Finally, Some Hard Science on Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy Patients
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, September, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
A groundbreaking clinical trial may provide some answers to medical marijuana as a seizure treatment
For years, some parents have turned to medical marijuana to treat their children’s debilitating epilepsy, crediting the drug with dramatically reducing seizure activity. A groundbreaking clinical trial about to begin recruiting test subjects may finally provide some science to back their claims
n what is believed to be the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Colorado, Denver will study the genes of those with a kind of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome who have been treated with a strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web. The study will attempt to determine if specific genetic components can explain why some epilepsy patients see positive results from ingesting Charlotte’s Web, while others do not.
The plant, grown by five brothers in Colorado through a non-profit organization called Realm of Caring, is low in THC, the compound that produces marijuana’s psychoactive effects, and high in CBD, a compound believed to reduce seizures in those suffering from certain forms of epilepsy. It is administered to epilepsy patients, including many children, in the form of an oil. The plant is named after Charlotte Figi, a young girl who was the first epilepsy patient successfully treated with the strain.
While anecdotal evidence suggests Charlotte’s Web can be highly effective in treating such conditions, scientific investigation of the product has been stymied by federal drug laws that severely limit marijuana research. Edward Maa, the principal investigator of the Charlotte’s Web study, says the new trial could be a first step toward building a body of research on how and why medical marijuana can be used to treat epilepsy. “This is the first attempt to get the information people are interested in that is observational in nature,” says Maa, an assistant professor at UC Denver and chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Programs at Denver Health.
The new study will recruit epilepsy patients who have already taken Charlotte’s Web. The patients will be divided into two groups—those who have seen seizure activity reduced by at least 50 percent on Charlotte’s Web and those who have had less dramatic or no results from taking the marijuana oil. Genetic analysis of the patients in both groups will then be performed in hopes of discovering what genetic components may cause a patient to be responsive to medical marijuana. Interventional studies, in which patients would be given Charlotte’s Web to measure its efficacy, are far more difficult to conduct. “That would be the Holy Grail,” says Maa.
Still, researchers on the UC Denver team will collect data on dosages used by patients in the study, for example, which could allow for further research down the line. “The more data we are able to collect in a large sample, the closer to the truth we will get,” says Maa. He says the study could allow children with Dravet Syndrome to be genetically screened before taking Charlotte’s Web so parents could know ahead of time if their children would benefit. It’s possible to conduct the study in Colorado because Charlotte’s Web is grown there legally and is home to many families who have moved to the state to specifically to access the marijuana strain.
Read more: http://time.com
Illinois Army Vet Among First Seeking Medical Marijuana
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, September, 3rd 2014 by THCFinder
Army veteran Jim Champion is among the first Illinoisans to sign up for a state program allowing the legal purchase of medical marijuana.
People with last names beginning with letters A through L were allowed to sign up starting Tuesday for a medical marijuana card, with everyone else able to apply on Nov. 1.
Champion, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was among those who went to Springfield to lobby lawmakers to pass the bill.
"I felt vindicated. I felt wow, they were listening to me," Champion said.
Champion was diagnosed with MS in his 20s, and since then, his condition had steadily worsened. He says one day a relative suggested he try smoking marijuana to ease the effects of the disease.
"It would relax my muscles and my muscles wouldn't tremor, so if they don't tremor then I wouldn't have pain," Champion said.
Champion says for several years his wife, Sandy, had to find illegal ways to buy the marijuana.
"You can't call the police and say, 'Yea, my wife wants to buy some marijuana, can you go check on her for me,'" Champion said.
Now he's hoping he can soon go to a dispensary to get what he needs, whether it's edible food laced with marijuana, or marijuana cigarettes, which he says helps him most.
People who qualify for a medical marijuana card won't be able to get the drug until at least spring.
Illinois' medical marijuana law is considered one of the most restrictive in the nation with a maximum number of 21 cultivation centers allowed in the state. State bureaucrats have yet to approve and license the growers and sellers.
Under the law, adopted by lawmakers in 2013, patients must have a prescription from their physician and get a background check. The state must respond to a completed application within 30 days.
