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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(11)2022 May 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869607

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Psychedelics represent a unique subset of psychoactive substances that can induce an aberrant state of consciousness principally via the neuronal 5-HT2A receptor. There is limited knowledge concerning the interest in these chemicals in Poland and how they changed during the pandemic. Nonetheless, these interests can be surveyed indirectly via the web. OBJECTIVES: We aim to conduct a spatial-temporal mapping of online information-seeking behavior concerning cannabis and the most popular psychedelics before and during the pandemic. METHODS: We retrieved online information search data via Google Trends concerning twenty of the most popular psychedelics from 1 January 2017 to 1 January 2022 in Poland. We conducted Holt-Winters exponential smoothing for time series analysis to infer potential seasonality. We utilized hierarchical clustering analysis based on Ward's method to find similarities of psychedelics' interest within Poland's voivodships before and during the pandemic. RESULTS: Twelve (60%) psychedelics had significant seasonality; we proved that psilocybin and ayahuasca had annual seasonality (p-value = 0.0120 and p = 0.0003, respectively), and four substances-LSD, AL-LAD, DXM, and DOB-exhibited a half-yearly seasonality, while six psychedelics had a quarterly seasonal pattern, including cannabis, dronabinol, ergine, NBOMe, phencyclidine, and salvinorin A. Further, the pandemic influenced a significant positive change in the trends for three substances, including psilocybin, ergine, and DXM. CONCLUSIONS: Different seasonal patterns exist for psychedelics, and some might correlate with school breaks or holidays in Poland. The pandemic induced some changes in the temporal and spatial trends. The spatial-temporal trends could be valuable information to health authorities and policymakers responsible for monitoring and preventing addictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , Hallucinogens , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Lysergic Acid Diethylamide/pharmacology , Pandemics , Poland/epidemiology , Psilocybin/pharmacology
2.
BMJ Open ; 12(5): e050681, 2022 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1854334

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Understanding the prevalence of cannabis use among tobacco smokers has important implications for research in terms of intervention effectiveness and measurement in smoking cessation trials. The co-use of these substances also has important implications for health service planning, specifically ensuring appropriate and adequate clinical treatment. To date, there have been no synthesis of the literature on the prevalence of tobacco and cannabis co-use in adult clinical populations. Improved understanding of the current prevalence, route of administration and specific subpopulations with the highest rates of tobacco and cannabis co-use will support future intervention development. We aim to provide a pooled estimate of the percentage of smokers who report using cannabis and to examine the prevalence of co-use by sociodemographic characteristics. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct a systematic review using six scientific databases with published articles from 2000 to 2022 inclusive (CENTRAL, CINAHL, EMBASE, Medline, PsycINFO, Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection, Scopus). Peer-reviewed journal articles published in English that report on tobacco and cannabis use will be included. Rates of co-use (simultaneous or sequentially) and routes of administration will be assessed. Use in populations groups will be described. Quality assessments will be conducted for all included studies. Data will be synthesised using a narrative approach. This study will be conducted from June 2022 to the end of August 2022. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This review is based on previously published data and, therefore, ethical approval or written informed consent will not be required. It is the intention of the research team to disseminate the results of the systematic review as a peer-reviewed publication and conference presentations. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42020194051.


Subject(s)
Cannabis , Smoking Cessation , Adult , Humans , Prevalence , Smokers , Smoking Cessation/methods , Systematic Reviews as Topic , Tobacco Use
3.
Subst Abus ; 43(1): 1116-1119, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1819679

