Know Your Herbs

Cannabis Use Before Bedtime Does Not Cause Next-Day Impairment Of Cognitive Ability Or Driving Performance, Study Shows

A new study suggests that using marijuana before sleep has minimal, if any, effect on a range of performance measures the next day, including simulated driving, cognitive and psychomotor function tasks, subjective effects, and mood.

The report, which drew data from a larger study investigating the effects of THC and CBD on insomnia, looked at outcomes from 20 adults with physician-diagnosed insomnia who infrequently used marijuana.

“The results of this study indicate that a single oral dose of 10 mg THC (in combination with 200 mg CBD) does not notably impair ‘next day’ cognitive function or driving performance relative to placebo in adults with insomnia who infrequently use marijuana,” says the paper, from researchers at Macquarie University in Sydney, the University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Gold Coast-based Griffith University and Johns Hopkins University.

Cannabis products next to bedGina Coleman/Weedmaps

“The use of cannabis by night as a sleep aid is highly prevalent, and there are legitimate concerns that this may lead to impaired daytime (‘next day’) function, particularly on safety-sensitive tasks such as driving,” the 11-author team wrote in the report published last week in the journal Psychopharmacology.

Results, however, showed “no differences in ‘next day’ performance in 27 out of 28 tests of cognitive and psychomotor function and simulated driving tests relative to placebo.”

“We found a lack of notable ‘next day’ impairment to cognitive and psychomotor function and simulated driving performance.”

Participants were randomly given either a placebo or 2 milliliters of cannabis oil containing 10 milligrams of THC and 200 mg CBD. Researchers said the THC amount was selected “based on prior studies showing that 10 mg oral THC produced discriminable subjective drug effects (e.g., increased ‘drowsiness’) without altering cognitive and psychomotor performance among infrequent cannabis users”—in other words, the amount someone might take if their goal was to use cannabis as a sleep aid.

In a second lab visit, participants who received the placebo were given the THC–CBD mixture, while those who had the cannabis oil were given the placebo.

Cognitive tests were administered within two hours of participants waking while driving performance, which was measured through a fixed-base driving simulator, was tested 10 hours after administration. Subjects were also asked how they experienced effects—for example, how “stoned,” “sedated,” “alert,” “anxious,” or “sleepy” they felt—at baseline and then after 30 minutes, 10 hours, 12 hours, 14 hours, 16 hours and 18 hours.

Bowl of cannabisGina Coleman/Weedmaps

“Almost all of the cognitive tests conducted, involving attention, working memory, speed of information processing, and other domains, showed no ‘next day’ effects of THC/CBD,” the report says.

No significant differences were seen between the THC–CBD and placebo results in 27 of the 28 cognitive performance tasks. There was what researchers described as “a small reduction in percentage accuracy”—about 1.4 percent—in the so-called Stoop color and word test, a measure of cognitive interference, however, but researchers said that finding was “not clinically meaningful” because both groups demonstrated “a very high percentage of accuracy (i.e., >97%)” on the test.

“Importantly, no significant difference in accuracy was observed on the more difficult ‘hard/incongruent condition’ of the Stroop-Word Test, which requires participants to match the meaning of the word presented, not the printed color of the word,” the authors added. “For comparison, the morning after alcohol consumption (i.e., the hangover state) produced significantly greater interference on the Stroop-Word Test, but not the Stroop-Colour Test, relative to the alcohol-free control group (i.e., no hangover state).”

No differences were observed in terms of driving performance, meanwhile.

“None of the simulated driving outcome measures were significantly different between THC/CBD and placebo,” the study says, adding: “This is consistent with our recent meta-regression analysis, which concluded that driving-related skills in occasional cannabis users recover within ~8 h after ingesting 20 mg oral THC.”

“There were no impairing effects of THC/CBD given by night on simulated driving performance assessed the following morning at ~10 h post-treatment; coinciding with a time that many people might commute on roads (e.g., driving to work in ‘rush-hour’),” the authors wrote.

By contrast, they noted that ”commonly prescribed sedative-hypnotics are known to impair next-day function,” pointing as examples to benzodiazepine and zopiclone.

