Vermont Senate Passes Another Marijuana Bill

On Friday, for the second time this year, the Vermont Senate voted to legalize marijuana for adults’ use! The Senate voted 20-9 to attach the legalization language from H. 170 to an unrelated bill, S. 22, and added a study commission to consider regulation and taxation. It will now be up to the House whether or not to concur with the Senate’s offer of amendment.

This move represents an attempt by the Senate to compromise with the House, which voted for the first time in its history to legalize marijuana earlier this week. H. 170,…

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Annual Colorado Government Report on Marijuana-related Health Concerns Highlights Several ‘Encouraging Trends’

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment highlighted several “encouraging trends” in its latest annual report on marijuana-related health concerns.

According to the report:

•    “For adults and adolescents, past-month marijuana use has not changed since legalization either in terms of the number of people using or the frequency of use among users.”

•    “Based on the most comprehensive data available, past-month marijuana use among Colorado adolescents is nearly identical to the national…

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Israeli government to finance 13 cannabis research projects

Israel’s Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry plans to spend 8 million shekels ($2.1 million) on research into cannabis cultivation, biochemistry and medicine.

The government is hopeful the research will lead to cannabis-based therapeutic products, the Times of Israel reported.


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To start, the ministry is financing 13 projects, including seven in the fields of biochemistry and medicine.

Research topics include how cannabis can improve vision, fight colon cancer and treat multiple sclerosis, according to The Jerusalem Post. Other…

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National Academies of Sciences Confirms Marijuana’s Benefits, Dispels Myths

The National Academies of Sciences 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 and vomiting, and multiple sclerosis spasticity.

The report also dispels several myths about the health impacts of…

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Survey Shows Majority of Police Support Marijuana Policy Reform

In a survey released this week, Pew Research Center showed that 69% of police officers polled support allowing marijuana for medical or adult use, despite frequent opposition to sensible reforms from law enforcement organizations.

Washington Post reports:

The nationally representative survey of law enforcement, one of the largest of its kind, found that 32 percent of police officers said marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, while 37 percent said it should be legal for medical use only. An additional 30 percent said…

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Medical cannabis research gets boost in Connecticut

Two medical institutions in Connecticut have received the go-ahead to research the healing properties of cannabis, news that can potentially bolster the MMJ industry’s credibility.

Connecticut Hospice Inc. in Branford, the nation’s first hospice, announced Monday it will research how marijuana can alleviate pain and stimulate appetites in terminally ill patients, according to the Associated Press.


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St. Francis Hospital in Hartford said it received state approval the previous Friday to study how cannabis can replace opiates in reducing…

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Annual Study Shows Teen Marijuana Use Stable, Accessibility Decreasing

The results of an annual survey of U.S. middle and high school students released Tuesday invalidate claims that reforming marijuana laws and debating legalization will lead to increased marijuana use among teens.mtf-logo-high-res-300x194

According to the Monitoring the Future Survey sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

•    Among 8th-graders, the rate of past-year marijuana use dropped significantly from 11.8% in 2015 to 9.4% in 2016, its lowest level since 1993. Past-month marijuana use also dropped significantly, from 6.5% in 2015 to…

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Cannabis research gets almost $20 million in funding

Proponents of scientific research in the cannabis industry got encouraging news with recent announcements that two major universities received nearly $20 million in donations for marijuana-related studies.


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The University of Miami’s Project to Cure Paralysis and Miller School of Medicine received a $16 million grant from Scythian Bioscience in October to research whether a CBD-based pill can help reduce brain cell inflammation that occurs after injuries such as concussions, the Miami Herald reported.

Scythian BioSciences is a private…

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National Poll Shows Increasing Majority Support for Legal Marijuana

A new poll by the Pew Research Center shows that a majority of Americans think that marijuana should be legal, and support is increasing.

