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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...

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...

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."

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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%...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

Although marijuana is growing in use - and becoming more legal - across the country, there is still much to learn about its effect on the body, and particularly on the heart.

"We need a lot more research," said Dr. Robert Kloner, chief science officer at Huntington Medical Research Institutes and professor of medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. "It's inevit...

Teenagers who use marijuana to fall asleep may be setting themselves up for insomnia later in life, a new study suggests.

It is widely known that many people rely on marijuana as a sleep aid. In a 2018 survey of 1,000 marijuana users in Colorado, 74% reported that they use it to fall asleep.

Still, there is little evidence to suggest that marijuana use actually results ...

It's widely believed that marijuana is not addictive, but a major new evidence review suggests that's not true.

Not only can people suffer withdrawal symptoms when they quit pot, but nearly half of those who regularly or heavily use marijuana will go through withdrawal when they stop, according to the study published online April 9 in JAMA Network Open.

About 47% ...

Common bad reactions to marijuana include coughing fits, anxiety and paranoia, but regular users are less likely to have problems than occasional users, a new study finds.

"There's been surprisingly little research on the prevalence or frequency of various adverse reactions to cannabis and almost no research trying to predict who is more likely to experience these types of adverse rea...

Most legal medical marijuana -- more than 90% -- is stronger than what doctors recommend for chronic pain relief, a new study finds.

"We know that high-potency products should not have a place in the medical realm because of the high risk of developing cannabis-use disorders, which are related to exposure to high THC-content products," said lead author Dr. Alfonso Edgar Romero-Sa...

Smoking just one joint of marijuana is enough to trigger psychotic, depressive and anxiety symptoms in otherwise healthy people, British researchers report.

The review of data involved 331 people with no prior history of psychotic or other major psychiatric disorders. It found that there's enough THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) -- the main psychoactive ingredient in pot -- in one joint to ...

Cannabidiol -- commonly known as CBD -- might not be all it is touted to be, new research suggests.

Instead, existing evidence on the potential benefits of the compound found in marijuana and hemp has often been backed by industry, scientists said.

The researchers found that of 99 human CBD studies done since 2014, about 62% had some conflict of interest -- including in...

Could depression prompt a pregnant woman to use marijuana?

New research suggests it could: Pregnant women with depression are more than three times more likely to use pot than those without depression, a new study finds.

Researchers with the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City analyzed U.S. federal data from 2005 to 2018. Marijuana users were...

People who use marijuana either medicinally or recreationally should remember that pot can have potentially harmful interactions with medications they take regularly, a new report warns.

This is particularly true of older folks, who often are on many different drugs to manage a variety of chronic ailments, said lead researcher Tony Antoniou. He's an associate professor in the departme...

Of the medications that have been studied to treat problem marijuana use, none have proved effective, a new analysis shows.

The review, of 26 trials, found that no tested drugs -- including antidepressants, anxiety medication and synthetic cannabinoids -- showed clear benefits for people with cannabis use disorder (CUD).

CUD may be diagnosed when a marijuana habit becomes a ...

It's never good news that kids are using drugs and alcohol, but fewer U.S. teens are starting before their 16th birthday, a new study finds.

Researchers found that between 2004 and 2017, the age at which teens started drinking alcohol and smoking rose from 16 to 17 years. The age for trying heroin went from 17 to 18, and for cocaine it increased from 18 to 19 years. For crack cocaine...

Americans may want to rethink the stereotype of the pot-loving teen: More U.S. seniors are using the drug now than ever before.

The proportion of folks 65 and older who use pot stands at 4.2%, up from 2.4% in 2015, according to figures from the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

"The change from 2.4 up to 4.2, that's a 75% increase," said senior researc...

"Dabbing" cannabis concentrate is the type of marijuana experimentation most likely to lead teens into frequent and heavy use of the drug, researchers say.

"We really wanted to understand whether the type of cannabis that youth experiment with influences the likelihood that they will continue to use cannabis and use more heavily," said Jessica Barrington-Trimis, an assistant professor...

