Bad Research Again? No Study Links Erectile Dysfunction with Vaping

The research situation is getting kind of insane, and not just pertaining to the cannabis industry. So long as the general population takes every headline to mean something, then its easy to pull opinions in almost any direction, by simply saying something like ‘new research shows…’ This most recent example is a laughable excuse for a piece of ‘research’, and highlights the inanity of what’s going on. No, no study just showed any links between erectile dysfunction and vaping, but please, look into the actual research yourself if the headline concerns you.

If you’re concerned about erectile dysfunction and vaping, this study is probably not the place to look for info. On the bright side, weed is more associated with helping with erectile dysfunction, than causing it. In fact, vaping is right now the much safer way of ingesting cannabis or nicotine, and interested vapers can try a bunch of new cannabinoid products like delta-8 THC, THCV, and HHC, even outside of dispensaries. We’ve got great deals to get you through the holiday season, so browse our listings to find your perfect product.


The study claiming links between erectile dysfunction and vaping

The study, entitled: Association of E-Cigarettes With Erectile Dysfunction: The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, was published in November 2021 in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. According to the study authors: “Smoking is independently associated with erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. Given existing similarities in the constituents of e-cigarettes or ENDS and cigarettes, this study examines the association between ENDS use and erectile dysfunction.”

The study used information collected from research unrelated to this venture. The data was taken from Wave 4 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study from the years of 2016-2018. The study investigators specifically took respondents who had mentioned issues with erectile dysfunction, who were 20 years of age or more. Then they used multivariable logistic regression models, which are simply different ways of comparing information to try to find relationships between a dependent variable and different independent variables.

Within this, the investigators looked at ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) use within the full sample, as well as restricting that sample to men 20-65 who specifically had no previous diagnosis for cardiac issues. Multiple risk factors were adjusted for, according to the researchers.

erectile dysfunction

In their results, the researchers found that of the full sample, 20.7% had erectile dysfunction, and of the restricted sample, 10.2% did. Use of ENDS in the full sample was 4.8%, and in the restricted sample, 5.6%. In terms of daily ENDS use, the full sample showed 2.1%, and the restricted sample showed 2.5%. According to the investigators, ENDS users were more likely to report erectile dysfunction than those who never vaped in either the full or restricted samples.

They found that in the full sample, that data points indicated those aged 65 and over who had cardiovascular issues, were more likely to have erectile dysfunction. In both categories, physical exercise was associated with lower rates of erectile dysfunction. The study investigators then concluded that all this means that erectile dysfunction is related to vaping.

Massive issues with study claiming links between erectile dysfunction and vaping

I could have called this section, ‘why this study is completely bogus’, or ‘why this study is completely useless’. Either way, that’s the gist of it. This is literally one of the most useless pieces of published ‘research’ out there, and the word ‘research’ here is insulting to actual research that goes on. No real research went on here.

First and foremost, the information collected for this ridiculous effort, was not collected for the purpose of investigating erectile dysfunction and vaping, which means the data points being evaluated are non-specific at best, and will inherently not cover all information that must be looked at in order to make such a designation. The people who responded to the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study, for example, were not thinking their data would be used for a study on erectile dysfunction.

The information was indeed collected for the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study. This study would likely have information useful for an erectile dysfunction study, but as that is not its purpose at all, it would only have a few helpful points. Anything else would have to be collected from respondents in a more specific way, and this was not done.

I’m not sure there’s a better way of exemplifying lazy researchers who want to get published, then putting out a useless piece of $%!# like this. You see, a real research study can take years to do. It has to be designed, relevant participants need to be found, something needs to be tested. And then all the data has to be calculated. This is very time-consuming, but will net results directly related to the investigation purpose, as ancillary research points on unrelated topics don’t have to be involved, and the study can fully focus on all aspects related to the question, whereby everything can be accounted for that’s necessary.

unrelated data points

In the case of what’s going on here, and I see it all the time now, researchers took existing data sets from unrelated investigations, and then put the data into computers that played around with numbers until something that looked relevant showed through. This could have been done in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. The idea that this information is relevant, useful, or reliable is silly at best, and before any real conclusion could be drawn (like the study authors did) it would require backing from actual research studies in the model I just explained. This is an excellent example of the lack of research integrity that exists in the medical research fields of today, especially when dealing with controversial topics.

