University of Vermont

UVM Blogs

jrhughes

  • Marijuana and lung disease

    jrhughes on What's New in Marijuana Research
    Evolution designed man to avoid, not seek, taking smoke into the lungs; thus, any smoked substance is likely to cause harm.  In fact, marijuana users are more likely to have bronchitis (i.e., coughing and shortness of breath) and lung infections such as pneumonia (Hall W, Lancet 374, p 1383-1391, 2009).  Most, but not all, studies [...]
    Posted November 03, 2011.
  • Marijuana Use and Anxiety

    jrhughes on What's New in Marijuana Research
    Marijuana has been said to both increase and decrease anxiety or nervousness.  A recent review article (Crippa et al Human Psychopharmacology 24: p 515-523, 2009) clarifies this seeming contradiction.   When scientists find an association between two events (e.g. A and B), then it could mean A causes B, B causes A, or something else else [...]
    Posted November 03, 2011.
  • Can Medications Help Marijuana Users Reduce or Stop?

    jrhughes on What's New in Marijuana Research
    The difficulty some marijuana users have in reducing or stopping their use appears to be due to a dependence on marijuana; e.g, use of marijuana is to obtain the effects of the drug THC (tetrahydrocannabanol), there are cannabinoid receptors in everyone’s brains, and stopping marijuana can cause a withdrawal symptom.   With other drug…[Read more]
    Posted November 03, 2011.
  • Marijuana and Cognition

    jrhughes on What's New in Marijuana Research
    Marijuana use is clearly associated with poorer memory, learning, decision making, impulsivity and attention.  Some have wondered whether these problems are caused by marijuana or predated marijuana use.  A recent review (Crean, Journal of Addictive Medicine 5 :1-8, 2011) concluded that marijuana use itself can cause these. It also examined…[Read more]
    Posted November 03, 2011.
  • What Strategies for Quitting Marijuana Actually Work?

    jrhughes on What's New in Marijuana Research
    Many self-help websites, publications and helplines list tips to help marijuana users stop smoking.  However, no one has ever scientifically tested if these tips actually work.  One survey asked 65 daily marijuana users who had recently tried to quit on their own, what strategies they used when they tried to quit (Boyd et al American Journal [...]
    Posted November 03, 2011.
  • Marijuana and Driving Accidents

    jrhughes on What's New in Marijuana Research
    A recent review of the harms from marijuana use (Hall W, Lancet 374, p 1383-1391, 2009) reported that marijuana users are 2-3 times more likely to be in a car accident.  This rate is smaller than that for heavy alcohol drinkers (6-15 times more likely), in part,  because marijuana users appear to be more aware [...]
    Posted November 03, 2011.
  • Marijuana and Schizophrenia

    jrhughes on What's New in Marijuana Research
    The association of marijuana and schizophrenia (a life-long mental disease characterized by chronic hallucinations and delusions) may be one the most studied and most controversial areas in drug abuse (Hall W, Lancet 374, p 1383-1391, 2009). The most compelling data come from studies that found those who used marijuana were more likely to later…[Read more]
    Posted November 03, 2011.
  • Marijuana as Medicine

    jrhughes on What's New in Marijuana Research
    The active ingredients in marijuana are a group of chemicals called “cannabinoids.”   Since we all have receptors on the nerve cells in our brain for these chemicals, it is reasonable to believe that cannabinoids might have some therapeutic benefits.  A pro- vs con- debate on this recently occurred ( Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 83, p…[Read more]
    Posted November 03, 2011.
  • Why Do Some People Want to Quit Smoking Marijuana?

    jrhughes on What's New in Marijuana Research
    When young adults 16-24 yr olds who are trying to quit or reduce marijuana are asked why they want to change, the more common answers include a) legal problems,   b) new or first job, c) upcoming urine test, d) getting married or moving in with nonuser, or e) having a kid.  But many older marijuana [...]
    Posted November 03, 2011.
  • Does Stopping Marijuana Increase Alcohol Use?

    jrhughes on What's New in Marijuana Research
    Most drug abuse treatment programs advise marijuana users who are trying to stop or reduce their marijuana use, to either not use alcohol or to watch out for a possible increase in alcohol use.  Since no one has tested it before, our group tested whether stopping marijuana would increase alcohol use (Peters et al, Drug [...]
    Posted October 07, 2011.