EVALI – Vaping and Lung Injury – Storylines on Popular Medical Dramas May Change Behavior

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Beth Hoffman, PhD, MPH (she/her)
Postdoctoral Associate
Center for Social Dynamics and Community Health
Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Previous studies suggested that hearing about EVALI in the news might stop people from vaping or get them to quit, but there had yet to be research examining if storylines on fictional medical television shows could have the same effects. There had also been few studies to date leveraging Twitter data, which allowed us to see how viewers were reacting to the storylines in real-time, in their organic viewing environment.

Stopping Pot May Reverse Some Loss of Male Fertility

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Jamie Lo, M.D., M.C.R.
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
OHSU School of Medicine
Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences
Adjunct Associate Professor of Urology, School of Medicine
Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC)

Dr. Jamie Lo

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Cannabis use and potency are rising, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially amongst reproductive age males in the United States. There is emerging literature suggesting it may impact male fertility, but it is hard to study in humans for many reasons, including often individuals using cannabis are also using other substances and there is no ability to test how much or often cannabis was used. As such, we wanted to use a translational animal model, the non-human primate, that is relevant to humans to study the direct effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, main component of cannabis) only on male fertility and to determine whether there is a benefit to abstinence from use.

Kidney Stones: Mayo Clinic Study Evaluates CBD Oil for Post-Procedure Kidney Stone Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Karen L. Stern M.D.
Associate Professor of Urology
Mayo Clinic Arizona
Phoenix, AZ 85054

Dr. Stern

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Kidney stones are not rare and often require surgical intervention. One of the most popular and effective surgical interventions is ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy. Essentially, the Urologist goes up to the kidney with a small scope and lasers the stone.

It is common after this procedure to leave a temporary stent – a small flexible tube that goes from the kidney to the bladder – which allows for urine to drain unobstructed during the healing process.

Unfortunately, that stent is associated with significant morbidity including urinary symptoms and pain.

There have been many studies looking at ways to alleviate this pain and discomfort, but this is the first to assess CBD in that capacity. We tested a low-dose FDA-approved CBD oil. We found it to be safe and well tolerated but we did not find any significant difference in postoperative pain.

Twin Study Finds Cannabis Legalization Did Not Cause Substantial Psychological Harm in Adults

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Stephanie Zellers PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher, Kaprio Group, FIMM
Dr. Zellers began this research as a graduate student at the
University of Colorado Boulder’s Institute for Behavioral Genetics (IBG)

Dr. Zellers PhD

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Proponents and opponents of cannabis legalization respectively cite various potential benefits and harms that these policies may cause. Many studies have evaluated these outcomes, but drawing causal conclusions is challenging due to the many confounds that may better explain observed effects.

 We investigated the effects of cannabis legalization on a broad range of psychological outcomes, like substance use, psychiatric symptoms, general functioning in daily life, and cognitive ability. We used a longitudinal twin sample with twin pairs living in different types of states (recreationally legal vs. recreationally illegal) to draw causally informative conclusions. Because identical twins share 100% of their genes, as well as environmental factors like the family rearing, SES, and community norms, co-twin control studies can rule out many alternative explanations for an observed relationship.

Bisexuals Found to Use More and Varied Cannabis Products

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
The Health & Cognition (THC) Lab
Department of Psychology
Washington State University

Dr. Cuttler

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: While we know that sexual minorities (such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.) individuals use many substances, including cannabis, more than heterosexual individuals, we don’t know very much about patterns of sexual minorities’ cannabis use or why sexual minorities are motivated to use cannabis. We also don’t know as much as we should about how cannabis use is related to mental health among sexual minorities. Our study used data from Project ART (Addictions Research Team) to examine these questions. The data were collected from 10 different universities across the United States, and we included data from almost 5,000 young adults (aged 18-30) in this study. People answered questions about their cannabis use, motivations for using cannabis, mental health symptoms, and also indicated their sexual attraction on a scale. The majority of our sample identified their sexual attraction as exclusively heterosexual, a small number indicated exclusively same-sex attraction, and almost a quarter indicated that their sexual attraction was somewhere between those two (the group classified as bisexual).

Patients Report Substituting Cannabis for Pain Relief Medications

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Mark Christopher Bicket, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor,Department of Anesthesiology
Assistant Professor,Health Management and Policy
School of Public Health
University of MichiganAnn Arbor, MI 48109

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

  • Most states have laws that allow people with chronic pain to use cannabis as a treatment. But evidence about whether medical cannabis use lowers the use of other treatments for chronic pain is not clear. 
  • We conducted a rigorous survey of adults living in the 36 states and D.C. in the spring of 2022.
  • Among the 1,661 adults who had chronic pain, we asked about their use of cannabis, prescription opioids, and non-opioid treatments for chronic pain. 
  • Cannabis use for chronic pain was common, reported in roughly 3 in 10 people at any time and 1 in 4 in the past year.
  • In contrast, a minority said cannabis use decreased their use of non-pharmacologic treatments like physical therapy or meditation, and some reported their use increased.

Marijuana May Be Substituting for Opioids for Cancer-Related Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Yuhua Bao, PhD
Department of Population Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry
Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York

Dr. Yuhua Bao

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We know that opioid use is declining among cancer patients. We also know that marijuana use is increasing among cancer patients; this increase is related to the recent wave of medical marijuana legalization (adopted by 37 states and D.C. as of Feb 2022).

We do not know if medical marijuana legalization has led to changes in opioid use for cancer patients and what were the implications for cancer pain outcomes.

Dentists Reports Patients Coming to Appointments High on Marijuana

Survey from the American Dental Association

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Each year, the ADA surveys dentists and consumers around emerging issues or trends in healthcare. As legalization and use of marijuana continues to increase, oral health issues around marijuana use are beginning to emerge. This, combined with a lack of awareness and understanding of the potential adverse health effects of routine marijuana use, was the reason for including it in our survey work.


PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Because legalized marijuana, whether personal or medicinal, is still relatively new, people may not be aware of the effects marijuana can have on oral health and dental visits. Readers should be aware that marijuana use can effect oral health in general as well as limit the care delivered at dental visits if used before an appointment.

Dentists and patients should also take away the importance of open conversation about marijuana use during dental visits. Health history updates can be a natural place to start an open dialogue.

Use of Medical Cannabis Can Expose Patients to Harmful Contaminants

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Maxwell C. K. Leung, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Systems Biology and Toxicology
New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Arizona State University, West Campus

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Over 200 million Americans currently have legal access to medical cannabis, recreational cannabis, or both. Yet, cannabis remains an illicit Schedule 1 substance at the federal level. This limits the efforts of several federal agencies to regulate harmful contaminants – including pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, microbes, and fungal toxins – in cannabis.

Cannabis During Pregnancy May Have Long Term Mental Health Consequences for Children

Dr. Baranger

PainRelief.com Interview with:

David A. A. Baranger, PhD
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Dr. Brogdan

Ryan Bogdan, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Department of Psychiatry
Washington University in St Louis
St Louis, Missouri

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

David Baranger: Prenatal cannabis use is increasing in the United States. Prior work from our group found that prenatal cannabis exposure, particularly when it occurred after mothers learned they were pregnant, was associated with worse mental health outcomes in children aged 9-10.

In this study we followed up with this same group of children, who are now as old as 12, to ask whether anything has changed. Have they improved, or gotten worse? To our surprise, we found that children with prenatal cannabis exposure still had worse mental health outcomes – things had not gotten better, nor had they gotten worse.