December 19, 2019 at 9:40 am EST | by Staff reports
Cannabis Culture
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Study finds little support for cannabis impacting cognitive abilities

BOULDER, Colo. — The occasional use of cannabis during late adolescence is not independently associated with adverse effects on cognitive abilities in young adulthood, according to longitudinal data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

A team of investigators affiliated with the University of Colorado at Boulder assessed the impact of cannabis use on cognition, executive function, and working memory in 856 individual twins. Cannabis consumers were compared to their non-using twins in late adolescence and then again in their early twenties. Most of the cannabis consuming participants in the study reported occasional use of the substance, but not daily use.

Authors found “little support for a causal effect of cannabis use on cognition. This conclusion is consistent with those from previous twin studies, which suggest that cannabis use does not cause a decline in cognitive ability among a normative cannabis using sample.”

They concluded, “Results suggest that cannabis use may not cause decline in cognitive ability among a normative sample of cannabis users.”
The findings are consistent with several prior studies which also failed to show significant changes in either cognitive performance, brain morphology, or intelligence quotient due to cannabis exposure. Specifically, a 2018 literature review published in JAMA Psychiatry concluded: “Associations between cannabis use and cognitive functioning in cross-sectional studies of adolescents and young adults are small and may be of questionable clinical importance for most individuals. Furthermore, abstinence of longer than 72 hours diminishes cognitive deficits associated with cannabis use.”

Minn. regulators to expand medical cannabis access

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Health Department representatives have announced forthcoming changes to the state’s medical cannabis program in an effort to expand patients’ access.

Beginning in August 2020, those diagnosed with chronic pain and/or age-related macular degeneration will be eligible to receive medical cannabis recommendations.

Regulators are also amending the program to allow cannabis products to be sold in the form of powders, gum, lozenges, and sublingual tablets, among other formulations. State law does not allow for the sale of herbal cannabis.

Officials also announced that they would be expanding the total number of licensed dispensaries operating within the state.

An estimated 18,000 Minnesotans are registered to legally access medical cannabis products.

Potency of CBD products often mislabeled

SEATTLE — The percentage of cannabidiol present in many commercially available CBD products differs from what is advertised on the label, according to an analysis commissioned by Leafly.com.

Authors lab tested 47 commercially available CBD-infused products. Products were purchased either online, at drug store chains, or at independent grocery stores.

Twenty-three percent of the products possessed significantly lower percentages of CBD than advertised, a finding that is consistent with prior reports. An additional 11 percent of products contained no identifiable level of CBD. Fifteen percent of the products contained higher percentages of CBD than advertised.

CBD-infused tinctures and edibles were most likely to possess accurate labeling. By contrast, CBD-infused capsules and water-based products were the least likely to be accurately labeled.

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides no regulatory oversight on commercially available CBD products.

Medical cannabis well tolerated in older patients: study

BE’ER-SHEVA, Israel — The use of herbal cannabis by older patients is efficacious and well-tolerated, according to longitudinal data published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Israeli researchers assessed the use of cannabis products in patients ages 65 or older over a period of 18 months. Participants in the trial suffered from cancer, chronic pain, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress, spasticity, and other ailments.

Of those patients who continued the use of medical cannabis for six-months or more, 79 percent reported either “significant” or “moderate improvement” from the treatment. The most commonly reported side effects of cannabis treatment were dizziness, fatigue, and dry mouth.

Authors concluded, “Our results show that cannabis was well tolerated by most of our patients… [and that] most of the patients were satisfied with the treatment.”

The findings are consistent with those of prior trials similarly finding that cannabis preparations are safe and effective for elderly patients.

Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. For more information, visit norml.org.

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