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by increases in cannabis consumption, which might relate to dispensary marketing activities. As part of an ongoing project monitoring cannabis dispensary websites in Northern California and Reno, Nevada, we noticed many websites added announcements and "pop-up" communications in response to lockdowns. This brief report describes the cannabis dispensary website communications related to COVID-19 with the aim to provide insight into emerging marketing messages that may increase cannabis consumption in times of crisis. Methods: Content analysis of COVID-19 announcements present on cannabis dispensary websites in San Francisco/Alameda Counties (n = 32), and the Reno area (n = 15) in April-May 2020 shortly after lockdowns were implemented. Results: COVID-19 announcements were present on 25/32 (78%) of dispensary websites in San Francisco/Alameda and 9/15 (60%) of websites in the Reno area. Almost all COVID-19 announcements (88% San Francisco/Alameda, 89% Reno) announced operational changes such as delivery or curbside pickup services, 72% and 56% respectively announced patron/employee safety measures. Health related messages were present; about half of website announcements referred to government/health authorities, 44% of Reno area announcements used healthcare rhetoric, and some San Francisco/Alameda announcements included suggestions for using cannabis to mitigate infection risk or manage anxiety. Conclusions: Most cannabis dispensaries in the study region implemented COVID-19 pandemic operational changes to maintain product availability, and many positioned their identity with health - either by referring to health authorities, or using health rhetoric, and a minority gave health advice. Cannabis dispensary websites provide a timely snapshot of marketing practices that may contribute to increases in cannabis use during stressful events.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Marketing , Pandemics/prevention & control
4.
BMC Psychiatry ; 22(1): 306, 2022 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817200

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mental health problems and substance use co-morbidities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic are a public health priority. Identifying individuals at high-risk of developing mental health problems and potential sequela can inform mitigating strategies. We aimed to identify distinct groups of individuals (i.e., latent classes) based on patterns of self-reported mental health symptoms and investigate their associations with alcohol and cannabis use. METHODS: We used data from six successive waves of a web-based cross-sectional survey of adults aged 18 years and older living in Canada (6,021 participants). We applied latent class analysis to three domains of self-reported mental health most likely linked to effects of the pandemic: anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Logistic regression was used to characterize latent class membership, estimate the association of class membership with alcohol and cannabis use, and perform sex-based analyses. RESULTS: We identified two distinct classes: (1) individuals with low scores on all three mental health indicators (no/low-symptoms) and (2) those reporting high scores across the three measures (high-symptoms). Between 73.9 and 77.1% of participants were in the no/low-symptoms class and 22.9-26.1% of participants were in the high-symptom class. We consistently found across all six waves that individuals at greater risk of being in the high-symptom class were more likely to report worrying about getting COVID-19 with adjusted odds ratios (aORs) between 1.72 (95%CI:1.17-2.51) and 3.51 (95%CI:2.20-5.60). Those aged 60 + were less likely to be in this group with aORs (95%CI) between 0.26 (0.15-0.44) and 0.48 (0.29-0.77) across waves. We also found some factors associated with class membership varied at different time points. Individuals in the high-symptom class were more likely to use cannabis at least once a week (aOR = 2.28, 95%CI:1.92-2.70), drink alcohol heavily (aOR = 1.71, 95%CI:1.49-1.96); and increase the use of cannabis (aOR = 3.50, 95%CI:2.80-4.37) and alcohol (aOR = 2.37, 95%CI:2.06-2.74) during the pandemic. Women in the high-symptom class had lower odds of drinking more alcohol during the pandemic than men. CONCLUSIONS: We identified the determinants of experiencing high anxiety, depression, and loneliness symptoms and found a significant association with alcohol and cannabis consumption. This suggests that initiatives and supports are needed to address mental health and substance use multi-morbidities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , Substance-Related Disorders , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Latent Class Analysis , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics , Self Report , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
5.
Int J Drug Policy ; 103: 103648, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814319

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is continued scientific debate regarding the link between risk of COVID-19 infection and increased disease severity and tobacco and cannabis use. The way this topic is presented in news media coverage may influence public attitudes and behavior and is thus an important topic of investigation. This study examines (1) the extent to which Israeli news media reported a positive (i.e., protective/therapeutic), negative (i.e., harmful), or inconclusive association between three types of substance use (tobacco, medical cannabis, recreational cannabis) and risk of COVID-19 infection and/or increased disease severity, and (2) the extent that this media coverage refers to scientific research. METHODS: A quantitative content analysis of news articles related to tobacco and cannabis use and COVID-19 (N = 113) from eleven of the highest circulation newspapers in Israel. RESULTS: News items were significantly more likely to mention increased COVID-19 risk for tobacco use, compared to cannabis use. All medical cannabis news items reported that medical cannabis use was associated with reduced COVID-19 risk. In contrast, news items about recreational cannabis use were more likely to describe a balanced or inconclusive risk for COVID-19, or increased risk. The majority of articles referred to scientific research. CONCLUSION: While Israeli news media reported a relatively consistent message about the increased risk of COVID-19 in relation to tobacco use, messages about cannabis use were less consistent in communicating risk information. Research should examine effects of media coverage of tobacco and cannabis use and COVID-19 on public perceptions and behaviors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , Hallucinogens , Medical Marijuana , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cannabis/adverse effects , Communication , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Mass Media , Tobacco , Tobacco Use
6.
Molecules ; 27(9)2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810051