Other issues with this catastrophic piece of ‘research’

Though the study investigators like to say they controlled for different things, the reality is they could only control for what they had data points for, as no respondent was contacted specifically for this study. So if relevant data points like access to secondhand smoke, and actual smoking habits prior to vaping, aren’t accounted for, then how can we possibly know what the cause of anything is? The idea of smoking outside of vaping is incredibly important here. This is a population of people taking in nicotine, and as vaping is new, this implies nearly all would have been cigarette smokers at some point, and cigarette smoking is associated with erectile dysfunction.

The study works to draw the conclusion that vaping therefore affects circulation in the same way that smoking does, and this is laughable at best, and already understood to be wrong. Vaping might not be the safest thing ever, but it’s fundamentally not the same as smoke inhalation.

There’s a lot of obvious information here that’s being drawn in funny ways. Like, we already know that erectile dysfunction can have a lot of reasons behind it, but heart and circulation issues are big, and that’s why exercise would improve symptoms. It’s also why older people with cardiac issues would show more cases. This is not new information. Simply looking at ages and heart issues says way more about erectile dysfunction than vaping does in this context.

We don’t know why people are vaping, or when they started. If a person smoked for 30 years and started vaping a year before, why would any erectile dysfunction be assumed to be related to the vaping and not the 30 years of smoking damage? It’s highly likely that the vaping population used, represented a lot of people trying to quit cigarettes, people who might have been using them for quite some time. It could also be that the vapers are representative of people trying to clean up life in other ways, who are trying to stave off or minimize health issues that came from other avenues, and which could be confused for vaping.

Truth is, we know almost nothing, and all the results point to aging and cardiovascular issues as the main culprits. In fact, if any conclusion were to be drawn off the information presented, its that people 65 and older, especially with cardiovascular issues, are more likely to have erectile dysfunction. Considering these are all tobacco users, many being older, making the connection that smoking itself it a massive part of this is a lot smarter than anything the study researchers came out with.

vaping

Why this happens

The research landscape is starting to feel closed in and inbred. Rather than making actual pieces of new research, those who want a title published and a headline put out quickly, resort to cheap imitations in the form of taking unrelated data points and working them around until something that looks like a connection shows up. Even if the appearance of that connection can be easily explained as unrelated, or if the issue is very obviously related to other factors. And then a headline blares as if something useful was found. It’s research at its ultimate worst, and a sad state of affairs for anyone who wants decent information.

This ‘study’ (I don’t even like using that term here) is nearly identical in how it was done to something like this study which recently came out claiming that cannabis effects sleep making users sleep too much or too little. Only, that research too was based on unrelated data points in a study where no respondent was specifically questioned about the subject being investigated. Imagine that. Not one respondent actually questioned on the subject being investigated, and no questions specifically designed for the subject being investigated, yet somehow, all these conclusions have been drawn. This sleep evaluation literally taught us nothing new, but ended with headlines about how weed makes a person sleep badly.

Yet another atrocity, is this study about how cannabis can increase the risk of a heart attack, which also took unrelated data points to try to make some connection that never existed. In fact, the only connection that this study realistically made? That smoke inhalation increases heart attack risk, which we already know. The study investigators in this evaluation literally tried to pass off a study linking cannabis to heart attacks, without taking into account smoke inhalation, even though all cannabis users were smoking it. Research integrity? Not a bit here!

Conclusion

The whole idea of research is to help us understand the world around us, to make informed decisions, protect ourselves, and for governments to set policy for populations. So, when the research world becomes a mess of people looking to grab headlines and nothing else, the idea of it is essentially thrown by the wayside. This study attempting to show links between erectile dysfunction and vaping, is just another in an increasingly long line of useless information being put out, that does more to confuse, nothing to help, and which is a general disgrace to the idea of science and research integrity.

Having said all this, I would never go ahead and make a statement that there can’t be any existing links between erectile dysfunction and vaping (because I’m not as silly as these researchers). But if there are, if there really are, they certainly weren’t established here.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Bad Research Again? No Study Links Erectile Dysfunction with Vaping appeared first on CBD Testers.

