Hear the Latest News About More Kids Vape in Medical Marijuana States, New UK Cannabis-Epilepsy Study and Florida Cannabis Related Death Analysis
In today’s cannabis health news, learn more about medical marijuana states that had 27% of 12th graders vaping cannabis, compared to 19% in states that ban or allow adult usage. Meanwhile, a new collaborative digital study will investigate the symptoms of rare childhood epilepsies and the efficacy of medical cannabis in treating these conditions. Lastly, Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is studying cannabis and synthetic cannabis-related deaths across the state.
Medical Marijuana States Have More Kids Vaping
Original Source: More Kids Vape Weed in States Where Medical Marijuana Is Legal
Youth in U.S. states where medicinal marijuana is authorized vape more than their peers in states where weed is legal for all adults or completely outlawed.
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According to new data, 27% of 12th graders in medical marijuana jurisdictions vaped cannabis, compared to 19% in states that ban or allow adult usage.
Vaping cannabis was used by 25% of medical state teenagers. First author Christian Maynard, a sociology PhD student at Washington State University, observed, “That’s a lot.”
“We expected medical and adult use states to be more similar. In a university news release, he claimed, “We found no statistical difference between banned and adult usage states.”
The 2020 Monitoring the Future survey was analyzed by Maynard and his academic adviser, sociologist Jennifer Schwartz. Since 1975, it has polled U.S. youth.
A subgroup of 556 participants who answered questions on cannabis vaping product access and perceived hazards was also evaluated. In places where only medicinal marijuana was authorized, 62% of high school seniors reported easy access to cannabis vaping cartridges. Only 31% considered frequent cannabis use dangerous.
In places where marijuana was illegal and authorized for adult recreational use, 52% of high school seniors said cartridges were simple to get.
Regular cannabis use was harmful for more youths, 40% in restricted states and 36% in adult-use states.
Maynard provided some explanations.
He stated, “It’s probable the context of saying cannabis is for medical reasons is contributing to the fact that adolescents regard it as less risky.” “The difference in availability may also be that adult-use states are giving legal cannabis to a wider spectrum of people, which may tamp down on the criminal market, and a teenager can’t go to a dispensary.”
More research is needed, according to Maynard.
Teen cigarette and cannabis use is declining. In 2019, cannabis vaping had the second-biggest single-year increase of any substance in the study’s 45 years. Second to nicotine vaping.
Vaping remains popular despite lung damage that caused almost 2,000 hospitalizations and 68 fatalities in 2019 and 2020, the study found. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked many of the injuries to vitamin E cartridges sold outside stores.
Maynard said parents and educators must warn kids.
He remarked, “Like it or not, cannabis legalization seems to be happening across the country.” Adolescents need to be talked to. When the brain is maturing, cannabis has negative side effects. It’s also risky to acquire cannabis carts on the street. You don’t know what they’re putting in those unregulated carts.”
The findings appear in Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports’ March issue.
New UK Cannabis-Epilepsy Study
On International Epilepsy Day (Monday 13 February), UK scientific body Drug Science and patient advocacy organization Medcan Support launched a real-world data research.
The study will use Alta Flora’s Eva Research Platform to collect high-quality, longitudinal data from families via a mobile app on the effects of prescribed cannabis oil for epilepsy.
Drug Science researchers will analyze the data collected over 12 months.
Over 35,000 children in the UK have treatment-resistant epilepsy that cannot be controlled by regular drugs. Many of these children have rare or unique disorders. Research on new, more effective medicines has been slow due to a significant lack of financing.
Cannabis-based therapies have showed promise in studies from the US, Canada, Australia, and Israel for treating even the most drug-resistant epilepsies, but research in the UK is behind due to the stigma and legal difficulty of cannabis as a recreational substance.
“Drug Science has been at the forefront of the research effort into cannabis in the UK for several years, and this observational study will build on the work that our research teams have done in childhood epilepsy since cannabis was reintroduced to the British pharmacopoeia in 2018,” said Drug Science CEO David Badcock.
“We are thrilled to cooperate with MedCan Support and Alta Flora on this pioneering research and believe that the longitudinal Real World Evidence that we are now able to collect will advance the argument for wide access to these transformational medicines.”
A new era of research
For those developing new epilepsy treatments, the need for expensive randomised controlled trials (RCTs) has been a major obstacle.
Researchers have had to adapt to new clinical trial methods due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting worldwide regulators to recognize the necessity for inclusion in healthcare research.
New technologies and platforms like Alta Flora’s are helping scientists collect high-quality, real-world data on rare illnesses and hard-to-reach demographics.
Childhood epilepsy represents the type of study the platform was designed to enable, according to the company’s inventors.
Hannah Deacon, co-founder of MedCan Support and mother of complex epilepsy sufferer Alfie Dingley, said, “This is a pioneering study, and one MedCan is happy to have been engaged in.