"I did my fingerprinting and background check last week and we got that out of the way and they haven't arrested me yet," Champion said.
Sheila Porter, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, says the agency was expecting the number of applicants to run into the thousands over the next four months.
Read more: http://www.nbcchicago.com
Latest Poll Shows Medical Marijuana Winning In Florida
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, September, 3rd 2014 by THCFinder
Wait until 2016 they said. You can’t win in 2014 they said. I’m happy to report that national pundits and organizations that said Florida couldn’t win in 2014 have some explaining to do, as yet another poll has come out showing medical marijuana winning in Florida. The results of the poll aren’t as high as some of the previous polls which showed support as high as 88%, but the most recent poll shows Florida’s medical marijuana initiative winning by a landslide. Per the Orlando Sentinel:
Gravis Marketing, which has found voters hovering at or just below the 60 percent level needed to approve Amendment 2 in past surveys, found Floridians have passed that level now and 64 percent said they would “vote for the current amendment use of marijuana for certain medical conditions.” Just 26 percent were opposed and 10 percent said they were unsure.
Other polls have shown much greater support for medical marijuana in Florida — notably the Quinnipiac University poll, which found support as high as 88 percent. But the Quinnipiac Florida Poll did not ask specifically about Florida’s Amendment 2, but rather generically about medical marijuana.
The Gravis poll’s finding of a solid approval level strikes at Amendment 2 opponents argument that voters could overwhelmingly favor medical marijuana in principal without agreeing to the specific proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot.
I’m glad that Florida didn’t wait until 2016. Patients are suffering right now, and there is support to pass the medical marijuana initiative this year. I’m not guaranteeing victory on Election Day, because there is still a lot of campaigning to do, and polls are far from 100% accurate. However, with solid financial backing, support in the polls, and truth and compassion on the initiative’s side, things are looking promising. Florida requires at least 60% of the vote in order to pass a constitutional amendment.
Florida mom to treat child with medical marijuana
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, September, 2nd 2014 by THCFinder
TAMPA – A Bay area mother will start treating her cancer-ravaged daughter with whole plant medical marijuana even though we are two months away from the amendment two vote.
10 Newstold you earlier this year how Moriah Barnhart sought legal counsel to somehow get her daughter access to use medical cannabis under Florida's medical necessity doctrine based on a 1991 ruling.
Barnhart said she had success while treating her daughter with cannabis in Colorado, but decided to move back to Florida to be closer to family and her support system.
In Jenks v. The State of Florida, the court ruled that patients suffering debilitating diseases have the right to consume, possess and cultivate marijuana, provided they can establish they have a legal medical necessity.
Recently, Barnhart and Christopher Ralph from Health Law Services in Jacksonville shows us the paperwork issued by a physician who evaluated Dahlia Barnhart and deemed medical marijuana a necessity.
"I'm not in any way shape or form uneasy about the law," said Barnhart. "The process for me is easy with regards to the paperwork."
According to Ralph, she will have to carry the paperwork with her at all times.
It includes information from the doctor, details on the Jenks v. State of Florida ruling and an identification number for law enforcement to verify its authenticity via a website.
"Our statutes allow for a physician to order the use of a schedule one controlled substance," said Ralph.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers legalized a non-euphoric strain of marijuana called Charlotte's Web.
Ralph says for that reason, he is not in full support of amendment two.
"Once amendment 2 passes, all we're going to have is low-THC cannabis run by 5 organizations throughout the state," he said. "Which was preempted by our current legislature… that's what they did because they didn't want amendment 2 to pass."
Read more: http://www.floridatoday.com
Ill. residents may apply for medical marijuana
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, September, 2nd 2014 by THCFinder
EAST ALTON, Ill. - The state of Illinois is taking another big step in medical marijuana this week. Tuesday is the first day residents can apply for a medical marijuana card.
Noel Carter is a mother of a four-year-old boy and engaged to be married. She suffers from Fibromyalgia and depression and is hoping with medical marijuana she can give her son the childhood he deserves. Right now her life as a mom and fiancée is plagued with prescriptions.
