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NFIA releases 5th podcast: Marilyn Huestis, PhD, presents a wide-ranging discussion on Safe and Effective Medicines and other issues
 
FDA has approved a few marijuana cannabinoids, but many people are using products that contain THC and CBD when we don’t have evidence they are effective at all, Dr. Huestis says. While she believes some components will likely have therapeutic use, she adds that we need a lot of research to back that up, look for adverse events and toxicities, and make sure each new drug is reproducible from lot to lot.
 
People don’t realize how complex the marijuana plant is, she says. It contains more than 500 chemicals and more than 112 different cannabinoids.
 
We know THC affects the developing brain, she continues, and produces deficits in children whose mothers use during pregnancy. Their babies can be born prematurely and have lower birth weights than those born to mothers who don’t use marijuana while pregnant.
 
But two long-term studies, one in Canada involving primarily middle-class Caucasian women, one in Pittsburgh involving primarily low-income African American women, show that by age 6 researchers started to see problems with verbal memory and other cognitive tasks compared to their controls whose mothers had marijuana-free pregnancies. Both studies with completely different populations show the same effects. By age 15, these children were using a lot more marijuana, compared to controls, although environmental factors may play a role here.
 
She presents a fascinating discussion of the endocannabinoid system in our brains and how it controls a number of functions we need to survive, including executive function. Your executive function takes in everything from your environment, evaluates all that information against your memory, and helps you decide what to do with it. Then you carry out an action. THC slows down every step of that process.
 
Access Dr. Huestis’s Safe and Effective Medicines podcast here. 
Podcasts released to date may be accessed here as well: 
5-Safe and Effective Medicines, Dr. Marilyn Huestis
4-Medical Marijuana, Dr. Michael Kuhar
3-How Other Nations Ensure Road Safety, Dr. Marilyn Huestis,
2- State Regulations to Ensure Road Safety, Dr. Marilyn Huestis
1-Marijuana and Driving, Dr. Marilyn Huestis
 
They also may be downloaded from the Google and Apple stores and other popular podcast hosts. Look for the series “What Do I Need to Know about Marijuana”?
Association between electronic cigarette use and marijuana use among adolescents and young adults

A meta-analysis appearing in the August 12, 2019 issue of JAMA Pediatrics finds that marijuana use among young people who use e-cigarettes is 3.5 times higher than those who do not use the devices.
 
The difference is more pronounced in teens ages 12-17 than young adults ages 18-24 and still more pronounced in teens who use e-cigarettes and other forms of tobacco.
 
The meta-analysis included studies from Europe and North America and found that e-cigarette use is more prominent on this side of the Atlantic.
 
Read JAMA Pediatric study here.

 
Medical use of cannabis in 2019
 
In JAMA Network, Kevin P. Hill, MD, MHS, Division of Addiction Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, updates an article on medical marijuana published in 2015 as more studies have been conducted since then.
 
After reviewing those studies, Dr. Hill concludes: “Insufficient evidence exists for the use of medical cannabis for most conditions for which its use is advocated. Despite the lack of evidence, various US state governments have recommended cannabis for the management of more than 50 medical conditions.” 
 
Read this brief study here.

 
Breaking Today:
Ads pitching CBD as a cure-all are everywhere. Oversight hasn’t kept up.
 
Today, the New York Times published an article that finds CBD sales and ads making unverified medical claims are out of control, given so little evidence exists to support such claims. Worse, the FDA has not provided the kind of oversight required to bring the CBD industry under some kind of control.

We would add that Congress keeps pressuring FDA to allow CBD to be placed in food products and animal feed, again, with little to no evidence that it would be safe to do so.
 
Read the NY Times article here.
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The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).

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The Marijuana Report Staff
Executive Editor
Sue Rusche
Editor
Nicole Carter
IT Consultant
Lee Clontz
Social Media Coordinator
Margarita Eberline
 
We are grateful to our Board of Directors and Senior Adviser for their support of National Families in Action, which produces The Marijuana Report website and e-newsletter.
 
National Families in Action
Board of Directors

William F. Carter, Chairman of the Board
Realtor Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Georgia Properties, Atlanta.
Sue Rusche, President and CEO, Atlanta.
Richard L. Brown, Secretary
Attorney (Ret.), Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Founder & Chairman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association 
Jeannine F. Adams, Director
President and CEO, J. Addams & Partners, Atlanta.
Jack L. Arbiser, MD, PhD, Director
Thomas J. Lawley Professor of Dermatology
Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta
William H. Avery, Director
Partner (Ret.), Alston & Bird, LLP, Atlanta.
Margarita Eberline, Director
Strategy Director, 360 Marketing Plus, Atlanta.
Robert Margolis, PhD, Director
Founder, Caron Solutions Intensive Outpatient Program, Roswell, Georgia.
Shannon Murphy, MD FAAP, Director
Birmingham, Alabama  
Senior Adviser
Kent “Oz” Nelson, Chairman and CEO (Ret.)
United Parcel Service, Atlanta.
 
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