ABSTRACT

Cannabis sativa L. is an annual herbaceous plant that belongs to the family Cannabinaceae. In this study, the potential use of forty-five cannabinoids, previously identified from Cannabis sativa to alleviate COVID-19 infection via prohibition of crucial SARS-CoV-2 proteins using molecular docking, was examined. In silico studies were performed on three vital enzymes that serve as principle therapeutic targets to prevent SARS-CoV-2 replication. These enzymes are the main protease SARS-CoV-2 MPro, papain-like protease SARS-CoV-2 PLpro and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Regarding SARS-CoV-2 MPro, cannabichromanon (32) showed the best fitting within its active centers, followed by cannabinolic acid (22) and cannabinol (21), displaying ∆G of -33.63, -23.24, and -21.60 kcal/mol, respectively. Concerning SARS-CoV-2 PLpro, cannabichromanon (32) followed by cannabinolic acid (22) and cannabicyclolic acid (41) revealed the best binding within its active pockets owing to multiple bond formation with ∆G values of -28.36, -22.81, and -19.89 kcal/mol. Furthermore, cannabichromanon (32), cannabinolic acid (22), and cannabinol (21) showed considerable fitting within the active sites of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) evidenced by their significant ∆G values that were estimated as -41.77, -31.34, and -30.36 kcal/mol, respectively. ADME/TOPKAT (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity) evaluation was performed on the tested cannabinoids to further explore their pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and toxicity properties. The results indicated the considerable pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and toxicity properties of cannabinol (21), cannabinolic acid (22), cannabichromanon (32), and cannabicyclolic acid (41) that showed best fitting scores within the active sites of the tested enzymes. Multivariate data analysis revealed that cannabichromanon and cannabinolic acid showed a discriminant nature and hence can be incorporated in pharmaceutical dosage forms to alleviate COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabinoids , Cannabis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cannabinoids/pharmacology , Cannabinol , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Anal Toxicol ; 46(4): 449-456, 2022 Apr 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1806445

ABSTRACT

Over the last 25 years, marijuana laws have been changing throughout the USA. California started legalizing medicinal marijuana in 1996 and has since continued to relax laws. Compared to Washington and Colorado, there are little data on how the changing laws have affected the cannabinoid detection rate in California. This paper looks at the prevalence of five cannabinoids (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 11-hydroxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (hydroxy-THC), 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (carboxy-THC), cannabinol and cannabidiol) in Orange County, CA, from 2016 to 2019. From 2016 to 2017, after legalizing recreational marijuana, there was an increase in the presence of THC, carboxy-THC and hydroxy-THC in postmortem and major crime cases, consisting mostly of sexual assaults. However, driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) saw a slight decrease. In 2018, when shops could be licensed to sell marijuana to anyone over 21 years old, there was an increase seen in all five cannabinoids for DUID and postmortem cases. The age group from 21 to 30 years showed the most prevalent cannabinoid use in all case types for all years except in major crime cases in 2019, where <21 year-old age group was the most prevalent. Surprisingly, the >50-year-old group in death investigation cases was a close second in prevalence in all years, which differs from DUID and major crime cases.


