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Drug Makers Reach $26 Billion Deal on Opioid Lawsuits

A proposed $26 billion settlement on opioid-related lawsuits has been reached with four large drug companies, a group of state attorneys general announced Wednesday.

If enough states sign on to the deal with the country's three major drug distributors -- Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson -- and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, the companies could be released from all ...

No Drop in Teens' Use of Pot, Binge Drinking Despite Pandemic Lockdowns

U.S. high school seniors say marijuana was significantly harder to come by during the pandemic -- yet their use of the drug continued at rates similar to those before school closures began, a new study finds.

Their binge-drinking also continued at similar rates, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

"Last year brought dramatic changes to adolescents' lives, ...

Marijuana Use Tied to Higher Odds for Thoughts of Suicide

Young adults who use marijuana appear to have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide, according to a new study from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

In fact, the risk that someone between 18 and 34 will think about, plan for or attempt suicide increases with the amount of marijuana they use, according to results published June 22 in the journal J...

Pot Use May Change the Teenage Brain, MRIs Show

Smoking pot appears to affect teens' brain development, altering it in ways that could diminish their reasoning, decision-making and memory skills as they age, a new study reports.

Brain scans of about 800 teenagers found that those who started smoking pot tended to have increased thinning of the cerebral cortex -- the outer layer of the brain responsible for thought, perception and langu...

More Pot-Linked Poisoning Cases as Edibles' Popularity Booms

Newfangled marijuana products -- edibles, concentrates, vapes -- are driving an overall increase in pot-related calls to U.S. poison control centers, a new study shows.

There were more than 11,100 calls related to marijuana use in 2019, up from about 8,200 in 2017, researchers said.

More and more of those calls are related to manufactured products that contain distilled amounts of T...

Many Older Americans Aren't Telling Their Doctors They Use Pot

Aging potheads are now past 50 and still puffing away, but new research shows that many don't disclose this to their doctors.

Folks who use marijuana for medical reasons are more likely to tell their doctors about it than recreational users. Still, just a fraction of medical marijuana users opened up about their use, the study found.

"Older adults may worry about how doctors would r...

CBD: How Much Pain Relief Is Real and How Much Is Placebo?

CBD is all the rage, and millions of people are turning to it for a host of reasons, including pain relief.

But despite CBD's popularity and widespread use, new research finds it's actual benefits are less clear.

The bottom line? CBD -- and your expectations about whether it will help (the "placebo effect") -- can make pain feel less bothersome, but it doesn't appear to reduce pain ...

Too Much Pot During Pregnancy May Endanger Baby's Health

Women who use marijuana heavily during pregnancy are more likely to give birth prematurely or have an underweight newborn, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that babies born to moms with problem marijuana use -- what doctors call cannabis use disorder -- faced some higher risks than other newborns.

They were 6% more likely to be born preterm and 13% more likely to be either un...

CBD or THC? Cannabis Product Labels Often Mislead, Study Finds

Patients, beware: You might not be able to trust the label on that medical marijuana product you just brought home.

Levels of the two active ingredients in medicinal cannabis -- THC and CBD -- can vary widely from those claimed by distributors, a new study warns.

"People are buying products they think are THC-free but, in fact, contain a significant amount of THC," said researcher J...

Forget the 'Lazy Stoner': Marijuana Users Don't Exercise Any Less

The stereotypical image of pot smokers has long been one of "stoners" parked on the couch, surrounded by snacks and glued to the television, but a new study dispels that notion.

Instead, people who use marijuana may exercise just as much as other people do, and perhaps even a little more, researchers report.

Considering how important regular exercise is to one's overall health, the ...

When Pot Use Starts in Teens, Drug Addiction More Likely: Study

Teens who try marijuana or other drugs are at greater risk of developing a drug addiction than those who wait a few years before experimenting with drugs, a new study finds.

"Though not everyone who uses a drug will develop addiction, adolescents may develop addiction to substances faster than young adults," said study co-lead author Dr. Nora Volkow. She is director of the U.S. National I...

Teen Pot Use Could Mean Less Success as Adult

Teenage pot use can hamper a kid's future chances of landing a good job with a large salary, mainly by interfering with his or her education, a new study of twins has found.

A teenager who uses more marijuana than their identical twin is less likely to wind up in a highly skilled occupation with better pay than their brother or sister, according to the report.

That's not because pot...

Legalized Pot Tied to Rise in Young Men's Suicide Attempts

States that make marijuana a readily available retail item might see an increase in self-harm among younger men, a new study suggests.

