Illicit drug use and prescription drug misuse among young adult medical cannabis patients and non-patient users in Los Angeles

Drug and Alcohol Dependence

“Young adults have the highest rates of cannabis and other drug use, as compared to other age groups, and contribute a significant proportion to the total population of medical cannabis patients (MCP). However, little is known about the relationships between various cannabis practices and illicit drug use/prescription drug misuse among young adult cannabis users with and without legal access to medical cannabis.

RESULTS:

Illicit drug use was associated with being non-Hispanic white (AOR = 3.0, 95% CI 1.8-5.1), use of cannabis concentrates (AOR = 2.8, 95% CI 1.6-4.9), while self-reported medical cannabis use was associated with lower probability of illicit drug use (AOR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3-0.9). The odds of prescription drug misuse were increased for participants who reported use of cannabis edibles (AOR = 2.0, 95% CI 1.1-3.5), and decreased with age (AOR = 0.9, 95% CI 0.8-1.0) and for those who used cannabis alone (AOR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3-0.9).

CONCLUSION:

Use of alternative cannabis forms, but not cannabis use frequency, were associated with greater odds of other drug use. Self-reported medical cannabis use, but not MCP status, decreased probability of illicit drug use.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30861391

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871619300596?via%3Dihub

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Does morning affect contribute to daily Cannabis use?

Addictive Behaviors

“Several theories posit that cannabis and other substances are used to reduce negative affect. This daily report study considered whether variations in positive and negative affect, reported each morning, contributed to the likelihood of cannabis use later that day. We also explored whether levels of positive and negative affect reported immediately after cannabis use improved, relative to that day’s morning levels. The sample included 183 men and 183 women representing heterosexual, cannabis-using couples from the community. Participants made independent, daily reports of affect and cannabis use episodes for 30 consecutive days. Using multilevel modeling, we modeled men’s and women’s use of cannabis on a given day as a function of morning levels of positive, hostile, and anxious affect, accounting for partner cannabis use that day, and mean levels of positive and negative affect. Men and women were more likely to use cannabis on a given day when morning positive affect was lower than typical for the person and when partner used cannabis that day. Neither hostile nor anxious affect contributed to later use of cannabis. Immediately after cannabis use, positive affect increased, and hostile and anxious affect decreased relative to that day’s morning levels. The improved affect immediately after use suggests a mechanism of positive reinforcement.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30856545

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030646031831339X?via%3Dihub

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The Endocannabinoid System and Cannabidiol’s Promise for the Treatment of Substance Use Disorder.

 Related image“Substance use disorder is characterized by repeated use of a substance, leading to clinically significant distress, making it a serious public health concern. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in common neurobiological processes underlying substance use disorder, in particular by mediating the rewarding and motivational effects of substances and substance-related cues. In turn, a number of cannabinoid drugs (e.g., rimonabant, nabiximols) have been suggested for potential pharmacological treatment for substance dependence. Recently, cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, has also been proposed as a potentially effective treatment for the management of substance use disorder. Animal and human studies suggest that these cannabinoids have the potential to reduce craving and relapse in abstinent substance users, by impairing reconsolidation of drug-reward memory, salience of drug cues, and inhibiting the reward-facilitating effect of drugs. Such functions likely arise through the targeting of the endocannabinoid and serotonergic systems, although the exact mechanism is yet to be elucidated. This article seeks to review the role of the endocannabinoid system in substance use disorder and the proposed pharmacological action supporting cannabinoid drugs’ therapeutic potential in addictions, with a focus on CBD. Subsequently, this article will evaluate the underlying evidence for CBD as a potential treatment for substance use disorder, across a range of substances including nicotine, alcohol, psychostimulants, opioids, and cannabis. While early research supports CBD’s promise, further investigation and validation of CBD’s efficacy, across preclinical and clinical trials will be necessary.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30837904

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00063/full

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New Insights in Cannabinoid Receptor Structure and Signaling.

“Cannabinoid has long been used for medicinal purposes. Cannabinoid signaling has been considered the therapeutic targets for treating pain, addiction, obesity, inflammation, and other diseases. Recent studies have suggested that in addition to CB1 and CB2, there are non-CB1 and non-CB2 cannabinoid-related orphan GPCRs including GPR18, GPR55, and GPR119. In addition, CB1 and CB2 display allosteric binding and biased signaling, revealing correlations between biased signaling and functional outcomes. Interestingly, new investigations have indicated that CB1 is functionally present within mitochondria of striated and heart muscles directly regulating intramitochondrial signaling and respiration.

CONCLUSION:

In this review, we summarize the recent progress in cannabinoid-related orphan GPCRs, CB1/CB2 structure, Gi/Gs coupling, allosteric ligands and biased signaling, and mitochondria-localized CB1, and discuss the future promise of this research.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30767756

http://www.eurekaselect.com/170011/article

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Recreational marijuana legalization and prescription opioids received by Medicaid enrollees.