The researchers acknowledged the relatively small sample size of the study and that the findings were based on only a single dose of cannabis oil.

Woman with tincture bottleGina Coleman/Weedmaps

“This precludes any conclusions regarding the effects of repeated dosing with THC, with or without CBD, on daytime function in insomnia disorder, which is more representative of how some people use medical cannabis for sleep in the community,” they wrote. “However, it is hypothesized that the chances of detecting ‘next day’ impairment are less likely with repeated dosing due to the development of at least partial tolerance to the impairing effects of THC.”

Though some cannabis users anecdotally report feeling residual effects of cannabis use the day afterward, another recent study found no evidence that marijuana consumption causes a hangover the next day.

A report published last December, meanwhile, examined neurocognitive effects in medical marijuana patients, finding that “prescribed medical cannabis may have minimal acute impact on cognitive function among patients with chronic health conditions.”

Another report, published in March in the journal Current Alzheimer Research, linked marijuana use to lower odds of subjective cognitive decline (SCD), with consumers and patients reporting less confusion and memory loss compared to non-users.

A separate 2022 study on marijuana and laziness found no difference in apathy or reward-based behavior between people who used cannabis on at least a weekly basis and non-users.

Man lighting a joint in front of a city scapeGina Coleman/Weedmaps

A Washington State University study published late last year found that most cannabis consumers with sleep issues preferred to use marijuana instead of other sleep aids to help get to bed, reporting better outcomes the next morning and fewer side effects. Smoking joints or vaping products that contained THC, CBD, and the terpene myrcene were especially popular.

“Unlike long-acting sedatives and alcohol, cannabis was not associated with a ‘hangover’ effect,” an author of that study said, “although individuals reported some lingering effects such as sleepiness and changes in mood.”

Quality of sleep often arises in other studies into the potential benefits of marijuana, and generally, consumers say it enhances their rest. Two other 2023 recent studies, for example—one involving people with chronic health conditions and another looking at people diagnosed with neurological disorders—found that sleep quality improved with cannabis use.


Written by Ben Adlin for Marijuana Moment Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The post Cannabis Use Before Bedtime Does Not Cause Next-Day Impairment Of Cognitive Ability Or Driving Performance, Study Shows appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Source: wm

Lawmakers Push To Let VA Doctors Recommend Medical Marijuana And End THC Testing For Federal Job Applicants

Bipartisan congressional lawmakers have filed a series of new amendments that seek to authorize U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to issue medical marijuana recommendations to military veterans, prevent marijuana testing for federal job applicants in legal states, prohibit the denial of security clearances over cannabis use and support research on the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics.

As part of a large-scale spending bill covering Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilConVA) for the 2025 fiscal year as well as the separate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), lawmakers filed several cannabis- and psychedelics-related amendments.

Two separate proposals from Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Dave Joyce (R-OH), who together are the co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, would allow veterans to access state medical marijuana programs and eliminate a VA directive barring the department’s doctors from issuing cannabis recommendations.

Nugs poured into handsGina Coleman/Weedmaps

The MilConVA version of the amendment reads:

SEC. 419. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Veterans Affairs in this Act may be used to enforce Veterans Health Directive 1315 as it relates to—

(1) the policy stating that ”VHA providers are prohibited from completing forms or registering Veterans for participation in a State-approved marijuana program”;

(2) the directive for the ”Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management” to ensure that ”medical facility Directors are aware that it is VHA policy for providers to assess Veteran use of marijuana, but providers are prohibited from recommending, making referrals to or completing paperwork for Veteran participation in State marijuana programs”; and

(3) the directive for the ”VA Medical Facility Director” to ensure that ”VA facility staff are aware of the following” ”[t]he prohibition on recommending, making referrals to or completing forms and registering Veterans for participation in State-approved marijuana programs”.

The NDAA version states:

SEC. 17__. PROVISION BY DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND OPINIONS REGARDING VETERAN PARTICIPATION IN STATE MARIJUANA PROGRAMS.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall authorize physicians and other health care providers employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to

(1) provide recommendations and opinions to veterans who are residents of States with State marijuana programs regarding the participation of veterans in such State marijuana programs; and

(2) complete forms reflecting such recommendations and opinions.

