All posts tagged: Adolescents

The Motivative for Abusing Cannabis as an Adolescent

Motives for cannabis use in high-risk adolescent users

In Summary

A recent article has revealed some of the motives behind adolescent cannabis abuse. Researchers found that cannabis is misused as a coping mechanism in individual adolescents who internalized behavioral problems which then leads to the development of a number of cannabis dependence symptoms. Participants who reported cannabis use for enhancement, social, and conformity purposes did not report similar issues with dependency. The gathered data suggests that the motivation behind cannabis use should be considered when addressing an individual’s use and that targeted intervention tools should focus on the motivation of drug abuse to better educate at-risk youth. 

This article emphasizes the need to educate adolescents on the medical benefits and proper use of cannabis before it can be abused. If at-risk youth are using cannabis to mitigate feelings of anxiety they may be worsening their symptoms as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most abundant psychoactive component of cannabis, is known to exacerbate anxiety. If they knew about cannabidiol (CBD), which is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which is readily available in most states within the United States and has been beneficial for most people dealing with anxiety. Cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids provide a myriad of medical benefits but a lack of education may allow teenagers to misuse those substances, including legal products, and worsen their symptoms, leading to continued misuse and may prevent them from seeking medical help for their ailments. 

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, MDThe Motivative for Abusing Cannabis as an Adolescent
read more

Brief Interventions by Pediatricians can Reduce Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Understanding Which Teenagers Benefit Most From a Brief Primary Care Substance Use Intervention

In Summary

A recent study has revealed that brief interventions given by primary care physicians can reduce alcohol and drug abuse among at-risk adolescents. This study aimed to address only alcohol and cannabis use disorders in teenagers who already reported the misuse of such substances. Participants were randomly assigned to receive an intervention from their physician or assigned as controls and then asked about their substance use habits 12 months later. Those who received an intervention reported a marked decrease in substance use through self-reporting and chemical screening. This research suggests that pediatricians and other general practitioners should speak candidly about the risks of substance use disorders with their patients. 

Pieces like the featured article highlight the importance of responsible cannabis use. Cannabis is becoming more socially acceptable as states continue to put forth policies that legalize medical and recreational use. Like alcohol and other drugs, cannabis should remain a semi-controlled substance whose availability is restricted by age or other factors so that at-risk youth are unable or less likely to abuse its benefits. State laws currently decide who has access to cannabis but as at-home cultivators become more prominent it will be necessary to ensure the security of those plants to prevent adolescents from misusing plants grown by family or friends. 

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, MDBrief Interventions by Pediatricians can Reduce Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Abuse
read more

An Analysis of Sudden Cardiac Death Exposes the Danger of Tobacco and Cocaine

Sudden cardiac death associated to substances of abuse and psychotropic drugs consumed by young people- A population study based on forensic autopsies

In Summary:

A recent study out of Spain has revealed alarming trends among cases of sudden cardiac death associated with substances of abuse consumed by young people. Half of the 15-36-year-olds who suffered sudden cardiac death were found with illicit substances in their bodies, primarily cannabis, tobacco, and cocaine. Researchers found that although cannabis was the most common substance found in the deceased systems, cocaine and tobacco are known to have a stronger impact on the cardiovascular system and lead to ischemic heart disease, which is often the more acute causes of sudden death. It was also mentioned here that the duration of cannabis is far longer in the body than that of either tobacco or cocaine, and this duration may easily confuse people to associate it as a trigger for sudden death.

However, on the other hand, there are several tragic cases of young, otherwise heart-healthy individuals who have died with cannabis as the only substance discovered. Fortunately, these cases are extraordinarily rare, but unfortunately, no reproducible association has been established, so the mysterious concerns are not easily relieved or forgotten.

