Marijuana Use Associated With Decreased Symptoms Of Opiate Withdrawal
Cannabis consumption is associated with mitigated symptoms of opiate withdrawal in subjects undergoing methadone maintenance treatment, according to the findings of a new study published online in The American Journal on Addictions.
Investigators at the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia assessed the use of cannabis in 91 opiate-dependent subjects undergoing methadone maintenance treatment. Researchers found that subjects seeking methadone treatment who acknowledged a history of cannabis use reported “significantly less daily expenditure on acquisition of opiates.”
Authors additionally reported that subjects’ use of cannabis during treatment was associated with less severe symptoms of withdrawal on the clinical opiate withdrawal scale (COWS), an index designed to serve as an objective measure of opiate withdrawal. “[I]ncreased cannabis use was found to be associated with lower severity of [opiate] withdrawal in a subset of the sample with available chart data,” authors wrote. “These results suggested a potential role for cannabis in the reduction of withdrawal severity during methadone induction.”
They concluded, “The present findings may point to novel interventions to be employed during treatment for opiate dependence that specifically target cannabinoid-opioid system interactions.”
Medical Marijuana For Kids: Why I Give Cannabis To My 7-Year-Old
With news stories and opinion pieces popping up daily about medical marijuana legalization, dad Brandon Krenzler and his 7-year-old daughter, MyKayla Comstock, appeared on HuffPost Live this week to discuss what happens when a minor needs the drug. MyKayla has Leukemia and started taking it shortly after she was diagnosed.
Currently, medical marijuana is legal in 18 states and in Washington D.C. However, as Valerie Vande Panne wrote in the Boston Globe, many parents are afraid to ask their children's doctors for the drug, despite support from lawmakers.
In a heartbreaking piece, HuffPost blogger Suzanne Leigh, a mother who lost her own child to cancer, spoke about some of the anxiety she felt around the issue. Ultimately, Leigh decided to buy marijuana for her 11-year-old, but she knew other moms and dads who would never consider using it to help their children with cancer.
In the clip above, Krenzler says that when MyKayla was first diagnosed, cancer affected her in ways that were "terrifying."
"She was very sick, she was in a lot of pain ... she was basically experiencing everything you wouldn't want your daughter to experience," he says.
MyKayla adds that she was "really tired" all of the time. But now, she feels better.
Read more and see the video here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Medical marijuana may be an alternative option for controlling pain
HOUGHTON - For patients with chronic conditions, ongoing disease management is an important part of maintaining health and controlling negative side effects of a disease. Disease management can include diet, exercise, medication and, for some patients, medical marijuana.
"It has a lot of components that are good for pain," said Dr. Robert Townsend, an osteopathic physician with over 20 years experience. "For patients with chronic pain it can be a substitute for narcotics or used to reduce narcotics in pain management. I found that patients using medical marijuana required less narcotics than those who were not."
Townsend, who has never personally used marijuana, began working with it as a way of reducing narcotic dependency while managing chronic pain. He found that patients who incorporated medical marijuana into their disease management were able to manage symptoms while eliminating or severely reducing the use of addictive narcotics.
Different strains of medical marijuana are shown at Northern Specialty Health in Houghton. Northern Specialty Health works with many different strains of medical marijuana with both indica and sativa characteristics.
Based on Michigan Medical Marihuana Act passed in 2008, patients deemed eligible for medical marijuana must have been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition. Specific conditions listed in the act include cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, ALS, Chrohn's disease, Alzheimer's and nail patella. Patients whose chronic illnesses or the treatment of those illnesses result in certain side effects such as severe pain, nausea and seizures are also eligible to apply for a medical marijuana card. According to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, as of May 31 there are 128,441 active registered qualified medical marijuana patients.
"I use it a lot with patients with Crohn's disease. I have never seen healthier Crohn's patients than when they are using medical marijuana," said Townsend. "It gets people off handfuls of Vicodin and other painkillers. I've seen it stop seizures in front of me. It's very impressive stuff. It can also be used to treat glaucoma and nausea resulting from chemotherapy and other drugs. It can help patients tolerate anxiety medications better because the associated nausea is reduced so they're able to keep taking those anxiety meds comfortably."
There are two categories of medical marijuana - cannabis indica and cannabis sativa. Within these categories are various of strains of marijuana, each which can produce different results.
Read more: http://www.mininggazette.com
New Study: Cannabis Can Slow, Cure Alzheimers Disease
A new study conducted by researchers at the Roskamp Institute in Florida, and published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, has found that cannabis can slow the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease, and may in fact be able to halt it entirely.
According to Corbin Bachmeier, Ph.D – who’s the lead researcher of the study – Alzheimer’s Disease is “the result of impaired Aβ [Amyloid-β protein] clearance from the brain”. According to this study, cannabis can solve this problem, making it a potential treatment.