(b) STATE DEFINED.—In this section, the term ”State” means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States, and each federally recognized Indian Tribe.

The amendment is based on a standalone bill, the Veterans Equal Access Act, that Blumenauer has championed across multiple sessions. It’s advanced several times in committee and on the floor but has yet to be enacted into law.

Both the House and Senate included provisions in their respective MilConVA measures last year that would permit VA doctors to make medical cannabis recommendations, but they were not included in the final package for the 2024 version that was signed into law in March.

Sungrown cannabisGina Coleman/Weedmaps

Another measure that was filed ahead of Wednesday’s amendment deadline for the appropriations legislation comes from Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA). It would block the VA from subjecting job applicants to marijuana screenings as a condition of their employment if they live in a legal state.

SEC. 423. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to test an applicant for marijuana (as defined in section 102(16)(A) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)(A)), except for positions listed as Presumptive Testing Designated Positions by the Selection of Testing Designated Positions Guidance under Federal Drug-Free Workplace Program established pursuant to Executive Order 12564, in—

(1) any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin; or

(2) the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands of the United States, or Guam.

Garcia similarly pursued the reform as amendments to multiple spending bills last session, but none were made in order for floor consideration.

The report for the MilConVA legislation approved by the House Appropriations Committee contains an additional provision noting that the panel “understands” VA has “clarified that nothing in VA statutes or regulations specifically prohibits a veteran whose income is derived from state-legalized cannabis activities from obtaining a certificate of eligibility for VA home loan benefits.”

“The Committee understands that VA is working to improve communication with eligible lending institutions to reduce confusion among lenders and borrowers on this matter,” it says.

Members of the House Rules Committee, which blocked numerous drug policy reform amendments from various spending measures last year under GOP control, are set to consider the proposed changes to the MilConVA bill next week, where leadership will determine whether to allow them to advance to the floor. The panel is expected to take up the NDAA legislation the week of June 10.

Meanwhile, the House Armed Services Committee passed the 2025 NDAA last week, and it includes provisions to eliminate marijuana testing for military enlistment purposes, requires a status update from the Department of Defense (DOD) on psychedelics clinical trials it’s been mandated to conduct and more.

Gavel and cannabisGina Coleman/Weedmaps

Garcia separately filed an amendment to the NDAA that was posted on Wednesday to prevent covered agencies from denying security clearances based solely on a person’s past marijuana use in a jurisdiction that has legalized such activity.

SEC. 17. PROHIBITION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS TO DENY SECURITY CLEARANCES FOR MARIJUANA USAGE.

(a) PROHIBITION.—None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act may be used to revoke or deny a security clearance under section 3002(b) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (50 U.S.C. 3343(b)) or any other provision of law prior to the completion of a full security clearance background investigation by an authorized investigative agency and issuance of a final decision on denial or revocation by an authorized adjudicative agency on the sole basis that an individual used marijuana (as defined in section 102(16)(A) of title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. 802(16)(A)) if, under the law of the State where such individual used marijuana, such use was lawful.”

(b) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:

(1) The terms ”authorized investigative agency” and ”authorized adjudicative agency” have the meanings given those terms in section 3001(a) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (50 U.S.C. 3341(a)).

(2) The term ”State” means each of the several States, and includes the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

Reps. Jack Bergman (R-MI), Lou Correa (D-CA), Derrick Van Orden (R-WI), and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) filed a MilConVA amendment to encourage the VA to support research into the benefits of psychedelics in treating medical conditions commonly affecting military veterans.

  • Increases and decreases the Medical and Prosthetic Research account at the Department of Veterans Affairs to express support for recently announced VA-funded research into psychedelic-assisted therapies to treat PTSD and depression and to encourage VA to prioritize the proactive training of therapists to administer these treatments.

A separate amendment from the same four lawmakers urges the VA to report to Congress on the possible incorporation of MDMA-assisted therapy into the department’s formulary following federal approval of the drug.

  • Increases and decreases the Medical Services account at the Department of Veterans Affairs to urge the VA to report to Congress no later than 180 days following approval of midomafetamine-assisted treatments to treat PTSD under Section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act on possible incorporation of treatments in the formulary of the Department and the justification for such determination.

