Study: Smoking most effective way for patients to use pot - Albuquerque Journal

Study: Smoking most effective way for patients to use pot

While delivery methods to achieve the best effects of marijuana grows, new research suggests the old-fashioned way – smoking a doobie – still delivers.

That was part of the findings of two University of New Mexico researchers who last month published a peer-reviewed scientific study on how various strands and marijuana-infused products helped treat certain medical conditions. The findings show that the tried-and-true method of smoking dried marijuana that contains THC was the most effective for patients who use cannabis.

The findings mark a contrast to conventional wisdom that cannabidiol, or CBD, is the part of the marijuana that contains medical benefits while tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, “merely makes one high,” said Jacob Miguel Vigil, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology.

The research was done at a time when there is a booming market of different ways to ingest and use marijuana, from edible candies, wax, vaping pens to, of course, a standard joint to smoke.

Vigil and Sarah Stith, an assistant professor in the Department of Economics, last month published the study, “The Association between Cannabis Product Characteristics and Symptom Relief,” in the journal Scientific Reports.

The UNM researchers analyzed data from patients who logged their reaction after using marijuana by whatever means into an application, ReleafApp, which was created by people who work outside the university. The findings are based on surveys collected from 3,341 people who recorded information after 19,910 sessions.

The university didn’t provide any marijuana to the participants, who voluntarily logged information about the effects marijuana-infused products had on them. The participants used a numbered scale to measure their symptom relief after using marijuana and also charted their positive or negative side effects.

“THC offers a more intense experience,” Stith said. “Higher THC levels seem to be associated with more symptom relief and with more reporting of side effects, both positive and negative.”

Vigil said there could be other factors besides just THC’s effectiveness that led to the scores. Because CBD doesn’t have a psychedelic effect on the body, the person using it could not be as aware of its effect compared to using cannabis with THC in it, he said.

The research was paid for in part with public donations to the University of New Mexico Medical Cannabis Research fund.

Vigil said it’s important to continue to research the medicinal effects of marijuana, even as debate about the drug’s place in New Mexico turns to one of whether or not it should be legalized. Legislators are considering proposals to make recreational legal in the state.

“If you are taking it because you are stressed out after work … well in theory those are medicinal purposes,” Vigil said.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
DA removed from homicide case
ABQnews Seeker
FARMINGTON – A New ... FARMINGTON – A New Mexico judge has ruled that a district attorney's office must be replaced ...
2
Rio Rancho snowboarder dies at Sipapu
ABQnews Seeker
A 28-year-old snowboarder from Rio Rancho ... A 28-year-old snowboarder from Rio Rancho died Saturday at Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort, according ...
3
Lobos must toughen up mentally for rivalry with Aggies
ABQnews Seeker
The UNM Lobos have work to ... The UNM Lobos have work to do before being ready for a tough road environment like they'll see Tuesday against the NMSU Aggies.
4
Navajo Nation adds 23 more COVID cases
ABQnews Seeker
Reservation has had a total of ... Reservation has had a total of 1,540 deaths
5
Automatic recounts scheduled for close races
ABQnews Seeker
School board, council contests, ballot question ... School board, council contests, ballot question qualify for new tallies
6
What the heck is going on at Paseo and ...
ABQnews Seeker
New configuration for bike lane confuses ... New configuration for bike lane confuses many
7
Citywide heat map released
ABQnews Seeker
July temperatures nearly 17 degrees higher ... July temperatures nearly 17 degrees higher in some areas
8
Omicron cases rise as nations rush to learn more ...
ABQnews Seeker
Scientists urge caution even as countries ... Scientists urge caution even as countries shut borders
9
Fatal crashes make up the bulk behind $2.5M settlement
ABQnews Seeker
Payments from city were made to ... Payments from city were made to settle 22 cases during a six-month period