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Can Vaping Scar Your Lungs?
New Insights and a Possible Remedy


At least two studies on vaping appeared this week. One was to be presented at the American Society for Investigative Pathology annual meeting, canceled due to the COVID-19 shut down, but its abstract is published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal.
 
The other, an editorial in JAMA Network, comments on both an Evidence Report and Recommendations Statement it published. The report informs an update of the 2013 recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force (task force) on the prevention and cessation of tobacco use among children and adolescents in primary care settings. The statement contains the task force recommendations.
 
Vaping lung study -- “Prior studies strongly and consistently suggest that vaping is harmful to human health and linked to the development of various types of human diseases, says lead author of the first study, Richard Nho, PhD, assistant professor in the department of medicine and graduate faculty in the department of pharmacology at the University of Minnesota.
 
“Our study further supports the concept that the use of e-cigarettes is not safer than smoking conventional cigarettes and that vaping is a potential risk factor to promote lung fibrosis.”
 
The study was small, involving only 14 people, but its “findings shed light on how e-cigarettes may affect the crucial cell type that repairs lung injuries when they occur,” according to Newswise.com.
 
Read Newswise.com’s description of the study here.

 
JAMA Network Editorial -- An editorial titled "Recommendations from the USPSTF for prevention and cessation of tobacco use in children and adults" notes the task force adds two new recommendations to its 2013 report, both based on the Evidence Report:
  1. Clinicians should educate and briefly counsel children and adolescents to prevent the initiation of tobacco and e-cigarette use
  2. Not enough evidence exists to assess the effectiveness of primary care cessation intervention efforts and large trials are needed. 
The editorial explains the phenomenal rise of e-cigarette use among adolescents, which has skyrocketed in just a few years.

It notes, “As the products have evolved, so too have industry marketing strategies. E-cigarette companies communicate to youth through social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Social media marketing relies on 'open source marketing,' in which consumers post their own content.

"Social media 'influencers' with very large audiences receive free products in exchange for unofficially promoting products.” (Emphasis added.)
 
Read JAMA Network editorial here
Read JAMA Network “Evidence Report” here
Read JAMA Network task force “Recommendation Statement” here.

 

Recreational cannabis use impairs driving performance in the absence of acute intoxication


The proportion of marijuana-positive drivers involved in fatal crashes doubled in just one year: from 8 percent in 2013 to 17 percent in 2014. Thus far, research has focused primarily on the effects of acute intoxication.
 
This study, using a driving simulator, looked at the impact of heavy, recreational marijuana use on non-intoxicated drivers compared to healthy controls.
 
The marijuana-using group had increased crashes, speed, and lateral movement, and reduced rule following compared to the healthy control group. When divided into groups by age, significant driving impairment was seen in those marijuana users who began using before age 16.
 
Researchers conclude, “Chronic, heavy, recreational cannabis use was associated with worse driving performance in non-intoxicated drivers, and earlier onset of use was associated with greater impairment. The results may be related to other factors associated with early exposure such as increased impulsivity.”
 
Read Drug and Alcohol Dependence study here.

 

Intensity of cannabis use:
Findings from three online surveys

 
Surveys of drug use generally seek information about the number of people who use a drug and how often they use it. Rarely do they ask about the amount of drug consumed.
 
Researchers Jon Caulkins, Bryce Pardo, and Beau Kilmer answer this question in the International Journal of Drug Policy with an analysis of three online surveys.
 
From 2,618 valid responses, they find that daily marijuana users consumed almost twice as much marijuana per day of use as those reporting less than daily use.
 
They suggest that surveys should query amount consumed as well as the presence or absence of use and number of days used.
 
Read International Journal of Drug Policy article here.

 
Sweeping Weedmaps subpoena underscored
US government’s continued scrutiny
of marijuana industry
 
Weedmaps, headquartered in Irvine, California, provides maps of marijuana dispensaries and pot delivery services around the globe. It is owned by Ghost Management Group, which contributed heavily to California’s legalization ballot initiative. Dispensaries pay as much as $20,000 or more a month to be listed on Weedmaps.
 
In early March, a federal grand jury served a subpoena on Ghost Management Group. Marijuana Business Daily obtained a copy of the subpoena, which identifies nearly 100 marijuana businesses and individuals, including 40 different businesses, company employees, officers, investors, and others in the industry that the government wants information about.  
 
Although founded several years ago, Weedmaps listed both licensed and unlicensed, illegal dispensaries. Not until this past January did the company purge illegal pot shops from its maps. Spokespeople presume that is what the subpoena is about.
 
Stay tuned.
 
Read Marijuana Business Daily article here.

Read Subpoena here.
 

Massachusetts medical marijuana
registrations spike 245 percent


Our article titled “Essential businesses, really?” in the April 1 issue of The Marijauna Report noted that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker shut down the state’s recreational shops in the midst of the COVID-1 pandemic.
 
We suggested, “Someone ought to study how many residents register for medical marijuana cards while the rec shops are closed.”
 
Governor Baker’s action began March 23. In less than a month, by April 21, 7,235 people had obtained a medical marijuana card. That’s a 245 percent jump over new card applications the previous month.
 
Industry spokesmen would have you believe that most recreational users are really patients buying marijuana to treat various illnesses, despite the fact that recreational marijuana is more expensive because it is taxed while medical marijuana is not.
 
It’s possible that 7,235 people have a condition that Massachusetts law says medical marijuana can treat. It also possible that 7,235 people are willing to lie about their health just to get high.
 
Read Boston Globe story here.

 
What are the side effects of
secondhand marijuana smoke?

Like secondhand tobacco smoke, secondhand marijuana smoke is smoke someone inhales from a user who is smoking marijuana. People who inhale the smoke may or may not get high, but they can experience several side-effects, according to Medical News Today, including:
  • burning, itchy, or red eyes
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • coughing
  • increased appetite
  • rapid heartbeat
  • anxiety
  • euphoria
  • lightheadedness
  • a sensation of time slowing
  • restlessness
  • paranoia/tiredness
  • nausea. 
Other risks include possibly producing a THC-positive drug test and generating biological evidence of exposure in children.
 
Read Medical News Today here.

 
Parenting just got a lot harder with legal marijuana
 
Are you in yet? Take the "I'm in" pledge to join Parent Movement 2.0! To sign, click here.
What should I know about marijuana?
 
National Families in Action’s recorded 25 podcasts with world renowned marijuana scientists.
 
Listen to Mahmoud ElSohly on “Does Marijuana Reduce Opioid Use, Deaths?” 
here.
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The Marijuana Report Staff
Executive Editor, Sue Rusche. Editor, Nicole Carter. Proofreading, Harry Rusche, Professor Emeritus. IT Consultant, Lee Clontz. Social Media Coordinators, Margarita Eberline, Shannon Murphy, MD, FAAP, and Nicole Carter.
National Families in Action Board of Directors
William F. Carter, Chairman of the Board, Coldwell Banker Atlanta. Sue Rusche, President and CEO, Atlanta. Richard L. Brown, Secretary, Attorney (Ret.), Founder & Chairman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, Lakewood Ranch, Florida. 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. LLP, Atlanta. Debbie Berndt, Director, Parent Movement 2.0, Walnut Creek, California. Margarita Eberline, Director, Strategy Director, Ultim Marketing, 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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