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Tag: cannabis

Colorado Measures Cannabis Use and Distribution

Posted on September 23, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

Colorado Measures Cannabis Use and DistributionThe new measure that made marijuana legal in Colorado for recreational use has been watched closely. Not only are advocates for marijuana legalization anxious to see whether Colorado residents will be able to use marijuana without additional regulations, but opponents want to see how the new law plays out.

As expected, there have been some challenges in how marijuana business gets done. Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, which can make banking, paying taxes and other parts of running a dispensary difficult.

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Do Cannabis Users Also Use Synthetic Marijuana?

Posted on July 2, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

Do Cannabis Users Also Use Synthetic Marijuana?Synthetic marijuana is the widely used term for a substance that contains both plant material and any one of a number of artificial compounds designed to mimic the effects of marijuana/cannabis. Federal law bans the sale and possession of the best-known compounds used in the production of this artificial drug. In a study published in May 2014 in the journal Substance Abuse, a team of U.S. researchers investigated how common use of synthetic marijuana is among people who already use cannabis/marijuana. In addition, these researchers investigated the reasons cannabis/marijuana smokers also use a synthetic form of the drug. 

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Do Abstaining Cannabis Users Increase Their Alcohol and Cigarette Intake?

Posted on May 8, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

Do Abstaining Cannabis Users Increase Their Alcohol and Cigarette Intake?Cannabis (the common term for both marijuana and hashish products) is one of the most commonly used recreational substances in America. Up to one-half of all people who use this drug every day will eventually merit a diagnosis for cannabis addiction or medically serious cannabis abuse. In a study published in May 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from five Australian institutions investigated the changes in other forms of substance intake that occur when cannabis users halt their intake of the drug. Specifically, the researchers looked at changes in the rate of alcohol consumption and cigarette use.

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Cannabis Use Disorder Definition Holds Up to Scrutiny

Posted on April 1, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

Cannabis Use Disorder Definition Holds Up to ScrutinyCannabis use disorder is a diagnosis used since May 2013 to identify serious problems associated with either an addiction to cannabis products or non-addicted abuse of cannabis products. In a study published in January 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from 10 U.S. and British institutions compared the real-world accuracy of a cannabis use disorder diagnosis to the accuracy of previously used definitions for identifying cannabis-related harms. These researchers concluded that, except in a limited set of circumstances, the current diagnosis gives doctors a comprehensive tool for accurately singling out affected individuals.

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Brain Chemical May Play Role in Treatment of Cannabis Addiction

Posted on March 18, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

Brain Chemical May Play Role in Treatment of Cannabis AddictionSignificant numbers of both casual and regular users of marijuana and other forms of cannabis will eventually develop an addiction to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary active ingredient in this plant-based drug. In a study published in January 2014 in the journal Science, a multinational research team investigated the ability of a naturally occurring hormone called pregnenolone to block some of THC’s most prominent, addiction-supporting effects. The members of this team concluded that, while pregnenolone itself is not suitable as a treatment for cannabis addiction, understanding of the impact this hormone has on THC opens up new avenues for addiction treatment in the future.

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German Study Finds Cannabis Use Triggered 2 Deaths

Posted on March 17, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

German Study Finds Cannabis Use Triggered 2 DeathsCannabis (marijuana, hashish) is known for its ability to produce significant mind alteration, as well as for its ability to make a number of alterations in the body’s normal function. However, unlike alcohol and a range of drugs and medications, the drug is not typically directly linked to increased short-term risks for fatal changes in health status. In a study published in February 2014 in the journal Forensic Science International, researchers from Germany’s Institute of Legal Medicine investigated the role of cannabis use in the deaths of two young adults who appeared generally healthy. The researchers concluded that cannabis-related changes in normal heart function were strongly indicated as the immediate contributing factors to these deaths.

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Cocaine and Cannabis Use Leads to Addictive Behavior, Study Finds

Posted on November 27, 2013 in Research & News

Cocaine and Cannabis Use Leads to Addictive Behavior, Study FindsA new study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology investigated the effects of cocaine and cannabis on psychomotor functioning and impulse control, providing evidence that the drugs increase impulsivity and could thereby contribute to the development of addiction.