Subject(s)
Cannabinoids , Cannabis , Hallucinogens , Cannabinol , Dronabinol , Forensic Toxicology , Prevalence , Substance Abuse Detection
8.
J Urban Health ; 99(2): 305-315, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803062

ABSTRACT

The objective was to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health care, cannabis use, and behaviors that increase the risk of STIs among men living with or at high risk for HIV. Data were from mSTUDY - a cohort of men who have sex with men in Los Angeles, California. Participants who were 18 to 45 years and a half were HIV-positive. mSTUDY started in 2014, and at baseline and semiannual visits, information was collected on substance use, mental health, and sexual behaviors. We analyzed data from 737 study visits from March 2020 through August 2021. Compared to visits prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were significant increases in depressive symptomatology (CES-D ≥ 16) and anxiety (GAD-7 ≥ 10). These increases were highest immediately following the start of the pandemic and reverted to pre-pandemic levels within 17 months. Interruptions in mental health care were associated with higher substance use (especially cannabis) for managing anxiety/depression related to the pandemic (50% vs. 31%; p-value < .01). Cannabis use for managing pandemic-related anxiety/depression was higher among those reporting changes in sexual activity (53% vs. 36%; p-value = 0.01) and was independently associated with having more than one sex partner in the prior 2 weeks (adjusted OR = 1.5; 95% CI 1.0-2.4). Our findings indicate increases in substance use, in particular cannabis, linked directly to experiences resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated interruptions in mental health care. Strategies that deliver services without direct client contact are essential for populations at high risk for negative sexual and mental health outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Substance-Related Disorders , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/psychology , Homosexuality, Male/psychology , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics
9.
Front Public Health ; 10: 829715, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792879

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To investigate the impact of cannabis use on the infection and survival outcomes of COVID-19. Study Design: Cross-sectional study based on the UK Biobank (UKB) dataset. Methods: We identified 13,099 individuals with cannabis smoking history in the UKB COVID-19 Serology Study. The Charlson-Quan Comorbidity Index was estimated using inpatient ICD-10 records. Multivariable logistic regression characterized features associated with COVID-19 infection. Cox models determined the hazard ratios (HR) for COVID-19-related survival. Results: Cannabis users were more likely to getting COVID-19 (odds ratio: 1.22, P = 0.001) but multivariable analysis showed that cannabis use was a protective factor of COVID-19 infection (adjusted odds ratio: 0.81, P = 0.001). Regular cannabis users, who smoked more than once per month, had a significantly poorer COVID-19-related survival, after adjusting for known risk factors including age, gender, smoking history, and comorbidity (adjusted hazard ratio: 2.81, P = 0.041). Conclusions: The frequency of cannabis use could be considered as a candidate predictor for mortality risk of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , Marijuana Smoking , COVID-19/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Marijuana Smoking/epidemiology
10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(8)2022 Apr 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785749

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus made it necessary to search for new options for both causal treatment and mitigation of its symptoms. Scientists and researchers around the world are constantly looking for the best therapeutic options. These difficult circumstances have also spurred the re-examination of the potential of natural substances contained in Cannabis sativa L. Cannabinoids, apart from CB1 and CB2 receptors, may act multifacetedly through a number of other receptors, such as the GPR55, TRPV1, PPARs, 5-HT1A, adenosine and glycine receptors. The complex anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects of cannabinoids have been confirmed by interactions with various signaling pathways. Considering the fact that the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes excessive immune response and triggers an inflammatory cascade, and that cannabinoids have the ability to regulate these processes, it can be assumed that they have potential to be used in the treatment of COVID-19. During the pandemic, there were many publications on the subject of COVID-19, which indicate the potential impact of cannabinoids not only on the course of the disease, but also their role in prevention. It is worth noting that the anti-inflammatory and antiviral potential are shown not only by well-known cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), but also secondary cannabinoids, such as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and terpenes, emphasizing the role of all of the plant's compounds and the entourage effect. This article presents a narrative review of the current knowledge in this area available in the PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science medical databases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabinoids , Cannabis , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cannabinoids/pharmacology , Cannabinoids/therapeutic use , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Cells ; 11(7)2022 03 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785536