Recent Study Sheds No Real Light on Cannabis and Sleep

The new trend seems to be to put out constant research on cannabis saying it does something or other. As a growing industry, everyone wants their say, even if they don’t have anything to say, or if it means getting news information wrong, or changing stories to have better headlines. Such is the case with articles coming out about a recent study conducted into cannabis and how people sleep. Not only do the articles about it get it wrong, but the study itself is shoddy at best.

Truth is, if cannabis helps you with sleep, then it doesn’t matter what comes out in conflicting studies, just use what works for you. And if delta-9 doesn’t do the job, there are tons of other cannabis compounds to try, like delta-8 THC, THCV, and CBN which is used in many sleep medications. The cannabinoids market is an ever-expanding unregulated offering that can be bought anywhere, making it convenient for those in illegal locations. We’ve got tons of great deals for products to try in time for the holidays, so go ahead and start your shopping today. Make sure to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


The study in question

In December 2021, the study Recent cannabis use and nightly sleep duration in adults: a population analysis of the NHANES from 2005 to 2018, was published in the magazine Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine. The aim of the study was to “determine the relationship between cannabis use and nightly sleep duration in a nationally representative dataset.” What data set was used? Already collected data that was not collected for this particular study. The information used comes from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2005 to 2018.

The reason I make a big deal about where the information came from, is because, what this means is that the researchers pulled data from a survey unrelated to what they were studying. They spoke to none of the respondents in the study, as it was conducted for other purposes, and controlled for literally no information, like prior sleep issues, other drug use, mental health issues, and familial health histories.

What the researchers did was to group survey respondents (covering approximately 146 million US adults) in two categories based on whether they reported cannabis use in the past 30 days, or not. Then, sleep patterns were examined between the two groups, with each being put into the category of short (less than 6 hours), optimal (6-9 hours), and long (9 hours and up). The study did adjust for sociodemographic and some health-related co-variates, although only what could have already been collected. As the health survey taken from was not designed to answer the questions in the cannabis study, it cannot be expected that relevant covariates were accounted for.

cannabis sleep studies

According to the study results, 14.5% of respondents reported cannabis use in the past month. With an adjusted analysis, it was found that recent cannabis users were more likely than non-users to report short sleep times and long sleep times. Those who were considered heavy users (smoked 20 or more days in the past 30), were more likely to be on either end.

Why a study like this is essentially useless

While collected data can often be useful, it can also be the basis for misusing information. For the standard public, it would appear that a study was actually done into cannabis use and sleep, but that’s not the case. The NHANES is survey research collected by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in order to track health and nutrition issues of adults and children in the US, and to track changes over time. It’s not about cannabis.

It uses interviews, laboratory tests, and physical exams in its collected data set. How much of this is specifically collected by researchers, and how much is taken from existing data sets is hard to say though, meaning even the collection of this information may have been done without speaking to respondents.

The researchers for the cannabis sleep study merely tapped into some of this research, taking the parts they wanted, leaving out anything they didn’t want to account for, and simply not accounting for anything for which data never existed. This is not research where the researchers set up their own study groups, so the researchers have never had anything to do with any respondents in this survey, nor did they design a study to investigate this issue, or perform an experiment.

What if people using cannabis with shorter sleep times were actually elongating a much shorter sleep time by using the cannabis? And what if the majority of long cannabis sleepers actually have some other health issue that relates to their long sleeping time? And what about the kind of cannabis used – was it standard weed, CBD, CBN; was it sativa or indica; what was the method of ingestion; what was the quality of sleep; and specifically were they smoking it? Once smoking enters the picture, all kinds of things can go out of whack because smoking causes so many issues. What about nutritional aspects, what percentage of these respondents were eating a diet that might get in the way of sleep? The US isn’t known for its awesome health, and physical health issues play massively into sleep.

I see so many issues with this study, that it’s hard to imagine it would be taken up by the public. In essence, nothing is learned, because the study is so faulty. Yet, that hasn’t stopped writers from snatching it up for a headline, ready to make statements like “CANNABIS MAY MAKE SLEEP WORSE, STUDY SAYS” which is a) not really what the study said, and b) not technically something that can be gleaned from it based on black holes of information.

sleep studies

The reality of it

In reality, actual sleep studies into cannabis use have turned up mixed results, though a growing industry toward using it for sleep would indicate that people are getting help with it. This is also backed up by sites like reddit, where the majority of answerers relay positive sleep benefits of cannabis. On such sites, its best to keep in mind that people often answer with what they think they know, not their own experience, so it helps to look at what they’re saying to tell if its a personal experience or not, and to disregard know-it-alls over experience-givers. This is probably a good time to remind that not everyone is effected the same way by everything, and that its quite possible cannabis could be beneficial for some, and not for others.