Dr. Caplan and the #MDTake:

While the return of medical cannabis to modern medical care seems to bring with it a return of appreciation for more naturalistic care, it is critical for us all to recognize that we still have much to learn. The tools and high standards of scientific evaluation have only recently been applied to cannabis, and there are reasonable arguments that the usual tools may not actually apply (for example, some are suggesting that the placebo effect, a cornerstone of randomized control trials may be a facet of effects related to the endocannabinoid system.)

For these, and a great many other unknowns, it is important for the discerning consumer to consult with trusted resources, including friends, family, scientists, and where possible, doctors, to ensure the appropriateness of use on an individual basis.




View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:   http://bit.ly/2SmffX3      inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDAn Analysis of Sudden Cardiac Death Exposes the Danger of Tobacco and Cocaine
read more

Participants in Cannabis for Chronic Pain Study Describe Life-Changing Results

Restored Self: A Phenomenological Study of Pain Relief by Cannabis

In Summary:

In an Israeli qualitative study investigating the impact of cannabis use on chronic pain patients, all but one of the nineteen study participants experienced pain relief after cannabis use. Participants explained how cannabis allowed them to not just discontinue medications treating their pain, but also medications treating secondary outcomes of their pain, such as poor sleep and anxiety. Patients described feeling “a sigh of relief,” being “reborn” or being saved by cannabis use after years of debilitating pain and medication side effects.

Dr. Caplan and the #MDTake:

The pathway through which cannabis works to combat pain is different from the usual pathways doctors have used for the last 90 years. Prior to the 1930s, cannabis was used routinely, just about everywhere, but political and social agendas kidnapped the medicine and hid it away from most of the mainstream and from routine medical education.

Patients often describe typical pain relievers as adjusting the impact of the pain. Reducing or quieting the pain, softening discomfort, allowing the sufferer to perform previously typical tasks without debilitation or dysfunction. Cannabis, on the other hand, is sometimes described as “taking the sufferer away from the pain,” rather than the other way around. The effects that cannabis can have on the reduction of inflammation, attention, memory, and relaxation, provide a new type of opportunity for relief.

Still, other patients describe the effects of cannabis through a lens of mental focus. Whereas in daily use we typically open a standard set of drawers, some have said, the use of cannabis allows the consumer to open up a different set of draws, and through this adjusted lens, to see discomfort from a different perspective.

For those suffering with chronic pain, years upon years of discomfort, suffering that, when paired with modern medicines, has only met frustration and further discomfort, cannabis is frequently seen as a welcome “sigh of relief.”

different types of  pain
Discussion  from text of research  doc
Sample of text discussing lack of adverse  side effects of cannabis

This paper is also stored here:     http://bit.ly/32FZkUU    inside the CED Foundation Archive

View this review (yellow link) or download:

To explore related information, click the keywords below:


Benjamin Caplan, MDParticipants in Cannabis for Chronic Pain Study Describe Life-Changing Results
read more

Pre- and Post-natal Tobacco and Cannabis Exposure Impacts Children in a Sex-Specific Manner

Pre- and postnatal tobacco and cannabis exposure and child behavior problems: Bidirectional associations, joint effects, and sex differences

Summary Info:

Prenatal maternal cannabis and tobacco use is predictive of behavioral problems among toddlers. Resulting differences from control groups include anxiety, depression, and attention problems. Female children of mom’s consuming substances, in particular, seem to be more susceptible to problems relating to internalization, attention, and sleep. Additionally, the behavioral problems induced by prenatal cannabis and tobacco consumption often lead to further maternal substance consumption, which frequently exacerbates existing behavioral problems. 