Researchers found a correlation between U.S. states' shifting marijuana policies and rates of self-harm among men younger than 40. Those rates -- which include suicide attempts and non-suicidal behaviors like cutting -- increased in states that legalized, ...

THC From Pot Lingers in Breast Milk for Weeks: Study

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, remains in breast milk for up to six weeks and may be harmful to infants, a new study warns.

The researchers said the finding supports recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and others that women shouldn't use marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding.

"Just as we now caution mothers to avoid toba...

Lockdowns Tied to Temporary Drops in Illicit Drug Seizures

Seizures of illegal drugs fell sharply in the United States during early COVID-19 lockdowns, but spiked once stay-at-home orders eased.

Researchers studied seizures of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl in five locations between March 2019 (a year before the pandemic began in the United States) through September 2020, six months into the pandemic.

During that t...

Vaping Pot Worse Than Vaping Tobacco for Teens' Lungs: Study

Teenagers who vape pot are more likely to wheeze and cough than those who smoke or vape nicotine, new survey data reveals.

Reports from U.S. kids 12 to 17 show they have a higher risk of wheezing, suffering from a dry cough, and having their sleep, speech or exercise impeded by wheezing if they vape marijuana products, according to results from the U.S. federally funded Population As...

Pot May Not Be the Best Rx for a Migraine

If you decide to try pot to relieve your migraine, new research suggests you could be asking for trouble.

In fact, marijuana use was linked to rebound headaches, which can occur when pain medication is overused, scientists noted.

"This study shows that there is some kind of association between cannabis use and medication overuse headache in people with chronic migraine, but it is un...

As Pot Legalization Spreads, More Teens Are Lighting Up

As pot gains in acceptance among adults, teenagers appear to be more tempted to try it, a new study out of California finds.

After the state legalized marijuana use for adults in 2016, teens' use of the drug also climbed after years of steady decline.

Researchers analyzed survey data from more than 3 million seventh-, ninth- and 11th-graders, who answered questions about their ...

Does Getting High Give You Great Business Ideas? Yes and No, New Study Finds

Entrepreneurs seeking great new pitches for "Shark Tank" might try a little reefer madness, according to new research. But whether investors pile on is another matter.

Marijuana use can promote higher levels of business creativity, helping innovators come up with wildly original notions for new products and services, according to a new study in the Journal of Business Venturing....

Drugged Driving a Growing Threat on America's Roads

Combining drugs with driving is a potentially deadly but all too common combination in the United States, according to a new report.

University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers found that almost 9% of adults reported driving under the influence of alcohol. Marijuana use among drivers was more than 4%, while many adults also use both pot and other drugs in combination with alcohol.

T...

Pot Use Ups Odds for Suicide in Young People With Bipolar Disorder

Marijuana addiction increases the risk of death by suicide, homicide and other causes (such as car crashes) in youth and young adults with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, a new study warns.

For the study, the researchers reviewed data on nearly 205,000 young people, aged 10 to 24, in Ohio who were diagnosed with mood disorders from July 2010 through December 2017.

Marijuana...

As More Legal Pot Dispensaries Open, More Young Adults Start Using

As more states legalize marijuana and more shops begin to sell it, more young adults are using pot and developing drug-use disorders, a new study finds.

For the study, researchers looked at young adults in Los Angeles County before and after retail sale of recreational marijuana was legalized in California.

The study linked areas with many pot shops, particularly unlicensed retailer...

Pot Might Impair a Woman's Fertility: Study

Though using marijuana for medical or recreational reasons is legal in a growing number of U.S. states, it may come with some unexpected side effects.

A new study found that women who use cannabis may be reducing their fertility.

"Cannabis use has continued to climb. More and more states have legalized it in recent years," said Sunni Mumford, an investigator at the U.S. National Ins...

Pot Use Rises as Year Goes on: Study

Here's a New Year's resolution that might be more common than you think: quitting pot.

A new study suggests it might explain why marijuana use typically falls at the start of the year and then increases as the year unfolds.

"We found that marijuana use is consistently higher among those surveyed later in the year, peaking during late fall or early winter before dropping...

With Pot Rules Relaxed, More U.S. Teens Driving While High: Study

America's roads are notoriously unsafe on New Year's Eve, and a new study shows that marijuana legalization could be making the situation even worse.

Almost half of teenagers who regularly use pot admit they've gotten behind the wheel while stoned, a new study in JAMA Network Open reveals.

Overall, twice as many teens report driving under the influence of marijuana tha...

Will Pot or CBD Make You a Worse Driver?

