Effect of CA Marijuana Laws on Smoking, Marijuana, Alcohol, and Opioid

Janine Cataldo, RN, PhD, FAAN

A better understanding of the downstream effects of California’s (CA) rapidly changing tobacco and marijuana policies is critical for public health. The liberalization of CA marijuana laws has the potential to contribute to the renormalization of smoking and expose both users and non-users of marijuana to second hand smoke. Studies are needed that evaluate whether the medical marijuana law (MML) and the Recreational Marijuana Law (RML), are having a substantial influence on CA tobacco and substance control efforts at the population level.

Adverse Cardiovascular Effects from One Minute of Exposure to Marijuana Secondhand Smoke

Matthew Springer, PhD

We have demonstrated that even one minute of exposure to secondhand smoke from marijuana impairs vascular endothelial function, and we are studying how the extent and mechanism of impairment compares related to those from tobacco secondhand smoke exposure.

Bay Area Tobacco, Marijuana and Neighborhood Study (BATMAN)

Pamela Ling, MD
In 2014 we conducted a population-based survey of young adults in the San Francisco Bay Area which included measures of a wide range of tobacco products and marijuana. The survey is complemented by neighborhood audits and retail audits in the neighborhoods where respondents reside. We following up these participants longitudinally to describe changes in patterns of use of tobacco and marijuana products, and the impact of local tobacco and marijuana policies and other neighborhood factors on perceptions and use. This study sample is designed to be representative of the population and has special emphasis on health disparities.

Cardiovascular Effects of Marijuana Leaf Vaporizer Aerosols

Matthew Springer, PhD

We have demonstrated that secondhand smoke from marijuana impairs vascular endothelial function in rats, an effect also caused by secondhand smoke from tobacco but the marijuana effect appears to last longer.  This occurs even if the smoke is from marijuana lacking cannabinoids, indicating that the effect is caused by the smoke itself and not the cannabinoids.

Effects of Secondhand Smoke from Marijuana on Vascular Function

Matthew Springer, PhD
Humans and rats exposed to even a few minutes of secondhand smoke from tobacco experience a drop in vascular endothelial function (the ability of their arteries to enlarge to pass more blood when needed by the tissues). We have shown that rats exposed to diluted smoke from the burning tips of marijuana cigarettes experience a similar drop in function, although in the case of marijuana, the impairment is longer lasting. This occurs even if the marijuana does not contain cannabinoids; it is an effect of the smoke itself.

Environmental Effects of Marijuana Use

Suzaynn Schick, PhD

As the use and possession of marijuana become increasingly legal in California, there are more public events and places where people are using marijuana.  Very little is known about the chemistry and toxicity of marijuana smoke and the emissions from marijuana e-cigarettes and the vaporization and dabbing of marijuana.  To begin to study this, we are collecting air samples at public events in the Bay Area at which marijuana and tobacco are used.  We use tobacco as a control, because much more is known about it.  The places and events w

Evaluation of Potential Harmful Effects Marijuana Loose Leaf Vaporizers

Matthew Springer, PhD
Having showing shown that vascular function can be impaired by exposure to marijuana smoke, we are exploring whether or not this effect can be avoided by use of loose leaf vaporizers, which heat marijuana or tobacco to below combustion temperatures.

Exposure to Cannabinoids when Vaping Marijuana Products

Neal Benowitz, MD, Gideon St Helen, PhD
This project is studying exposure to THC and other cannabinoids and their effects after vaping cannabis oil. They will also be analyzing various cannabis products for concentrations of THC and other constituents.

Measuring Combined Tobacco, E-Cigarette, and Marijuana Use

Dorie Apollonio, PhD, Danielle Ramo, PhD

As companies promote new smoking devices that can easily be used for both tobacco and marijuana (e.g., electronic cigarettes [“e-cigarettes”], vaporizers), youth and young adults may be more prone to using both drugs.

META Oakland

Pamela Ling, MD
This community-based participatory research project with young people in Oakland started as an assessment of youth perceptions of electronic cigarette and flavored tobacco marketing in their neighborhoods. We are extending this project to work with youth in California schools to develop peer to peer educational messages about flavored tobacco products (including electronic cigarettes) and marijuana.

Public Policy Issues Associated with Marijuana Legalization

Stanton Glantz, PhD
Recreational marijuana use has been legalized in 8 states (as of 2017) and medical marijuana is widely legal. The political forces pushing for these changes have come from marijuana enthusiasts and businesses with very little involvement of organizations that prioritize public health. This research is examining this process as well as opportunities to inject a public health perspective into these policy debates.

Relationship Between Cannabis Use and Active and Passive Tobacco Smoking in Adolescents

Neal Benowitz, MD
This project is exploring the relationship between cannabis use and active and passive smoking in adolescents. This work includes analysis of the impact of blunt use (marijuana in a cigar wrap) on nicotine exposure.

State Marijuana Policymaking

Stanton Glantz, PhD

As more states and countries legalize recreational marijuana, the effects of increased marijuana use are impacting tobacco use.  Dr. Glantz studies the implementation of state marijuana policies, whether they are following best practices from tobacco and alcohol control, and how marijuana legalization impacts tobacco.  In collaboration with other UCSF facultym he also studies cardiovascular effects of marijuana smoke.

Young Adults and the Tobacco-E-cigarette-Marijuana Triangulum

Pamela Ling, MD
We are conducting qualitative research with a cohort young adults who are using multiple nicotine and cannabis products to better understand the contexts and motivations for using different products, evolving patterns of use, and perceptions of how the changing tobacco and marijuana policy landscape affects perceptions of risk and behavior.