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Medical Marijuana

Health Claims Draw Patients as Cannabis Science Catches Up

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SEATTLE (AP) — Marijuana has been shown to help ease pain and a few other health problems, yet two-thirds of U.S. states have decided cannabis should be legal to treat many other conditions with little scientific backing.

At least 1.4 million Americans are using marijuana for their health, according to an Associated Press analysis of states that track medical marijuana patients.RELATED STORYAs of 2019, Legal Cannabis Has Created 211,000 Full-Time Jobs in America

The number of medical marijuana cardholders more than tripled in the last five years as more states jumped on the bandwagon. The analysis is based on data from 26 states and the District of Columbia. The total climbs to 2.6 million patients if California, Washington and Maine are included, the AP estimates.

States that expanded the use of medical cannabis for common ailments such as severe pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety saw a boost in enrollment, the AP found.

The U.S. government, meanwhile, both considers marijuana an illegal drug and a therapeutic herb worth more study.RELATED STORY5 Takeaways From the FDA’s Hearing on CBD

A look at the health claims and research on medical marijuana:

The Evidence

Besides chronic pain, there’s strong evidence marijuana or its ingredients can ease nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy and help with symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Several European countries have approved Sativex, a mouth spray containing THC and CBD, for multiple sclerosis symptoms. Last year, U.S. regulators approved Epidiolex, made from CBD, to treat two rare seizure disorders. THC causes marijuana’s mind-altering effect; CBD doesn’t get people high.RELATED STORYDEA Finally Approves Study on Cannabis and PTSD

British drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals is seeking U.S. approval for Sativex. Other companies are pursuing Food and Drug Administration backing for products based on marijuana ingredients.

Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics, which filed for bankruptcy protection Monday as it faced fallout over its marketing of an addictive opioid painkiller, is developing CBD drugs for two types of childhood epilepsy and a rare genetic disorder. Pennsylvania-based Zynerba Pharmaceuticals is working on a CBD skin patch for autism and fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition.RELATED STORYWhat’s Next for Epidiolex Maker GW Pharmaceuticals

Prescription drugs already on the market use synthetic THC to treat weight loss, nausea and vomiting in patients with AIDS or cancer. And researchers continue to study whether marijuana helps with PTSD, back pain and other problems.

Opioid Alternative?

New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New Mexico allow medical marijuana for opioid addiction despite little evidence it works.RELATED STORYCBD Can Help Curb Heroin Cravings, New Study Finds

But marijuana may be helpful in reducing use of opioid painkillers. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, better known for its research on herbs and yoga, has set aside $3 million for studies to determine which of marijuana’s 400-plus chemicals help with pain.

THC was excluded however.

Its mood-altering effects and potential for addiction and abuse make it less useful for pain, said Dr. David Shurtleff, the agency’s deputy director. And THC has been studied more than the lesser-known compounds.RELATED STORYHow to Use Cannabis to Reduce Opioid Dependence

Cure for Cancer?

Despite online claims, there’s only weak evidence that marijuana’s ingredients might one day be used to treat cancer. Most studies have been in animals or in the lab. Results have been mixed.

In one study, nine patients with an aggressive form of brain cancer had THC injected into their tumors; any effect on their survival was unclear. Another study found worrying evidence that marijuana might interfere with some cancer drugs, making them less effective.RELATED STORYA Patient’s Guide to Using Cannabis for Cancer

Researching an Outlaw Medicine

The U.S. government grows marijuana for research at a farm in Mississippi and generally bans grant-funded studies of real-world products.

But a mobile lab inside a white Dodge van allows University of Colorado Boulder researchers to study the potent strains of marijuana many patients consume without running afoul of the law.

Study participants use marijuana in their homes, coming to the van for blood draws and other tests before and after using, said Cinnamon Bidwell who has federal grants to study marijuana’s effects on lower back pain and anxiety.RELATED STORYPhotos Prove Government-Grown Cannabis Is Basically Ditch Weed

With increased demand for research pot, the Drug Enforcement Administration created an application process for growers, but has not acted on more than two dozen applications.

Such challenges are common for scientists studying an outlaw medicine, said Dr. Igor Grant, who directs the oldest marijuana research center in the U.S. at the University of California, San Diego.

There, scientists are studying marijuana chemicals for children with autism and adults with a brain disorder that causes uncontrollable shaking. Established by state law in 2000, the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research once relied solely on California for funding. The center now has support from private foundations, a sign of growing public acceptance of the research.RELATED STORYNew Study on Cannabis and Autism Supports Parents’ Longtime Claims

Tracking Patients

Minnesota medical marijuana patients must regularly fill out surveys about their symptoms and side effects. That allows researchers to study how people with cancer react to marijuana.