As marijuana laws relax and the popularity of CBD products explodes, more Americans may find themselves behind the wheel after taking either of these cannabis-linked substances.

Now, an on-the-road study found that the danger of driving after consuming a marijuana product varies depending on what the main ingredient was.

If it was cannabidiol (CBD), which is often found in medi...

Yes, Pot Is Stronger Now Than in Decades Past, Study Finds

Marijuana packs a lot more punch than it did 50 years ago, making it a greater threat to health, researchers say.

"As the strength of cannabis has increased, so too has the number of people entering treatment for cannabis use problems," said study co-author Tom Freeman, director of the addiction and mental health group at the University of Bath in England.

In Europe, more people no...

Older Adults Turning to Pot for Common Health Problems

Marijuana is fast becoming a favorite medication among older Americans, a new study finds.

Cannabis is being used to ease problems such as pain, sleep disturbances and psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression, researchers say.

Among more than 550 patients surveyed, 15% had used cannabis within the past three years, and 50% of users said they used it regul...

Many Using Cannabis for Pain Take Opioids, Too

People using cannabis for pain may still be taking opioid painkillers, a new study suggests.

Researchers looked at cannabis and nonprescription opioid use among 211 individuals in the New York City area. Over 90 days, the investigators found that opioid use was at least as high when cannabis was used as when it wasn't, regardless of participants' pain levels.

"Our study is...

4 in 10 Teens, Young Adults Have Used CBD Oil, Study Finds

Many teenagers and young adults may be using so-called CBD products, often in the belief that they will aid health conditions, a preliminary study suggests.

Researchers found that of 200 U.S. teens and young adults who landed in their emergency room, 40% said they had used CBD oil. Some did it "just for fun," but others thought CBD "can help to treat my medical illness."

During and After Surgery, Pot Users Need More Anesthesia, Painkillers: Study

Marijuana users appear to need more anesthesia than nonusers, and also more opioids to relieve their pain after surgery, a new, preliminary study reports.

Users of cannabis products who had surgery for a broken leg required higher doses of sevoflurane, an inhaled anesthetic that keeps you asleep during a procedure. These folks also required nearly 60% more opioid painkillers per d...

More U.S. Women Using Marijuana to Help Ease Menopause: Study

A growing number of middle-aged women are turning to marijuana to help soothe symptoms of menopause, new research indicates.

About one-third of older female U.S. veterans said they had either tried to treat their menopause symptoms with cannabis products or planned to experiment with marijuana in the future, according to results presented this week at the virtual annual meeting of the...

Mom-to-Be's Pot Use Linked With Higher Odds for Kids' Mental Woes

Expectant mothers who smoke pot in pregnancy could increase their baby's risk for mental or emotional problems later in childhood, a new study finds.

Marijuana use during pregnancy was associated with a host of problems in the preteen years, researchers report.

Children exposed to pot in the womb were more likely to experience internalizing disorders such as depression and a...

More Are Turning to Pot When Depressed – But Does It Help or Harm?

Folks struggling with depression are much more likely to turn to marijuana to ease their symptoms these days, and that's not necessarily a good thing, researchers report.

Depressed people are more than twice as likely to have used pot within the last month and three times more likely to use it nearly every day in 2015-2016, a far higher number than 10 years before, the new study found...

1 in 20 Older Americans Smoke Pot Regularly, Survey Finds

Marijuana use is on the rise among older Americans, with one in 20 saying they had used within the previous month, according to a new study.

About 5% of men and women aged 55 and older said they'd used marijuana or hashish in the previous month between 2016 and 2018, according to an annual federal government survey on potentially risky behaviors.

Use was twice as high a...

Booze, Drug Use Common at Virtual Parties During Pandemic

Drug use is common among people taking part in virtual raves and happy hours during the coronavirus pandemic, a new study finds.

"We explored whether stay-at-home orders changed how people use drugs -- and it appears that drug use during virtual gatherings is somewhat prevalent among the party-going population we studied," said study author Joseph Palamar. He's associate professor of ...

Teen Pot Use Makes a Comeback After Legalization

Steady reductions in teen marijuana use in Washington state may have been disrupted by legalization of the drug, a new study suggests.

Teens interviewed after voters approved recreational pot in 2012 were several times more likely to report past-year marijuana use. That suggests legalization may be working against decreases in teen drug use, said lead author Jennifer Bailey. She is pr...

Pot Use While Pregnant Tied to Higher Odds for Autism in Kids

Research has shown that pot use during pregnancy may increase the risk of stillborn birth, preterm birth and low birth weight.

