Study: Marijuana Use Linked to Lower Prevalence of Fatty Liver Disease

LOWELL, MA — Subjects who consume cannabis are significantly less likely to suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as compared to those who do not, according to population-based case-control data published in the journal PLOS One.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most prevalent form of liver disease in humans, affecting an estimated 80 to 100 million people in the United States.

A team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School…

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Study: Medical Cannabis Patients Report Decreased Use of Opioids, Anti-Anxiety Medicines

SCRANTON, PA — Patients with legal access to medical cannabis decrease their use of opioids, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and other medications, according to self-report data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

A team of investigators from five states surveyed the medical history of over 1,500 patient-members of state-licensed dispensaries located throughout the northeast.

Authors reported that 77 percent of respondents…

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Patients With Access to Medical Marijuana Reduce Their Use of Opioids, Study Finds

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Patients registered to use medical cannabis decrease their use of opioids, according to data compiled by researchers at the University of New Mexico.

Investigators assessed the use of prescription opioids over an 18-month period among patients enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program compared to similar patients who were not.

They reported that subjects with access to medical cannabis reduced their use of opioids by 31 percent while…

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Study: CBD-Dominant Cannabis Extracts Reduce Seizure Frequency

FALMOUTH, ME —  The administration of whole-plant cannabis extracts rich in the cannabinoid cannabidol (CBD) is associated with reduced seizure frequency in patients with refractory epilepsy, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior.

Researchers performed a retrospective chart review of the clinical records of 272 patients who were taking whole-plant CBD extracts.

Eighty-six percent of those treated observed some clinical benefit…

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Bipartisan Vote Carries Medical Marijuana Research Bill to Passage in New Mexico House

SANTA FE, NM — The New Mexico State House voted 41-26 Saturday afternoon to pass House Bill 155, co-sponsored by Rep. D. Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. McCamley (D-Las Cruces) to establish a fund in the state treasury for research related to the production, uses, effects, and efficacy of medical marijuana.

The bill had bi-partisan support with six Republicans voting in favor, including the minority leader, Nate Gentry, R-Abq. Other Republicans who voted in favor of…

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Study: Medical Marijuana Patients Reduce Their Use of Opioids

VICTORIA, BC — Patients with legal access to medical cannabis reduce their use of opioids, benzodiazepines, and other prescription drugs, according to data published online ahead of print in The International Journal of Drug Policy.

Researchers at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia assessed the use of medical cannabis and prescription drugs in a cohort of 277 patients registered in the Canadian government’s medical marijuana…

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Study: Cannabis Extract Associated with Improved Survival Rates in Glioma Patients

Glioma in the left parietal lobe (brain CT scan), WHO grade 2. (Wikimedia/Mikhail Kalinin)

LONDON — Brain tumor patients treated with cannabis extracts possessed increased one-year survival rates compared to those who went untreated, according to clinical trial data reported this week by British biotechnology firm GW Pharmaceuticals.

Twenty-one patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme and who were undergoing conventional anti-cancer treatment participated in the…

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Clinical Trial: THCV Lowers Blood Sugar Levels In Type 2 Diabetics

DERBY, UK — The administration of THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, is positively associated with glycemic control in type 2 diabetics, according to the randomized, placebo-controlled data published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Investigators from the University of Nottingham, School of Medicine assessed the twice daily administration of various cannabinoids (CBD or THCV or CBD and THCV in combination) versus placebo over a…

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National Academy of Sciences Releases Report on Marijuana Confirming Medical Benefits; Dispelling Myths

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report on the health impacts of marijuana Thursday, confirming the existence of medical benefits and dispelling some long-held myths about the substance.

The review of more than 10,000 scientific abstracts found, “There is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective” for the treatment of chronic pain in adults, chemotherapy-induced nausea…

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National Academy of Sciences: Marijuana is an Effective Medicine

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Academy of Sciences on Thursday released a groundbreaking report, “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research.”

The report states that there is conclusive evidence that marijuana can be used as a medicine.

The report did not find clinical evidence for all conditions marijuana treatment is often associated with, but it recognizes its efficacy for treating many medical…

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NORML Responds to National Academy of Sciences’ Marijuana Report

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a comprehensive report Thursday acknowledging that “conclusive or substantial evidence” exists for cannabis’ efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain, and sharply criticized longstanding federal regulatory barriers to marijuana research – in particular “the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance” under federal law.

