Marijuana won't stop COVID + Driving high after legal + 55 & older misusing opiods

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There is no evidence medical marijuana would help prevent COVID

EXCERPTS: The internet is abuzz with a new study showing how two cannabis compounds may have protective effects against COVID-19. But weed-smokers shouldn’t celebrate just yet. [...] The paper has received a flood of attention, even making rounds on late night television shows.

[...] These jokes and celebrations are misguided—the study shows no evidence that smoking weed or consuming CBD gummies and other popular hemp products can protect or prevent COVID-19. CBGA and CBDA, the cannabis compounds mentioned in the research, are precursors to the compounds actually found in cannabis products: They are acids in hemp that are turned into CBG and CBD, respectively, when cannabis plants are heated and dried to make marijuana.

“CBDA and CBGA are produced by the hemp plant as precursors to CBD and CBG, which are familiar to many consumers,” Oregon State University pharmaceutical scientist, Richard van Breemen, said in a statement. “However, they are different from the acids and are not contained in hemp products.” van Breeman also told VICE that “we know that CBD, CBG, and THC are not active against the virus.”

CBDA and CGBA also degrade at high temperatures, ruling out smoking as a way to ingest the chemicals. If these compounds were to actually become medicinal products, far down the line, they would have to be taken orally, probably as pills.[...] Experts are taking to social media to dispel myths of weed-smoking’s protective abilities... (MORE - missing details)

More folks drive high when pot made legal: study

INTRO: Here's more evidence that marijuana may make driving more dangerous: As pot has been legalized in more countries and states, a greater number of people are driving intoxicated by the drug and crashing, researchers report. THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, has been detected in twice as many injured Canadian drivers since 2018, when cannabis was first legalized. The same effect is being seen in the United States, said lead researcher Dr. Jeffrey Brubacher, an associate professor in the department of emergency medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver... (MORE - details)

Opioid misuse is rising among Americans aged 55 and older

INTRO: Opioid misuse doesn't discriminate by age -- and rates are rising steadily among adults aged 55 and up, new research shows. "You can still use recreational drugs at an older age. You can have STDs at an older age, but we don't think about it, I think, because of stereotypes about what it means to be an older adult," said researcher Maryann Mason. She is an associate professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University's Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics, in Chicago... (MORE)
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Brain scans could help police detect cannabis impairment in drivers

INTRO: Driving under the influence of psychoactive drugs is a serious offense and a major catalyst for vehicle-related accidents. In order to detect irresponsible drivers and sanction them, law enforcement officers employ various tools such as breath analyzers to detect alcohol in a person’s system or rapid drug tests that can respond to specific markers for cocaine, marijuana, and other drugs. In the not-so-distant future, road checks could also employ mobile brain scanners that detect particular patterns of neural activity associated with intoxication. Scientists explain how this might work for cannabis impairment in a new study... (MORE)

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