Now, a new study adds another danger: children whose mothers used pot while pregnant could be at greater risk for autism.

And the increased danger wasn't slight: Using data on every birth in Ontario, Canada, between April 2007 and March 2012, the Uni...

Marijuana Is Not Heart-Healthy, Experts Say

As marijuana use becomes more common, could heart troubles follow?

Yes, warns a new statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).

A full understanding of how marijuana affects the heart and blood vessels remains limited by a lack of adequate research, but some chemicals in cannabis -- particularly THC, the chemical behind marijuana's "high" -- have been linked to an i...

Pot Use in Pregnancy Could Mean Sleepless Kids

Kids whose moms used pot while pregnant may end up with sleep problems years later, a new study suggests.

Looking at thousands of 9- and 10-year-olds, University of Colorado researchers found that children were more likely to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep if their mother had used marijuana prenatally.

"While not explicitly causal, the results are consistent...

Does Medical Marijuana Help or Harm Kids With Cancer?

Parents are increasingly interested in whether medical marijuana can help their children with problems like cancer-related pain and nausea -- but there's concern about interactions with their medications and a general lack of research.

That's one of the main takeaways from a new report in Pediatrics detailing one hospital's approach to medical marijuana.

Doctors at Ch...

Marijuana, E-Cigarettes Enticing More Young Adults

E-cigarettes and pot may go hand in hand when it comes to young Americans, a new report suggests.

There's been a sharp rise in the use of both among young adults in California, and many of them are underage, the new analysis finds.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, examined state data from 2017 to 2018 and found that c-cigarette use increased 48%...

MS Patients Turn to Marijuana, Other Alternative Treatments

Despite the existence of conventional medications to manage multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, a majority of patients also rely on alternative therapies, including vitamins, exercise and marijuana, a new survey suggests.

For the study, researchers at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland asked MS patients if they used "complementary and alternative therapies" -- medicines a...

Medical Pot May Help Many Battle Insomnia, Pain and Stress: Study

More and more U.S. states are allowing marijuana to be taken as medicine, and a new study suggests that users do indeed feel better.

In a survey of nearly 1,300 people with chronic health conditions, researchers found that those using "medicinal cannabis" reported less pain, better sleep and reduced anxiety.

They also tended to use fewer prescription medications and were les...

Older Gays, Lesbians at Higher Odds for Drug, Alcohol Abuse: Study

Alcohol and drug use is more common among older adults who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual than among their straight counterparts, a new study finds.

For the study, New York University (NYU) researchers analyzed 25,880 responses from adults aged 50 and older who participated in a nationwide survey on alcohol and drug use between 2015 and 2017. Of the participants, 2.5% identi...

Does Medical Marijuana Have a Role in Parkinson's Disease Care?

At a conference hosted two years ago by the Parkinson's Foundation, many neurologists had a pressing issue on their minds: pot.

"Doctors were saying that the number one question from their patients was, 'Can I use medical cannabis for my Parkinson's disease?'" recalled James Beck, the foundation's senior vice president and chief scientific officer.

The answer isn't a simple ...

No Evidence Marijuana Raises Stroke Risk

Whether pot use increases the risk of stroke has been hotly debated, and now a new study adds to evidence that it doesn't.

"Our observational study looked specifically at recent cannabis use by reviewing drug testing data for people admitted to the hospital. While more research is needed with larger numbers of people, our study lends support to the studies showing that cannabis use do...

High-Potency Pot Tied to Big Rise in Psychiatric Issues

Marijuana has long been linked to a host of mental health risks, but the potent strains sold today may amplify those dangers, new research suggests.

"We know that people who use cannabis are more likely to report mental health problems than those who don't use cannabis, but we don't fully understand how recent increases in the strength and potency of cannabis affects this," explained ...

More Patients Turning to Medical Marijuana for Arthritis Pain

Lots of people are using medical marijuana to treat their arthritis and other muscle aches and pains, often without consulting their doctor, a new study reports.

As many as 1 in 5 patients who consult an orthopedic surgeon for chronic musculoskeletal pain are using a cannabis product to treat them, Canadian researchers found.

"We found 20% had reported past or current use of...

Heavy Pot Use Linked to Mental Problems, Even After Quitting

Marijuana dependence goes hand in hand with poor mental health, and problems may persist long after stopping the drug, according to Canadian researchers.

Nearly half of people who have been or are now dependent on pot have some form of mental illness or dependence on another substance, according to a report this month in the journal Advances in Preventative Medicine. That compare...

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