Here’s the study’s abstract:
Emerging evidence suggests beta-amyloid (Aβ) deposition in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain is the result of impaired clearance, due in part to diminished Aβ transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Recently, modulation of the cannabinoid system was shown to reduce Aβ brain levels and improve cognitive behavior in AD animal models. The purpose of the current studies was to investigate the role of the cannabinoid system in the clearance of Aβ across the BBB. Using in vitro and in vivomodels of BBB clearance, Aβ transit across the BBB was examined in the presence of cannabinoid receptor agonists and inhibitors. In addition, expression levels of the Aβ transport protein, lipoprotein receptor-related protein1 (LRP1), were determined in the brain and plasma of mice following cannabinoid treatment. Cannabinoid receptor agonism or inhibition of endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes significantly enhanced Aβ clearance across the BBB (2-fold). Moreover, cannabinoid receptor inhibition negated the stimulatory influence of cannabinoid treatment on Aβ BBB clearance. Additionally, LRP1 levels in the brain and plasma were elevated following cannabinoid treatment (1.5-fold), providing rationale for the observed increase in Aβ transit from the brain to the periphery. The current studies demonstrate, for the first time, a role for the cannabinoid system in the transit of Aβ across the BBB. These findings provide insight into the mechanism by which cannabinoid treatment reduces Aβ burden in the AD brain and offer additional evidence on the utility of this pathway as a treatment for AD.
This research validates past studies (including some presented earlier this year, as well as a 2006 study), though is the first to actually explain why cannabis can be beneficial to the disease.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Patient advocates ask Supreme Court to decide medical value of marijuana
The U.S. Supreme Court has the opportunity to lift federal restrictions on marijuana. A group that advocates on behalf of medical marijuana patients has asked the nation’s highest court to decide whether marijuana is a dangerous drug with no medical value.
Americans for Safe Access on Monday appealed a District of Columbia Circuit Court decision that upheld marijuana’s federal Schedule I status.
“It is only by failing to apply the appropriate standards and make the required comparisons that the federal government could conclude that marijuana is as harmful as heroin and PCP and even more harmful than methamphetamine, cocaine and opium, and should remain in the CSA’s most restrictive Schedule I,” the appeal states (PDF).
The D.C. Circuit ruled in January that the Drug Enforcement Agency could continue to classify the marijuana plant a Schedule I drug, a classification reserved drugs with no medical value and a high potential for abuse. Though ASA cited more than 200 peer-reviewed studies on marijuana’s medical benefits, the court held the drug could not be reclassified without FDA-approved Phase II and Phase III clinical trials.
In their appeal, ASA contends the D.C. Circuit Court was wrong to equate “currently accepted medical use” with only FDA-approved studies. The D.C. Circuit Court also “simply ignored that marijuana has an extremely low abuse potential relative to other controlled substances, despite having been presented voluminous evidence,” according to the appeal.
Read more: http://www.rawstory.com
Medical Marijuana Activists Appeal to US Supreme Court
Medical cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) will ask the US Supreme Court to review the United States' classification of marijuana as more dangerous than cocaine, meth, or Oxycodone. Oakland-based ASA said Monday that they had filed a petition with the US Supreme Court to appeal a January Circuit Court decision which maintains cannabis' prohibition as one of the world's most dangerous drugs.
The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies pot as a "schedule 1" narcotic with a high potential for abuse and no medical use. ASA took the DEA to court arguing the classification is wrong. Marijuana is one of the least addictive drugs on the planet and it is impossible to overdose on it. Conversely, about 30,000 Americans die every year from unintentional overdoses of Vicodin, Oxycodone, and other FDA-approved prescription drugs that are schedule 2 or lower.
In January, the circuit court found that there is not enough research on medical uses of pot and denied ASA's petition.
ASA argues in its SCOTUS appeal that the District of Columbia Circuit Court used an unreasonable and unprecedented standard in denying ASA's petition for a re-schedule. More than two hundred peer-reviewed studies attest to cannabis' medical efficacy, ASA states. Three out of four doctors polled by the New England Journal of Medicine in May also recommended cannabis for a hypothetical breast cancer patient.
But no major drug company has tried to bring cannabis to market, the circuit court argued. ASA contends that this opinion conflicts with another circuit court ruling made in 1987.
In that ruling, the court said that FDA marketing approval of a drug does not make it a medicine. ASA also notes that federal law all but bans research on medical uses of cannabis, creating a ludicrous, unscientific Catch-22.
"The court has unreasonably raised the bar for what qualifies as an 'adequate and well-controlled' study thereby continuing the government's game of 'Gotcha'," stated Kris Hermes for ASA.
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