No Current Credible Evidence Cannabis Use is Helpful in Opioid Addiction Interview with:

Dr. Zena Samaan , MBChB, MSc, DMMD, MRCPsych (UK), PhD
Associate Professor
Program Director
Clinician Investigator Program
Faculty of Health Sciences
Department of Psychiatry
   Dr. Zena Samaan , MBChB, MSc, DMMD, MRCPsych  (UK), PhD  What is the background for this study?

Response: The study background: the interest in cannabis use as a replacement for opioid use was sparked by reports suggesting that cannabis is a safer alternative and the public perception of cannabis as the answer for many health problems is growingly fueling the debate on the potential use of cannabis to help in the opioid crisis. Reports from USA for example in 2014 using administrative data suggested that in States were there is medical cannabis law, the rate of death attributed to opioids was lower, generating wide media attention. Since then however an updated study using the same data published in 2019 showed that when the data were re-analyzed and the time frame was extended, the opposite was seen, in that states with cannabis law had higher opioid related mortality.

Our study came form the observations that patients with opioid use disorder are commonly using cannabis (~50% of patients used cannabis while on treatment for opioid addiction) and given the recent public interest, our goal was to provide evidence informed conclusions on the potential effects of cannabis on opioid use in patients with opioid addiction.

Short and Long-Term Effects of Cannabis For Headache and Migraine Pain Relief Interview with:
Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Washington State University
Department of Psychology
Pullman, WA, 99164-4820  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Use of cannabis for headache and migraine is relatively common yet there have been few studies examining the effectiveness of medical cannabis for these purposes. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We analyzed data from nearly 20,000 cannabis use sessions tracked using the medical cannabis app Strainprint. The results show that headache and migraine severity ratings were reduced by nearly 50% from before to immediately after cannabis use. The results further revealed that men report larger reductions in headache severity following cannabis use than do women and that use of cannabis concentrates was associated with larger reductions in headache severity ratings than use of more traditional cannabis flower.

We also demonstrate that dose of cannabis used to manage these conditions increases across time and that efficacy of cannabis in reducing headache decreases across time. This indicates that there is some evidence of tolerance to the acute effects of cannabis on ameliorating headache across time. More encouragingly we found that baseline ratings of headache and migraine remained stable across time/cannabis use sessions which indicates that cannabis is not associated with the medication overuse headaches (i.e., increases in baseline headache and migraine severity across time as a function of the use of medications to treat these conditions) that more conventional treatments tend to produce.

CBD Oil for Pain Relief Can Increase Chance of Positive Cannabis Drug Test Interview with:

Tory R. Spindle, Ph.D
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Spindle  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Cannabis and hemp products that contain CBD as the primary constituent have become widely available in the U.S. and are often used for various therapeutic purposes. However, there is presently little research to understand how such products could impact drug testing for cannabis which is commonly conducted in workplace, criminal justice, and other settings.

Drug testing for cannabis targets a common metabolite of THC called THCCOOH; THC is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis. Our results suggest that single use of a product that contains pure CBD would not produce a positive result on a standard urine drug test. However, we found that 2 of 6 participants tested positive for cannabis after they used a CBD-dominant strain of cannabis that contained a very low concentration of THC: only 0.39% THC.  

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Survey Finds Women Use Weed for Stress, Pain Relief

The “Women and Weed Survey”, conducted online by CVI (Canadian Viewpoint Inc.), on behalf of Van der Pop, found women used cannabis ‘for wellness reasons versus for social experiences’, with many regular users citing their primary reason for doing so was “to manage stress or relieve anxiety, followed by to manage pain or to combat symptoms of a medical condition (27%) and to relax (17%).”

Benefits and Harms of Plant-Based Cannabis for PTSD Reviewed

The Annals of Internal Medicine the benefits and harms of plant-based cannabis preparations in treating PTSD in adults.

O’Neil ME, Nugent SM, Morasco BJ, Freeman M, Low A, Kondo K, et al. Benefits and Harms of Plant-Based Cannabis for Posttraumatic Stress DisorderA Systematic Review. Ann Intern Med. [Epub ahead of print 15 August 2017] doi: 10.7326/M17-0477