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Medical Marijuana

Judge Orders Arizona To Add PTSD To List Of Medical Marijuana Conditions

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, June, 9th 2014 by THCFinder
mmj-ptsdPhoenix, AZ – After years of hard-fought efforts a coalition of patients, medical professionals, and advocates succeeded in demonstrating the medical safety and efficacy of marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the Administrative Law Judge who heard the case. The Arizona Dept. of Health has denied all petitions submitted previously.
 
On Wednesday, June 4, 2014 Judge Thomas Shedden issued his ruling saying that “a preponderance of evidence shows medical marijuana provides palliative benefit to those suffering from PTSD.” The decision is now in the hands of Will Humble, Director of Arizona Dept. of Health Services;  Humble has until July 9th, 2014 to accept or appeal Judge Shedden’s decision.
 
The Drug Policy Alliance’s Freedom to Choose campaign, which advocates for veterans’ access to medical marijuana contributed a compilation of published studies and personal testimony from psychiatrists in New Mexico and veterans who use medical marijuana to alleviate symptoms of PTSD. “The pioneering effort to add post-traumatic stress to New Mexico’s medical cannabis program in 2009, and the work that veterans and advocates did to protect PTSD as part of the program in 2012, has led to this swell of support around the nation,” says Jessica Gelay, Policy Coordinator, in the New Mexico office of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Veterans and all people who have suffered from serious trauma and violence deserve the freedom to choose the safest treatment for their debilitating conditions. When our veterans come home they deserve access to the medicine that works for them.”
 
Arizona’s veteran population is 530,693, ranking it thirteenth among states with the largest veterans’ populations. Emerging evidence from on-going studies in Israel, supported by the Israeli government, show that marijuana is effective for combat veterans experiencing symptoms of PTSD that are treatment resistant.
 
Veterans like Ricardo Pereyda of Tucson, who fought in combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 and testified in the hearing are elated. “Being able to treat multiple symptoms from post-traumatic stress with cannabis has been instrumental in my ability to lead a full and productive life,” said Pereyda, “Judge Shedden showed that politics does not have to trump science, and doing so showed his compassion for combat veterans and others who have suffered from traumatic events.” Pereyda served in the U.S. Army and Military Police Corps.
 
“Cannabis medicine is natural, gentle, non-toxic, and should be available to PTSD sufferers in Arizona,” said Heather Manus, president of the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association.  “Many PTSD patients in neighboring states are successfully finding relief of symptoms through the use of cannabis.” The AZCNA filed the petition with the Arizona Department of Health Services on behalf of veterans and other PTSD sufferers to add PTSD as a debilitating condition under the state’s medical marijuana law. “This ruling could help a lot of Arizonans. Not just combat veterans, but people with chronic illness and pain who can’t find relief from other medications.”
 
The judicial ruling in Arizona puts it on the road to becoming the twelfth state to permit people suffering from PTSD to legally access medical marijuana. In fewer than twelve months four states (OR, ME, MI, NV) added PSTD to their medical marijuana programs. With Arizona coming on board people in twelve of the twenty-two states with medical marijuana laws would have legal access if they suffer from PTSD.
 

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New Study: Marijuana Doesn't Increase Risk Of Psychosis, Alcohol Does

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, June, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
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A study published in last month’s issue of the journal Schizophrenia Research has found that cannabis use, regardless of how much and how often, does not increase an individual’s risk of psychosis.
 
For the study, “170 people at CHR of psychosis were assessed at baseline on severity of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis using the Alcohol and Drug Use Scale. Participants were recruited across three sites over a four year period as part of the Enhancing the Prospective Prediction of Psychosis (PREDICT) study. Predictors of conversion to psychosis were examined using Cox proportional hazards models.”
 
After conducting the study, researchers found that “low use of alcohol, but neither cannabis use nor tobacco use at baseline, contributed to the prediction of psychosis in the CHR sample.”
 

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Are Marijuana Dab Hits Safe? First Ever Scientific Review

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, June, 2nd 2014 by THCFinder
taking-dabs-safeHave you ever taken a dab hit? If so, then you are not alone. Dab hits are becoming more and more popular everyday. I remember five years ago only the most dedicated marijuana fans on the West Coast and in Colorado were hip to the dab scene. Now I know people on the East Coast and all over the Midwest that can’t get enough dab hits to keep them satisfied.
 
One of the first questions people ask me when they have never taken a dab hit before is ‘are dab hits safe?’ It’s a question that was previously hard to answer because there wasn’t a solid scientific review out there. However, a recent scientific review was conducted by Mallory Loflin and Dr. Mitch Earleywine. Below is an overview of how they approached the study, and the conclusion:
 
Abstract
A new method for administering cannabinoids, called butane hash oil (“dabs”), is gaining popularity among marijuana users. Despite press reports that suggest that “dabbing” is riskier than smoking flower cannabis, no data address whether dabs users experience more problems from use than those who prefer flower cannabis.
 
Objective
The present study aimed to gather preliminary information on dabs users and test whether dabs use is associated with more problems than using flower cannabis.
 
Method
Participants (n = 357) reported on their history of cannabis use, their experience with hash oil and the process of “dabbing,” reasons for choosing “dabs” over other methods, and any problems related to both flower cannabis and butane hash oil.
 
Results
Analyses revealed that using “dabs” created no more problems or accidents than using flower cannabis. Participants did report that “dabs” led to higher tolerance and withdrawal (as defined by the participants), suggesting that the practice might be more likely to lead to symptoms of addiction or dependence.
 
