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Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana may be an alternative option for controlling pain

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, July, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
mmj-pain-helperHOUGHTON - 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.
 

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New Study: Cannabis Can Slow, Cure Alzheimers Disease

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, July, 17th 2013 by THCFinder
curing-ailments
 
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.
 

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Patient advocates ask Supreme Court to decide medical value of marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, July, 17th 2013 by THCFinder
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.
 

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Medical Marijuana Activists Appeal to US Supreme Court

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, July, 17th 2013 by THCFinder
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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Drexel University receives NIH grant to study medical marijuana use among LA young adults

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, July, 16th 2013 by THCFinder
grant-to-study-mmjDrexel University has received a grant for a five-year study of medical marijuana and its impact on drug use and physical and psychological health among young adults in Los Angeles. It is the first large-scale NIH project funded to directly investigate medical marijuana use among young adults aged 18 to 26.
 
The study, "Medical Marijuana, Emerging Adults & Community: Connecting Health and Policy," is being led by Dr. Stephen Lankenau, an associate professor in Drexel's School of Public Health, who was awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for $3.3 million over five years, beginning July 1. Ultimately, Lankenau hopes the study's findings can guide medical marijuana policies at local, state and national levels to result in the most positive health outcomes for young adults and communities.
 
Lankenau aims to determine the impact of medical marijuana policies in Los Angeles on young adults' physical and psychological health. A core focus is understanding the significance and influence of dispensaries - storefronts that sell medical marijuana - on health.
 
"Dispensaries are a relatively new and unusual institution, and they haven't been studied much," Lankenau said. One study hypothesis is that dispensaries, which often provide social support in addition to medical marijuana, may provide the basis for better physical and psychological outcomes for medical marijuana users, compared to non-medical users who purchase the drug on the black market.
 
The study emerged out of preliminary findings from an earlier NIH-funded project, which examined non-medical prescription drug use among high-risk young adults in two cities. Among Los Angeles participants, Lankenau observed key differences in patterns of drug use and health between those who had a physician recommendation for medical marijuana, and those who used marijuana without a recommendation.
 

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Food Containing Marijuana THC Deemed Illegal by Michigan Court

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sun, July, 14th 2013 by THCFinder
mmj-edibles-illegal-miDespite being one of the earliest states to approve the use of medical marijuana, Michigan has been maintaining a strict direction towards the legal use of cannabis.
 
browniesA ruling was brought down by the state Court of Appeals July 12, in light of a 2011 case involving the arrest of Earl Cantrell Chambers over illegal possession of baked goods and other products laced with marijuana’s active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While Michigan allows the use of medical marijuana, Chambers’ possession does not fall within the bounds of the law, according to a news release.
 
According to the state’s medical marijuana law, “usable marijuana” includes the marijuana plant’s flowers and leaves. Extracts or any form of THC is not included in the law provisions.
 
Chambers figured in a traffic stop last January 2011, when he was found to carry in his vehicle a lot of marijuana-based products, some of which included brownies with labels that specify the amount of medical cannabis in each pack. Despite presenting his medical marijuana card, Chambers was apprehended and slapped with a 33-day jail sentence and a probation for three years.
 
According to the Court of Appeals, the case is now turned over to a trial court so as to ascertain if Chambers can claim the medical marijuana law provision that allows him to bring any amount that ensures the availability of pot “for the purpose of treating or alleviating the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms.”
 

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