Infant Exposure To Cannabis, Opioids Is 10 Times Higher In This State Vs. National Rate
About one in eight children born in West Virginia (between 2020 and 2022) had in-utero exposure to cannabis, opioids, or stimulants (alcohol and tobacco), a new study shows.
Amna Umer, a pediatric research associate professor at West Virginia University Health Sciences, explained that the study’s results were 10 times higher than the national rates.
“During the two years of this study, more than 4,000 newborns were exposed to substances in utero,” she said.
See Also: President Biden Lays Out Plan To Alleviate Deadly Opioid And Fentanyl Crisis
What Does The Study Say?
Of the 34,412 live births of “singleton” babies (excluding twins, triplets, or other multiples), 12.2% of newborns had in-utero exposure to drugs such as oxycodone, methamphetamine or marijuana.
64.2% of the infants exposed to in-utero substances were also exposed to maternal smoking.
The most prevalent substance exposure was marijuana, with 7.9% of children exposed to it in the womb.
Popular CBD Beverages You Might Want to Try!
Cannabidiol, or more commonly known as CBD, has always been a much talked about topic over the years. It is being widely promoted for providing relief for depression, anxiety, and PTSD. There are also claims that it can help you sleep. Given all its benefits, it’s no surprise that CBD has already penetrated the F&B industry. CBD beverages are among the easiest ways to access this substance. A survey conducted by High Yield Insights reported that 17% of the respondents had consumed CBD beverages. Thirty percent of the non-users also expressed interest in trying a CBD drink.
Four CBD Beverages will Quench Your Thirst
Are you curious about the types of CBD beverages that are available out there? Here are some of the most popular ones.
- CBD Water
CBD water is manufactured by infusing water together with CBD particles. One of the issues with CBD water is that most of the brands available contain minimal amounts of CBD.
The amount in each serving differs by brand. Most have approximately 2 to 5 mg. Although recommended doses may vary, the majority of the studies that evaluate its beneficial effects have used amounts of at least 15 mg per day.
A word of caution: this type of water is quite expensive. A 16-ounce serving will set you back for about 4 to 7 USD. Buying in bulk may help you save a little, but a bottle can still cost you at least 3 USD. That is more expensive than other forms of CBD.
- Cold Brews
Most people enjoy drinking cold brews. Unfortunately, some experience nervousness, anxiety, or “jittery” sensations with this drink. A cold brew with CBD allows you to get the boost offered by caffeine without the jitters! It also removes the harmful effects of over-caffeination.
The Kombucha is a tea-based beverage that is highly known for its probiotic qualities. Meanwhile, its CBD-infused version helps in boosting your immunity. It also helps in relieving different symptoms. Unfortunately, the beneficial effects of the Kombucha-CBD combination have not yet been validated.
Bartenders have been experimenting in mixing CBD with booze. Given the fact that the substance offers sedation and relaxation without getting you high, it’s not a bad idea at all.
Aside from its health benefits, the incorporation of CBD in cocktails can enhance the flavor and texture of your drink. Its taste is mostly neutral. It has green, chlorophyll-like notes that can provide a pleasant complexity to some drinks.
An owner-bartender even suggested that the top three cocktails that work best with CBD are spirits with strong flavors such as tequila, mezcal, or bourbon.
CBD Beverages: the next big thing in the market
Being highly touted to be the next big thing, CBD beverages forecast average annual growth of 75% in the U.S. from 2018 to 2023.
Indeed, the impact and demand for CBD beverages are hard to ignore. One must proceed with caution, however, since the FDA still has not included it in its “generally recognized as safe” list. Drink at your own risk!
Is Marijuana a CNS Depressant?
Marijuana is a drug that people often use recreationally and also call it to weed. However, some even use it for medicinal purposes to cope with symptoms of chronic conditions. It can have depressant effects, but it is not a depressant. Also, it can act as a hallucinogen or stimulant.
It contains delta-9- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive chemical that alters the mental state of the person who uses marijuana. Consuming, vaping, or smoking weed or marijuana can affect each person differently. It can have a strong depressant effect for many and may not on others. Different strains and types of plants can have a different effect on the mind and body.
