Reformers To JAMA: Don’t Generalize All Cannabinoid Data To Medical Cannabis

Category: News | Posted on Sat, August, 8th 2015 by THCFinder

strawberry satori panacea portland medical marijuana greenwise gardens 2

We read with interest the recent review of medical use of cannabinoids (1). As the authors attempt to emphasize, they focus on a heterogeneous collection of experiments that employed a range of treatments, including synthetic THC, CBD, and THC-mimicking drugs.

Lay readers might inappropriately generalize these results specifically to whole plant medical cannabis  But few (only two) of these experiments were conducted using medical cannabis; most of the studies reviewed focused on outcome measures that do not address the plant’s potential advantages over a single, compound agent in pill form.

For example, the authors conclude that evidence of individual, synthetic cannabinoids to help nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy was low in quality. Within hours of the publication of the paper, mainstream media coverage applied these conclusions to medical cannabis per se, not just medical cannabinoids (2). In fact, as the authors emphasize, only 6 of the 28 studies assessing nausea and vomiting used THC, and none of these actually employed vaporized or inhaled botanical cannabis. The dependent measures were also not sensitive to the key advantage of medical cannabis for nausea: speed of onset. (Inhaled medicines can work within seconds. Sprayed extracts require at least a half hour while cannabinoids in pill form can take multiple hours.)  The authors were generally careful about these caveats, but the disparate and inaccurate media coverage suggests that flagship journals in all fields now have to be even more diligent when cautioning readers about the inappropriate generalization of results. Despite increasing popularity, medical cannabis remains controversial and, apparently, newsworthy. As reviews of the effects of cannabinoids proliferate, authors, editors, journal staff, and journalists might welcome a reminder that cautions about interpretation need to be spelled out in more effusive, detailed, and thorough ways.

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Federal Politician Calls On DOJ To Reclassify Marijuana Under The Controlled Substances Act

Category: News | Posted on Fri, August, 7th 2015 by THCFinder

Earl Blumenauer marijuanaToday, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) welcomed the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg’s acknowledgement that “heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana,” and called on the Department of Justice to reclassify or de-schedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Representative Blumenauer wrote:

“We are in the midst of a revolution to reform and modernize marijuana policy in the United States. Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized adult use. Additionally, well over one million patients across the country now use medical marijuana at the recommendation of their physician to treat conditions ranging from seizures, glaucoma, anxiety, chronic pain and nausea. The federal government is woefully behind.

“I fully support and agree with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg’s statement on August 5, 2015, that ‘heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana.’ This statement is backed by decades of scientific evidence, and rapidly growing public support recognizing that marijuana has been treated as a highly dangerous substance for far too long.

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California Wildfires Are Affecting the Pot Industry

Category: News | Posted on Fri, August, 7th 2015 by THCFinder

California’s wildfires are affecting the cannabis industry in the Bay Area, according to dispensary owners who say pot plants are growing around some of the state’s raging fires—especially the Rocky Fire near Clear Lake.

Timothy Anderson, purchasing manager at Harborside Health Center, a dispensary in Oakland, said one of the burned homes belonged to a cannabis grower who provides them with product.

“I can't remember [a fire] affecting our growers as much as this year,” Anderson told NBC Bay Area.

Anderson said about a quarter of their marijuana comes from growers near Clear Lake, and the smoke from the fire is damaging other growers’ crops as well. He expects the drop in supply will raise prices for dispensaries who buy from outdoor grows around the Bay Area.

“Unlike an apple or tomato, you can't wash a cannabis plant off,” Anderson explained. “The sticky resin is going to grab onto any environmental grit or grime from the air.”

The buds from those plants could be dangerous to smoke, he added, saying he wouldn’t buy any marijuana for a dispensary that smells like a wildfire.

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Heavy Marijuana Use Does Not Trigger Serious Conditions Study Reveals

Category: News | Posted on Thu, August, 6th 2015 by THCFinder

Chronic marijuana in the teenage years does not cause depression, psychotic symptoms, asthma or any other conditions thought of associated to it, a recent study revealed.
Even the researchers were surprised with the results. “What we found was a little surprising,” Dr. Jordan Bechtold, a psychology research fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, revealed in a press statement.
“There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured regardless of the amount or frequency of marijuana used during adolescence,” he continued.
This latest finding, published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, contradicted to earlier studies, which reported that teenage marijuana users manifest psychotic symptoms and depression and event cancer and asthma during their later years. The study, which spanned 20 years, concluded that there is no link between marijuana use and ill-health. Young marijuana users did not even show signs of allergies, headaches or high blood pressure later in their life. 


Boston University To Offer A ‘Marijuana In American History’ Course

Category: News | Posted on Thu, August, 6th 2015 by THCFinder
boston university marijuana

(image via Twitter)

I was a Public Policy and Administration major (Legal Studies minor) in college, and I always loved when class discussions turned to cannabis policy. Every paper that I was able to choose the topic of had a cannabis angle on it in college. Those were very fun times for me, and it’s something that I wish every cannabis policy wonk could experience. Studying cannabis from an academic perspective is something that has been popping up on college campuses across America, usually legal or business related.

As far as I know, there has never been a major accredited public university that has taught a course on marijuana from a purely history perspective. That is until now. I received an e-mail today from Boston University which stated that BU will be offering a ’Marijuana In American History’ course taught by lecturer Seth Blumenthal. Below is an excerpt from an article that was posted about the class in BU Today, Boston University’s news and information website:

The idea for the course originated in Blumenthal’s own student days and his dissertation on youth politics in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Part of his research probed Richard Nixon’s approach to spreading marijuana use, “which he called the biggest public threat in America at the time.” Nixon, elected on a law-and-order platform in 1968, found that stance an impediment in his reelection drive four years later, when arresting young tokers and imposing draconian jail terms would alienate the voters the president needed. 

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Massachusetts: Pot Activists Battle Each Other Over Legalization

Category: News | Posted on Thu, August, 6th 2015 by THCFinder

Despite technically being on the same side, marijuana reform activists continue to duke it out with one another in pursuit of the “perfect” plan to end prohibition in the state of Massachusetts.

A couple of organizations wielding two very different proposals with the intent of legalizing recreational marijuana will go to war this week to determine which group will reign victorious in their effort to earn a spot on the ballot in the 2016 election.

Instead of combining their resources to embark on a powerful campaign to bring an end to prohibition, the two groups—which are expected to submit the language of their initiatives to Attorney General Maura Healey before the end of the week—are hell bent on legalizing weed their own way. One proposes establishing a taxed and regulated cannabis industry, while the other suggests imposing just enough regulation to drive out the black market.

Although it is likely that both initiatives will be cleared by the state to begin collecting the necessary signatures for inclusion on next year’s ballot, it will ultimately be up to each group’s financial competence and their ability to drum up support for their respective initiatives that will dictate their success in the next phase of the game.

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