Drug and Alcohol Dependence

“Medical marijuana use may substitute prescription opioid use, whereas nonmedical marijuana use may be a risk factor of prescription opioid misuse. This study examined the associations between recreational marijuana legalization and prescription opioids received by Medicaid enrollees. In models comparing eight states and DC, legalization was not associated with Schedule II opioid outcomes; having recreational marijuana legalization effective in 2015 was associated with reductions in number of prescriptions, total doses, and spending of Schedule III opioids by 32%, and 31%, respectively. In models comparing eight states and DC to six states with medical marijuana legalization, recreational marijuana legalization was not associated with any opioid outcome. No evidence suggested that recreational marijuana legalization increased prescription opioids received by Medicaid enrollees. There was some evidence in some states for reduced Schedule III opioids following the legalization.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30390550

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871618307567?via%3Dihub

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Impact of Medical Marijuana Legalization on Opioid Use, Chronic Opioid Use, and High-risk Opioid Use.

“Medical marijuana legalization was found to be associated with a lower odds of any opioid use. In states where marijuana is available through medical channels, a modestly lower rate of opioid and high-risk opioid prescribing was observed. Policy makers could consider medical marijuana legalization as a tool that may modestly reduce chronic and high-risk opioid use.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30684198

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11606-018-4782-2

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Cannabidiol as a novel candidate alcohol use disorder pharmacotherapy: a systematic review.

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research banner

“There is substantial interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in plants of the genus Cannabis. The goal of the current systematic review was to characterize the existing literature on this topic and to evaluate the credibility of CBD as a candidate pharmacotherapy for alcohol use disorder (AUD). Collectively, given its favorable effects on alcohol-related harms and addiction phenotypes in preclinical models, CBD appears to have promise as a candidate AUD pharmacotherapy.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30698831
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/acer.13964

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Pills to pot: observational analyses of cannabis substitution among medical cannabis users with chronic pain.

“Chronic pain is common, costly and challenging to treat. Many individuals with chronic pain have turned to cannabis as an alternative form of pain management.

We report results from an ongoing, online survey of medical cannabis users with chronic pain nationwide about how cannabis affects pain management, health, and pain medication use. We also examined whether and how these parameters were affected by concomitant recreational use, and duration of use (novice: <1 year vs. experienced: ≥1 year). 1,321 participants (59% female, 54% ≥50 years old) completed the survey.

Consistent with other observational studies, ∼80% reported substituting cannabis for traditional pain medications (53% for opioids, 22% for benzodiazepines), citing fewer side effects and better symptom management as their rationale for doing so. Medical only users were older (52 vs. 47, p<0.0001), less likely to drink alcohol (66% vs. 79%, p<0.0001), and more likely to be currently taking opioids (21% vs. 11%, p<0.0001) than users with a combined recreational + medical history. Compared to novice users, experienced users were more likely to be male (64% vs. 58%, p<0.0001), take no concomitant pain medications (43% vs. 30%), and report improved health (74% vs. 67%, p=0.004) with use.

Given that chronic pain is the most common reason for obtaining a medical cannabis license, these results highlight clinically important differences among the changing population of medical cannabis users. More research is needed to better understand effective pain management regimens for medical cannabis users.

PERSPECTIVE: This article presents results that confirm previous clinical studies suggesting that cannabis may be an effective analgesic and potential opioid substitute. Participants reported improved pain, health, and fewer side effects as rationale for substituting. This article highlights how use duration and intentions for use affect reported treatment and substitution effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30690169

https://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(18)30735-1/fulltext

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Medical cannabis patterns of use and substitution for opioids & other pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and illicit substances; results from a cross-sectional survey of authorized patients.

 

Image result for harm reduction journal

“The findings provide a granular view of patient patterns of medical cannabis use, and the subsequent self-reported impacts on the use of opioids, alcohol, and other substances, adding to a growing body of academic research suggesting that increased regulated access to medical and recreational cannabis can result in a reduction in the use of and subsequent harms associated with opioids, alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30691503

https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-019-0278-6

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Perspectives on cannabis as a substitute for opioid analgesics.

 Future Medicine Logo“With the opioid epidemic reaching new heights in the USA, it has become critical to find suitable alternatives to opioids.

Cannabis, an antinociceptive, is a strong contender to help patients reduce their opioid usage.

A growing literature has been examining the complex effects cannabis has on pain relief and on opioid usage; whether it is a substitute for opioids or increases their use. This review explores the studies that compare cannabis-opioid interactions and presents some challenges of cannabis research and usage.

The practical clinical pharmacology of cannabis as an analgesic, including the route of administration, safety and pharmacokinetics, are discussed to address the concerns, as well as possible solutions, of cannabis as a pain reliever.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30681029

https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/pmt-2018-0051

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