Authors of the report also addressed…

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Study: History of Cannabis Use Not An Independent Risk Factor for Stroke

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN — The use of cannabis is not an independent contributing factor to the risk of stroke in those under 60 years of age, according to population-based data published online ahead of print in the journal Stroke.

An international team of investigators from Sweden and France assessed the relationship between marijuana use and stroke risk in a population-based cohort of over 49,000 men.

Researchers reported “no significant association between cannabis use in…

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Bill Filed to Delay Maine’s Marijuana Legalization Law

AUGUSTA, ME — Bipartisan lawmakers in Maine have filed a bill that would delay most of the implementation of Question 1, which legalized marijuana in Maine, by over a year.

The bill, House Bill 88, was introduced Wednesday by state Rep.  Louis Luchini (D-Ellsworth) and Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Winterport).

The proposal would delay the implementation of most of Question 1 until February 1, 2018, including establishing a framework for a retail cannabis industry in…

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Week in Review: Connecticut MMJ research bodes well, OH docs hesitant & Maine rec is a go

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By Omar Sacirbey and Bart Schaneman

Connecticut research could benefit the entire medical cannabis industry, a survey shows most Ohio physicians won’t write MMJ recommendations, and Maine’s adult-use program is a go after recount is halted.

Here’s a closer look at some notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

Marijuana beats opiates

Research announcements this week from two respected Connecticut medical institutions provided a fitting year-end reminder that one of the biggest gains cannabis reform has made over…

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Studies: CBD Treatment Reduces Refractory Epileptic Seizures

cannabidiol cbd

BOSTON, MA — Cannabidiol (CBD) administration is associated with the mitigation of treatment-resistant seizures, according to the findings of several recent clinical trials.

In one trial, investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital assessed CBD treatment over a 12-month period in 18 patients with refractory epileptic seizures due to Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Researchers reported that CBD treatment reduced subjects’ median weekly seizure frequency by half. Authors concluded,…

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Study: Cannabis Inhalation Improves Parkinson’s Symptoms

Study: Cannabis Inhalation Improves Parkinson’s Symptoms

Inhaling cannabis improves symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the European Journal of Pain.

Investigators at Tel Aviv University and the Rabin Medical Center in Israel assessed the impact of cannabis exposure on motor symptoms and pain parameters in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers reported that cannabis inhalation was associated with improved symptoms 30-minutes following exposure. “Cannabis improved motor scores and pain symptoms in PD patients,” authors…

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Study: Opioid Prevalence Falls Following Medical Cannabis Legalization

Study: Opioid Prevalence Falls Following Medical Cannabis Legalization

The implementation of medical marijuana programs is associated with a decrease in the prevalence of opioids detected among fatally injured drivers, according to data published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers at Columbia University in New York and the University of California at Davis performed a between-state comparison of opioid positivity rates in fatal car accidents in 18 states. Authors reported that drivers between the ages of 21 and 40 who resided in states that permitted medical marijuana use were approximately…

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Study: Epileptic Patients Report Subjective Benefits from Cannabis

Study: Epileptic Patients Report Subjective Benefits from Cannabis

ONTARIO, CANADA — Patients with epilepsy frequently experiment with cannabis and most report experiencing subjective benefits following their use of the substance, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior.

Canadian researchers surveyed the experiences of over 300 adult patients admitted to an epilepsy monitoring unit over a 14-month period. More than half of the respondents acknowledged having tried cannabis and over a third reported having used it in the past year.

Cannabis use was associated…

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Study: Cannabis Dosing Influences Pain Sensitivity

Study: Cannabis Dosing Influences Pain Sensitivity

NEW YORK, NY — Cannabis inhalation influences subjects’ sensitivity to pain, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Investigators at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York assessed the effects of cannabis versus placebo in subjects exposed to a laboratory-induced pain model. Participants in the trial immersed one of their hands in cold water. Researchers assessed subjects’ pain sensitivity and pain tolerance based on he length of time they were willing to keep…

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Study: Oral THC Safe and Effective for Treatment of Spasticity in Pediatric Patients

Study: Oral THC Safe and Effective for Treatment of Spasticity in Pediatric Patients

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — The administration of oral, synthetic THC (dronabinol) is safe and effective for the treatment of refractory spasticity in pediatric patients, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the European Journal of Pediatric Neurology.

