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College of Arts and Sciences Cannabis

Psychologists study cannabis, PTSD relief connection

Cannabis leaf.According to a recent study led by Carrie Cuttler, assistant professor of psychology, people suffering from post‑traumatic distress disorder report that cannabis reduces the severity of their symptoms by more than half, at least in the short term.

Cuttler and her colleagues analyzed data of more than 400 people who tracked changes in their PTSD symptoms before and after cannabis use with Strainprint, an app developed to help » More …

Study cites law enforcement concerns

Police lights.A new study by WSU criminal justice researchers found increased drugged driving, greater youth access to marijuana, and insufficient officer training are a few of the concerns expressed by police officers in the first state to legalize recreational cannabis sales to adults. While the officers did not support recriminalization, they noted several issues with the implementation of Washington state’s 2012 law legalizing cannabis.

Researchers evaluated the effects of legalizing cannabis on the state’s law enforcement efforts and said the experiences of Washington officers could help inform other » More …

Researching potential negative effects of cannabis

Medicinal Marijuana.Coughing fits, anxiety and paranoia are three of the most common adverse reactions to cannabis, according to a recent study by the WSU Health and Cognition Laboratory.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,500 college students on the type and frequency of adverse reactions they had experienced while using cannabis for their study in the Journal of Cannabis Research. They also collected information on the students’ demographics, personality traits, cannabis use patterns » More …

The sky isn’t falling

Cannabis.More than a few citizens held their breath when Washington legalized recreational cannabis in 2012.

“There were many who believed it would trigger a massive increase in youth use and marijuana-related traffic collisions and fatalities,” says Clay Mosher, sociology professor at WSU Vancouver.

“But in the five years since sales began, those increases in youth use have not manifested, and while there have been some spikes in polydrug driving, they aren’t as significant as predicted.” » More …

Seeding big-picture, interdisciplinary research

A detail of a classic Mayan polychrome vessel depicting a deer hunt.With support from Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation Seed (IRIS) grants, CAS faculty and graduate students in diverse areas are combining forces with colleagues across the university to tackle critical questions by integrating knowledge in a wide array of fields—criminology, biology, English, medicine, archaeology, nursing, and more.

“The IRIS grant program supports faculty efforts to build collaborative relationships and advance our interdisciplinary creative activities, scholarship, and » More …

Study finds minimal effect on major crime from legal marijuana sales

Plastic bag containing marijuana.Legalizing recreational marijuana has had minimal effect on violent or property crime rates in Washington and Colorado, a WSU study funded by the National Institute of Justice has found.

“As the nationwide debate about legalization, the federal classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act, and the consequences of legalization for crime continues, it is essential to center that discussion on studies that use contextualized and robust research designs » More …

Survey highlights misconceptions about driving high

Marijuana and car keys.Driving high is both illegal and dangerous but more than half of marijuana users think it is safe, according to research by Carrie Cuttler, assistant professor of psychology at WSU Pullman.

Cuttler and colleagues at the University of California and Bastyr University Research Institute conducted an anonymous survey of marijuana users from all 50 states to determine their beliefs about the safety of driving shortly after consuming some form of cannabis. » More …

Assessing how cannabis affects emotional well-being

Marijuana in a prescription bottle In a first-of-its-kind study, Washington State University scientists examined how peoples’ self-reported levels of stress, anxiety and depression were affected by smoking different strains and quantities of cannabis at home.

Their work, published this month in the Journal of Affective Disorders, suggests smoking cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety, and stress but may contribute to worse overall feelings of depression over time.

It marks one of the first attempts by U.S. scientists to assess » More …

Long-term cannabis use linked to muted stress response WSU study shows

A new study by Washington State University psychology researchers reveals a dampened physiological response to stress in chronic cannabis users.

Using a nationally recognized procedure designed to provoke elevated levels of stress, Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology, Ryan McLaughlin, assistant professor of integrative physiology and neuroscience, and colleagues in the WSU Department of Psychology examined levels of the stress hormone cortisol in both chronic cannabis users and non-users. » More …