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(Pew Research Center)

Today, 57% of U.S. adults say the use of marijuana should be made legal, while 37% say it should be illegal. A decade ago, opinion on legalizing marijuana was nearly the reverse – just 32% favored legalization, while 60% were opposed.

The shift in public opinion on the legalization of marijuana has occurred during a time when many U.S. states are relaxing their restrictions on…

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Connecticut Aims To Be Medical Cannabis Research Hub

Calling cannabis researchers: Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program will begin accepting applications for research proposals on medical uses of marijuana starting Oct. 1, a move that ultimately could make it easier for doctors to recommend MMJ and boost sales.

Eligible applicants include licensed medical marijuana producers and dispensaries, as well as hospitals, health-care facilities, and universities, according to HartfordBusiness.com.


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Hoping to strengthen Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program and create high-tech employment…

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Medical Cannabis Research Growing But Hurdles Remain

Scientific Research - Stock Image

By Omar Sacirbey

Scientific researchers are increasingly interested in studying the medicinal properties of cannabis, and breakthroughs have been achieved that could lead to additional uses for medical marijuana.

The moves could bolster the MMJ industry and boost sales. But marijuana’s status as a federally prohibited Schedule 1 drug remains a serious obstacle to research.

That status undermines the medical community’s acceptance of marijuana, which is crucial for the MMJ industry to thrive. Dispensaries depend on doctors to write…

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Marijuana Rescheduling No-Decision Met With Challenge From Congress

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Earlier this year, the DEA had announced that they hope to have a decision regarding the rescheduling of marijuana within the first half of 2016. That time has now come and gone with the DEA failing to deliver.

A bipartisan coalition of Senators and Representatives has signed a letter to head of the DEA, Chuck Rosenberg, urging the federal agency to remove marijuana and THC from Schedule I, its current status under the Controlled Substances Act.  Schedule I is the most restrictive drug classification that, according to the DEA, is…

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Study Shows No Increase in Colorado Teen Use After Legalization

Rates of marijuana use among Colorado teens have NOT increased since the state made marijuana legal for adults, according to results of a statewide survey released Monday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Rates of current and lifetime marijuana use among Colorado teens also continue to be lower than the national average.HKCSB1

“The survey shows marijuana use has not increased since legalization,” according to a CDPHE press release.

The biannual Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) found that 21.2%…

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Another Study Shows Marijuana Health Harms Exaggerated

A study released this week from the Journal of the American Medical Association PsychiatryJAMA-Psychiatry-Logo suggests that the harms associated with long-term marijuana use are much less than previously claimed.

Time reports:

Even after years of heavy use, marijuana doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on the physical health of the body.

So finds a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry, which analyzed data from a group of 1,037 New Zealanders followed from their birth until age 38. The researchers, led by Madeline Meier 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 Marijuana Initiative Officially Approved for November Ballot

State officials announced Wednesday that a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine has officially qualified for the November ballot.

After a court-ordered review of petitions it had previously invalidated, the Maine Secretary of State’s Office determined the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted more than the 61,123 signatures that were needed to qualify.ME Release Header - NEW

Last month, the secretary of state informed the campaign that the initiative had been disqualified because only 51,543 valid…

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DEA Approves Study on Treating PTSD With Marijuana

On Thursday, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) announced in a press release that they had received approval to study the effects of marijuana on treating PTSD in veterans.q4g89gcyl385qpt0vmeo

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has formally approved the first-ever randomized controlled trial of whole plant medical marijuana (cannabis) as a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in U.S. veterans. The DEA’s approval marks the first time a clinical trial intended to develop smoked…

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Prominent Doctors Launch Group to End Marijuana Prohibition

Some of the country’s most prominent physicians have teamed up to launch the nation’s first organization of doctors formed to advocate for the legalization and regulation of cannabis for adult use.DRCR-LOGO-WEB-colors-small

Washington Post reports:

The group — which is announcing its formation Monday, under the name Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR) — is endorsing the legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use, a break from the position of the American Medical Association, the largest organization of doctors in the…

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Survey Show Record Support for Making Marijuana Legal

On Friday, even more evidence that most Americans no longer support marijuana prohibition was released.