ABSTRACT

The use of cannabis preparations has steadily increased. Although cannabis was traditionally assumed to only have mild vegetative side effects, it has become evident in recent years that severe cardiovascular complications can occur. Cannabis use has recently even been added to the risk factors for myocardial infarction. This review is dedicated to pathogenetic factors contributing to cannabis-related myocardial infarction. Tachycardia is highly important in this respect, and we provide evidence that activation of CB1 receptors in brain regions important for cardiovascular regulation and of presynaptic CB1 receptors on sympathetic and/or parasympathetic nerve fibers are involved. The prototypical factors for myocardial infarction, i.e., thrombus formation and coronary constriction, have also been considered, but there is little evidence that they play a decisive role. On the other hand, an increase in the formation of carboxyhemoglobin, impaired mitochondrial respiration, cardiotoxic reactions and tachyarrhythmias associated with the increased sympathetic tone are factors possibly intensifying myocardial infarction. A particularly important factor is that cannabis use is frequently accompanied by tobacco smoking. In conclusion, additional research is warranted to decipher the mechanisms involved, since cannabis use is being legalized increasingly and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and its synthetic analogue nabilone are indicated for the treatment of various disease states.


Subject(s)
Cannabinoids , Cannabis , Myocardial Infarction , Adolescent , Analgesics , Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists , Cannabinoids/adverse effects , Cannabis/adverse effects , Heart , Humans , Myocardial Infarction/chemically induced , Myocardial Infarction/drug therapy
12.
Front Public Health ; 10: 813328, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785437

ABSTRACT

Background: According to the literature, the conditions of studying and living as well as the psychological, social and health behavior-related variables, which were strongly related to pharmacological neuroenhancement (PN) before the pandemic, significantly changed during the pandemic. For this reason, it is expected that the prevalence of PN among university students is higher during the pandemic compared to before the pandemic. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate and compare the prevalence of PN among university students before and during the COVID-19-pandemic. Methods: Three online surveys assessing the 12-month prevalence of PN were conducted among university students at the University of Mainz, Germany. The first survey took place in summer term 2019 (before the pandemic), the second in summer term 2020 (during the first German lockdown), and the third in summer term 2021 (after the second German lockdown). Pearson's chi-square test was used to test whether the 12-month prevalence of PN differed significantly between the three surveys. Results: The 12-month prevalence of PN was 10.4% in 2019, 11.3% in 2020, and 8.0% in 2021. Chi-square tests revealed no statistical difference in the prevalence of PN between 2019 and 2020. Overall, the use of PN was lower in 2021 compared to 2019 (p < 0.0001) as well as in comparison to 2020 (p = 0.001). Only the use of cannabis slightly increased from 2019 to 2020 (7.1 vs. 8.3%) and decreased in 2021 (5.4%). At all three time points, cannabis was the most commonly used substance for the purpose of PN. Consequently, the results suggest that the prevalence of PN was highly intertwined with the prevalence of cannabis use for PN. Discussion: The decrease in the prevalence of PN of around three percentage points in 2021 compared to the previous years was a surprising finding. It may be mainly due to the decrease in the prevalence of cannabis for the purpose of PN. However, the fairly high prevalence of PN of around 8% in 2021 is still an important finding that demonstrates that there is still an urgent need for prevention initiatives among university students to combat the use of PN.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Prevalence , Students/psychology , Universities
13.
Front Public Health ; 9: 738513, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775889