Researchers from the University of Dusseldorf in Germany assessed the palliative treatment of dronabinol in 16 adolescent subjects with complex neurological conditions. Subjects received dosing twice daily and the median duration of treatment was 181 days.

Oral THC…

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Case Report: Cannabinoid Extracts Safe and Effective in Tourette Syndrome Patient

Case Report: Cannabinoid Extracts Safe and Effective in Tourette Syndrome Patient

TAURANGA, NEW ZEALAND — The administration of standardized cannabinoid extracts (Sativex) is safe and effective at mitigating symptoms of Tourette syndrome, according to a case report published online ahead of print in the journal Australasian Psychiatry.

Investigators at the Tauranga Hospital, Department of Psychiatry in New Zealand evaluated the impact of twice-daily Sativex administration in a patient with treatment-resistant Tourette syndrome (TS). Sativex is a spray containing an equal 1:1 ratio of THC to cannabidiol (CBD).

Following…

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Study: THC and CBDA Effective in Treating Nausea, Stimulating Appetite in Chemotherapy Patients

Study: THC and CBDA Effective in Treating Nausea, Stimulating Appetite in Chemotherapy Patients

The administration of small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiolic acid (CBD-A) may be effective in treating nausea and stimulating appetite in chemotherapy patients, according to the results of a new study.

Researchers found that the “administration of subthreshold doses of THC (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) or CBDA (0.5 and 1 μg/kg) significantly suppressed acute nausea-induced gaping, whereas higher individual doses of both THC and CBDA were maximally effective ” for acute nausea.

Combined administration of higher doses of…

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FDA Approves First-Ever Liquid Synthetic THC Formulation

FDA Approves First-Ever Liquid Synthetic THC Formulation

WASHINGTON, DC — Regulators at the US Food and Drug Administration for the first time have approved the prescription of a liquid form of dronabinol (synthetic THC), to be marketed under the trade name Syndros.

The new drug formula, produced by Insys Therapeutics, is approved for use in patients with AIDS (as an appetite stimulant) and cancer (as an antiemetic).

The pharmaceutical provider is anticipated to publically launch the drug in the second half of this year.

The FDA initially approved the prescription use of dronabinol as an oral…

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Medical Marijuana Laws Linked to Less Prescription Drug Use, Medicare Spending, Study Finds

Medical Marijuana Laws Linked to Less Prescription Drug Use, Medicare Spending, Study Finds

ATHENS, GA — The enactment of statewide medicinal cannabis laws is associated with a quantifiable decline in the use of traditional prescription drugs, according to data published in the July edition of the scientific journal Health Affairs.

Investigators at the University of Georgia assessed the relationship between medical marijuana legalization laws and physicians’ prescribing patterns in 17 states over a three-year period (2010 to 2013). Specifically, researchers assessed patients’ consumption of and spending on prescription drugs…

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Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Prescription Drug Use, Medicare Spending

Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Prescription Drug Use, Medicare Spending

The enactment of statewide medicinal cannabis laws is associated with a quantifiable decline in the use of traditional prescription drugs, according to data published in the July edition of the scientific journal Health Affairs.

Investigators at the University of Georgia assessed the relationship between medical marijuana legalization laws and physicians’ prescribing patterns in 17 states over a three-year period (2010 to 2013). Specifically, researchers assessed patients’ consumption of and spending on prescription drugs approved under…

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Bipartisan Measures Introduced in Congress to Facilitate Marijuana Research Trials

Bipartisan Measures Introduced in Congress to Facilitate Marijuana Research Trials

WASHINGTON, DC — A bipartisan coalition of House and Senate lawmakers have proposed legislation, the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2016 and the Marijuana Effective Drug Studies Act, to facilitate and accelerate clinical investigations into the safety and efficacy of cannabis.

Passage of the measures – House Bill 5549 and Senate Bill 3077 – would expedite the federal review process for clinical protocols involving cannabis. It would also eliminate existing production limits for research grade cannabis and allow for investigators to…

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Clinical Trial: Vaporized Cannabis Efficacious In Treating Neuropathy

Clinical Trial: Vaporized Cannabis Efficacious In Treating Neuropathy

SACRAMENTO, CA — The inhalation of vaporized herbal cannabis reduces neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord related injuries, according to placebo-controlled clinical trial data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Pain.

