Teen cannabis use is not without risk to cognitive development

Although studies have shown that alcohol and cannabis misuse are related to impaired cognition in youth, previous studies were not designed to understand this relationship and differentiate whether cannabis use was causal or consequential to cognitive impairment. A new study by researchers at CHU Sainte-Justine and Université de Montréal, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, shows that beyond the role of cognition in vulnerability to substance use, the concurrent and lasting effects of adolescent cannabis use can be observed on important cognitive functions and appear to be more pronounced than those observed for alcohol.

Beyond acute intoxicating effects, alcohol and cannabis misuse has been associated with impairments in learning, memory, attention and decision-making, as well as with lower academic performance. “While many studies have reported group differences in cognitive performance between young users and non-users, what had yet to be established was the causal and lasting effects of teen substance use on cognitive development,” said co-author and PhD student at Université de Montréal, Jean-François G. Morin. Senior author and investigator Dr. Patricia Conrod, from the Department of Psychiatry at Université de Montréal, added that “very few studies are designed to look at this question from a developmental perspective. Our study is unique in that it followed a large sample of high school students from 7th to 10th grade using cognitive and substance-use measures. Using this big-data approach, we were able to model the complex nature of the relationship between these sets of variables.”

Full story at Science Daily

How cannabinoid drugs affect the experience of pain

A first-of-its-kind meta-analysis of existing research has reviewed the effects of cannabinoid drugs on the experience of pain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that up to 50 million people in the United States have chronic pain.

An increasing amount of people now turn to the medicinal benefits of cannabis for treating and alleviating pain.

As a result, scientists are trying to keep up by studying the effects of cannabinoids on pain.

Full story at Medical News Today

The effectiveness of online cannabis responsible vendor training program

To date, 6 U.S. states have implemented retail sales of recreational marijuana: Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state. One important issue for these states has been how to implement training in responsible retail sales practices. Examples of how to accomplish this task successfully come from the Responsible Beverage Service trainings for selling and serving alcohol.

A new study on the quality of online responsible marijuana vendor (RMV) training has just been released. The study used an online RMV training that was developed in consultation with state regulators, store personnel, and local law enforcement in Colorado and Washington state. The training focused on knowledge of state statutes and regulations, ID checking, the health effects of marijuana, customer service practices (including recognizing intoxicated patrons), and rules of the trade

The curriculum was developed for a randomized controlled trial to test its efficacy for staff recruited from a random sample of 225 stores in Colorado, Oregon and Washington state. A total of 420 diverse store employees completed the online training. Then each trainee was given a survey about their experiences to gauge usability and trainee attitudes about the training.

Full story at Science Daily

Health benefits of hemp seeds

Many people consider hemp seeds to be a superfood. The seeds have a rich nutritional profile and provide a range of health benefits.

Although hemp seeds come from the Cannabis sativa plant, they do not produce a mind-altering effect.

These small, brown seeds are rich in protein, fiber, and healthful fatty acids, including omega-3s and omega-6s. They have antioxidant effects and may reduce symptoms of numerous ailments, improving the health of the heart, skin, and joints.

Full story at Medical News Today

Can cannabis be a sleep aid?

Cannabis has long been used to aid sleep. A frequent lack of sleep can have a significant impact on mental and physical wellbeing. But using cannabis requires caution, not least because it is currently unclear whether the drug has proven benefits for sleep.

Several states in America have recently allowed healthcare professionals to use cannabis as a treatment for various medical conditions. Others are also currently considering their position on the medical use of cannabis.

With the legislation around cannabis use rapidly changing, the question of whether it can help with sleep is becoming ever more critical.

Full story at Medical News Today