Medical marijuana may not provide long-term relief of sleep issues in people battling chronic pain, a new study finds, mainly because users may develop a tolerance to the drug.

The finding is important "considering the aging of the population, the relatively high prevalence of sleep problems in this population, along with the increasing use of medicinal cannabis," said an Israeli team...

Over 2 million Americans with heart disease have used marijuana, despite evidence that it might be harmful to them, a new research review finds.

The report, published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, comes at a time when many states are legalizing medicinal or recreational marijuana use. And, some studies suggest, a growing number of Am...

Are college students choosing marijuana instead of booze when both are legal?

New research suggests they are: In states where pot is legal, college kids use it more, but binge-drink less.

In states with legal marijuana, college students were 18% more likely to use it in the past month than in states where it's illegal, Oregon State University researchers report.

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Even when they're not high on marijuana, recreational users of the drug display signs of impaired driving, a new study finds.

The findings may come as a surprise to many, said senior study author Staci Gruber, director of Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate in Belmont, Mass.

"People who use cann...

The idea of marijuana causing a psychotic breakdown sounds like something out of the camp film classic "Reefer Madness," but many experts argue it's not that far-fetched.

As legalization of recreational marijuana spreads across the United States, more people are showing up in ERs with psychotic symptoms after consuming too much pot, said Dr. Itai Danovitch, chairman of psychiatry and ...

A lot of the dope you read online about the benefits of marijiuana is just hooey, but it can influence attitudes and actions, researchers say.

Looking at tens of thousands of pot-related posts on Twitter, researchers saw a lot of bogus health claims that they fear may drown out solid science.

"These misleading messages are pervasive online," said researcher Jon-Patrick Alle...

The scourge of addiction among Americans young and old made big headlines in 2019, as did one big change in heart health guidelines.

Here are the top health stories of the past year, as compiled by editors at HealthDay.

Vaping takes hold, and new dangers emerge

Perhaps no health issue dominated headlines this past year as m...

Regular pot use might potentially cause changes in the heart's structure, a new study suggests.

People who regularly use marijuana tend to have a larger left ventricle, which is the main pumping chamber of the heart, according to the findings.

Routine stoners also appeared to have early signs of impaired heart function, measured by how the fibers of the heart muscle deform d...

Millions of Americans, teens and young adults in particular, are driving while high on pot and other illegal drugs, U.S. health officials report.

According to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 million drivers aged 16 and older said they had driven while stoned in 2018, and more than 2 million said they drove after using other illicit drugs.

...

As electronic-cigarette use has soared among America's teens, so too has the number vaping marijuana, two new reports indicate.

A team from the University of Nebraska found youth use of pot in e-cigarettes rose from 11% in 2017 to 15% one year later. And University of Michigan researchers found that in 2019, 14% of 12th graders reported marijuana vaping in the prior month...

If you live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, you're more likely to think that it offers health benefits, a new study finds.

People think those benefits include relieving pain, anxiety and depression, researchers say.

"Our results show that residents of states where marijuana has been legalized for recreational use have an overall more favorable view towar...

People suffering from depression are often desperate for anything to break them out of their debilitating mood disorder.

But in their misery, many might be turning to a risky solution that's likely to make their condition even worse -- marijuana.

People with depression are twice as likely to be using pot as those who aren't depressed, researchers reported in the current issu...

Three-quarters of U.S. teens who use e-cigarettes are vaping addictive or mind-altering substances -- more than once suspected, according to a new study.

The findings add to growing concerns about teen vaping.

"We found that youth were more likely to report vaping nicotine and marijuana than 'just flavoring' only, and that cigarette smoking intensity was associated with an i...

Heavy pot users are nearly two times more likely to have a heart attack after common types of surgeries as those who don't use the drug, a new study shows.

"While cannabis is often purported as being safe or benign, we don't fully understand the health implications of this drug, particularly in heavy users," said study author Dr. Karim Ladha, a clinician-scientist at the Li Ka Shing K...

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