ABSTRACT

Background: Perceptions of tobacco, cannabis, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are continually evolving in the United States. Exploring these characteristics through user generated text sources may provide novel insights into product use behavior that are challenging to identify using survey-based methods. The objective of this study was to compare the topics frequently discussed among Reddit members in cannabis, tobacco, and ENDS-specific subreddits. Methods: We collected 643,070 posts on the social media site Reddit between January 2013 and December 2018. We developed and validated an annotation scheme, achieving a high level of agreement among annotators. We then manually coded a subset of 2,630 posts for their content with relation to experiences and use of the three products of interest, and further developed word cloud representations of the words contained in these posts. Finally, we applied Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic modeling to the 643,070 posts to identify emerging themes related to cannabis, tobacco, and ENDS products being discussed on Reddit. Results: Our manual annotation process yielded 2,148 (81.6%) posts that contained a mention(s) of either cannabis, tobacco, or ENDS with 1,537 (71.5%) of these posts mentioning cannabis, 421 (19.5%) mentioning ENDS, and 264 (12.2%) mentioning tobacco. In cannabis-specific subreddits, personal experiences with cannabis, cannabis legislation, health effects of cannabis use, methods and forms of cannabis, and the cultivation of cannabis were commonly discussed topics. The discussion in tobacco-specific subreddits often focused on the discussion of brands and types of combustible tobacco, as well as smoking cessation experiences and advice. In ENDS-specific subreddits, topics often included ENDS accessories and parts, flavors and nicotine solutions, procurement of ENDS, and the use of ENDS for smoking cessation. Conclusion: Our findings highlight the posting and participation patterns of Reddit members in cannabis, tobacco, and ENDS-specific subreddits and provide novel insights into aspects of personal use regarding these products. These findings complement epidemiologic study designs and highlight the potential of using specific subreddits to explore personal experiences with cannabis, ENDS, and tobacco products.


Subject(s)
Cannabis , Tobacco Products , Vaping , Humans , Natural Language Processing , Tobacco , United States
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(7)2022 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776231

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted many countries to issue far-reaching policy measures that may have led to increased substance use. Higher education students may have been disproportionally affected due to the rearrangement of educational life and their susceptibility to psychosocial distress and substance use. The current study examined associations between pandemic-related stressors, psychosocial distress, and self-reported alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use before and during the first wave of the pandemic. Data were collected in Belgium as part of the COVID-19 International Student Well-being Study (C19 ISWS) and analyzed using multinomial logistic regression analyses. The sample contained 18,346 higher education students aged 17 to 24 (75% women). Overall use of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis as well as binge drinking decreased during the pandemic, perhaps due to limited social gatherings. Moving back to the parental home was associated with decreased substance use, while depressive symptoms were associated with increased substance use. Perceived threat and academic stress were associated with increased binge drinking among heavy bingers and increased tobacco use. Decreases among students who moved back to their parental home may be explained by increased informal social control. Increased substance use was associated with a number of stressors and psychosocial distress, which suggests that some students may have been self-medicating to manage their mental health amidst the pandemic. Public health policy concerning substance use may prove to be less effective if not tailored to particular subgroups within the student population.


Subject(s)
Binge Drinking , COVID-19 , Cannabis , Substance-Related Disorders , Belgium/epidemiology , Binge Drinking/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Students/psychology , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(6)2022 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765710

ABSTRACT

This article examines the relaxation of state marijuana laws, changes in adolescent use of marijuana, and implications for drug education. Under federal law, use of marijuana remains illegal. In spite of this federal legislation, as of 1 June 2021, 36 states, four territories and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana laws. There are 17 states, two territories and the District of Columbia that have also passed recreational marijuana laws. One of the concerns regarding the enactment of legislation that has increased access to marijuana is the possibility of increased adolescent use of marijuana. While there are documented benefits of marijuana use for certain medical conditions, we know that marijuana use by young people can interfere with brain development, so increased marijuana use by adolescents raises legitimate health concerns. A review of results from national survey data, including CDC's YRBS, Monitoring the Future, and the National Household Survey on Drug Use, allows us to document changes in marijuana use over time. Increased legal access to marijuana also has implications for educational programming. A "Reefer Madness" type educational approach no longer works (if it ever did). We explore various strategies, including prevention programs for education about marijuana, and make recommendations for health educators.


