Eku Oben, Mercer University College of Pharmacy
Marijuana was shown to increase heart rate and blood pressure by 20 to 100%.  However, it can cause hypotension in high doses or when taken orally.  Users 14-18 years old with heavy marijuana use (~56 g/month) performed worse on flexible thinking tests compared to controls with limited marijuana use (<7 g/month). When comparing marijuana users to non-marijuana users, the adjusted hazards ratio (HR) for hypertension mortality was 3.42 (95% CI: 1.2- 9.79) and for each year of marijuana use, was 1.04 (95% CI: 1- 1.07). The adjusted HR for heart disease mortality between the two groups was 1.09 (95% CI: 0.63 -1.88); and 1 (95% CI: 0.98-1.02) for each year of marijuana use. 
Reem Gebrekidan, Mercer University College of Pharmacy
Dravet Syndrome is a genetic epileptic encephalopathy beginning in infancy that is characterized by febrile, prolonged, and lateralized seizures. Epilepsy guidelines consider sodium valproate or topiramate as first-line treatment in children with Dravet syndrome while clobazam or stiripentol are supported as adjunctive therapy. Medications such as carbamazepine, gabapentin, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, pregabalin, tiagabine or vigabatrin were advised to be avoided. 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two synthetic cannabinoids based on a substance present in marijuana and a substance acting similarly to another compound in marijuana. Attempting to use components of marijuana is considered to be in the public’s best interest; however, safe and effective use has not been determined.  Continue reading
Kayla Nguyen, Mercer University College of Pharmacy Class of 2017
The legalized marijuana debate has spread like wildfire across the nation. 23 states and Washington D.C. have all proposed and legalized some form of marijuana usage and possession[i]; however, marijuana is still a Schedule I and federally illegal drug. One of the most common misconceptions about marijuana is the safety and efficacy of smoking.