Marijuana may boost risky effects of drinking alcohol — ScienceDaily


As the legalization of medical marijuana and marijuana use are both on the rise in the United States, people are not necessarily using alcohol less and may be unaware of the risks of combining alcohol and marijuana, according to researchers.

A new study from Penn State found that compared to people who only drank alcohol, those who used alcohol and marijuana simultaneously were more likely to drink heavier and more often. They were also more likely to experience alcohol-related problems — like impulsive actions they later regretted.

“The results suggest that individuals who simultaneously use alcohol and marijuana are at a disproportionately higher risk for heavy, frequent, and problematic substance use,” said Ashley Linden-Carmichael, assistant research professor at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State.

The researchers said the findings — recently published in the journal Substance Use and Misuse — also suggest that prevention and intervention programs should take into account not just alcohol, but also if people are using additional substances, as well.

“Right now, a lot of campus programs focus on whether students are drinking, and while sometimes they are asked about other substances, it’s not necessarily whether they’re using these substances simultaneously,” Linden-Carmichael said. “I think we do need to be asking about whether they’re drinking in combination with other drugs and educating students about how that exacerbates their risk.”

According to the researchers, marijuana use is at an all-time high among young adults in the U.S., possibly leading to people using marijuana and alcohol simultaneously.

“The problem with simultaneous use is that it can affect people cognitively and perceptually, and also have an impact on motor impairment,” Linden-Carmichael said. “There is a burgeoning area of research that is examining why people are using marijuana and alcohol together and what those effects are.”

In the study, Linden-Carmichael said she and the other researchers were interested in learning more about how people use marijuana and alcohol together. They also wanted to explore whether personality traits — like the tendency to pursue new and exciting experiences, or “sensation seeking” — were associated with higher odds of using alcohol and marijuana at the same time.

The researchers recruited 1,017 participants from 49 states in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 25 for the study. The participants provided information about how often they used alcohol, marijuana and the two substances simultaneously. They also filled out questionnaires that measured their experiences with alcohol-related problems, whether they had a sensation-seeking personality, and how they perceived the drinking habits of their friends.

Linden-Carmichael said that across the board, individuals who used alcohol and marijuana simultaneously were at a greater risk than individuals using alcohol alone.

“Even after controlling for the number of drinks a person typically consumed, people who used alcohol and marijuana at the same time were at a greater risk for problems like blacking out, getting in an argument, or other concerns,” Linden-Carmichael said. “Additionally, 70 percent of those who engaged in simultaneous use reported using at least weekly.”

The researchers found that among people who used alcohol and marijuana simultaneously, those who used more frequently were more likely to drink more alcohol, more often, and for longer periods of time. They were also associated with using more marijuana more often.

Additionally, they found that people who used alcohol and marijuana together were more likely to have higher levels of sensation-seeking characteristics and think their friends were drinking larger amounts of alcohol.

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Materials provided by Penn State. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.



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Tuesday, August 13, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News


A budding and growing marijuana plant is brightly lit under indoor lights.

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, August 13, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// CannTrust sinks as Health Canada finds second facility non-compliant (BNN Bloomberg)

// Key Congressional Chairman Sends Marijuana Email To NORML Activists (Forbes)

// Legal Cannabis Mellowed Outside Lands Megafestival (Leafly)


These headlines are brought to you by Curaleaf, one of the leading vertically-integrated cannabis operators in the U.S. With legal medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation sites, and processing facilities all over the United States, Curaleaf has served more than 150,000 medical cannabis patients and looks forward to helping many more long into the future. Swing over to Curaleaf.com to learn more about this very cool company!


// Pritzker signs two bills expanding medical cannabis program (25 News NBC)

// New Mexico closer to capping medical marijuana cultivation (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Scent of unburnt marijuana exclusively is not grounds to search warehouse, SJC rules (Boston Globe)

// Top Senate Democrat Calls On Federal Regulators To Clarify Hemp Banking Rules (Marijuana Moment)

// Health Canada Isn’t Too Worried About Canadian Producers on Snapchat (Leafly)

// First recreational marijuana store opens off Massachusetts mainland (Marijuana Business Daily)

// How the Dutch Spread Cannabis Across the World (Leafly)


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Marijuana Legalization Measures Gaining Momentum in Several States


Lawmakers in several states have recently moved forward legislative proposals to either legalize or decriminalize marijuana-related activities. Here is a look at where some of these efforts currently stand.

LEGALIZATION

New Hampshire: By a margin of 209 to 147, House members voted late last week in favor of House Bill 481, which legalizes the possession and cultivate of personal use quantities of cannabis by adults, and establishes a licensed system of commercial production and retail sales. The measure awaits action in the Senate and faces opposition from Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who has pledged to veto any legalization bill, “regardless of what the language looks like.”

New Mexico: Members of the House voted 36 to 34 in favor of HB 356, which establishes a system of licenses, state-run marijuana retailers. Members of the Senate have until March 16 to act on the bill.

Vermont: Members of the Senate last week passed SB 54 by a vote of 23 to 5. The measure expands existing law to permit the state-licensed production and sale of cannabis to those age 21 or older. The measure now awaits action from members of the House.

DECRIMINALIZATION:

Hawaii: House members approved HB 1383, which removes criminal penalties for minor marijuana possession offenses (up to three grams) and expunges past criminal convictions. The measure now heads to the Senate.

New Mexico: Members of the Senate on Tuesday voted 30 to 8 in favor of SB 323, which reduces possession penalties for the possession of up to one-half ounce of cannabis to a $50 fine and no criminal record. It now goes to the House for further action.

OTHER REFORM BILLS

Florida: Senate members this week overwhelmingly approved legislation, SB 182, to lift the ban on the smoking of medical cannabis and/or the possession of herbal formulations of the plant. House members are expected to address the measure on Wednesday.

New Mexico: Members of the Senate overwhelmingly (33 to 2) passed SB 406 to expand greater medical access and to limit discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere against qualified patients. It now awaits action from the House.

Virginia: Legislation is before the Governor to expand the pool of health professionals who can approve cannabis therapy to include nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The measure, SB 1557, also permits qualifying patients access to a broader spectrum of products containing both plant-derived CBD and THC.

West Virginia: Legislation (HB 2538) to facilitate banking access for the medical cannabis industry is awaiting action from the Governor. If signed into law, it mandates that the “Commissioner of Financial Institutions shall not prohibit, penalize, incentivize, or otherwise impair a financial institution from providing services to a person or entity involved in a medical cannabis-related business.”

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Federal Agencies Weigh In on Legal Status of Hemp, CBD


WASHINGTON, DC — Representatives from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) testified last week with regard to federal efforts to regulate domestic hemp production and the sale of certain hemp-derived CBD products.

In December, Congress enacted legislation removing industrial hemp (defined as cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent THC) and products containing cannabinoids derived from hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act.

In Congressional testimony last week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that the Department is working to create federal hemp regulations by 2020. Under the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill, US states that wish to license commercial hemp cultivation must submit their plan to the USDA. However, the agency is not reviewing any state-specific plans until it has finalized its own federal regulations.

In separate testimony, outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told Congress that the agency is considering various pathways to regulate hemp-derived CBD products, but cautioned that the process could take “two, three, [or] four years.”

The Commissioner has previously stated, “[I]t’s unlawful under the FD&C Act (US Food Drugs and Cosmetics Act) to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived.”

That announcement led to regulatory agencies in several states pulling certain CBD-infused products from the retail market.

The FDA director told Congress that the agency will soon announce the formation of a “high-level working group” to begin addressing the issue, with public meetings beginning in April.

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