Subject(s)
Cannabis , Hallucinogens , Medical Marijuana , Substance-Related Disorders , Adolescent , Evidence-Based Medicine , Humans , Legislation, Drug , Medical Marijuana/therapeutic use , Public Health , Substance-Related Disorders/drug therapy , United States
16.
Curr Oncol ; 29(3): 2106-2118, 2022 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760423

ABSTRACT

Our objective was to examine the prevalence of mental health symptoms and the behavioral impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer survivors who endorse cannabis. Participants included 158 adults (≥18 years) who self-reported medicinal cannabis use and responded to our internet-based questionnaire (21 March 2020-24 March 2021). Data included 79 cancer survivors and 79 age-matched adults without a history of cancer. Descriptive statistics were used to compare demographics, the prevalence of generalized anxiety (GAD-7), depression (CES-D-10), and changes in behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic by cancer survivorship status. Overall, 60.8% and 48.1% of cancer survivors self-reported the use of cannabis to manage their anxiety and depression, respectively. Probable clinical depression (CES-D-10 score ≥ 10) and anxiety (GAD-7 score ≥ 10) were identified in 50.7% and 38.9% of cancer survivors, respectively. Cancer survivors were more likely to report that their anxiety symptoms made it very or extremely difficult to work, take care of home, or get along with others than their counterparts. Cancer survivors with anxiety and/or depression were more likely to fear giving COVID-19 to someone else (47.5% vs. 23.1%, p = 0.023) and to fear being diagnosed with COVID-19 (77.5% vs. 38.5%, p < 0.001) compared to cancer survivors without anxiety and depression symptoms. Further research is recommended to evaluate the use of cannabis as palliative care to improve mental health among cancer survivors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cancer Survivors , Cannabis , Neoplasms , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Health , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Pandemics
17.
Harm Reduct J ; 19(1): 26, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745450

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lockdown measures during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in France led to serious public health concerns over people who use illicit drugs, especially in terms of mental health. We assessed changes in cannabis use during the first lockdown in France among daily cannabis users and associated correlates. METHODS: CANNAVID is a French, national, cross-sectional web-based survey, conducted from 17 April to 11 May 2020. Daily cannabis users aged ≥ 18 years and living in France were invited to participate through advertisements. Respondents completed an ad hoc questionnaire on a dedicated online platform. We analyzed changes in cannabis use during the first lockdown (i.e., stopped, decreased, unchanged, or increased) and performed a multinomial logistic regression analysis to evaluate correlates of these changes. RESULTS: Of the 4019 participants, 74.0% were men. Median age was 27 years (interquartile range: 22-37). With regard to cannabis use, 293 (7.3%) persons stopped, 1153 (28.7%) decreased, 1146 (28.5%) did not change, and 1427 (35.5%) increased their use during the lockdown. A multinomial logistic regression model revealed several sociodemographic, behavioral and health-related factors associated with changes in cannabis use. Compared with participants with an unchanged level of cannabis use during the lockdown, those who increased and those who stopped cannabis use were more likely to have increased tobacco and alcohol use and to have experienced depression and sleep disorders intensification. Those who stopped cannabis use were also more likely to have increased benzodiazepine use and to have experienced pain increase during lockdown. CONCLUSIONS: France's first COVID-19-related lockdown had a differential impact on daily cannabis users' consumption patterns. Most study respondents reported changes to their cannabis consumption pattern. Those who reported a stable cannabis use were more likely to report fewer negative changes. Specific interventions are needed for this population, as well as research to assess the long-term impacts of these changes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , Adolescent , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Prevalence , Surveys and Questionnaires
18.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 45(11): 2246-2255, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745994

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We recently showed that alcohol and cannabis can interact prenatally, and in a recent review paper, we identified parvalbumin-positive (PV) interneurons in the hippocampus as a potential point of convergence for these teratogens. METHODS: A 2 (Ethanol [EtOH], Air) × 2 (tetrahydrocannabinol [THC], Vehicle) design was used to expose pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats to either EtOH or air, in addition to either THC or the inhalant vehicle solution, during gestational days 5-20. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect PV interneurons in 1 male and 1 female pup from each litter at postnatal day 70. RESULTS: Significant between-group and subregion-specific effects were found in the dorsal cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) subfield and the ventral dentate gyrus (DG). In the dorsal CA1 subfield, there was an increase in the number of PV interneurons in both the EtOH and EtOH +THC groups, but a decrease with THC alone. There were fewer changes in interneuron numbers overall in the DG, though there was a sex difference, with a decrease in the number of PV interneurons in the THC-exposed group in males. There was also a greater cell layer volume in the DG in the EtOH +THC group than the control group, and in the CA1 region in the EtOH group compared to the control and THC groups. CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal exposure to alcohol and THC differentially affects parvalbumin-positive interneuron numbers in the hippocampus, indicating that both individual and combined exposure can impact the balance of excitation and inhibition in a structure critically involved in learning and memory processes.


