Due to a lack of publicly available data, understanding what products medical cannabis patients use for various conditions has mostly come from survey responses. In a new study, USC Schaeffer Center researchers established a clearer picture by analyzing point-of-sale data from nearly 17,000 patients who made more than 80,000 purchases as part of the New York state medical cannabis program.
The researchers found considerable variation in the products chosen for most medical conditions, and high variability in labeled doses of THC.
“While the medical cannabis market is not new, there is still relatively little research on patient purchasing behavior,” says Alexandra Kritikos, a postdoctoral research fellow in the USC Schaeffer Center and the USC Institute for Addiction Science. “Unfortunately, our analysis suggests that patients may not be getting consistent guidance from clinicians and pharmacists and, in many disease areas, there seems to be a lack of clear clinical data on appropriate dosing.”
I smoked weed around 50 years ago when I had a lot of jazz musician friends. I would also guess that there is little comparison between the marijuana that is available today with what we had back then.
Introducing and prescribing standard units for cannabis, which make people aware of the concentrations of THC in the product, could help improve mental health treatments and outcomes. Source: University of Bath
Despite widespread use of the drug around the world and increasing moves to legalize its sale for recreational consumption, standard units – which have been commonplace for alcohol for many years – have never been adopted in health guidelines for cannabis.
The authors show that in countries where cannabis is legally sold, such as Canada, the number of standard units a product contains could be easily added to existing labels on product packaging. The image is in the public domain.
The researchers, from the Addiction and Mental Health Group at the University of Bath with collaborators from King’s College London, UCL and the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, suggest that more needs to be done to make users aware of the dose of ‘THC’ – the drug’s main psychoactive component. Continue reading →
As a guy who first smoked weed in the 1960’s with jazz musician friends, I heralded the legalization of marijuana to the extent it has been. Nonetheless, there appears to be at least one downside to it. For the record, I no longer smoke it or any thing else.
After medical marijuana became legal in Massachusetts, cannabis-related poison control calls involving the commonwealth’s children and teenagers doubled, according to a public health investigation led by University of Massachusetts Amherst injury prevention researcher Jennifer Whitehill.
The increase in calls to the Regional Center for Poison Control and Prevention at Boston Children’s Hospital occurred despite legislative mandates for childproof packaging and warning labels, and before the recreational use of marijuana was legalized for adults.
“As states across the country enact more permissive marijuana policies, we need to do more to promote safe storage in households with children,” says Whitehill, assistant professor of health promotion and policy and lead author of the research published in JAMA Network Open. Continue reading →