Drivers who are intoxicated with alcohol, while driving, are often subjected to roadside stops, in the United States, where they are asked to take breathalyzer tests and would further have to go through stiff penalties if the alcohol content in their blood exceeds the legal limitations. However, there is no current test that exists, for cannabis intoxication.
Scientists have now reported that they are another step closer to the invention of a convenient saliva test that will measure the cannabis levels at roadside stops. American Chemical Society (ACS) SciMeeetings online platform, will be where the researchers will be presenting their results.
According to Shalini Prasad, Ph.D., who led the study, people usually tend to think that drunk driving is worse than driving after smoking cannabis and consider the latter to be relatively “safer”. However, she further explained how both substances can cause similar effects in the body such as slowed reaction time, diminished alertness, and reduced self-awareness.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound in cannabis and constitutes impairment. However, the safe levels of THC in blood, unlike alcohol, have not been well characterized. According to Prasad, despite it being an emerging field, 1 to 15 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, is suggested by the preliminary clinical reports, to be considered a level of impairment.
The law enforcement agencies are focusing on how to keep the roads safe from high drivers, as more U.S states continue the decriminalization of cannabis. The blood tests for THC are time-consuming and invasive, despite the accuracy. Along with that, this is not a convenient test for many police officers to perform skillfully at roadside stops. Some researchers are working on a cannabis test that would be similar to a breathalyzer for alcohol, to measure THC levels in the breath.
However, according to Prasad, extensive and error-prone data processing would be required to filter out the effects of other compounds as the levels of THC are low in the breath. Consequently, focusing on the close correlation between saliva and blood, Prasad and colleagues aimed at the development of a saliva test for THC that would be simple, quick and accurate.
THC sensor strips and an electronic reader were engineered by researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas. The sensor strips contained two electrodes and were coated with an antibody. The antibody binds with THC and isolates it from other compounds in the saliva. According to Prasad, the antibody is used, to focus only on the needle in the haystack.
The researchers performed the test by adding a tiny drop of human saliva that was spiked with THC, on the strip. The strip was then inserted into the electronic reader, which further applied a specific voltage. The electric current changed due to the occurrence of the polarization between the interacting antibody and the THC surfaces, shortly after the THC attached to the antibody. THC concentration would then be traceable after the conversion of data by the e-reader.
However, for THC levels ranging from 100 picograms per milliliter to 100 nanograms per milliliter, the device held accuracy. According to Prasad, this prototype was the first to be able to report both low and high concentrations of THC, with high sensitivity and specificity. Furthermore, the test requires less than five minutes to perform and complete.
Due to legal issues regarding cannabis in Texas, THC spiked saliva is what researchers are working with rather than actual cannabis smokers. However, law enforcement agencies and researchers from other states where cannabis is legalized, are interested in collaboration.
Additionally, lawmakers and regulatory groups have shown interest to develop effective laws by using the data generated by the device.
Marijuana Uses Not Sufficient Reason For Disqualification from White House Jobs
Marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills are under discussion. Other resolutions regarding cannabis to improve the working of the cannabis system also happened, reported nbc news.
It was highlighted that the individuals cannot face disqualification solely because the individual used marijuana. Such measures are unfit and unacceptable. The office of Joe Biden allows individuals to apply for an administrative-job without any limitations on recreational-cannabis use. In addition, the White House has updated its hiring policies and guidelines. According to the new rules for hiring, recreational marijuana use will not prohibit anyone from applying and obtaining a position in the office
Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level and drug use was a barrier to getting a job in administration in the White House. The Office of Personnel Management Recommendations changes hiring policies. The use of marijuana, even though it is illegal, but its use cannot be the only reason for rejecting an employee or disqualifying one.
New Guidelines For Hiring And Recreational Use Of Marijuana
The White House allows the selection of candidates on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, marijuana infrequent users will be under consideration for top-secret security clearance selection. Furthermore, the Personnel Security Division and security officials will help in the selection of candidates.
Kathleen McGettigan is the current director for the Office of Personnel Management. McGettigan released a memorandum about hiring recreational users of marijuana. Shortly after the memorandum, the release of new guidelines occurred.
According to it, 49% of Americans use marijuana off and on. Moreover, the SAMHSA’s 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health runs a survey according to which nearly half of the participants have used cannabis.