In one study, a third of cancer patients made only one purchase and didn’t come back during a four-month period. They may have died, or decided marijuana was too expensive or didn’t work. Of the rest, most reported improvements in vomiting, pain, disturbed sleep, anxiety and depression with few side effects.RELATED STORYStudy Finds Most Cancer Patients Want MMJ Info, But Few Get It

Marijuana can ease many symptoms “all at one time,” but more study is needed, said study co-author Dr. Dylan Zylla of the health care system HealthPartners. He has no financial ties to cannabis companies.

Zylla is studying whether cancer patients can decrease their prescription opioid use while using marijuana.

Marijuana “does seem to help patients,” he said, “but so much is unknown about the risks, side effects and drug interactions.”

This article originally appeared on leafly.com

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Medical Marijuana

THC-O-Acetate: the Newest Way to Combat Anxiety and Insomnia

Different strains of marijuana, even synthetic ones, aren’t a new concept. THC-O Acetate, while also not new, has been redeveloped to provide consumers with a different kind of high: one that can make day to day anxiety or insomnia a thing of the past.

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One of the inevitable realities of the cannabis business is that companies are going to want to innovate, to find that unique selling proposition that will put them front and center in what is becoming an increasingly competitive marketplace. 

Different strains of marijuana, even synthetic ones, aren’t a new concept. THC-O Acetate, while also not new, has been redeveloped to provide consumers with a different kind of high: one that can make day to day anxiety or insomnia a thing of the past.

What is THC-O Acetate?

THC-O is a cannabinoid, just like THC and CBD. It is however much stronger than its cousin—up to three times more potent—producing a high that is spiritual, relaxing, and able to go a long way to eliminating anxiety. A lot of users report that it creates an introspective state of mind that lingers over the course of several days. It has also been reported as being helpful for people who suffer from insomnia, delivering an easy, restful sleep rather than a knockout punch. For people who suffer from stress, insomnia and anxiety, THC-O Acetate is a game changer.

Unlike standard THC, it is not a naturally occurring compound, so it has to be created in a lab with some fairly evolved chemistry! In the past, creating an acetylate of a natural compound required dangerous chemicals. Thanks to innovation in this area, chemists have been able to create THC-O Acetate with safe, approved chemicals. 

In creating it, all other elements like flavonoids are stripped away, so THC-O Acetate has no flavor or odor, which makes it easy to combine as an edible for the consumer, for example.

THC-O Acetate is a prodrug—essentially a delivery system—of THC, which in layman’s terms means that the drug, once ingested, needs to be deacetylated by enzymes in our bodies before the THC becomes active enough to produce the psychoactive effects. It’s a process that takes about 30 minutes if created as a standard edible. That’s why another important innovation, Nanobidiol™ Technology, is a key delivery method for THC-O Acetate.

How will we consume THC-O Acetate?

THC-O Acetate, like other cannabinoids, isn’t water soluble. For the consumer, this means that the body subjects the molecule to the same filtering process it does other fat-soluble molecules, causing you to get a lower percentage of the molecules into your bloodstream. That is, until you combine the powerful effects of THC-O Acetate with cutting edge technology like Nanobidiol™.

This technology reduces THC-O oil to a nano-sized particle, which can then be incorporated into lotions, patches, honey… anything really. Since humans are 80% water, it’s normal that our bodies reject hydrophobic substances like oils. The nanoencapsulation technology allows for the more effective transference of active ingredients. The minute size ensures the cleanest, most efficient, and most discreet form of cannabis consumption.

Although it is a synthetic version of what is otherwise a natural product, which may cause some concern among purists, THC-O Acetate is an excellent way to provide relief for anxiety and stress, without having to smoke cannabis directly. For people who would prefer not to inhale smoke, this offers an alternative with distinct psychoactive effects.

Author Bio: Serge Chistov is a cannabis industry expert and Chief Financial Partner with Honest Marijuana Co. Honest Marijuana has been a leader in cannabis innovation since it’s inception with an organic approach to the growth, production and packaging of cannabis, the launch of the first-ever organic hemp wrapped the machine rolled blunts, the invention of Nanobidiol Technology, and the first company to bring THC-O-Acetate technology and products to market. Learn more at https://honestmarijuana.com/ or @honestmarijuanaco

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Clinical Research on Cannabis

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Author: Sterling Scott and Brent Cahill

Scope of Active Research

Research organizations worldwide are engaged actively in the study of specific cannabinoids, combinations of cannabinoids, and delivery systems for controlled dosing of cannabinoids. As this article is being written, there are nearly 200 worldwide clinical trials underway focusing on cannabinoids. For every clinical trial, there are typically ten or more pre-clinical investigational studies underway in Universities and in public and private companies.

Conservatively estimated, including formally registered clinical trials and counting the number of pre-clinical trials, it is likely that more than 1000 studies are currently underway focusing on specific cannabinoids, combinations of cannabinoids, and delivery systems for cannabinoids.

It is unlikely that there has ever been a time when more research has been dedicated to unraveling the complexity of cannabis flowers and the estimated 108 different cannabinoid compounds, 66 terpenoids, and 23 flavonoids. 

