15 Dec 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 – The drug misleadingly marketed as "fake pot" that triggered a "zombie" outbreak in a New York City neighborhood last summer was significantly more potent than real marijuana, investigators say. Thirty-three people at a Brooklyn event became intoxicated and essentially immobilized after smoking the synthetic drug. Eighteen were taken to hospitals for emergency treatment. Testing of their urine and blood revealed evidence of a synthetic product known as AK-47 24 Karat Gold. A lab analysis found it was as much as 85 times more potent than THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active ingredient in real marijuana, the researchers reported. Fake pot is highly potent, unregulated and bears no real relationship to plant-based marijuana, said Roy Gerona, author of the new study. "What we're talking about are thousands of different synthetic drugs, that since 2008 have ... Read more

Related support groups: Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Drug Use by U.S. Teens Drops to All-Time Low

Posted 13 Dec 2016 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 13, 2016 – Drug use among U.S. teens is at an all-time low. That's the heartening finding from a new survey by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Fewer teens are using illegal drugs than ever before, the survey found, and fewer are falling prey to the epidemic of prescription drug abuse plaguing many adults in the United States. Many teens also have turned away from drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco, said NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow. "There are significant decreases in the patterns of drug consumption among teenagers in our country," Volkow said. "Quite significant, to the point where we have several drugs at the lowest levels that we've ever seen since the inception of the survey." The results come from the 2016 Monitoring the Future survey, an annual study of behaviors and choices among teens in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades. This year's survey ... Read more

Related support groups: Vicodin, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Substance Abuse - Cocaine

Most Teen Smokers Also Turn to Alcohol, Drugs, Study Finds

Posted 12 Dec 2016 by

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – Many U.S. teen smokers – even those who only light up occasionally – also use other drugs, a new study suggests. Of the 176 teen smokers in San Francisco who took part in the study, 96 percent said they'd used at least two other substances besides cigarettes. In most cases, those other substances were alcohol, marijuana and other tobacco products. However, 16 percent reported the use of harder drugs, such as cocaine, hallucinogens and Ecstasy, or the misuse of prescription medications. "Most of these adolescents smoked five or fewer cigarettes a day," said study author Karma McKelvey. She's a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. "This tells us that multidrug use among adolescents may be more prevalent than we think, and that even kids who smoke only occasionally are likely ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Drug Dependence, Alcohol Dependence, Nicotine, Alcoholism, Cannabis, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Hangover, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Habitrol, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, ProStep, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief

Babies' Marijuana Exposure Evident in Their Pee

Posted 9 Dec 2016 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 – Babies exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke take in THC, the primary psychoactive chemical in pot, a new study shows. Researchers discovered traces of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in urine samples from babies and toddlers in Colorado whose parents smoked marijuana. The researchers also found that children exposed to marijuana smoke are more likely to be exposed to tobacco smoke, which increases their risk for health problems. The study was published Dec. 2 in the journal Pediatric Research. "While documenting the presence of metabolites of THC in children does not imply causation of disease, it does suggest that, like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke is inhaled by children in the presence of adults who are using it," said study author Karen Wilson, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Further research is needed to determine the potential ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Cannabis

Could Regular Pot Smoking Harm Vision?

Posted 9 Dec 2016 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 – Smoking pot regularly may be linked to a limited degree of vision impairment, a new French study suggests. The finding stems from very preliminary research involving just 52 participants, 28 of whom were regular marijuana users. That meant they used marijuana at least seven times a week. The question posed in the study: Does marijuana affect the healthy functioning of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), which are situated on the surface of the retina? These cells receive incoming visual information, and are considered the first link in the pathway that connects the retina to the part of the brain where eyesight is processed. The answer: Regular pot users do appear to experience a slight delay in their RGC signaling. And that could indicate impaired vision, the study authors said. Still, experts stressed that the findings remain preliminary and people shouldn't be ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Cannabis, Visual Defect/Disturbance

Baby Boomers Going to Pot

Posted 6 Dec 2016 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 – More older Americans are rolling joints or firing up their bongs, a new study on marijuana use finds. "Given the unprecedented aging of the U.S. population, we are facing a never before seen cohort of older adults who use recreational drugs," said Dr. Benjamin Han. He is a geriatrician and health services researcher at the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR) at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. "Older people may use marijuana for a variety of reasons – including medical reasons – however we need to make sure they are not using it in a hazardous manner, since older adults may be vulnerable to its possible adverse effects," Han said in a university news release. "One particular concern for older users is the risk of falls while using marijuana. However, this has not yet been studied," he noted. In the new study, researchers reviewed ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Cannabis

Marijuana Derivative May Curb Tough-to-Treat Epilepsy

Posted 6 Dec 2016 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 – A purified oral version of a marijuana compound may help with treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy, two new clinical trials show. The researchers found that the compound, cannabidiol (CBD), helped reduce seizure frequency in children and adults with two hard-to-treat forms of epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The drug is still experimental, and doctors stressed that it did not help everyone and is not a "cure." On the other hand, they called the results "very encouraging," given how difficult it is to manage the seizure disorders. "It's always a good day when we have a potential new option to offer these patients," said Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal, a pediatric neurologist at Children's Hospital Colorado who was not involved in the research. She had another caveat, however: The CBD used in the trials is a "purified, pharmaceutical-grade" pill. ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Cannabis, Seizure Prophylaxis, Status Epilepticus, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

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