Highlights of study of mother's prenatal and postnatal consumption of  cannabis
Highlights of interplay of mother's prenatal and postnatal consumption of  cannabis with children
Highlights of interplay of mother's prenatal and postnatal consumption of  cannabis with toddlers

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:   http://bit.ly/34j9gVJ      inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDPre- and Post-natal Tobacco and Cannabis Exposure Impacts Children in a Sex-Specific Manner
read more

Dr Caplan’s response to Surgeon General advisory statement

Last week’s statement by the US Surgeon General

https://www.hhs.gov/surgeongeneral/reports-and-publications/addiction-and-substance-misuse/advisory-on-marijuana-use-and-developing-brain/index.html

View this (yellow link) or download:

This review is also stored here:    http://bit.ly/34KRgEm     inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDDr Caplan’s response to Surgeon General advisory statement
read more

Adolescent Cannabis Use Linked to Sleep Disturbances

Sleep Disturbances, Psychosocial Difficulties and Health Risk Behavior

Summary info:

A Dutch study investigated sleep disturbances in adolescents. Sleep disruption was linked to cannabis use, psychosocial difficulties, health risk behavior, and increased suicidality. Additionally, gender disparity in results suggests that girls may be more susceptible to sleep disturbances than boys , a result consistent with past recognition of some gender discrepancies in cannabis activity. These results highlight the importance of discouraging haphazard cannabis use, during adolescence, and the need for further gender-focused research surrounding sleep habits and cannabis use.

Dr Caplan, CED Foundation, and the #MDTake:

There are a few important issues that converge in this review. Generally, the question of adolescents’ use, (as an alternative way of describing the question of effects on a developing brain.) Also, this paper raises valuable questions about how cannabis may be interacting with sleep hygiene, for better or for worse. Psychosocial impact and risky behaviors are very complex topics to engage, even with a fairly large population sample of (n=16,781.) There are lots of intercorrelated topics assessed, analyzed, and discussed in the review, and it is all-too-easy to want to find causal patterns that are not apparent, again for better or worse, unless one chooses to construe the results or interpretation with causation in mind. Realistically, it is very likely to find overlap in a population of adolescents who have psychosocial difficulties, engage in risky behaviors, have increased risk of suicidality, and consume cannabis. To point to one of the components, arbitrarily, as the primary cause of the others is to unnecessarily and unjustly oversimplify a complex set of circumstances. The essential tenet, different genders seem to react differently with cannabis, is an excellent take-away, and also that we have much more still to learn.

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:    http://bit.ly/314TsEC     inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDAdolescent Cannabis Use Linked to Sleep Disturbances
read more

Natural & Cannabinoid Changes in Dopamine: A key to the psychosis question?

Comparing dopaminergic dynamics in the dorsolateral striatum between adolescent and adult rats- Effect of an acute dose of WIN55212-2

Brief summary:

A recent study has exposed an age-dependent mechanism within the dopaminergic system that relies on cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1). Adult and adolescent dopamine levels were examined in the presence of a CB1 agonist and increased levels of extracellular dopamine were found in adolescents. This study reveals the different effects cannabis-based medicine has depended on the age of the patient and warrants future research to ensure cannabis has the desired therapeutic effect on patients.   

Dr Caplan Discussion Points:

This adds a helpful layer of insight to the way an animal model of dopamine changes over time, as well as its interaction with exogenous cannabinoids. This sheds light on the natural evolution of the dopamine control system (irrespective of how it interacts with endocannabinoids), and it also points to how cannabinoids may be involved.

This helps to educate the discussion about how psychosis and cannabis use may interact. There is a long-held understanding that dopamine abnormalities in the specific parts of the brain (mesolimbic and prefrontal brain regions) exist in schizophrenia. More recently, research has also strongly suggested that other neurotransmitters, including glutamate, GABA, acetylcholine, and serotonin are also involved in schizophrenia (and, coincidentally, there is also interaction with these other neurotransmitters from various components of cannabis). Nonetheless, this study simply suggests that, by nature, basal dopamine levels increase during adolescence. Also, the study points out that some cannabinoids boost basal levels too. It seems logical to suggest that excessive dopamine may create a problematic force of additional tipping toward illness, within individuals for whom a congenital predisposition toward illness exists.

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:    http://bit.ly/2HpWqM5     inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDNatural & Cannabinoid Changes in Dopamine: A key to the psychosis question?
read more