Current active research focuses mainly on Cannabidiol (CBD) and -9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), although research is also being conducted on other cannabinoids including 9-Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa), and Cannabidivarin (CBDV) as treatments for cancer, chronic pain management, epilepsy, and PTSD, among others. In addition, there are both current and completed clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of flavonoids such as apigenin, beta-caryophyllene, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, for conditions ranging from insomnia and hypercholesterolemia to cancer and anemia.

Some speculate that cannabis compounds delivered in a controlled-dose, time-delayed method as a clinically validated therapeutic medicine would be revolutionary and lead to a broader recognition of complex botanical medicines. That is uncertain. We do know that early findings are confirming demonstrable therapeutic benefits to cannabinoids.

Early Findings of Demonstrated Therapeutic Benefits of Cannabis

Cannabinoids, dosed in double-blind, randomized clinical testing (in some cases, utilizing synthetic cannabinoids) have, in fact, demonstrated quantifiable therapeutic benefits for certain common relatively common human conditions, such as treatment of chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, as well as for much more specific identifiable disorders, such as PTSD. This article describes the validated therapeutic benefits and the clinical findings on which the findings are based.

Treatment of Chronic Pain in Adults

Clinical trials have demonstrated that “cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults,” according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This finding, regarded as “substantial evidence,” is perhaps the most critical research-based conclusion of this past decade involving cannabis. 

Chronic pain is a recurring issue for an estimated 30% of the adult population in the United States and likely a similarly large portion of communities worldwide. Age is a factor because chronic pain conditions typically present with increasing severity and frequency as the population ages.

The most comprehensive published review of cannabinoid use in the treatment of chronic pain is Whiting et al. (2015) (involving a review of 28 randomized studies, 2,454 participants, and a wide range of chronic pain sources). Other reviews of particular note summarized by the National Academies in their seminal 2017 publication include Andreae et al. (2015), Wallace et al., 2015 and Wilsey et al. 2016.

Regulatory authorities in many countries already expressly recognize cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain in adults. In Canada, although “it does not currently have an approved Health Canada indication,” the government acknowledges that “medical cannabis may be used to alleviate symptoms for a variety of conditions. It has most commonly been used in neuropathic pain and other chronic pain conditions.” In Mexico, a 2017 congressional decree declared that “pharmacological derivatives of sativa, indica, and American cannabis or marijuana, among which is tetrahydrocannabinol, its isomers, and stereochemical variants” were legal for medical use, although those derivatives had to contain less than 1% THC at the time of writing. In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize the recreational use, sale, and cultivation of Cannabis, and direct-to-consumer sales via pharmacies began in mid-2017. Unfortunately, these strains of cannabis also contained relatively low THC, and therefore, medical research is slow. Colombia has quickly become a significant player in the international medical cannabis market, with companies exporting to Canada and the UK after legalization in 2016. Germany has begun a rapid increase in medical cannabis import in the past quarter, indicating a surging demand and rapid adoption of the treatment.

Most of the state-regulated medical cannabis programs in the United States allow it to be prescribed for the treatment of chronic pain in adults. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA’) has approved the use of the synthetic cannabinoids dronabinol and nabilone to treat nausea during chemotherapy, as well as the cannabidiol-based Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures resulting from Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes, two severe forms of epilepsy. It has not, however, identified any medical uses of the cannabis flower in and of itself. 32 Individual states have expressly defined chronic or other pain, either on its own or as a result of another illness as a qualifying condition for the prescription of cannabis. These states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. It is important to note that laws vary widely throughout these states on exactly how the medicine can be consumed, and at what potency of THC.

Cannabis products for the treatment of chronic pain in adults are widely predicted to increase substantially over the next decade, as is research to evaluate dose-response, delivery methods, and combinations of cannabinoids and side effects.

Improving Short-term Sleep Outcomes

Clinical trials also support, with moderate but not conclusive evidence, that cannabinoids are “an effective treatment to improve short-term sleep outcomes in individuals with sleep disturbance associated with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis.” Like chronic pain conditions, sleep-related disorders are pervasive and affect a large cross-segment of the population. Approximately 50-70 million adults in the US report some type of sleep disorder.

The most comprehensive published review of cannabinoids and sleep outcomes is Whiting et al. (2015).

Decreasing Anxiety Symptoms

Clinical trials also provide “limited evidence that cannabidiol is an effective treatment for the improvement of anxiety symptoms, as assessed by a public speaking test, in individuals with social anxiety disorders.”

Cannabidiol, which is frequently referred to as “CBD,” is one of the significant cannabinoids typically present in hemp species and “marijuana” types of the Cannabis sativa species. CBD, of course, has received particularly widespread attention in most of the western world, after many countries have acted to remove cannabidiol from controlled substances lists, thereby encouraging both research and worldwide commerce.