For my part I can say that vaping weed can help me fall asleep as well as go back to sleep in the middle of the night. Though it won’t work all the time. And I say this as one of the worst insomniacs you’ll meet, who has been medicated for this purpose since childhood. In fact, I can use cannabis products for this purpose rather than harder medications, which is a major benefit. As an athlete (running and ballet), taking heavy medications can get in the way of daytime performance, so having an alternative like cannabis is not only useful, its imperative. That’s how it effects me, though, and this may not be relevant to everyone.

While different results exist, this study being written about did not use data collected on a study into cannabis and sleep, it used preexisting data from an unrelated survey, which would not have gotten all the necessary information for any firm and usable results to be made. So though it showed a similar outcome of varying results, these specific results are not based on very good data. They also say very little other than that cannabis users tend to fall on opposite ends of a spectrum, while providing nothing about quality of sleep. A real sleep study will give much more specific and relevant information.

A study being done directly into cannabis and sleep is a study where the study investigators specifically design an experiment to test a related hypothesis, using study participants for that purpose, and collecting direct data on the outcome of the experiment. An experiment could mean giving respondents cannabis and then assessing their sleep after.

Or if done via a survey, for the survey to be directly about the issue of cannabis and sleep, wherein all the relevant questions are asked to ascertain all necessary information. Even a systematic review into a certain topic is more likely to net more correct information since it evaluates multiple pieces of literature designed on the same topic. This study isn’t even like that, literally taking information from an unrelated place.

Of course, besides the information source being questionable in terms of how useful it is for this particular study, the results aren’t that enlightening. Without any description or further detail, we’ve learned very little. We don’t know enough about respondents in a group, we don’t know enough about how cannabis was used, we don’t know enough about overall health, and we don’t know enough about sleep issues and histories of respondents. All its saying is ‘cannabis can effect sleep’, which is a broad statement we already knew, and the reason that real research is being done directly into the topic.

Why does this happen?

24 hour news

We’ve had way more intricate and well-defined studies come out on cannabis and sleep, and even they have a hard time making big statements. These are large areas of study that don’t often have hard-fast answers that apply to everyone. In fact, one of the things to be picked up on by the study outcome, is that cannabis users fell into both extremes, and that says something. It says that one outcome cannot be expected, so all that other information…it becomes wildly important.

The problem is that we live in a world where people want hard-fast answers, even when they don’t exist. Couple that with a growing industry that has its own 24-hour news cycle, researchers who want to be published, and writers who want a story, and the end result is a maelstrom of recycled and useless information. For researchers, this is a quick and easy way of putting out a study without essentially having to do a study. A real study can take years of time, this kind of assessment can be done very quickly. The calculations can be made by a computer in minutes, maybe seconds.

And since the public desperately wants clarity in this unclear world, it latches onto what it can to get information, often without seeing the reasons for the information to be put out. Will the average person know to look at methodology to identify a good study from a bad one? Probably not. And they’re not supposed to. So, all they’re left with is headlines meant to pull them in different directions. A lot of headlines based on this study will say all kinds of things about cannabis and sleep. But the reality is that absolutely nothing new was learned, and nothing useful was put out there.

Conclusion

It says way more about research integrity and journalistic integrity that such a study would gain any prominence in news cycles. Is it a bad study? No. It doesn’t look like its meant to be a smear campaign, or misleading apart from the lack of useful information its based on. It looks like an easy, half-assed study that didn’t require any real work. It’s an unnecessary study that doesn’t add anything to our knowledge base. While it definitely means we should be careful in how we weigh research methodology and results in terms of accuracy and helpfulness, the growing muddle of information out there only points to increasing muddiness in the future. More of this should be expected.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Recent Study Sheds No Real Light on Cannabis and Sleep appeared first on CBD Testers.