Subject(s)
Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists/pharmacology , Hippocampus/metabolism , Interneurons/metabolism , Parvalbumins/metabolism , Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects/metabolism , Animals , Cannabis/metabolism , Dentate Gyrus/drug effects , Female , Hippocampus/drug effects , Interneurons/drug effects , Parvalbumins/drug effects , Pregnancy , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley
19.
Rev Bras Enferm ; 75Suppl 1(Suppl 1): e20201374, 2022.
Article in English, Portuguese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736573

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: to identify and synthesize studies on the effects of cannabis use and its relation with SARS-CoV-2, as well as the therapeutic possibilities of using cannabinoids in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. METHODS: scoping review, in the BVS, PubMed, SCIELO, CINAHL, SCOPUS, Web of Science, MedNar, CAPES and ProQuest databases, with no language restriction and year limitation. Narrative synthesis was performed. RESULTS: cannabis use causes changes in the respiratory and vascular system, it reduces the production of cytokines, which affects the users' immune system, increasing the susceptibility to infection and progression of COVID-19. However, studies have suggested the use of cannabinoids in the prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19, due to their anti-inflammatory effect. CONCLUSIONS: the use of inhaled cannabis increases the progression and severity of the infection. On the other hand, the benefits of cannabinoids seem promising to modulate the immune system, but it needs further studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabinoids , Cannabis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cannabinoids/pharmacology , Cannabinoids/therapeutic use , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
20.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 452, 2022 03 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731522

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study examined whether heavy episodic drinking (HED), cannabis use, and subjective changes in alcohol and cannabis use during the COVID-19 pandemic differ between transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) and cisgender adults. METHODS: Successive waves of web-based cross-sectional surveys. SETTING: Canada, May 2020 to March 2021. PARTICIPANTS: 6,016 adults (39 TGD, 2,980 cisgender men, 2,984 cisgender women, and 13 preferred not to answer), aged ≥18 years. MEASUREMENTS: Measures included self-reported HED (≥5 drinks on one or more occasions in the previous week for TGD and cisgender men and ≥4 for cisgender women) and any cannabis use in the previous week. Subjective changes in alcohol and cannabis use in the past week compared to before the pandemic were measured on a five-point Likert scale (1: much less to 5: much more). Binary and ordinal logistic regressions quantified differences between TGD and cisgender participants in alcohol and cannabis use, controlling for age, ethnoracial background, marital status, education, geographic location, and living arrangement. RESULTS: Compared to cisgender participants, TGD participants were more likely to use cannabis (adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=3.78, 95%CI: 1.89, 7.53) and to have reported subjective increases in alcohol (adjusted proportional odds ratios (aPOR)= 2.00, 95%CI: 1.01, 3.95) and cannabis use (aPOR=4.56, 95%CI: 2.13, 9.78) relative to before the pandemic. Compared to cisgender women, TGD participants were more likely to use cannabis (aOR=4.43, 95%CI: 2.21, 8.87) and increase their consumption of alcohol (aPOR=2.05, 95%CI: 1.03, 4.05) and cannabis (aPOR=4.71, 95%CI: 2.18, 10.13). Compared to cisgender men, TGD participants were more likely to use cannabis (aOR=3.20, 95%CI: 1.60, 6.41) and increase their use of cannabis (aPOR=4.40, 95%CI: 2.04, 9.49). There were no significant differences in HED between TGD and cisgender participants and in subjective change in alcohol between TGD and cisgender men; however, the odds ratios were greater than one as expected. CONCLUSIONS: Increased alcohol and cannabis use among TGD populations compared to before the pandemic may lead to increased health disparities. Accordingly, programs targeting the specific needs of TGD individuals should be prioritized.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , Transgender Persons , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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