The House Veterans Affairs Committee recently passed a bill from Van Orden to require VA to notify Congress if any psychedelics are added to its formulary of covered prescription drugs.


Written by Kyle Jaeger for Marijuana Moment | Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The post Lawmakers Push To Let VA Doctors Recommend Medical Marijuana And End THC Testing For Federal Job Applicants appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Source: wm

Tips and Guides for Growing Cannabis Indoors or Outdoors: A Beginner’s Guide

Growing cannabis can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it requires careful planning, attention to detail, and the right knowledge. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced grower, this guide will provide you with valuable tips and guides for growing cannabis indoors or outdoors.

Indoor Growing

Growing cannabis indoors offers more control over the environment, allowing you to manipulate factors like temperature, humidity, and light. Here are some tips for growing cannabis indoors:

  1. Choose the Right Strain: Select a strain that’s well-suited for indoor growing, such as auto-flowering or compact varieties. These strains are designed to thrive in smaller spaces and can produce high-quality buds.
  2. Lighting: LED grow lights are a popular choice for indoor growing due to their energy efficiency and low heat output. Be sure to choose a light that’s specifically designed for cannabis growth.
  3. Temperature: Maintain a consistent temperature between 68-72°F (20-22°C). Avoid extreme temperatures, as they can affect plant growth and development.
  4. Humidity: Keep the humidity level between 40-60%. You can use a humidifier or adjust the air circulation to achieve the desired level.
  5. Soil and Nutrients: Use a high-quality soil mix specifically designed for cannabis growth. Provide your plants with a balanced nutrient regimen, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
  6. Pruning: Prune your plants regularly to promote healthy growth, increase yields, and prevent mold.
  7. Pest Control: Check your plants regularly for pests like spider mites, aphids, and whiteflies. Use organic pest control methods whenever possible.

Outdoor Growing

Growing cannabis outdoors offers more space and natural sunlight, which can result in higher yields and better quality buds. However, outdoor growing requires more planning and attention to weather conditions. Here are some tips for growing cannabis outdoors:

  1. Choose the Right Location: Select a location that receives direct sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. Avoid areas with high foot traffic or exposure to extreme weather conditions.
  2. Soil Preparation: Prepare the soil by adding organic matter like compost or manure to improve drainage and fertility.
  3. Plant Selection: Choose a strain that’s well-suited for outdoor growing, such as indica or sativa varieties. These strains are often more robust and can thrive in outdoor conditions.
  4. Support Systems: Use trellises or stakes to support your plants as they grow taller.
  5. Pest Control: Keep an eye out for pests like deer, rabbits, and insects that can damage your plants.
  6. Weather Protection: Use row covers or other protective measures to shield your plants from extreme weather conditions like heavy rain or intense sunlight.
  7. Monitoring: Regularly monitor your plants’ progress, pruning and training them as needed to optimize growth and yields.

Common Tips for Both Indoor and Outdoor Growing

  1. Start Small: Begin with a small number of plants to ensure you have the necessary resources and experience.
  2. Keep Records: Keep track of your plants’ progress, including temperature, humidity, light levels, and nutrient applications.
  3. Monitor pH: Regularly check the pH levels of your soil or water to ensure optimal conditions for plant growth.
  4. Provide Air Circulation: Ensure good air circulation around your plants to prevent mold and promote healthy growth.
  5. Be Patient: Growing cannabis requires patience, so be prepared to wait several weeks for your plants to mature.

By following these tips and guides, you’ll be well on your way to growing high-quality cannabis indoors or outdoors. Remember to always follow local laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation.

Additional Resources

  • For more information on growing cannabis indoors, check out our article on “Growing Cannabis Indoors: A Beginner’s Guide”
  • For more information on growing cannabis outdoors, check out our article on “Growing Cannabis Outdoors: Tips and Tricks”
  • For more information on pest control and disease management, check out our article on “Cannabis Pest Control: Organic Methods for Healthy Plants”

We hope this guide has been helpful in getting you started with growing cannabis indoors or outdoors. Happy growing!