Why are nicotine levels higher in marijuana users who don’t smoke cigarettes?

New research seeks to find out if recent cannabis users are exposed to significant levels of unknown levels of nicotine, which could be due to unmeasured blunt smoking or environmental sources. Click on post to download this research poster being presented on Monday, June 13 at the 2016 College on Problems of Drug Dependence in La Quinta, California.

Elevated cotinine levels in recently active cannabis users absent recent cigarette or other tobacco exposure: Unmeasured blunt or environmental sources?
Brian J. Fairman & Omayma Alshaarawy
When: Monday, June 13, 2016
Where: Poster #86, Flores room

Over 50% of American marijuana users also smoke some amount as blunts (i.e., marijuana rolled in cigar shells), which could expose them to additional sources of nicotine and other harmful byproducts of tobacco. However, it is difficult to determine how much additional tobacco exposure may be from blunts because 1) blunt smoking is not often assessed in surveys, 2) marijuana smokers also commonly smoke cigarettes and other tobacco products outside the context of blunts, 3) marijuana smokers are more likely to be exposed to tobacco via second-hand sources.

We’ll be presenting new research at the 2016 College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) that tries to show that recent marijuana smokers have higher levels of nicotine exposure, as measured by cotinine levels (a nicotine metabolite). The wrinkle? We excluded anyone who had smoked cigarettes in the past month, anyone who smoked any other tobacco product in the past 5 days, anyone on nicotine replacement therapy, anyone who reported being exposed to tobacco in their home or workplace. While these data cannot directly speak to the question of blunts (since blunt smoking was not measured), they can indicate whether recent marijuana users are more likely to be exposed to excess levels of tobacco not captured by self-reported personal or environmental sources.

Update: Click on the pop-out icon in the embedded view of the poster below and then there should be an option to download the poster. However, if that does not work try the URL directly below.

Download Poster Link

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