Washington Post reports:

A new survey released today by the the Associated Press800px-Associated_Press_logo.svg and the University of Chicago finds that a record-high percentage of Americans — 61 percent — say they support marijuana legalization.

The survey uses the same question wording (“Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?”) on marijuana as previous Gallup surveys, which had shown a previous high of 58…

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Postal Marijuana Seizures Decrease as Retail Stores Open

New information from the Postal ServiceUnited_States_Postal_Service_(emblem) reveals that inspectors are finding less marijuana moving through the system as retail marijuana stores are opening in states that have made it legal.

U.S. News reports:

Statistics provided to U.S. News by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service show that marijuana package intercepts declined again in fiscal year 2015, the first annual period that wholly encompasses state-regulated recreational marijuana sales in Colorado and Washington state.

Inspectors seized 7,783…

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New Hampshire Poll Shows 62% Support for Legalization

A WMUR Granite State Poll released Tuesday found that a majority of New Hampshire residents support making marijuana legal for adults:

New Hampshire legalized marijuana for medical purposes in 2013, but bills to legalize marijuana for recreational use have not passed the legislature. However, a majority of Granite Statersgspfinal2 support legalizing recreational marijuana in New Hampshire and have for several years. Currently, 62% support legalizing marijuana for recreational use (41% strongly and 21%…

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Marijuana Use Not Likely To Cause Psychosis

Marijuana Use Not Likely To Cause Psychosis

LARAMIE, WY — The use of marijuana alone is most likely not a contributor to psychosis disorder, according to a literature review published in the journal Current Psychiatry Reports.

A pair of researchers from the University of Wyoming and from Columbia University in New York City evaluated recent studies associating the use of cannabis with psychotic behaviors. They reported that cannabis use does not cause the psychosis, but rather, that subjects susceptible to the disorder are more likely to engage in early-onset use of the…

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Study: Marijuana Use Does Not Cause Anxiety or Depression

Yet another study has been released that counters long-held beliefs about the dangers associated with marijuana use.

Washington Post reports:

New research published today in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that using marijuana as an adult is not associated with a variety of mood and anxiety disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder.

This is a challenge to some previous research which has shown that marijuana use is associated with depression and anxiety.

The researchers examined the records of…

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Legal Colorado Marijuana Market Hurting Drug Cartels

According to a story published today by Fox News Latinothe legal marijuana market in Colorado is partially responsible for decreased Mexican drug cartel activity within the U.S. and along the border.

Legal marijuana in Colorado seems to have helped with resolving the problem of drugs in Mexico, says the report, citing the pro-marijuana Weed Blog, which says that over the past two years trafficking of the drug by Mexican cartels has dropped by “up to 70 percent.”Mexico_Flag_Map.svg

An official report by the U.S. Drug…

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Studies Show Marijuana Use Does Not Lower IQ

Last week, the Washington Post reported on a pair of studies released in January that further disprove an often-repeated theory that marijuana use is linked to lower intelligence.

You might have heard that smoking marijuana makes you stupid.

If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, that was more or less the take-home message of countless anti-drug PSAs. In more recent years, it’s a message we’ve heard — albeit in more nuanced form — from Republican candidates on the campaign trail and from marijuana…

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Annual Survey Shows Teen Marijuana Use Remains Steady, Not Increased by Policy Reform or Debate

The results of an annual survey of U.S. middle and high school students released Wednesday invalidate claims that reforming marijuana laws and debating legalization will lead to increased marijuana use among teens.

According to the Monitoring the Future Survey sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

  • Rates of daily marijuana use by 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders, as well as monthly use by 12th-graders, did not change from 2014 to 2015 and have remained unchanged since 2010.
  • The rate of monthly…

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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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New Gallup Poll Shows 58% of Americans Support Making Marijuana Legal

A Gallup poll released Wednesday shows 58% of adults in the United States think marijuana should be made legal, up from 51% in October 2014. Just 40% think it should remain illegal.

