From eNewsletter 10/28/2019
DID YOU KNOW that a recent study in JAMA Psychiatry, adolescents who spend more than 3 hours per day using social media may be at heightened risk for mental health problems, particularly internalizing problems?
The authors suggest setting limits on daily social media use, increasing media literacy, and redesigning social media platforms as effective means of reducing the burden of mental health problems in this population.
Bonnie and Steve: Based upon the research below, we have only changed our recommendations for cannabis and CBD slightly from our original recommendations in May.
NOTE: We will not spend time on the vaping health emergency as most of you are aware of the severe health effects from vaping cannabis or nicotine products.
Adolescent cannabis use is associated with behavioral changes related to reward and motivation in humans. This use has both been suggested to increase motivation for other drug use (the gateway hypothesis) and a potential "amotivation syndrome" in which individuals are less willing to expend effort to receive a reward. The research presented at the 2019 Canadian Association for Neuroscience symposium helped decipher the links between cannabis use and long-lasting changes in the brain, which underlie changes in behavior in adolescent humans, including defects in working memory, self-control and motivation. Allergy It should not come as a surprise that cases of allergic reactions to either hemp, cannabis, or the chemicals of hemp and cannabis are on the rise. Besides the fact that the cannabis plant is grass, which makes anyone with a grass pollen allergy susceptible, there are other cannabis proteins that can create allergic reactions. In addition, the modification and super-concentration of cannabis products have led to a whole new group of allergic-related substances. Many reactions appear after first ingestion or first application, or can even be experienced second-hand from someone using cannabis in your proximity. Scratch testing with hempseed and IgE testing is available, but not yet widely. Of course scratch testing for super-concentrated cannabis substances is not a viable option because there are already thousands of different products that now exist. If you are grass pollen allergic, I would be very wary of using cannabis products. At the very least, anyone trying cannabis or CBD should pay close attention to potential allergic symptoms. Emergency Room Visits A new study in Western Journal of Emergency Medicine is a cautionary tale of the downside of legalized cannabis. Cannabis legalization in Colorado has led to significant health consequences, particularly to patients in emergency departments and hospitals. The most concerning include psychosis, suicide, and other substance abuse. Deleterious effects on the brain include decrements in complex decision-making, which may not be reversible with abstinence. Increases in fatal motor vehicle collisions, adverse effects on cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, inadvertent pediatric exposures, cannabis contaminants exposing users to infectious agents, heavy metals, and pesticides, and hash-oil burn injuries in preparation of drug concentrates have been documented. The authors state that the absent standards for chemical composition of cannabis products and limitations on research imposed by federal classification of cannabis as illegal have led to these issues. Given these factors and the Colorado experience, they implore other states to carefully evaluate how to intelligently legalize non-medical cannabis use. Fertility A specific gene associated with autism appears to undergo changes in the sperm of men who use marijuana, according to new research from Epigenetics. Males should eschew cannabis for a minimum of six months before trying to conceive. This will hopefully allow any negative genetic expression to reverse itself. Preconception and Pregnancy An increasing number of women are using cannabis before becoming pregnant and during early pregnancy often to treat morning sickness, anxiety, and lower back pain. Although evidence is still emerging about the long-term consequences for their babies' brain development, a recent study in Nature Neuroscience states that exposure to THC in the womb increased susceptibility to several behavioral tasks that mirrors the effects observed in many psychiatric diseases. These behavioral effects were caused, at least in part, by hyperactivity of dopamine neurons in the brain region which regulates motivated behaviors. While there are ways to reverse this effect after the fact, the researchers urge public health messages to implore women during childbearing years to not take cannabis products before or during pregnancy. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any cannabis products with THC for a minimum of six months prior to trying to conceive. In addition, screening your genome for dopamine-related mutations is crucial for not only for yourself, but for your child. We test for this with our Pure Genomics screening. Pain Using the largest database of real-time recordings of the effects of common and commercially available cannabis products in the United States, researchers publishing in Complementary Therapies in Medicine found strong evidence that cannabis can significantly alleviate pain, with the average user experiencing a three-point drop in pain suffering on a 0-10 point scale immediately following cannabis consumption. We have seen similar, if not better, numbers in the few months our clients have been using our CBD pain stick. OUR RECOMMENDATIONS Cannabis At this time, we do not recommend using cannabis with the exception of older persons 75 or older OR post-fertility adults who have exhausted every other option for sleep issues. Men with low testosterone should speak with their physicians because certain phytochemicals in cannabis can suppress testosterone production. For all other groups considering cannabis, prophylaxis should be based upon individual needs under the auspices of a trusted health professional. CBD At this time, we only recommend topical CBD for acute or chronic pain. Daily CBD use is not recommended unless you have a chronic condition. Otherwise, think of it as a pain reliever to take only as needed. Until we see more research, oral CBD should only be used by adults with sleep issues.
SHOWERING TIPS TO SAVE YOUR SKIN
This article is reserved for NCI Well Connect Members. You can get this article by signing up here. You can get our free eNewsletter by signing up at the top of our website.