Previous research looked into these effects in cannabis users and led to the conclusion that impairment of cognitive function in pot smokers was limited to specific regions of functioning and is mainly an issue for occasional users, with heavy smokers assumed to develop a tolerance to the drug’s effects. The new research calls these findings into question, showing that even regular cannabis users suffer impairment in both areas of functioning, although the effect is still greater in occasional users. The study raises important questions about the likelihood of further drug experimentation after cocaine or cannabis use, thus providing a plausible explanation for the “gateway” hypothesis.

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Assessing Relapse Risks in People With Cannabis Use Disorder

Posted on November 22, 2013 in Marijuana Addiction

Assessing Relapse Risks in People With Cannabis Use DisorderCannabis use disorder (CUD) is a mental health category used to identify people who abuse cannabis (marijuana or hashish) without experiencing chemical dependence or develop dependence symptoms. Like people with other substance use disorders, people recovering from cannabis use disorder can experience short- or long-term relapses and return to cannabis intake. In a study published in September 2013 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a multinational research team assessed the likelihood that an individual with cannabis use disorder will experience a relapse. The members of this team also looked at some of the key factors that increase or diminish an affected person’s relapse risks.

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Kronic: The New Drug

Posted on July 11, 2011 in Marijuana Addiction

You can buy imitation crab meat and imitation vanilla. There are egg substitutes and margarines that claim to taste like butter. Now, there is synthetic cannabis, available in Australia for the past two years, which promises all the pleasurable effects of marijuana with none of the legal dangers. No legal danger that is, until very recently. Its name is Kronic, though it has also been called Purple Haze, Voodoo, and Kaos. Whatever name it goes by, it is a blend of legal herbs that has been sprayed with chemicals which mimic THC, the compound which gives marijuana its psychoactive element. It is the compound THC which makes marijuana illegal in most countries.

According to some reports, Kronic is 100 times stronger than regular cannabis and gives the same sensations of bliss and relaxation yet can’t be detected on any drug test. And why should it, when it is legal? Quite as legal as an energy drink. Until only recently a child as young as 10 years old could buy Kronic in Australia with impunity.

Just because users test clean on a drug test doesn’t mean that Kronic is devoid of risk however. Healthcare professionals warn that Kronic doesn’t only imitate cannabis in its pleasurable effects but in negative ones as well. The heart palpitations, delusions, hallucinations and even psychosis that can accompany marijuana use may also result from smoking Kronic. There is also research suggesting that withdrawal from its use could produce symptoms similar to that of heroin or cannabis withdrawal. The bottom line, health experts say, is that so long as all the ingredients of Kronic remain unknown, so does any certain knowledge of how it may affect users.

Kronic was initially created for the purpose of testing lab rats. Like other less potent cannabis synthetics, such as K2 and Spice, it has found its way into the public marketplace. Being synthetic, Kronic does not even smell like marijuana. In fact, it is offered for sale in flavors. Which leads one to wonder to whom the product is being marketed? Some say that Kronic is the current craze on college campuses while others maintain that the very fact that it is legal makes it less appealing to the young crowd. Others say that Kronic appeals to an older demographic, one who perhaps experimented with marijuana in the past. There has been news of rampant use of Kronic by miners as well as reports of use in the prison population. People who are interested in feeling “high” but who are sensible enough to want to avoid losing their job or having a police record are the target market.

Whenever a legal substance touts its similarity to an illegal substance, health officials say ‘buyer beware’. And until more is known about its ingredients and their documented effects, the Medical Association in Western Australia has convinced authorities to ban its sale and use. New regulations in that area now make it a crime to either sell or supply synthetic cannabis punishable by 25 years in jail or a $100,000 fine. Other parts of Australia are considering following suit.

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New Drug Testing Developed for Previously Undetectable K2 and Spice

Posted on September 22, 2010 in Research & News

Two new intoxicating drugs, K2 and Spice, are raising concerns among public health officials and law enforcement since they cannot be detected by current drug testing technologies. To address this problem, diagnostic laboratories have developed new assays for drug monitoring that are reliably capable of detecting the two highly intoxicating drugs, and are making these products available to consumers. 

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