A team of investigators at the University of California, San Diego, UC Davis, and the Sacramento VA Medical Center evaluated the effects of vaporized cannabis in a cohort of 42 neuropathic pain patients who were previously unresponsive to conventional analgesics. Participants inhaled four puffs of…

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State Department: International Treaties Do Not Demand Monopoly on Marijuana Production

State Department: International Treaties Do Not Demand Monopoly on Marijuana Production

WASHINGTON, DC — United States treaty obligations do not mandate the federal government to limit marijuana production to a single licensed facility, according to written statements provided by the State Department to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

The Department’s statements run counter to opinions expressed by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which has long alleged that there can only be one federally licensed cultivator of marijuana for research purposes – the University of Mississippi, as overseen by the US National…

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State Department: NIDA Monopoly on Marijuana Research Unnecessary

State Department: NIDA Monopoly on Marijuana Research Unnecessary

WASHINGTON, DC — The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the State Department has gone on record stating that the United States could issue multiple licenses for the cultivation of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes without violating the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty.

The statement came in response to a direct request from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) regarding whether issuing multiple licenses to grow medical marijuana was a violation of the Single Convention.

The State…

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Maine Court Rules in Favor of Marijuana Legalization Supporters; Orders Secretary of State to Review Invalidated Signatures

Maine Court Rules in Favor of Marijuana Legalization Supporters; Orders Secretary of State to Review Invalidated Signatures

A Kennebec County Superior Court judge found that state officials erred when they disqualified thousands of petitions — including more than 17,000 signatures from Maine voters that were validated by town clerks — without actually reviewing them

AUGUSTA, ME — A Kennebec County Superior Court judge ruled on Friday that state officials may have improperly invalidated thousands of signatures of registered Maine voters and unlawfully denied citizens their constitutional right to vote on a proposed ballot initiative to regulate marijuana…

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Access to Medical Marijuana Leads to Decreased Opioid Use in Chronic Pain Patients, Study Finds

Access to Medical Marijuana Leads to Decreased Opioid Use in Chronic Pain Patients, Study Finds

Chronic pain patients with legal access to medicinal cannabis significantly decrease their use of opioids, according to data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Pain.

Investigators at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor conducted a retrospective survey of 244 chronic pain patients. All of the subjects in the survey were qualified under Michigan law to consume medicinal cannabis and frequented an area dispensary to obtain it.

Authors reported that respondents often substituted cannabis for opiates and that many rated marijuana…

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Review: Cannabinoids are Reasonable Option for Chronic Pain Treatment

Cannabinoids are Reasonable Option for Chronic Pain Treatment

Cannabinoids are safe and effective in the treatment of chronic pain conditions, according to a review of recent clinical trials published online ahead of print in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

Investigators at the University of Montreal, Department of Anesthesiology evaluated the results of 26 clinical trials “of good or excellent quality” involving 1,364 subjects. Trials assessed the use of various types of cannabinoid preparations, including herbal cannabis, liquid and oral cannabis extracts, and synthetic cannabinoid agents in…

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Study: Medical Marijuana Patients Often Over Age 40

Study: Medical Marijuana Patients Often Over Age 40

BALTIMORE, MD — Patients who are registered to use medicinal cannabis in compliance with state law are often over the age of 40, according to a demographic assessment published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

An investigator with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health assessed age demographics for medical marijuana participants in eight states with mandatory patient registries.

“Among adults, medical marijuana participants tend to be in their 40s and 50s,” the study found. “In several…

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Study: CBD Oil “Highly Promising” In Pediatric Epilepsy Treatment

Study: CBD Oil “Highly Promising” In Pediatric Epilepsy Treatment

The administration of cannabis oil extracts high in cannabidiol reduces seizure frequency in children with intractable epilepsy, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the journal Seizure.

Israeli researchers retrospectively evaluated the effects of CBD oil in a multicenter cohort of 74 patients with intractable epilepsy. Participants in the trial were resistant to conventional epilepsy treatment and were treated with CBD extracts for a period of at least three months. Extracts in the study were provided by a pair of…

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Study: Vaporizers Deliver Safe, Reliable Doses of Cannabinoids

Study: Vaporizers Deliver Safe, Reliable Doses of Cannabinoids

Electronically driven vaporizers deliver cannabinoids in a relatively safe and reliable manner, according to data published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Swiss investigators evaluated the ability of various types of vaporizer technologies to safely and effectively release THC and CBD (cannabidiol) in vapor.

