Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Institute of Emerging Health Professions
Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis & Hemp


Recent articles of interest:

January 2018

Sohler NL, Starrels JL, Khalid L, et al. Cannabis use is associated with lower odds of prescription opioid analgesic use among HIV-Infected individuals with chronic pain. Subst Use Misuse. 2018 Jan 17:1-6. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1416408  Article conclusion: Almost half of the sample of people with HIV and chronic pain reported current prescribed opioid analgesic use (N = 372, 47.1%). Only cannabis use was significantly associated with lower odds of prescribed opioid analgesic use (adjusted OR = 0.57; 95% CI: 0.38-0.87). Data suggest that new medical cannabis legislation might reduce the need for opioid analgesics for pain management, which could help to address adverse events associated with opioid analgesic use.

Ravi D, Ghasemiesfe M, Korenstei D, et al. Associations between marijuana use and cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes: A systematic review. Ann Intern Med 2018. doi:10.7326/M17-1548. Article conclusion: Researchers analyzed 24 observational studies of adults who used any type of marijuana, their risk factors, and outcomes such as stroke or death due to heart disease. They found that there has not been enough rigorous research to draw a conclusion about whether chronic marijuana use has an effect on cardiovascular health.

December 2017

Choo EK, Emery SL. Clearing the haze: the complexities and challenges of research on state marijuana laws. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017;1394:55-73. Article conclusion: This review provides a background on marijuana laws in the United States and an overview of existing policy research, discusses methodological considerations when planning analysis of state marijuana laws, and highlights specific topics needing further development and investigation.

Carliner H, Brown QL, Sarvet AL et al. Cannabis use, attitudes, and legal status in the U.S.: A review. Prev Med. 2017;104:13-23. Article conclusion: Multiple nationally representative studies indicate that medical marijuana laws (MMLs) have had little effect on cannabis use among adolescents, [but] available evidence suggests that MMLs increase use and cannabis use disorders in adults. … More permissive marijuana laws may accomplish social justice aims (e.g., reduce racial disparities in law enforcement) and generate tax revenues. However, such laws may increase cannabis-related adverse health and psychosocial consequences by increasing the population of users. Dissemination of balanced information about the potential health harms of cannabis use is needed.

Karl T, Garner B, Cheng D. The therapeutic potential of the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol for Alzheimer's disease. Behav Pharmacol. 2017 Apr;28(2 and 3 - Special Issue):142-160. doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000247. Article conclusion: This review presents a brief introduction to AD biology and current treatment options, outlines CBD biology and pharmacology, followed by in-vitro and in-vivo evidence for the therapeutic potential of CBD, discusses the role of the endocannabinioid system in AD, comments on the potential future of CBD for AD therapy (including safety aspects).

Wong SS, Wilens TE. Medical cannabinoids in children and adolescents: A Systematic review. Pediatrics. 2017 Nov;140(5). pii: e20171818. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-1818. Article conclusion: Additional research is needed to evaluate the potential role of medical cannabinoids in children and adolescents, especially given increasing accessibility from state legalization and potential psychiatric and neurocognitive adverse effects identified from studies of recreational cannabis use.

November 2017

Nugent SM et al. The Effects of Cannabis Among Adults With Chronic Pain and an Overview of General Harms: A Systematic Review. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Sep 5;167(5):319-331. Article conclusion: Limited evidence suggests that cannabis may alleviate neuropathic pain in some patients, but insufficient evidence exists for other types of chronic pain. Among general populations, limited evidence suggests that cannabis is associated with an increased risk for adverse mental health effects.

O'Neil ME et al. Benefits and Harms of Plant-Based Cannabis for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Sep 5;167(5):332-340. Article conclusion: Evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions about the benefits and harms of plant-based cannabis preparations in patients with PTSD, but several ongoing studies may soon provide important results.

Links to websites and online publications:

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA Research on Marijuana and Cannabinoids. (last update March 2016)                                                                                                                          

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research. A Report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. 


Resources for Physicians

Links to state medical marijuana program websites (as of November 2017)




New Hampshire


New Jersey  
Colorado          New Mexico
New York 
North Dakota   




Rhode Island


Washington, DC
Minnesota West Virginia