Researchers at Western University have found a way to use pharmaceuticals to reverse the negative psychiatric effects of THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. Chronic adolescent marijuana use has previously been linked to the development of psychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia, in adulthood. But until now, researchers were unsure of what exactly was happening in the brain to cause this to occur.
“What is important about this study is that not only have we identified a specific mechanism in the prefrontal cortex for some of the mental health risks associated with adolescent marijuana use, but we have also identified a mechanism to reverse those risks,” said Steven Laviolette, professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.
Full story at Science Daily
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in Houston are seeing an increasing amount of a type of high-potency marijuana known as “shatter,” ABC7NY reports.
Some forms of shatter have as much as 90 percent THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. That is about five times the potency of unrefined smoked marijuana. It is more powerful than standard hash oil. Shatter is a thin, hard layer that is similar to glass. It can shatter if dropped.
The drug, also called wax or 710, is a concentrated form of marijuana oil. “If you’re looking at something that has three, five, seven, or nine percent THC content, that’s a drastic difference to somebody that is consuming something with 80 or 90 percent THC content,” said Wendell Campbell, DEA special agent.
Full story of higher potency marijuana on the street at drugfree.org
It is very difficult to test whether a driver has been using marijuana. The reason is that the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, dissolves in fat, unlike alcohol, which dissolves in water, experts tell NPR.
“It’s really difficult to document drugged driving in a relevant way, [because of] the simple fact that THC is fat soluble,” said Margaret Haney, a neurobiologist at Columbia University. “That makes it absorbed in a very different way and much more difficult to relate behavior to, say, [blood] levels of THC or develop a breathalyzer.”
When a person drinks, alcohol spreads through the saliva and breath, and evenly saturates the lungs and blood, the article notes. That means measuring the volume of alcohol in one part of the body reliably indicates how much is in other parts, including the brain.
Full story of testing drivers for marijuana at drugfree.org
Most edible marijuana products incorrectly list their levels of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient, a new study finds.
The study analyzed 75 edible marijuana products sold in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to The New York Times. Only 17 percent of the products correctly described their levels of THC. Researchers found 60 percent of the products had less THC than the packages stated, and 23 percent had more THC than advertised.
Full story of THC levels incorrectly labeled at drugfree.org
Marijuana “dabbing,” a potentially dangerous way of using the drug, is increasingly popular, a new study finds.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), dabbing is a method used to convert marijuana into a concentrate. It uses butane, which is highly flammable, to extract THC from the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. This process has resulted in violent explosions, the DEA noted.
“In this process, shredded or ground up plant material is stuffed into a glass, metal, or plastic pipe, with a filter on one end and then the butane is forced in the open end of the pipe,” the DEA explains in a brochure. “As the butane goes through the pipe, the THC within the plant material is extracted and forced through the filter, usually into a receptacle. The receptacle is then heated to burn off the remaining butane, creating a butane gas.”
Full story on marijuana dabbing at drugfree.org