Researchers reported that electronically driven devices, which allow for precise temperature control, were able to provide for relatively safe and uniform dosing. By contrast, gas-powered devices performed in a more unreliable manner and…

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Study: Marijuana Associated with Decreased Migraine Frequency

Study: Marijuana Associated with Decreased Migraine Frequency

Cannabis administration is associated with decreased migraine headache frequency, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Pharmacotherapy.

Investigators at the University of Colorado, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences retrospectively assessed cannabis’ effects on monthly migraine headache frequency in a group of 121 adults. Study participants had a primary diagnosis of migraine headache, had been recommended cannabis by a physicians for migraine treatment, and had participated in at least one…

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Marijuana vs. Tobacco: Not All Smoke Is Created Equal

Marijuana vs. Tobacco: Not All Smoke Is Created Equal

Long-term exposure to tobacco smoke is demonstrably harmful to health. According to the United States Center for Disease Control, tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and chronic exposure to tobacco smoke is linked to increased incidences of cancer as well as vascular disease. Inhaling tobacco smoke is also associated with a variety of adverse pulmonary effects, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Does smoking cannabis pose similar dangers to lung health? According to a number of…

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DEA Eases Some Requirements for Clinical Trials on Cannabidiol

DEA Eases Some Requirements for Clinical Trials on Cannabidiol

WASHINGTON, DC — The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says they are easing some of the requirements imposed by the Controlled Substances Act for researchers conducting clinical trials on cannabidiol (CBD), an extract of marijuana that has been used to reduce seizures in children, among other ailments.

According to a press release issued Wednesday by the DEA, the changes “will streamline the research process regarding CBD’s possible medicinal value and help foster ongoing scientific studies.”

Researchers who are conducting Food…

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US Senators Seek More Information About Federal Efforts to Facilitate Medical Marijuana Research

US Senators Seek More Information About Federal Efforts to Facilitate Medical Marijuana Research

Follow-up letter comes after federal agency response leaves unanswered questions about efforts to address regulatory barriers to critical research

WASHINGTON, DC — United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a follow-up letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and the Drug Enforcement…

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Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Associated with Decreased Obesity

Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Associated with Decreased Obesity

The enactment of statewide laws permitting the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes is associated with an annual reduction in obesity-related medical costs, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Health Economics.

Investigators at Cornell University in New York and San Diego State University in California reviewed twelve years of data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to examine the effects of medical marijuana laws on body weight, physical wellness, and exercise.

Researchers reported,…

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Study: Cannabinoids are Safe, Effective for Pain Treatment

Study: Cannabinoids are Safe, Effective for Pain Treatment

Cannabinoids are safe and effective for the treatment of chronic pain, according to the results of a systematic review of randomized controlled trials published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.

Investigators from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and McGill University in Montreal evaluated the results of 11 placebo-controlled trials conducted between the years 2010 and 2014. Trials assessed the use of various types of cannabinoid preparations, including herbal cannabis, liquid and oral cannabis extracts, and nabilone (a…

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ADHD Patients Successfully Treated with Cannabis

ADHD Patients Successfully Treated with Cannabis

The use of herbal cannabis eases symptoms in adults suffering from ADHD (attention deficiency hyperactivity disorder), according to clinical trial data presented at an international symposium on cannabinoid therapeutics last month.

German researchers evaluated the effects of marijuana in 30 patients suffering from ADHD. All of the subjects participating in the trial had previously tried various forms of conventional therapies, but their condition had proven resistant to alternative treatments. Under German law, patients who are unresponsive…

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Major Think Tank Explains How the Federal Government Undermines Cannabis Research and How to Fix It

Major Think Tank Explains How the Federal Government Undermines Cannabis Research and How to Fix It

Earlier this week, the Brookings Institution issued a report that takes the federal government to task for undermining research on medical cannabis. In “Ending the U.S. government’s war on medical marijuana research,” Brookings fellow John Hudak and senior research assistant Grace Wallack explain the various barriers that make authoritative research on cannabis extremely difficult to conduct in the United States.

While many legitimate studies of medical cannabis do exist,  federal government policy makes it extremely difficult for…

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Study: Daily Marijuana Use for Chronic Pain is Safe, Effective

Study: Daily Marijuana Use for Chronic Pain is Safe, Effective

Chronic pain patients who use herbal cannabis daily for one-year report reduced discomfort and increased quality of life compared to controls, and do not experience an increased risk of serious side effects, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Pain.