The national poll of 1,015 adults was conducted October 7-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%. The full results are available at here.

Gallup 2015

 

Americans’ support for legalizing marijuana is the highest Gallup has measured to date, at 58%. Given the patterns of support by age, that percentage should continue to grow in the…

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Maryland Medical Marijuana Seminars This Week – Free for Physicians

Our allies at Patients Out of Time, in partnership with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and the Maryland Cannabis Industry Association, pot-2015-logoare hosting two half-day seminars about medical marijuana and the endocannabinoid system this week — one in Columbia and one in La Plata. Registration is required and the events are free for physicians.

Medical Cannabis 101: The Physician’s Primer

Maryland Pharmacists Association
9115 Guilford Rd., Suite 200
Columbia, MD 21046
Thursday, October 22, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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Case Report: Patient With Life-Threatening Angioedema Responds Favorably To Inhaled Cannabis

Case Report: Patient With Life-Threatening Angioedema Responds Favorably To Inhaled Cannabis:

RESEARCH UPDATE:

Paul Armentano, NORML’s Deputy Director, just posted to the NORML Blog about a new medical cannabis case study!

Read Paul’s blog post at the link above!

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America’s Weed Rush

Good morning cannabis activists!

“‘America’s Weed Rush’ is the 2015 project of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program. 27 journalism students from 19…

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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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NIDA Acknowledges Drawbacks to Monopoly on Marijuana Supply

NIDA Acknowledges Drawbacks to Monopoly on Marijuana Supply

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of the US Senate at a hearing Wednesday expressed skepticism in regard to federal policies limiting the ability of investigators to engage in clinical studies of marijuana’s health benefits.

Senators heard from representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and Project SAM on a variety of issues

The hearing’s most noteworthy moment came when Nora Volkow, director of NIDA, acknowledged that the monopoly on marijuana cultivation for research purposes ought to be amended. Currently, NIDA contracts strictly with the University of Mississippi to grow marijuana for use in research studies. This…

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ONDCP Lifts Public Health Service Review on Marijuana Research

ONDCP Lifts Public Health Service Review on Marijuana Research

Decision Removes Unnecessary Burdens On Legitimate Scientific Inquiry

WASHINGTON, DC — On Monday, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced they will lift the public health service (PHS) review on marijuana research projects not funded by the federal government.

The PHS review process was established in 1999 following a 1998 Institute of Medicine report that called for more in depth scientific research on marijuana. While the process was intended to facilitate greater research today it is broadly recognized as undermining legitimate scientific inquiry.

“The US government has systematically impeded marijuana efficacy research, and the PHS review has played a large role in that stonewalling,” said Dr. Sue Sisley. “It was a shameful tactic used by opponents of…

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Obama Administration Removes Crucial Barrier to Marijuana Research

Big Win for Marijuana Reform Advocates but More Has to Be Done; Senate Hearing on Medical Marijuana Scheduled for Wednesday

WASHINGTON, DC — In a long-sought move anticipated by many marijuana reform advocates, the White House announced Monday that it was removing a major obstacle to marijuana research – the Public Health Service (PHS) Review.

“This announcement shows that the White House is ready to move away from the war on medical marijuana, and enable the performance of legitimate and necessary research,” said Bill Piper, Director of Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “This is progress, but the White House should also end the NIDA’s unique monopoly on marijuana production, and allow private entities to grow marijuana, thus facilitating even more…

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Study: Cannabis Use Inversely Associated With Diabetes

Study: Cannabis Use Inversely Associated With Diabetes

EAST LANSING, MI — A history of cannabis use is inversely correlated with diabetes mellitus, according to an epidemiological review published online ahead of print in the journal Epidemiology.

Investigators at Michigan State University, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics performed a meta-analytic study assessing cannabis use and diabetes in the general population.