Ongoing research is particularly intensive with cannabidiol. Whiting et al. (2015) provide what is generally regarded as the first clinical review of randomized clinical trials in which Cannabidiol has been assessed to improve anxiety symptoms.

Improving symptoms in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”).

There is “limited evidence (a single, small fair-quality trial) that nabilone is effective for improving symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.”

PTSD is commonly understood to be a disorder arising from exposure to a traumatic event(s), especially within groups that are subjected to extreme stress environments, such as military combat veterans. Medications to treat PTSD are generally limited to antidepressants and demonstrate very low effective response rates.

It is likely that recently completed clinical trial programs will further our understanding relatively quickly as the medical community is closely anticipating publication of results from two recently completed clinical trial programs at the same time as there are additional 5 studies of cannabinoids and PTSD symptoms.

In one such recently completed study, a triple-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled trial investigates smoking four different types of cannabis with various tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol concentrations on PTSD symptoms in veterans (M. Bonn-Miller, study director; ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02759185). The study, funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, was registered as completed in April 2019.

In another prominent randomized controlled trial, the University of British Columbia (Eades et al, study director; ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02517424) is evaluating 42 adults with PTSD administered different amounts of two most common cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (in high–low, high–high, and low–low dose forms) to measure PTSD symptoms as well as other health assessments.

The Path Forward

It is almost certain that clinical investigations of cannabis compounds through all phases of the process of drug review for cannabinoids will continue to increase in scale and funding worldwide over the next decade. Importantly, some of the artificial clinical have been lowered in the face of strong public and academic interest. Recently, even the US FDA, arguably one of the gold standards for strict science and investigational research, has provided a mid-summer 2019 consumer update to indicate that it is considering regulatory reforms that may allow the use of certain cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) in dietary supplement and/or nutrition supplement forms in advance of full drug approvals.

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Medical Cannabis Evidence Portal Launched by the Academy of Medical Cannabis

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New repository aims to ensure healthcare professionals can access cutting edge peer-reviewed research and information

LONDON, June 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — A new, comprehensive and free to use evidence portal providing healthcare professionals with access to the latest peer-reviewed scientific research about medical cannabis has launched.

The Academy of Medical Cannabis (taomc.org), an internationally-recognised online educational platform to support the safe and effective use of medical cannabis, has developed the first global medical cannabis evidence repository to focus on human studies.

This resource ensures clinicians can access the latest research spanning key medical areas including treatable conditions, administration, dosing, prescribing, side effects, contraindications and more.

With the pace of legislative change and academic research in relation to medical cannabis and cannabinoids speeding up around the world, the new portal will act as an important resource for those who may be prescribing medical cannabis today or are seeking to educate themselves in order to do so. It aims to promote knowledge sharing and ensure that as new information is published, it is accessible to all practitioners within this burgeoning area of healthcare.

To meet the rapidly growing demand for a balanced educational resource driven by research, evidence and clinical-practice, TAOMC has developed the platform for an international market.  In presenting a multilingual facility that also accounts for the laws and regulations of every individual market, The Academy is positioning itself to support a global footprint of healthcare professionals.

The platform is currently available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese and Greek, and this offering will steadily continue to expand.

Matching the platform’s breadth of availability is the depth of the learning content, which remains unparalleled.  The content features a Foundation Course covering the critical basics of cannabis-based medicines and therapies, and expands into numerous specialised areas of focus, from chronic pain to PTSD management.  As TAOMC instinctively tracks the progression of emerging research and medical understanding, this syllabus will grow in real time.

The online portal is aimed at clinicians to support safe and effective practice.  However, as an open access resource, it is freely available to medical students, researchers and policymakers around the world who may wish to keep up to date on the innovations happening within medicine and science.

The evidence base, developed by leading cannabinoid researchers, comprises more than 500 publications, from more than 4,000 reviewed evidence papers.

Professor Mike Barnes, Director of Education at The Academy and a world-leading medical cannabis expert, said: “The future of cannabis and cannabinoid research is exciting and the ability to build and grow this database to help facilitate the growing scientific community is needed. This new portal will be a one-stop shop for healthcare professionals and researchers who want to learn more about this subject and how it can be effectively used to treat myriad complex conditions affecting patients around the world. It will be a fantastic resource for students and professionals alike.”

THE ACADEMY OF MEDICAL CANNABIS

The Academy of Medical Cannabis is an internationally-recognised online educational platform to support the safe and effective use of medical cannabis. Founded by leading medical cannabis expert, Professor Mike Barnes, the Academy provides world-leading professional development and specialised learning. Our platform has become the leading global educational source on medical cannabis.

This article originally appeared on finance.yahoo.com

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Navigating Cannabis Options for Chronic Pain

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A growing body of clinical research and a history of anecdotal evidence support the use of cannabis for the relief of some types of chronic pain, including neuropathic pain, and spasticity (ie, stiffness or tightness) associated with multiple sclerosis.1 In a recent comprehensive review of existing data on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids, the National Academies of Science concluded that adult patients with chronic pain who were treated with cannabis/cannabinoids were more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.They rated these effects as “modest.”