"The Fibromyalgia, it makes it to where it's hard to function there's just a lot of pain and it makes you have exhaustion," Carter said.
She suffered from the painful disease for eight years along with depression and doesn't like to rely on medications to get her through, for fear of addiction.
"I have to kind of have that mom power and the adrenaline to keep up with my child to help keep going because I know he needs me to be the best mom I can be," she said.
Now, as a resident of Illinois, she will be able to apply for a medical marijuana.
Listed on the Illinois Department of Public Health's website is a list of conditions that make a patient eligible. Fibromyalgia is listed, but not depression.
"I'm definitely not the worst case out there, there's so many people suffering from cancer and HIV that this can be so beneficial and let them live their lives," she said.
The application is not yet posted on the state's website nor are the requirements necessary to apply. All of that will be up Tuesday morning for residents.
Carter says there may be red tape to go through but it's worth it.
"It's going to be a long process and you have to go through your different doctor and get different documentations and proof," says Carter.
If she's not approved, she says she will continue on with her life the way it is.
Tuesday September 2, 2014 residents with last names starting with letters A - L can apply. Then on November 1, 2014 all other residents last names M - Z can apply. It will take about 45 days to get your card or be denied, but don't forget dispensaries and cultivation centers still aren't open.
34,000 New Mexicans Suffering From Alzheimer's Denied Access To Medical Cannabis
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, September, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
The Secretary of Health denied a petition to add Alzheimer’s disease to the list of medical conditions eligible for the medical cannabis program, even though the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board voted unanimously to recommend making neurodegenerative dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, qualifying conditions.
Alzheimer’s disease, similar to many of the conditions presently included in New Mexico’s Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, is a neurologic disease and has no known cure. Existing medications provide only temporary relief, without stopping the progression of the disease.
“It is really unfortunate that New Mexicans suffering from Alzheimer’s related dementia, which often leads to a refusal to eat and combative moods, will not be allowed to seek relief from medical cannabis,” said Jessica Gelay, policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance. “There are no curative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, and, as the peer-reviewed evidence submitted to the department of health shows, there is reason to believe that medical cannabis could be helpful for people afflicted with this terminal condition.”
Medical cannabis is currently available to Alzheimer’s patients in thirteen of the twenty-three states with medical cannabis laws. Studies have demonstrated that people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease related anorexia and nighttime agitation increase their body mass and have improved sleep patterns. Additionally, emerging evidence suggests potential for cannabis to be beneficial in reducing inflammation in the brain, a factor that can lead to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
“In contrast to Secretary Ward’s decision, the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board’s action recognizes the debilitating impact neurodegenerative diseases have on New Mexico’s increasing elderly population, and recognizes that medical cannabis should be part of a larger comprehensive approach to support our elders’ quality of life,” stated Emily Kaltenbach, director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s New Mexico office. “New Mexico has a long history of respecting our elders and the board’s compassionate recommendation to add these conditions is rooted in the great values of our state, we are sorry that the secretary did not agree with the board’s recommendation.”
Published studies suggest that medical cannabis may improve symptoms related to Alzheimer’s disease and support the pharmacological and physiological benefits seen in the use of cannabinoid compounds and whole plant medicine on general symptoms of neurodegeneration.
A 2014 study done at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in conjunction with the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy, and published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, supports the use of cannabis for Alzheimer’s. Among the positive findings are that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does not weaken immune function, decreases synthesis and accumulation brain plaque a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, and at efficacious levels does not lead to cell toxicity. In conclusion the authors state “we believe the multifaceted functions of THC will ultimately decrease downstream tau hyperphosphorylation and neuronal death thereby halting or slowing the progression of this devastating disease.”
More than 30,000 New Mexicans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the number is expected to increase to more than 40,000 by 2025. It is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly and is estimated to affect approximately one in nine people of the population over 65 years of age. Racial and cultural disparities are evident when considering the prevalence of AD among elderly New Mexicans. Older Hispanics are one and a half times more likely to have dementia than Anglos. Veterans, who comprise eleven percent of New Mexico’s population, who suffer from PTSD are twice as likely as veterans without PTSD to develop AD or other age-related dementias.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
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