“Recently active cannabis smoking and diabetes mellitus are inversely associated,” they determined. Authors estimated that subjects with a history of cannabis use…

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Feds Seek to Increase Marijuana Production Quotas

Feds Seek to Increase Marijuana Production Quotas

WASHINGTON, DC — For the second year in a row, federal officials are seeking to increase the supply of cannabis the government makes available for research protocols.

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart filed paperwork Tuesday announcing that the agency is seeking to increase its marijuana production quota for the year 2015 by nearly three-fold.

Federal regulations permit a farm at the University of Mississippi to cultivate set quantities of cannabis for use in federally approved clinical trials.

Regulators at the DEA, the US Food and Drug…

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Study: CBD Administration Enhances Skeletal Healing

Study: CBD Administration Enhances Skeletal Healing

The administration of the non-psychotropic cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) leads to improvement in bone fracture healing, according to preclinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Investigators at the Hebrew University Bone Laboratory in Israel assessed the ability of CBD administration to promote healing in rats with mid-femoral fractures. Researchers reported, “CBD markedly enhanced the biomechanical properties of the healing femora after 8 weeks.”

Authors also evaluated the administration…

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Study: Elevated THC/Blood Levels Persist in Habitual Cannabis Consumers

Study: Elevated THC/Blood Levels Persist in Habitual Cannabis Consumers

VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA — The presence of THC may persist in the blood of habitual cannabis consumers for multiple days at concentrations above 5ng/ml, according clinical data recently published in the journal Forensic Science International.

Australian researchers assessed daily concentrations of THC in the blood of 21 subjects over a period of 7 days of monitored abstinence. Subjects reported having engaging in the “heavy” use of cannabis during the months leading up to the study.

Of the 11 participants who completed the entire 7-day…

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History of Cannabis Use Associated with Reduced Bladder Cancer Risk

History of Cannabis Use Associated with Reduced Bladder Cancer Risk

LOS ANGELES, CA — Cannabis use is inversely associated with incidences of bladder cancer in males, according epidemiological findings published in the February issue of the journal Urology.

Investigators at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Department of Neurology assessed the association of cannabis use and tobacco smoking on the risk of bladder cancer in a multiethnic cohort of more than 80,000 men aged 45 to 69 years old over an 11-year period.

Researchers determined that cannabis use was associated with a decreased…

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Study: Synthetic Cannabinoid Relieves PTSD-Associated Nightmares

Study: Synthetic Cannabinoid Relieves PTSD-Associated Nightmares

OTTAWA — The administration of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, mitigates the frequency and intensity of trauma-related nightmares in military personnel suffering from treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Investigators from the Canadian Forces Health Services Group and the Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre in Ottawa assessed the efficacy of nabilone, an FDA-approved selective CB1 agonist, versus placebo over a 16-week period in a cohort…

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American Academy of Pediatrics Says Medical Marijuana Could be Good for Some Kids

American Academy of Pediatrics Says Medical Marijuana Could be Good for Some Kids

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which has the largest pediatric publishing program in the world, recommends decriminalizing marijuana and says it could be good for some kids in a new policy statement.

“The AAP opposes ‘medical marijuana’ outside the regulatory process of the US Food and Drug Administration,” says the new statement. However, it recognizes certain situations could be benefitted by marijuana.

“Notwithstanding this opposition to use, the AAP recognizes that marijuana may currently be an…

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American Academy of Pediatrics Calls for Rescheduling Cannabis

American Academy of Pediatrics Calls for Rescheduling Cannabis

CHICAGO, IL — An updated policy statement issued Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) calls for the rescheduling of the cannabis plant under federal law to better facilitate clinical trial research and to promote the plant’s eventual pharmaceutical development.

The new position statement resolves: “The AAP strongly supports research and development of pharmaceutical cannabinoids and supports a review of policies promoting research on the medical use of these compounds. The AAP recommends changing marijuana from a Drug…

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