Studies also suggest some efficacy for cancer-related pain, migraines, and fibromyalgia, and other pain conditions.3 However, how different species, routes of administration, and doses differ in their effect is less clear, and more research is needed.You may be interested in these related articles:

Cannabis Complexity

The chemical complexity of cannabis itself has made it difficult for researchers to untangle its effects on pain and, at the same time, difficult for clinicians and patients to find the most effective species and route of administration. Cannabis is the genus name for a disputed number of plant species. The two most widely accepted species are Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, though hybrid species are also common.

Cannabis oil and edibles

Chemically speaking, cannabis is complicated. To date, 568 unique molecules have been identified in the cannabis; of these, more than 60 are cannabinoids — these are compounds that act on receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid sy stem. This system plays a key role in endogenous pain control.4 Two of the cannabinoids found in cannabis, ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), along with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoid compounds, are thought to exhibit synergistic effects that promote pain relief.5 THC is the most psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis and is primarily responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana. It can also reduce nausea and increase appetite. CBD does not provide the euphoria associated with THC and is associated with reduced pain and inflammation.6

Approval by the US Food and Drug Administration has, so far, been limited to synthetic or pharmaceutical-grade components of cannabis. In June 2018, the agency approved Epidiolex (GW Pharmaceuticals) — a high CBD, low THC whole-plant alcohol extract — for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients age 2 and older. FDA has also approved Marinol (AbbVie) and Syndros (Insys Therapeutics), which both contain dronabinol, or synthetic THC. Both are indicated for weight loss associated with anorexia and HIV. Marinol is also indicated for severe nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy, as is FDA-approved Cesamet (Meda Pharmaceuticals). Cesamet contains the active ingredient nabilone, which has a chemical structure similar to THC.

The form/route of administration may also play a role in the pain effects of cannabis. Medical cannabis comes in herbal (marijuana), tincture, oil, and edible forms. It can be smoked, vaporized, ingested in edible or other oral forms, taken sublingually (under the tongue), or applied topically (oil). Research on the efficacy of different routes of administration for pain is sparse. However, a 2013 randomized, placebo-controlled, double-dummy, double-blind study compared analgesic effects of smoked marijuana and dronabinol.The results indicated that under controlled conditions, marijuana and dronabinol both decreased pain. However, compared with marijuana, dronabinol produced longer-lasting decreases in pain sensitivity and lower ratings of abuse-related subjective effects, which can be predictive of use and abuse patterns. Other studies suggest that smoking cannabis produces rapid effects, while oral forms take longer to work but may last longer.8

Strains of cannabis may come with names like Purple Diesel and Blue Sky. While the term “strain” is commonly used by dispensaries, medical cannabis users and even physicians, it’s not a term used for plant nomenclature.9 A strain name may come from a grower, producer, processor, or dispensary. A 2018 study out of Washington state found that commercial Cannabis strains fell into three broad chemotypes (chemically distinct plants that otherwise appear indistinguishable) that were defined by the THC:CBD ratio.10

“There is little consistency in plant constituents between products’ strain names,” said David Bearman, MD, a physician in private practice who specializes in pain management and has more than 40 years of experience in managing substance abuse. “These names are mainly marketing tools and tell little about the constituents of the product. The best advice is to read the label and understand it.” Dr. Bearman is also the co-founder of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine, and a board member of Americans for Safe Access – a national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research,and of Patients Out of Time – a Virginia-based nonprofit that works to educate all disciplines of healthcare professionals, the legal profession, and the public about medical cannabis. It’s also important to know that dispensary cannabis is not regulated by the FDA so what you get in one state, or at one time, may be different from another.

A Word About Hemp

Hemp products — including oils, extracts, and even “gummies” — aimed at relieving pain and anxiety abound on the internet. But what is hemp and how does it differ from marijuana? The conventional answer is that hemp and marijuana are two different species of the Cannabis genus of plants. Hemp, which is primarily used for industrial purposes (particularly fiber products), is considered to be the Cannabis sativa species; marijuana (used for medicinal and recreational purposes) is considered to be the Cannabis indica species. The two species differ not only in appearance but also in levels of THC and CBD. C. sativa is associated with higher levels of THC while C. indica is associated with higher levels of CBD. The science is more complicated. A 2015 study11 of genetic structures of marijuana and hemp suggests that “Csativa and Cindica may represent distinguishable pools of genetic diversity but that breeding has resulted in considerable admixture between the two.” Researchers also found that hemp has more in common genetically with Cindica than with Csativa. Differences in THC production held true.

State Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Medical cannabis is currently legal in 34 states (as of spring 2019), many of which require patient registry or identification cards for the purchase and use of the substance for specific diagnosed medical conditions. These conditions differ by state and continue to change. At the federal level, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance under the “Controlled Substances Act,” and there are no recognized medical uses. In many of the states with legalized cannabis, some type of product testing is required, however, testing varies by state and may be limited contamination tests or may include quantification of CBD and THC levels. California, for example, requires dispensaries to sell only marijuana that has been tested for pesticides, contaminants, and microbial impurities. Beginning in July 2018, California also began to require testing to determine plant potency (ie, levels of THC and CBD). This information is included on the product label.12 In addition to t he above, 12 states have enacted legislation allowing for limited use of medical marijuana (ie, low CBD: THC ratios). These states, as of spring 2019, include: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. It is important to know that consistency and quality of the product received may vary from dispensary to dispensary and from state to state. Stay up to date with the National Conference of Sttae Legislatures which lists current medical marijuana laws at http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx.

Clinical Experience Regarding Medical Marijuana for Pain

Where does this leave chronic pain patients interested in trying medical cannabis? Regardless of the strain or form of cannabis, the key is the amount of THC and CBD in the final product, according to Dr. Bearman.

For those with concerns about the psychogenic effects, he recommends starting with a one-to-one ratio of THC to CBD for chronic pain. “I usually suggest that people start with 7.5 mg [which, using a standard unit converter amounts to 0.003 oz.] of THC and 7.5 mg of CBD, three or four times a day,” he told Practical Pain Management. “I tell them that the most likely effect is that (a) it’s not going to make their pain go away, and (b) they’re not going to get high.”

For pain relief, he recommends a dose of 15mg THC (0.0005 oz) to 15 mg CBD. In his experience, doses of THC less than 15 mg generally don’t provide pain relief. Doses may be increased if necessary, best guided under a doctor’s orders, to achieve pain relief without unacceptable side effects.

The key to using medical cannabis for pain is two-fold. For starters, a personalized approach is needed. Each person is different, and many adjustments may be needed to zero in on the dose that controls pain with minimal side effects. It’s also important to start on a low dose of THC and CBD.

Dr. Bearman said he also prescribes dronabinol, the man-made or synthetic THC, for some patients. “It doesn’t work as well as cannabis, it’s more expensive than cannabis, and it has more side effects than cannabis. Nevertheless, there are some good reasons for prescribing it,” he noted. Specifically, because dronabinol is regulated by the FDA and must meet purity and manufacturing standards, he knows exactly how much THC a patient is getting.

Be sure to talk with your doctor about the right dose and route of administration before taking any prescribed of dispensed medical cannabis product for pain relief or related symptoms. Note that Medicare does not cover the product; check with your insurer for other program coverage.

This article originally appeared on practicalpainmanagement.com

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GHC Summit at Harvard Medical School Announces Cannabis Science as Industry Partner in the Launch of the International Phytomedicines Institute at Harvard Medical School

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IRVINE, CA, May 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NEWMEDIAWIRE — Cannabis Science, Inc. (OTC: CBIS), a U.S. company specializing in the research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, is proud to announce it has been introduced as one of the key industry partners in the recently launched, ground-breaking International Phytomedicines Institute (IPI) at Harvard Medical School.

The International Phytomedicines Institute (IPI), launched during this year’s Harvard GHC Summit, is a transformative initiative by the Global Health Catalyst designed to elevate phytomedicines in global health, accelerate clinical translation and commercialization of evidence-based plant medicines/healthcare products and provide a world class core facility for research, and consultation on medicinal plants.

The IPI aims to leverage the best science, technology, and education from Harvard and partner institutions such as University of Oxford, Purdue University, University of Pennsylvania, Baylor College of Medicines, Brigham Woman’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Heidelberg University, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Smithsonian Institute Washington DC, and IBM, to name a few. The Harvard GHC Summit had the pleasure to announce some of its newest IPI collaborators including some of the Greatest NFL players of all time and their organizations, Nestre, Lockeroom Consulting, and Primitive.

Recently, over 33 USA states and a growing number of countries have now legalized medical cannabis. The National Institutes of Health, and World Health Organization encourage research on medical cannabis for treating cancer and associated side effects, treatment of other diseases including pain, neurological disorders and so forth. Moreover, it is estimated that of the 300,000 plant species that exist in the world, only 15% have been evaluated to determine their pharmacological potential. 

With over a billion people using medicinal plants but with little or no scientific evidence on efficacy and toxicity, top scientists from Harvard and the world’s best Universities have teamed up and are developing win-win cross-disciplinary collaborations and partnerships with phytomedicine industry pioneers and leaders as well as over 800 million stakeholders to generate evidence-based pharmaceutical grade products with scientifically established efficacy and toxicity assessment for global health and economic development.