“I understand the importance of new and better medicines for your child’s severe seizures. To get safe and effective medicines to vulnerable children as quickly as possible, speeding up research without sacrificing quality is crucial.
Florida Cannabis Related Death Analysis
Original Source: Statewide analysis of deaths in Florida associated with cannabis use
In 2020, 49.6 million US adults used cannabis or marijuana. Medical marijuana patients number over 5.4 million. Since 2014, Florida has had a 1,107.01 percent surge in medicinal cannabis cardholders, from 65,310 in 2018 to 788,297 as of Jan. 27.
Risk perception is a major driver of cannabis use. Because they are non-psychotropic and non-psychoactive, many individuals think plant-derived, therapeutic, and synthetic cannabinoids are harmless. Cannabis can be addictive and harmful when combined with alcohol or other drugs for certain people.
Cannabinoids are used by more than 200 million people worldwide, although little is known regarding their fatalities.
Using data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement from 2014 to 2020, researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing conducted the first statewide analysis of cannabis and synthetic cannabis-related mortality in Florida. The study studied sociodemographic variables, health conditions, other substances, and drug-related deaths.
The Journal of Nursing Scholarship reported 386 cannabis-related deaths, 258 of which were caused by synthetic cannabis. Nearly 65% of these cases used simply synthetic cannabis.
“Synthetic cannabinoids are part of the emerging psychoactive drugs that are two to 100 times more effective than THC, the principal psychoactive element in marijuana,” said Armiel Suriaga, Ph.D., senior author and assistant professor in FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “Synthetic cannabinoids are manmade compounds sprayed upon dried, shredded leaves or plant components that resemble the effect of cannabis but are unpredictable, dangerous, and lethal.”
Compared to 9 percent in those 8 to 24, over 28 percent of cannabis and synthetic cannabis-related deaths occurred among those 45 to 54. This shows an age demographic shift in mortality due to health issues such coronary heart disease.
Over 13% of cases had cardiac problems like high blood pressure-related hypertensive heart disease, atherosclerotic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias, and cardiomegaly. Synthetic cannabis use caused two stroke deaths: one ischemic and one hemorrhagic.
The research found:
Nearly 88% of cannabis and synthetic cannabis users who died were men.
Non-Hispanic whites made up 65 percent.
100% of cannabis-related deaths occurred in urban counties.
28.3% of rural deaths were connected to synthetic cannabis usage, 39.9% of which were African American.
Cannabis and synthetic cannabis users perished in accidents over 99 percent of the time. Drug intoxications (83.93%) and motor vehicle wrecks (14.17%) caused blunt traumas to the head and torso. Cannabis use killed more people than synthetic cannabis due to motor vehicle accidents. Four people drowned under the influence of cannabis.
Synthetic cannabis caused the most deaths in 2018, whereas cannabis caused the most in 2019. The lowest number of deaths from both substances was one to three in 2014.
Suriaga added, “The ongoing deaths from cannabis and synthetic cannabis usage are a legitimate public health problem.” “The public should stay watchful of the bad health outcomes linked with these medications and their unpredictable effects, especially for men who are disproportionately affected and especially for those with underlying cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders.”
Ruth M. Tappen, Ed.D., RN, FAAN, the Christine E. Lynn Eminent Scholar and professor, FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, and Elizabeth R. Aston, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brown University School of Public Health, are study co-authors.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse Substance Use Disorder Evidence-Based Practice Training Awards and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing financed this study.
Summary of Today’s Cannabis Health News
Overall, approximately 27% of 12th students in medical marijuana jurisdictions reported vaping cannabis, whereas only 19% reported doing so in states that ban or allow adult use, according to recent research. Maynard and his faculty advisor, sociologist Jennifer Schwartz, reviewed data from 3,770 high school seniors who participated in the 2020 Monitoring the Future survey for the study. It’s been polling American youth since 1975. Among all high school seniors, 62% in states where medicinal marijuana was authorized only said they had easy access to cannabis vape cartridges. When asked about the dangers of cannabis use, only 31% said they were very concerned.
On the other hand, a new digital collaborative project will investigate the symptoms of rare childhood epilepsies and the potential benefits of medical cannabis for those with these conditions. Launching on International Epilepsy Day, the real-world data research is a joint effort between Drug Science, a UK-based scientific organization, and Medcan Support, an organization dedicated to advocating for people with epilepsy. Data on the effects of medical cannabis oil for children with epilepsy will be collected longitudinally through the use of a mobile app developed by the software company Alta Flora. It will last for a full year, after which the data collected will be analyzed by scientists at Drug Science.
Finally, researchers from the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University used data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to undertake the first statewide analysis of mortality in Florida related to cannabis and synthetic cannabis use from 2014 to 2020. Researchers looked at factors such age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, smoking history, and the presence of other drugs to determine the causes of mortality. As reported in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, the use of cannabis was directly responsible for the deaths of 386 people, 258 of whom were exposed to synthetic cannabis. There was solely synthetic cannabis implicated in nearly 65% of these cases.