Teen IQ and Cannabis Use

As the U.S. continues the process of legalizing medicinal cannabis use, state by state, one of the biggest concerns from opponents remains the impact on adolescents. Although teenagers are not actually permitted to consume cannabis in most states, it’s logical enough that easier access and less cultural stigmatization of cannabis may increase rates of adolescent consumption. Factually, we haven’t seen definitive research either way on how cannabis affects adolescents, and lifetime cannabis users statistically have no cognitive impairment. However, as a society, it’s our responsibility to approach the issue carefully, for two reasons. First, as researchers often point out, the teenage brain is not fully formed, and medicines that may be safe for adults may not be safe for youth. The idea is that at the time regulatory patterns are being formed, cannabis use could theoretically alter the baseline balance permanently. Secondly, even a decreased cognitive performance during a temporary time period could hurt adolescents’ chances at higher education, which could be equally devastating. In other words, this topic deserves immediate attention from the scientific community. However, one familiar roadblock stands in the way; it’s difficult to control for conflated variables. Especially in the case of adolescents, those that currently choose to consume cannabis illegally are much more likely to exhibit high-risk behaviors that affect cognitive development (such as other drug use) or to already struggle in school. Performing a simple statistical regression may therefore falsely give the appearance of causation stemming from cannabis use. Thus, true understanding of the…

Soothing Migraine Headaches with Cannabis

Nearly everyone who’s used medical cannabis can relate to its ability to soothe headaches. From easing stress and tight forehead muscles to reducing body pain, cannabis naturally lends itself to being a headache cure. Yet, surprisingly, no clinical tests are being performed at this time to treat migraine patients with medical cannabis. In other words, while some doctors are already prescribing cannabis for recurring headaches, no large clinical studies on actual humans are being conducted. As readers may guess, this may have something to do with the difficulty of getting approval for human studies involving cannabis. In any case, the situation is now remarkably unusual; medical cannabis dispensaries sometimes have more access to medical information than physicians. Specifically, as a general physician, you may have the opportunity to prescribe cannabis to a number of patients, with only a handful of those seeking treatment for headaches. On top of that, after the prescription for medical cannabis, you can’t track what cannabis was used, how potent it was, where it came from, etc. A large part of the treatment data is inherently unknown by the physician, and getting patients to carefully record and report that data is difficult, further reducing the number of people who could realistically be involved in a study. In fact, busy, time-strapped patients may not even return after successfully treating their problems. Contrast this situation with that of a dispensary. At a medical cannabis dispensary, providers can keep a file on each patient, using purchases to record average…