Market Overview

Reads For The Weed-Kend: Marijuana Roadside Testing, Pregnancy And Depression

Reads For The Weed-Kend: Marijuana Roadside Testing, Pregnancy And Depression

Friday has come and gone once more, and media outlets buzzed with marijuana news, from the increase in the use of cannabis among college students in detriment of opioids, to how the federal war on the substance could be hurting veterans.

Below is a look into just some marijuana related topics discussed this week.

High Driving

With an increasing number of states legalizing marijuana, it was high time someone came up with a solution to one of the biggest security concerns associated to the trend: high driving. Earlier this week, Stanford engineers led by Shan Wang announced the creation of a portable device that can detect THC molecules (the most powerful psychoactive agent present in marijuana) in consumers’ saliva.

Related Link: Out With The Old, In With The New: State Agencies Seem To Prefer Marijuana Over Opioids

As explained by the Stanford team, the device dubbed “potalyzer” can not only detect the presence of THC in saliva within minutes, but also calculate concentration levels. According to the article, police officers should be able to collect spit samples using a cotton swab, and get the results on a smartphone or laptop within minutes — as little as three minutes.

Interestingly, this device has the potential to detect other drugs like heroin and cocaine.

Pregnant Stoners

Another health and safety concern related to marijuana is that of consumption during pregnancy. Unlike previous studies, a recent one adjusted its results for tobacco use, and found no connection between marijuana use and problems in babies.

However, as Forbes contributor Tara Haelle explained, “There simply are not enough high-quality studies that provide enough data on enough pregnancies to separate out all the possible effects that could interfere with identifying effects from marijuana.”

It is also important to note that the study only focuses on a few problems newborns could experience. “We did not investigate long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes after exposure to marijuana in utero, and further study is warranted in this regard,” the researchers expounded.

So, while some studies suggest marijuana consumption during pregnancy is not as grave as it may sound to many, no definitive conclusions have been drawn. Thus experts continue to warn about the potential risks of such a practice.

Do you have ideas for articles/interviews you'd like to see more of on Benzinga? Please email with your best article ideas. One person will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.


Related Articles (ABT + ABBV)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Posted-In: Biotech News Health Care Politics Psychology Topics Legal Events Best of Benzinga