Dr. Wil Ngwa, Director, Harvard GHC, presented ground breaking progress with the Company’s newest research investigating the potential use of a proprietary extract from the Justicia plant to treat a number of blood disorders and to convert this potential high impact medicinal plant into evidence-based pharmaceutical grade products for global health and economic development.

Initial studies of the isolated Justicia plant compound reveal remarkably high levels of hemoglobin – 7 times more than found in humans– and other blood components justifying their use in the treatment of blood disorders. Justicia also offers an unusual source of heme iron with major potential for scale as a remedy for treating anemia, and other potential indications.

The audience listened in amazement as Dr. Wil proclaimed, “It is a plant, and it actually tastes like meat; Long Live the Cows!” Dr. Wil then went on to say the research reports are being vetted now and the official publication of our scientific research results are expected to be released shortly.   

The Company unveiled a few prototype products based on the current research on the proprietary extract from the Justicia plant. These products are in the forms of pills, mixing powders, and drinks, all designed for anemic, enhanced blood health conditions and therapeutic improvements. This is a biomaterial that could serve as a blood substitute for laceration blood loss trauma, emergency room universal use, and when mixed with all sorts of culinary ingredients the production of meat substitutes becomes the highlight of the larger picture with profound economic development effects. 

“This year was special for sure! The Harvard GHC Summits’ new partnership with the NFL Players, the launch of the Harvard International Phytomedicines Institute, the unveiling of the initial Justicia product samples and groundbreaking research. The serious progress we are having with our African Economic Development Plan (AEDP) meetings and our planning sessions with Governors, Ambassadors, Cabinet Ministers, and other public-sector leaders from several developing countries throughout Africa and the Caribbean, all with one common goal: let’s start now! We are expecting some very exciting outcomes and some outstanding growth opportunities from all this progress; all we need now is more good people!” concluded Mr. Raymond C. Dabney, President and CEO, Co-Founder, Cannabis Science, Inc.

About Cannabis Science, Inc. 

Cannabis Science, Inc. takes advantage of its unique understanding of metabolic processes to provide novel treatment approaches to a number of illnesses for which current treatments and understanding remain unsatisfactory. Cannabinoids have an extensive history dating back thousands of years, and currently, there are a growing number of peer-reviewed scientific publications that document the underlying biochemical pathways that cannabinoids modulate. The Company works with leading experts in drug development, medicinal characterization, and clinical research to develop, produce, and commercialize novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment for illnesses caused by infections as well as for age-related illness. Our initial focus is on cancers, HIV/AIDS, and neurological conditions. The Company is proceeding with the research and development of its proprietary drugs as a part of this initial focus: CS-S/BCC-1, CS-TATI-1, and CS-NEURO-1, respectively.

Forward-Looking Statements

This Press Release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. A statement containing words such as “anticipate,” “seek,” intend,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “plan,” or similar phrases may be deemed “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Some or all of the events or results anticipated by these forward-looking statements may not occur. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include the future U.S. and global economies, the impact of competition, and the Company’s reliance on existing regulations regarding the use and development of cannabis-based drugs. Cannabis Science, Inc., does not undertake any duty nor does it intend to update the results of these forward-looking statements. Safe Harbor Statement. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a ‘safe harbor’ for forward looking statements. Certain of the statements contained herein, which are not historical facts are forward looking statements with respect to events, the occurrence of which involved risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements may be impacted, either positively or negatively, by various factors. Information concerning potential factors that could affect the company is detailed from time to time in the company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This article originally appeared on globenewswire.com

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Medical Marijuana

Marijuana Compound Removes Toxic Alzheimer’s Protein From The Brain

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An active compound in marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been found to promote the removal of toxic clumps of amyloid beta protein in the brain, which are thought to kickstart the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The finding supports the results of previous studies that found evidence of the protective effects of cannabinoids, including THC, on patients with neurodegenerative disease.

“Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” says one of the team, David Schubert from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.

Schubert and his colleagues tested the effects of THC on human neurons grown in the lab that mimic the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you’re not familiar with this special little compound, it’s not only responsible for the majority of marijuana’s psychological effects – including the high – thanks to its natural pain-relieving properties, it’s also been touted as an effective treatment for the symptoms of everything from HIV and chemotherapy to chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, and stroke.

In fact, THC appears to be such an amazing medical agent, researchers are working on breeding genetically modified yeast that can produce it way more efficiently than it would be to make synthetic versions.

The compound works by passing from the lungs to the bloodstream, where it attaches to two types of receptors, cannabinoid receptor (CB) 1 and 2, which are found on cell surfaces all over the body.

In the brain, these receptors are most concentrated in neurons associated with pleasure, memory, thinking, coordination and time perception, and usually bind with a class of lipid molecules called endocannabinoids that are produced by the body during physical activity to promote cell-to-cell signalling in the brain.

But THC can also bind to them in much the same way, and when they do, they start messing with your brain’s ability to communicate with itself.