Some individuals are disqualified for a job merely based on using marijuana. Moreover, individuals with the best qualification characteristics for a job do not get a job because they use cannabis from time to time. As a result, suitable candidates for jobs are unemployed despite their experience, education, and other skills.
What is the Vetting Process and How it Helps in Selection?
The appointed individuals for a staff position in the White House undergo a process called the vetting process. During vetting, process officials determine whether individuals qualify for a security clearance or not.
Moreover, applicants that apply for the staff position must be honest about marijuana and other drug use. The extent of drug use determines for which job the individual is suitable.
According to the new policy, individuals will not get disqualification for using cannabis from their office immediately. Moreover, such individuals will receive a waiver. Individuals with a waiver must agree that they will never use marijuana again during their government job and they will not hesitate to perform random drug testing. Such individuals will work remotely for some duration. However, the White House did not specify the extent of the duration.
What to Monitor?
Monitoring and selection of employees is the responsibility of McGettigan. The applicants are to be considered on a case-by-case basis. There are certain things about applicants that the officials must know.
Gathering information about drug use and other characteristics of applicants makes the selection process easy. Moreover, applicants must be honest about their character, conduct, and personalities. The officials selecting employees must know the nature of the job for which the applicant applies. And also, the job in which the person is employed. Furthermore, individuals must acquire the nature, seriousness, and circumstances of conduct.
It is essential to determine whether the applicant has gone to rehabilitation centers at any age. Knowing about applicants and understanding them enables selecting the best candidate for the job. Moreover, individuals with talent, experience, and suitable qualifications will not lose their job only because of infrequent marijuana use.
Biden’s efforts towards bringing the most suitable administrative workers through amending hiring guidelines will enable them to gather individuals with the highest standards for providing services to individuals.
Study Reveals Vaping Cannabis Is More Lethal Than Smoking For Teenagers
Everyone knows vaping damages the lungs of individuals. But a recent study suggests that vaping cannabis damages the lungs of teenagers more than vaping tobacco. The risk of lung injury increases in individuals between the ages of 12 to 17 years old if they have a habit of vaping cannabis.
The lung injury causes difficulty in breathing, whistling, and wheezing. Moreover, due to difficulty in breathing, teenagers become unable to perform day-to-day activities. According to the study, teenagers who vape cannabis have a doubled risk of developing lung injuries than teens who smoke or use e-cigarettes.
Research Regarding Vaping Cannabis
The research leader was Carol Boyd, and it occurs in collaboration with the University of Michigan. Carol Boyd is a professor at the university’s School of Nursing. Boyd is co-director of the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking, and Health.
According to Boyd, smoking cigarettes or e-cigarettes is unhealthy for health, but vaping cannabis is more damaging than both.
The researchers did not note whether teens consumed legal cannabis or not. Thousands of participants between 12 to 17 ages were surveyed for the research study. Furthermore, the participants themselves reported symptoms of lung injury in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study.
Moreover, the researchers discovered that cigarettes and e-cigarettes do not cause respiratory illness and injury. However, the research does not focus on the effect generated by vaping cannabis and tobacco together.
According to survey-based research, teenagers who vape cannabis have an 81% greater risk of wheezing or whistling in the chest. The increase in wheezing is observable in cigarette and e-cigarette users as they exhibit a 15% raise, and a 9% rise in the risk of wheezing, respectively.
Apart from the increase in whistling teens, they also experience other changes due to vaping cannabis. Teenagers who are habitual of vaping marijuana suffer 71% sleep disturbances due to wheezing while sleeping. 96% speech limitations, 33% wheezing during exercise, and 26% dry coughing at night occur in teens that vape cannabis. The overall health condition of teenagers gets worse with vaping cannabis. Smoking and e-cigarettes also damage the lungs, but the effects of vaping marijuana are more severe.
Moreover, the use of vaping devices has increased, and so have the mysterious lung illnesses. Furthermore, before the coronavirus pandemic, the deaths of individuals due to cannabis vaping increased. It results in the downfall of vaping industry.
What Do Others Have To Say About Vaping Cannabis?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that vitamin E acetate is present in all teenagers with a mysterious lung illness-causing respiratory symptoms. Moreover, vitamin E acetate is a constituent of the e-liquids containing THC, called EVALI. Thus, vaping marijuana is a cause of lung injury leading to wheezing during exercise and other symptoms of lung-illness.
