Is Sativex The Same As Medical Cannabis?
Several days ago I saw a news article about medical marijuana being legalized in France, and I eagerly clicked on the link only to learn that medical marijuana was NOT legalized in France- Sativex was.
I explored other news stories and found a similar theme in several articles. The authors were equating the distribution of Sativex with the legalized use of medical marijuana. Comments on these articles often contained some bitter bickering between proponents of the plant and supporters of the notion that the chemical compound Sativex is equivalent to cannabis.
Sativex is the European trade name for a chemical compound called Nabiximol, a pharmaceutical product created only for prescription-based use by GW Pharmaceuticals. They grow vast quantities of cannabis in England to create the drug. Nabiximol is distributed in Europe by Bayer Schering Pharma, where it costs approx. 4 Euros per day to use; it is marketed and distributed in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with some exceptions, by Novartis. It has been distributed to 29 countries at least, including some where its use is not controlled by prescription regulations. It is distinctly different from Marinol, a product that imitates the effects of cannabis compounds but does not actually contain chemicals derived from marijuana.
Nabiximol is a chemical compound delivered by oral spray and is often recommended for multiple sclerosis and to control neuropathic pain and spasticity. According to Wikipedia, “The drug is a pharmaceutical product standardised in composition, formulation, and dose, although it is still effectively a tincture of the cannabis plant.” It is a tincture lacking the full spectrum of 60+ cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, having been refined to contain only a few.
But does that make Sativex equivalent to medical marijuana? That depends on your definition of medical marijuana- and your definition of corn.
Marijuana is a plant that grows in the ground. If you take the flowers of that plant, dry them out and add nothing to them, you have smokable marijuana. If you take the green, growing leaves, stems and immature flowering buds and run them through a juicer you have raw cannabis juice. The stalk can be used for animal food or ground into high-quality fiber stock.
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NJ set for final vote on medical marijuana bill
TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey lawmakers are set to vote on a bill that would make it easier for children with certain medical conditions to have access to medical marijuana.
The bill would go to Gov. Chris Christie if it clears the state Assembly Monday.
The bill would eliminate the need for written consent from a pediatrician and a psychiatrist for juveniles to be eligible.
It would also allow treatment centers to produce an unlimited number of varieties and for marijuana to be produced in an edible form, which is banned.
The bill was drafted in response to the plight of a Scotch Plains girl with severe epilepsy, whose parents had not been able to find a psychiatrist to sign a consent form.
Parents Of Epileptic 2-Year-Old Upset Over N.J. Medical Marijuana Delays
Meghan and Brian Wilson of Scotch Plains, N.J., have been waiting patiently for medical marijuana to become available for their 2-year-old daughter Vivian, “Vivie,” who suffers from a rare and severe form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome.
Inquirer staff writer Jan Hefler recently reported on Vivie’s story.
Vivie has had 20 hospitalizations in all, and sometimes her convulsions can last up to an hour. In February, the state issued Vivie a wallet-size medical marijuana card.
Gov. Chris Christie inherited the medical marijuana law three years ago and promised strict regulations. When he was asked about Vivie’s case by reporters last month, he said he was “not inclined to allow” medical marijuana for kids.
As a minor, Vivie had to get consent from three doctors. Cannabis could alleviate her seizures, and unlike barbiturates, it will not kill brain cells. However, there is only one dispensary in the state, and it will not sell to the Wilsons. They will have to wait for a dispensary in central New Jersey to receive its permit to grow marijuana.
Vivie’s neurologist, Orrin Devinsky, supports her using marijuana “given the severity of her epilepsy.” Devinsky is the director of New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and the St. Barnabas Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery in Livingston.
Her mother said doctors in the state’s marijuana program do not seem to understand there are kids who qualify for treatment. She said she called 20 doctors before one would certify Vivie as a patient.
The Wilsons, who also have a 4-year-old daughter, say they considered moving out of the state, but they are lifelong New Jerseyans.
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Medical marijuana battle coming to Florida
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sun, June, 23rd 2013 by THCFinder
PARRISH — Sitting at the kitchen table in her wheelchair, arms useless at her sides, Cathy Jordan begins another day with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease.
She turns expectantly to her husband, Robert, who fires up a pungent joint and holds it to her lips. Smoke curls through her blond hair as she inhales, holds and exhales.
Jordan is well into her third decade with a disease that often kills within five years. She credits marijuana with slowing progression of the condition that destroys nerve cells, ultimately leading to total paralysis and death.
"This is keeping me alive,'' she says. It also eases her symptoms such as muscle stiffening, drooling and chronic lung congestion. How does she know it's working? Whenever she is hospitalized and can't have pot, the symptoms come back.
Jordan, 63, is a medical anomaly for how long she has survived with ALS.
She is also a criminal, breaking the law with every puff.
And she is a symbol of a fight unfolding this summer that could redefine Florida not only medically, but politically and culturally, too. Legalizing marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, might seem an extraordinary step in this state. But polls show support for the measure crosses political party lines. And as baby boomers who may have used pot in their youth feel the impact of age, they may add to the push for legalization.
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana use for medical purposes. But for the most part they are in liberal Western and Northeastern areas or in Rocky Mountain states with libertarian bents. None is in the South.
Study finds Cannabis is Helpful In Treating Sleep Apnea
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sat, June, 22nd 2013 by THCFinder
Research released earlier this year, conducted by the University of Illinois Department of Medicine, found cannabis to be a helpful treatment for sleep apnea, a condition in which an individual’s breathing slows down, or sometimes stops entirely during sleep and immediately after waking from sleep.
In summary, the research found that even minimal amounts of THC – one of the prime compounds of cannabis – greatly decreased the negative effects of sleep apnea, without any noticeable adverse effects.
Here’s the entire abstract from the study, which has been published by the National Institute of Health:
Study Objective: Animal data suggest that Δ(9)-TetraHydroCannabinol (Δ(9)THC) stabilizes autonomic output during sleep, reduces spontaneous sleep-disordered breathing, and blocks serotonin-induced exacerbation of sleep apnea. On this basis, we examined the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of dronabinol (Δ(9)THC), an exogenous Cannabinoid type 1 and type 2 (CB1 and CB2) receptor agonist in patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Design and Setting: Proof of concept; single-center dose-escalation study of dronabinol. Participants: Seventeen adults with a baseline Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) ≥15/h. Baseline polysomnography (PSG) was performed after a 7-day washout of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure treatment. Intervention: Dronabinol was administered after baseline PSG, starting at 2.5 mg once daily. The dose was increased weekly, as tolerated, to 5 mg and finally to 10 mg once daily. Measurements and Results: Repeat PSG assessments were performed on nights 7, 14, and 21 of dronabinol treatment. Change in AHI (ΔAHI, mean ± SD) was significant from baseline to night 21 (-14.1 ± 17.5; p = 0.007). No degradation of sleep architecture or serious adverse events was noted. Conclusion: Dronabinol treatment is safe and well-tolerated in OSA patients at doses of 2.5-10 mg daily and significantly reduces AHI in the short-term. These findings should be confirmed in a larger study in order to identify sub-populations with OSA that may benefit from cannabimimetic pharmacologic therapy.
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