They can be a good and a bad thing, because while you might forget something important or suddenly be incapable of swinging a baseball bat, you’ll probably feel amazing, and want to eat all the snacks:

Over the years, research has suggested that by binding to these receptors, THC could be having another effect on ageing brains, because it appears to helps the body clear out the toxic accumulations – or ‘plaques’ – of amyloid beta.

No one’s entirely sure what causes Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s thought to result from a build-up of two types of lesions: amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.

Amyloid plaques sit between the neurons as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules – a sticky type of protein that easily clumps together – and neurofibrillary tangles are caused by defective tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass in the neurons.

It’s not clear why these lesions begin to appear in the brain, but studies have linked inflammation in the brain tissue to the proliferation of plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. So if we can find something that eases brain inflammation while at the same time encourages the body to clear out these lesions, we could be on the way to finding the first effective treatment for Alzheimer’s ever.

Back in 2006, researchers at the Scripps Research Institute found that THC inhibits the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that produces them, and now Schubert and his team have demonstrated that it can also eliminate a dangerous inflammatory response from the nerve cells, ensuring their survival.

“Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” says one of the team, Antonio Currais.

“When we were able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response to amyloid beta, it became clear that THC-like compounds that the nerve cells make themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying.”

It’s exciting stuff, but it’s so far only been demonstrated in neurons in the lab, so the next step will be for Schubert and his team to observe the link between THC and reduced inflammation and plaque build-up in a clinical trial.

They’ve reportedly already found a drug candidate called J147 that appears to have the same effects as THC, so this might be the way they can test the effects of THC without the government getting in the way.

Though it’s worth adding that more recent legal changes since the time of this research around marijuana use in the USA may be making further research in this area a lot easier.

The results have been published in Aging and Mechanisms of Disease.

This article originally appeared on ushealthglobal.

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Medical Marijuana

CBD Clinical Trial Results on Seizure Frequency in Dogs ‘Encouraging’

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Promising and exciting. Those are the words used by Dr. Stephanie McGrath to describe findings from a pilot study to assess the use of cannabidiol, or CBD, for dogs with epilepsy.

McGrath, a neurologist at Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, led a small study with 16 pet dogs to assess the short-term effect of CBD on seizure frequency.

Based on her research, McGrath found that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. Nine dogs were treated with CBD, while seven in a control group were treated with a placebo.

The research took place from 2016 to 2017, and results are published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Idiopathic epilepsy, which occurs with no known cause, affects up to 5.7% of the pet dog population worldwide, making it the most common canine neurologic condition.

Dogs enrolled in the clinical trial were randomly assigned to the treatment or placebo group. Those in the treatment group received CBD oil for 12 weeks. All of the dogs were required to stay on standard anticonvulsant drugs, including phenobarbital and potassium bromide. The dogs’ owners and CSU medical staff did not know if the animal received CBD or a placebo until the study was complete.

The CBD product used in the study was derived from a hemp plant, which has 0.3 percent or less of the psychoactive component of cannabis, THC. The compound is not considered marijuana and can be used for research purposes based on the 2014 United States Department of Agriculture Farm Bill.

Findings highlight effect of CBD oil on seizure reduction

In addition to the distinct reduction of seizures in the group of dogs that received CBD oil, McGrath saw a significant association between the degree of seizure reduction and the amount of CBD concentration in the dog’s blood.

“We saw a correlation between how high the levels of CBD were in these dogs with how great the seizure reduction was,” McGrath said.

This finding led the neurologist to adjust the dose of CBD oil for dogs in a current clinical trial, which was launched in January 2018 and aims to enroll 60 client-owned dogs with epilepsy.

McGrath described the ongoing research as exciting and important.

“It’s really exciting that perhaps we can start looking at CBD in the future as an alternative to existing anticonvulsive drugs,” she said.

This article originally appeared on Sciencedaily.com.

Materials provided by Colorado State University


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephanie McGrath, Lisa R. Bartner, Sangeeta Rao, Rebecca A. Packer, Daniel L. Gustafson. Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsyJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2019; 254 (11): 1301 DOI: 10.2460/javma.254.11.1301
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Smoking Marijuana Could Get People to Exercise

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Smoking pot and working out – you might think the two wouldn’t go hand-in-hand, but a new study might just make you think again. 

Smoking marijuana could actually motivate someone to get to the gym, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder

They surveyed more than 600 people and found that people who smoked either before or after hitting the gym, or even both, said they worked out more. 

Some even said it helped with recovery from minor aches and pains. Though only a few said it actually improved how they did their workouts. 

Researchers said sedentary cannabis users might even benefit from combining marijuana with exercise, especially if they avoid the gym because of issues with recovery, motivation or enjoyment. 

Not surprising though, they also said if people do combine the two, they should choose what they called low-risk exercise options. 

The survey was advertised on Facebook and targeted users who were 21 and older and lived in states where recreational use of marijuana is legal.

This article originally appeared on abc7.com.

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