When a person uses marijuana, his stomach and lungs absorb THC in the bloodstream. This absorbed THC moves to the brain and other parts of the body. When it reaches the brain, it acts on brain cell receptors causing stimulant, hallucinogenic, and depressant effects.
Marijuana or hemp is similar to alcohol as it contains both depressant and stimulant properties, as suggested by the National Institutes of Health in a publication. The side effects of marijuana begin quickly and also last longer than alcohol.
Many of the cannabinoids present in marijuana can cause side effects, just like depressants. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has categorized marijuana as a psychoactive drug, with hallucinogen effects. Hence, marijuana is used widely across the globe as a powerful hallucinogen, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
What are Psychoactive Drugs?
A psychoactive drug is a substance that has the potential to change the brain functions of a person. This type of mind-altering or recreational drug can lead to shifts in mood, perception, level of awareness, consciousness, and cognitive behavior or functioning.
Regular marijuana consumption, especially higher doses, can cause unpleasant thoughts, disorientation, feelings of paranoia, or anxiety. It can affect emotions, attention, learning ability, coordination, decision-making, memory, and reaction time of a person.
Excessive usage can also interfere with work, daily functioning, relationship, and other regular activities. As these psychoactive substances are rewarding and have potential drug abuse, they can reinforce drug-seeking behaviors in the consumers, which can lead to addiction and dependence on these products.
What are CNS Depressants?
CNS Depressants are substances that can slow or depress the central nervous system of a person. The Central Nervous system consists of the spinal cord and brain. The system is a complex network of nerves and neurons, which send messages or signals to all the parts of the body.
CNS Depressants slow down the rate of regular activities occurring in the spinal cord and brain by slowing or depressing the rate at which the nerves of the body sends the signal. Depressants increase the amount of neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the body, which hampers the transmission of signals in the nervous system.
Sleep medications, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates are three common types of CNS depressant drugs. Prescription drugs like Valium and Xanax are used for the treatment of medical conditions like insomnia, anxiety, and seizures. Generally, these medications are safe and effective only when used as per prescription and for appropriate medical conditions.
Even though marijuana can cause effects similar to CNS depressants, it cannot be considered as a CNS depressant. The main reason for the sedative effect of marijuana is its ability to increase the level of dopamine in the body. However, marijuana doesn’t affect the level of neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid in the body.
A study conducted in the year 2016 has clearly indicated that the initial use of marijuana can increase the levels of dopamine in the body. However, long-term use of the drug can affect the level of neurotransmitter release. When the level of dopamine in the body goes down to normal, the user may experience low energy and lethargy. On the other hand, consistent use of the drug can cause the effects of CNS depressants.
Risks associated with CNS Depressants
Risks of CNS depressants include addiction and dependence. When depressant is misused or taken for long-term, the risks associated are even higher. Consuming CNS depressants to achieve a high can cause dangerous and severe side effects.
When consumers combine these drugs with other substances, it can lead to CNS depression or sleepiness. Overdose can result in a significant slowdown of breathing and heart rate of a person, which in turn can lead to deadly consequences that need emergency medical attention.
Depression and Marijuana
Specific evidence for the role of marijuana in causing depression is lacking. There is only limited research on the drug due to its classification into the Schedule I category. However, some studies have shown that marijuana’s high dose can aggravate depression. People who are suffering from depression may use weed or marijuana to numb or lighten the negative feelings. Similarly, people who use marijuana may feel depressed due to the CNS depressant effects of marijuana.
The CNS depressant effect of marijuana includes:
- The lesser feeling of anxiousness
- Aiding sleep
- Reducing insomnia
However, with long term use and overdose of marijuana, a person can experience side effects like:
- Slurred speech
- Memory problems
- Slow breathing
- Poor concentration levels
- Loss of interest
- Dependency and addiction to marijuana
It needs to be noted that the classification of a drug as a CNS depressant is different from the potential effect of the drug on depression. A drug that can depress the central nervous system of your body doesn’t cause depression symptoms like insomnia, loss of interest, or sadness unless the drug is used chronically for an extended duration.