Conclusions
The use of butane hash oil has spread outside of the medical marijuana community and users view it as significantly more dangerous than other forms of cannabis use.
 

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Minnesota joins 21 states in legalizing medical marijuana but no smoking allowed

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, May, 29th 2014 by THCFinder
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ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota joined the ranks of 21 other states Thursday where marijuana is a legal medicine with a law that is one of the nation's most restrictive.
 
Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation that sets up a medicalmarijuana program with tight controls over qualifying conditions and the way it is administered. People won't be able to smoke marijuana legally or access it in leaf form.
 
"I pray it will bring to the victims of ravaging illnesses the relief they are hoping for," Dayton said in a written statement.
 
The compromise bill upset some medical marijuana advocates, who say many people who need relief won't get it. But legislative backers say it is a positive first step that satisfied concerns of law enforcement and doctor groups. Dayton had said he wouldn't get behind a bill that those two entities opposed.
 
Medical conditions eligible for the treatment include cancer, glaucoma and AIDS. A physician assistant or advanced-practice registered nurse would certify a patient suffered from a qualifying illness.
 
If all goes as planned, the drug will be available in pill, oil and vapor form in mid-2015. There will be two manufacturing facilities and eight dispensaries permitted statewide.
 
The law sets up a task force to assess the impact of medical cannabis.
 
Dayton signaled earlier this month that he would sign the bill, but waited as his staff tried to assemble bill sponsors and affected families for a formal ceremony. A ceremony could still occur at a later date.
 

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Study: THC Reduces Methamphetamine-Induced Brain Damage

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, May, 27th 2014 by THCFinder
thc-reduces-brain-damageA new study published in this month’s issue of the journal PLoS ONE, and published online by the National Institute of Health, has found that THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) can reduce and even prevent brain damage caused by methamphetamine intake.
 
According to the study, titled Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol prevents methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity, “Methamphetamine (METH) is a potent psychostimulant with neurotoxic properties. Heavy use increases the activation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), production of peroxynitrites, microglia stimulation, and induces hyperthermia and anorectic effects.” 
 
It continues; “Preclinical studies have shown that natural (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Δ9-THC) and synthetic cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists exert neuroprotective effects on different models of cerebral damage. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective effect of Δ9-THC on METH-induced neurotoxicity by examining its ability to reduce astrocyte activation and nNOS overexpression in selected brain areas.”
 
Using rat models, researchers discovered that; “Our results indicate that Δ9-THC reduces METH-induced brain damage via inhibition of nNOS expression and astrocyte activation through CB1-dependent and independent mechanisms, respectively.”
 

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Medical Marijuana for Neurologic Diseases

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, May, 23rd 2014 by THCFinder
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Dr. Wilner: Dr. Koppel, we just had a press conference during which you and Dr. Gary Gronseth summarized the findings of the new AAN systematic review of medical marijuana for selected neurologic disease.[1] What did you find?
 
Dr. Koppel: We found that certain forms of marijuana -- pills and oral spray, primarily -- were useful in treating some systems of multiple sclerosis, especially spasticity, pain, central pain and painful spasms, and overactive bladder. Medical marijuana was not found to help tremor in multiple sclerosis, nor did it reduce other bladder symptoms. There wasn't enough information to comment on whether smoked marijuana was useful. There were only 2 studies, and no conclusions could be reached from them.
 
Dr. Wilner: There has been a lot in the news about medical marijuana for epilepsy. What did you find in your review of the published research?
 
Dr. Koppel: Marijuana didn't reduce the number of seizures in the 2 very small, old studies that we looked at. The new information coming out on epilepsy is usually from patient support groups or patient testimonials, and these are not the kind of studies that we could use for this type of analysis. However, they do bring attention to the fact that more research needs to be done in that field.
 
Dr. Wilner: Some studies have begun, isn't that right?
 
Dr. Koppel: Yes. Various epilepsy centers are taking a look at the cannabinoid-enhanced oral spray.
 
Dr. Wilner: What about side effects?
 
Dr. Koppel: Side effects were present in all of the studies, and if they were mentioned in at least 2 studies, we brought special attention to them. They included such effects as you would expect: behavioral changes, fatigue, nausea, and weakness. There were some serious side effects such as suicidal thoughts and hallucinations, but these were rare. The other serious side effect was seizures, occurring in 2 patients with multiple sclerosis.
 
Dr. Wilner: Because many of these neurologic illnesses are chronic diseases, was any attention paid to adverse events from medical marijuana that might occur with chronic use?
 
Dr. Koppel: Most of the studies were fairly brief. A few long-term studies had higher dropout rates, but it turns out that some people dropped out because it wasn't working rather than because of side effects. These were carefully controlled in terms of how much tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinoid content the formulations included, so we didn't see the kind of long-term cognitive effects that are being reported from recreational marijuana. This was a separate kind of study.
 
We found that dropout rates were higher in the treated groups than in the placebo groups, but in the long-term studies (one of which lasted a year), we are still talking approximately 12% dropout in the treatment group compared with 6% in the placebo group.
 
Dr. Wilner: Some patients with Parkinson disease have also tried medical marijuana. What did you find?
 
Dr. Koppel: The studies looked at the drug-induced dyskinesias that patients with late-stage Parkinson disease get from their levodopa. Marijuana didn't help that, but in terms of treating Parkinson disease itself, it hasn't been studied.
 

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