Furthermore, individuals that have lung injuries contain Vitamin E acetate in their pulmonary fluid. According to Boyd, vaping-associated lung injuries and vitamin E acetate have a link to one another.
Michael R. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News. Michael R. Bloomberg opposes vaping of cannabis and tobacco. Moreover, Bloomberg has organized campaigns and gives money for banning e-cigarettes and tobacco-vaping in the U.S.
According to Dr. Albert Rizzo, the FDA does not ensure that cannabis products and e-cigarettes contain the ingredients mentioned on the label. Moreover, according to Rizzo, individuals and teens vaping cannabis and tobacco are at the mercy of the manufacturer.
Furthermore, Rizzo criticizes that the manufacturers of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vaping devices are not providing FDA sufficient data. They are not removing products from the market as per prior decisions.
According to Rizzo, researchers must focus on the effects of inhaling substances and vaping devices on lung conditions.
CBD Oil Solutions To Many Pandemic Mental Health Issues
In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, individuals with mental health issues, particularly anxiety and stress patients, have increased. A study suggests CBD Oil heals and reduces anxiety issues.
Individuals take time to understand and accept changes. Therefore, immediate or sudden alterations in life increase anxiety risk. The coronavirus pandemic has forced individuals to make abrupt changes and adapt to new circumstances. Because of it, individuals feel exhausted, under pressure, stress and also experience episodes of anxiety and depression.
To uplift mental health, a Canadian company CBD2HEAL is working and researching to form new CBD (Cannabidiol) products. Individuals can do various things to improve their mental health condition. They can try exercising, gardening, or caring for a plant, eat healthily, find new hobbies, and use high quantity CBD oil.
ALSO READ: Know Doctors Recommended Marijuana Tips
Various products contain CBD and perform different functions. Some formulations contain CBD to reduce pain, while some products contain-CBD to give anxiety relief. The individuals can use these products to relieve stress and deal with anxiety, which is vital for many due to stressful pandemic situations.
Work From Home, COVID-19, and Use Of CBD
Individuals during the coronavirus pandemic have to spend most of their time at home; they were to work from home, which had its pros and cons. Working from home does enable employees to work freely without getting formally dressed. In addition, with this, the individuals can form their comfortable working environment to focus more on their tasks.
However, the majority states otherwise as most of the individuals face difficulty in concentrating at work from home. This is because many individuals have reported to build a habit of scrolling social networking sites before initiating work.
The difficulty in concentrating affects work performance but there is nothing to worry about as one can use Cannabidiol products that can improve the focus and concentration. Moreover, cannabis containing CBD edibles contains THC in normal concentration so that it does not cause individuals to become high.
CBD Oil To Reduce Anxiety
It is vital to treat diseases and disorders whether they are physical ones or psychological ones. Leaving mental health issues unchecked can worsen the condition. Also, untreated mental disorders may lead to death.
Thus, individuals must treat their stress and anxiety issues as soon as possible. Moreover, anxiety can lead to depression and suicide if left untreated for longer durations. Individuals can use CBD oil to reduce stress and achieve mental peace. Some individuals, in an attempt to reduce stress and anxiety, start drinking alcohol, smoking, and other unhealthy habits. An unhealthy lifestyle can further make the condition of such individuals worse.
Using CBD products to lower stress and anxiety is effective and safe. The plus point is that individuals do not experience withdrawal-symptoms with the use of CBD products for treating and reducing stress. CBD products for stress reduction are easy to consume like a daily supplement.
Does Cannabidiol Products Effect Sleep?
Sleep is essential for health and bodily functions as, during sleep, the body repairs itself. Not enough bedtime rest increases the risk of developing the psychological condition.
During the coronavirus pandemic, individuals were unable to get eight hours of continuous sleep. Thus, the daily routine was upside down without a proper schedule. It is a matter of fact that people with anxiety issues are unable to get sufficient sleep. If individuals use CBD-oil then there are high chances that the anti-anxiety effect of CBD-oil will decrease symptoms of insomnia resulting in better quality sleep.
In a nutshell, CBD products aids individuals in relaxing and sleeping. The relaxing effect enables to lower stress levels and also improve quality of sleep. To lead a healthy life, experts also recommend avoiding excessive use of mobile phones and electronics. It is beneficial for healthy sleep to stop using electronics two hours before bedtime.
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