Marijuana to treat Depression
Recent studies have shown that controlled use of marijuana or medicinal products derived from marijuana can help relieve symptoms of depression. The studies have shown the correlation between marijuana and depression depends directly on the amount and duration of use.
In 2014, the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs had published clinical research that showed the use of marijuana is associated with reduced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The research showed that, on average, 75 percent of symptoms of PTSD were reduced with effective use of marijuana. However, scientists feel that there is a need for more research to account for variables.
Cannabis Universities Research: How does it help?
Cannabis is an important subject to initiate a strong debate among researchers, policymakers, scientists, doctors, and the public. There is a consistent debate on the safety and legal status of medical marijuana. Researchers, government, and users have different questions about their uses.
Marijuana is legal in almost 29 states of the USA, along with Washington, DC. From the perspective of the federal government, this drug is illegal. In the landscape of research, cannabis is a complicated drug.
Research on cannabis shows its benefits for patients with chronic pain, cancer, and anxiety. The U.S. research may remain bottlenecked because of the restrictions on the Sativa plant. To find out the effects of cannabis, research is continued in different universities. Here are some significant research findings.
Least Controversial Extract
CBD aka cannabidiol is the least controversial extract from the hemp plant. This component has limited intoxicating properties. Remember, marijuana has over 100 active compounds, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Keep it in mind that THC chemicals can make you high. Strains with CBD dominance may have no THC or little THC. For this reason, patients may report minor alternation in consciousness. Patients may report several advantages of CBD, such as relieving anxiety, spasticity, insomnia, and treating life-threatening conditions.
Remember, epilepsy is a dangerous condition, but marijuana strain with CBD can dramatically improve this disease. The cannabis research universities investigate the possible impacts of CBD for smoking cessation.
Beckley Foundation is analyzing the terpene, flavonoid, and cannabinoid content on cannabis strains. They are trying to produce new medicines to optimize particular health conditions. University College London is using advanced brain-imaging technology.
With this technology, they are comparing the effects of cannabis strains, such as low CBD and high THC content. Research of London King College revealed anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety properties of CBD.
Proven Health Benefits of Cannabidiol
CBD is famous for different health issues but has strong scientific evidence for its efficiency in the treatment of cruelest epilepsy childhood syndromes. These syndromes include LGS (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome) and Dravet Syndrome. Patients of these syndromes may not respond to anti-seizure drugs.
Several studies prove that CBD can decrease seizures and stop them. Epidiolex is an FDA approved medicine containing CBD. Remember, the use of cannabis is common to treat anxiety, insomnia, and other diseases. No doubt, CBD has properties to improve your sleep.
The uses of CBD are common for the treatment of chronic pain. After applying CBD on your skin, you can decrease inflammation and pain of arthritis. With a special mechanism, CBD can inhibit neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Keep it in mind that these two pains are tough to treat.
Research on the Safety of Cannabidiol
The benefits of cannabidiol don’t mean it is free from side effects. The common harmful effects of this herb are irritability, fatigue, and nausea. CBD may increase the Coumadin (blood thinner) in your body. It may increase the level of a particular medicine in your blood.
The major safety concern about CBD is its sale as a supplement. It is not available as an FDA-approved medicine. Unfortunately, FDA is not regulating the purity and safety of the dietary supplement. In this situation, it is difficult to find out if your product has active ingredients.
Medical Cannabis Research and Education Course
The University of Colorado has launched a cannabis education program in the supervision of Professor Kent Hutchison. Interested people can take this course through their official website. Fortunately, the education and research center of C.U. is a multidisciplinary and rigorous center.
They are famous for developing evidence-based knowledge for cannabis. This research will offer empirical data to improve the lives of people suffering from different diseases. Their diverse center faculty examines the impacts of cannabis at the behavioral, dynamic social system, neutral, molecular, and genetic levels.
These types of courses focus on pain management approaches and the role of cannabis on the opiate epidemic. It is crucial to study the impact of hemp use on PTSD individuals or several other psychological disorders.
In short, a few manufacturers of CBD face government scrutiny for indefensible wild claims. They claim that CBD can completely cure cancer. This claim is invalid because researchers are working on the properties of this plant.
If you want to use CBD for any underlying condition, make sure to consult your doctor. It can save you from possible troubles.