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal assessed the long-term health of 216 medicinal cannabis users with chronic non-cancer pain who consumed a daily standardized dose (12.5 percent THC) of herbal cannabis compared to 215 controls (chronic pain…

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ASA Debuts ‘Truth About Medical Marijuana’ Educational Series

ASA Debuts ‘Truth About Medical Marijuana’ Educational Series

New Campaign Aims to Deepen Public Knowledge about Medical Marijuana

WASHINGTON, DC —  Americans for Safe Access (ASA) on Wednesday launched the “Truth About Medical Marijuana” educational website and accompanying event series.

The Truth About Medical Marijuana will focus on emerging issues in the area of medical marijuana, including understanding the research behind the medicine, emerging policies issues surrounding cannabidiol (CBD) and consumer safety issues.

During each of the next three months, event hosts will focus on these issues and prepare attendees to share that information with politicians and key decision makers, as well as providing tools to counter misinformation in the media.

“With the majority of Americans living in states that allow at least some kind of medical…

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Study: Sleep-Disturbed Patients Report Relief from Cannabis

Study: Sleep-Disturbed Patients Report Relief from Cannabis

BERKELEY, CA — Patients with sleep disorders find relief from the ingestion of various strains of cannabis, according to data published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Investigators from the University of California at Berkeley, the National Center for PTSD, and John Hopkins University in Baltimore evaluated cannabis species and cannabinoid concentration preferences among medical cannabis users who reported using the plant for the management of sleep problems.

Participants who consumed cannabis for nightmares preferred sativa strains to…

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Congressional Briefing to Highlight Need to Fix Research System for Marijuana

Congressional Briefing to Highlight Need to Fix Research System for Marijuana

Top Experts to Testify on Federal Restrictions Holding Back Medical Marijuana Research

WASHINGTON, DC — On Thursday, July 23rd Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is hosting a Congressional Briefing with Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) on federal barriers faced by researchers working to understand the medical uses of marijuana.

The briefing will provide expert testimony on how federal policy has undermined medical marijuana research, the state of  contemporary medical marijuana research and the impact of reform proposals.

Dr. Sue Sisley will present testimony on how federal barriers have directly blocked her research on using marijuana to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder including the adverse impacts of the Drug Enforcement Agency licensing only one entity — the National…

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Senators Demand Answers on Administrative Barriers to Cannabis Research

Senators Demand Answers on Administrative Barriers to Cannabis Research

Earlier this week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (DMA) and 7 other U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Drug Enforcement Agency seeking specific answers on a number of bureaucratic barriers to medical marijuana research.

The letter comes just a few weeks after the Senate Drug Caucus hearing on cannabis-based medicines and the White House announcement to terminate the Public Health Service review process for marijuana, which had been cited by many as one of the major pieces of federal red tape standing in the way of scientists and physicians.

Joined by Senators Merkley (OR), Wyden (OR), Mikulski (MD), Markey (MA), Boxer (CA), Booker (NJ), and Gillibrand (NY), the letter acknowledges that there is a…

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Senators Press Feds for Answers Regarding the State of Medical Marijuana Research

Senators Press Feds for Answers Regarding the State of Medical Marijuana Research

WASHINGTON, DC — Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with seven other Senators, has directed a letter to the Obama administration demanding regulators answer questions specific to the facilitation of research into the medical benefits of marijuana.

Senators acknowledged the need for unbiased research. They wrote:

“While the federal government has emphasized research on the potential harms associated with the use of marijuana, there is still very limited research on the potential health benefits of marijuana — despite the fact that millions of Americans are now eligible by state law to use the drug for medical purposes.”

The Senators applauded a recent decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate the HHS Public Health Service…

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Study: Access to Medical Marijuana Associated with Reduced Opioid Abuse

Study: Access to Medical Marijuana Associated with Reduced Opioid Abuse

States that permit qualified patients to access medical marijuana via dispensaries possess lower rates of opioid addiction and overdose deaths, according to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-partisan think-tank.

Researchers from the RAND Corporation and the University of California, Irvine assessed the impact of medical marijuana laws on problematic opioid use, as measured by treatment admissions for opioid pain reliever addiction (compiled from the years 1992 to 2012) and by state-level opioid overdose deaths (compiled from the years 1999 to 2013).

“[S]tates permitting medical marijuana dispensaries experience a relative decrease in both opioid addictions and opioid overdose deaths compared to states that do not,” authors reported. They found that…

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