Smoking

Utilizing Cannabis to Quit Smoking

Randomized Clinical Trials Investigating Innovative Interventions for Smoking Cessation in the Last Decade

In Summary

A recent analysis has found that cannabis-based therapies may prove useful for those attempting to quit smoking. Billions of dollars are spent every year attempting to treat smoking-related conditions yet mortality rates continue to rise, proving the current treatment methods rather ineffective. Researchers thoroughly examined previous clinical studies in a search for more effective treatments and found that the endocannabinoid system provides an ideal target as it not only reduces the desire to smoke but also minimizes the weight gain most addicts fear. Further research is needed as no specific cannabinoid or cannabis-based medicine has proven to be effective without producing negative side-effects, but the few trials that have been conducted have shown promising results. 

The issue this research aimed to address is the prevalence of smoking-related illnesses, highlighting the inability of the medical community to cease all tobacco use. Despite constant warnings and lessons in school concerning the danger of tobacco use new products like e-cigarettes have been made readily available for consumers and marketed on social media to teenagers who follow celebrities like Sophie Turner, an actress rarely seen without her choice of e-cigarette in hand. The tobacco industry is driven by the economy and, despite its proven deleterious effects on users’ health, has yet to be banned on a federal level. Better restrictions need to be put into place to prevent consumers from beginning tobacco use while researchers continue to look for effective treatment methods. 

The study is available for review or download here

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Benjamin Caplan, MDUtilizing Cannabis to Quit Smoking
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Acute THC Consumption Can Be Determined From Breath Concentration

Correlation of Breath and Blood Δ9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol Concentrations and Release Kinetics Following Controlled Administration of Smoked Cannabis

In Summary

A recent study has found a method to determine acute ∆-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) intoxication by analyzing THC concentration in exhaled breath. The more common method of analyzing blood concentration of THC or urinalysis is unable to determine whether THC consumption is acute or chronic as concentrations in blood and urine matrices can remain high long after consumption. By standardizing a method to analyze acute intoxication researchers will be able to determine a legal limit of intoxication for driving or other activities, police officers will be able to better regulate driving under the influence, and hospitals will be able to better treat those who come in with intoxication symptoms. 

This research highlights the importance of standardizing cannabis-induced intoxication levels. People often drive under the influence of alcohol and are frequently the cause of accidents, but have been legally determined to drive as long as their blood-alcohol level is under 0.08. As cannabis is still under-researched and not recognized as a medically beneficial substance by the federal government the standardization of cannabis-intoxication levels has not been formed. As medical marijuana continues to be legalized at state levels local government should take care to implement methods to judge acute intoxication to better protect citizens and allow patients who need to consume cannabis to live their lives as normally as possible. 


The study is available for review or download here

View more studies like this in the CED Foundation Archive 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDAcute THC Consumption Can Be Determined From Breath Concentration
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Cannabis Abuse May Be Caused By Genetic Factors

CNR1 and FAAH variation and affective states induced by marijuana smoking 

In Summary

Researchers have recently described how genetic variation determines individual mood state after the consumption of cannabis. The variation of genes may prove useful when attempting to understand either motivation for illicit cannabis use or risk for associated abuse behaviors. Researchers determined participants affect by utilizing tension-anxiety and confusion-bewilderment assessment in order two examine CRN1 and FAAH, two encoding factors for receptors of the endocannabinoid system. Further research should be conducted to elucidate the exact genetic variations so that the risk of abuse can be screened for in individuals. 

The possibility of being able to screen for genetic variations within the endocannabinoid system that affect mood may prove useful when recommending cannabis to particularly anxious patients. ∆-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been known to cause excess anxiety is some patients and exacerbate some mood symptoms. If physicians were able to screen for particularly whose anxiety would be exacerbated by certain cannabinoids then they may be able to help guide the patient towards other cannabinoids, like cannabidiol, or a different method of treatment entirely. 

The study is available for review or download here

View more studies like this in the CED Foundation Archive 

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDCannabis Abuse May Be Caused By Genetic Factors
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Could Inhaled Cannabis Be More Effective to Relieve Pain than Oral Cannabinoids?

Cannabis for Chronic Pain: Challenges and Considerations

In Summary:

Comparisons between the use of inhaled cannabis plant versus pharmaceutical-grade oral cannabinoids demonstrate an advantage of inhalation over oral delivery. Conditions for which inhalation has provided superior over oral consumption include:

HIV, diabetic neuropathy, post-herpetic neuralgia, complex regional pain syndrome, spinal cord injury, traumatic neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, and cervical disk disease.

An important note: patients consuming cannabinoids orally are more likely to withdraw from studies due to negative side effects and lack of efficacy. Also, edible cannabis may compete, amplify, or have effects delayed, when interacting with other ingested foods and drinks, A major advantage of inhalation is the opportunity for patients to titrate, or easily test varying dosages at home, with reasonably rapid feedback. On the other hand, dosage adjustments for oral food-borne cannabinoids are much more complex, and cannabis in the form of oral pharmaceutical-products may require a doctor visit and a new prescription.

Dr. Caplan and the #MDTake:

In the clinic, there seems to be a great divide in the population, a group of patients who simply adore the edibles (often in low-dose candies, low-dose chocolate, or titrated tinctures), and a group who use inhalation, almost exclusively. There are also some who are discovering topicals (salves, patches, lotions). There is a growing number of patients who use each of these methods with intention, related to their timing of onset and their duration of action, but this requires education, practice, and a degree of sophistication in use that is relatively new to the industry.

As with most consumption, medicinal or not, it seems common for individuals to find a method that they enjoy and stick to it. Interestingly, in recent years, the US cannabis industry has evolved in a wild growth phase. As it has embraced a dynamic landscape, with increasing competition from all sides, including new stores and product offerings popping up all the time, there seems to be a growing openness, in consumers, to trying new products and exploring new offerings. Coincidentally, this openness to change and the unfamiliar happens to mirror one of the core neurobiological functions of cannabis in the brain, as seen across the neuropsychiatric and neuroimaging cannabis literature.

How exciting to imagine a future medicine that may help consumers to be more open to change?

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:    http://bit.ly/2OmdM0S     inside the CED Foundation Archive

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Benjamin Caplan, MDCould Inhaled Cannabis Be More Effective to Relieve Pain than Oral Cannabinoids?
read more