Posts Tagged ‘marijuana’

Testing Edible Marijuana Driver Impairment

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017


Testing edible marijuana for driver impairment is the subject of new research published in AACC’s Clinical Chemistry. Although edible marijuana is becoming increasingly common there is little information on testing drivers following consumption.  This study evaluated the performance of roadside saliva tests  following consumption of edible tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Researchers observed that consumption of marijuana edibles have expanded along with legalized medical and recreational use and about 1/3 of all marijuana is now either eaten or ingested in drinks. Marijuana-associated  traffic accidents and fatalities have also increased in states where they have been legalized increasing in those states from 8.6% in 2007 to 12.6% in 20132014.

In the study researchers gave occasional and frequent marijuana smokers brownies laced with 50.6 mg of THC. Over the next 48 hours the researchers collected saliva and blood samples at several time points. Saliva samples were analyzed using the roadside screening devices , the Draeger Drug Test 5000 (DT5000) and Alere DDS2 (DDS2) that use a cutoff point of 5µg/L and 25µg/L respectively to determine someone who is positive or negative for marijuana use. These tests were then confirmed  using a standard laboratory method for marijuana testing–the liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to analyze both the saliva and blood samples at different .THC cut off points ranging from 0.2µ/L to 25µg/L.

By comparing the roadside and the LC-MS/MS results, researchers determined that confirmation cutoffs for THC of >1 µg/L    and 0.2 µg/L led to the greater number of true positives both through the initial and through confirmation testings. Thus, saliva testing devices can successfully detect THC after ingestion of edible marijuana. Researchers recommended confirming edible marijuana use with saliva tests instead of blood tests due to a lack of correlation between the blood and saliva testing  over time.



Can Cannabinoids Remove Toxic Alzheimer’s Protein from Brain Cells?

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Malignant Melanoma

A new study published in Aging and Mechanisms of Disease concluded they have found preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds in marijuana can promote the cellular removal of amyloid beta, a toxic protein associated with Alxheimer’s disease. Researchers say that although these exploratory studies were conducted in neurons grown in the lab, they may offer insight into the role of inflammation in alzheimer’s disease and provide clues for therapy.

Although it has been known that amyloid beta accumulates within the nerve cells of aging brains before Alzheimer disease symptoms and plaque that are hallmark of the disease it was unknown how the amyloid beta and the plaques it forms were involved in the disease process. Researchers found that high levels of amyloid beta were associated with cellular inflammation and higher rates of neuron death. In their research they demonstrated that exposing the cells to THC reduced amyloid beta protein levels and eliminated the inflammatory response from the nerve cells that were caused by the protein and allowed the nerve cells to survive.

Brain cells have switches known as receptors that can be activated by endocannabinoids that are mader by the body and used for intercellular signaling in the brain. The psychoactive effects of marijuana are caused by THC that is similar in activity to endocannabinoids that can activate the same receptors. Physical activity causes production of endocannabinoids and exercise has been shown in some studies to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. Researchers reemphasized that the studies were lab studies that would need to be validated with clinical trials.