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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 17 Dec 2019 04:20:21 PST

Study: Adult-Use Cannabis Access Associated with Decreased Sales of OTC Sleep Aids

San Luis Obispo, CA: Adult-use retail cannabis access is associated with a decline in the sales of over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aid medications, according to data published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Investigators from the University of New Mexico and California Polytechnic State University assessed trends in the demand for OTC sleep aids in the years before and immediately after the enactment of adult-use marijuana regulation in Colorado.

Researchers reported: "For the first time, we show a statistically significant negative association between recreational access to cannabis and OTC sleep aid sales, suggesting that at least some recreational purchasers are using cannabis for therapeutic rather than recreational purposes ... [O]ur results indicate that enough individuals are switching from OTC sleep aids to recreational cannabis that we can identify a statistically significant reduction in the market share growth of OTC sleep aids in conjunction with access to recreational cannabis using."

Authors reported that the negative associations were driven primarily by reduced sales of diphenhydramine (e.g., Benadryl) and doxylamine-based sleep aids (e.g., Unisom). Separate studies have similarly identified an association between cannabis access and the reduced use of various types of prescription medications, such as opioids and benzodiazepines.

Authors concluded: "Our results show that the market share growth for sleep aids shrank with the entry of recreational cannabis dispensaries... and the strength of the association increased with each subsequent dispensary... Our results are consistent with evidence that legal access to medical cannabis is associated with reductions in Scheduled II-V prescription medications, many of which may be used in part as sleep aids."

Full text of the study, "Using recreational cannabis to treat insomnia: Evidence from over-the-counter sleep aid sales in Colorado," appears in Complimentary Therapies in Medicine.

Study Finds "Little Support" for Cannabis Impacting Cognitive Abilities

Boulder, CO: The occasional use of cannabis during late adolescence is not independently associated with adverse effects on cognitive abilities in young adulthood, according to longitudinal data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

A team of investigators affiliated with the University of Colorado at Boulder assessed the impact of cannabis use on cognition, executive function, and working memory in 856 individual twins. Cannabis consumers were compared to their non-using twins in late adolescence and then again in their early twenties. Most of the cannabis consuming participants in the study reported occasional use of the substance, but not daily use.

Authors found "little support for a causal effect of cannabis use on cognition. This conclusion is consistent with those from previous twin studies, which suggest that cannabis use does not cause a decline in cognitive ability among a normative cannabis using sample."

They concluded, "Results suggest that cannabis use may not cause decline in cognitive ability among a normative sample of cannabis users."

The findings are consistent with several prior studies which also failed to show significant changes in either cognitive performance, brain morphology, or intelligence quotient due to cannabis exposure. Specifically, a 2018 literature review published in JAMA Psychiatry concluded: "Associations between cannabis use and cognitive functioning in cross-sectional studies of adolescents and young adults are small and may be of questionable clinical importance for most individuals. Furthermore, abstinence of longer than 72 hours diminishes cognitive deficits associated with cannabis use."

Full text of the study, "Investigating the causal effect of cannabis use on cognitive function with a quasi-experimental co-twin design," appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Clinical Trial: Transdermal Application of CBD Effective in Patients with Myofascial Pain

Zabrze, Poland: The transdermal application of plant-derived CBD reduces fascial pain in patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD aka TMJ), according to clinical data published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Polish investigators conducted a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial assessing the efficacy of twice-daily transdermal CBD administration on 60 patients with TMD over a period of 14 days.

Compared to placebo, patients receiving CBD therapy experienced symptomatic improvements, including reduced myofascial pain severity and decreased masseter muscle (the muscle around the jaw) activity. Subjects receiving treatment reported no adverse effects.

Authors concluded, "Further research is needed in this field, but CBD, as an alternative to THC, should be taken into consideration in the therapy of masticatory muscles in patients with TMD."

Full text of the study, "Myorelaxant effect of transdermal cannabidiol application in patients with TMD: A randomized, double-blind trial," appears in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Study: Medical Cannabis Effective, Well-Tolerated in Older Patients

Be'er-Sheva, Israel: The use of herbal cannabis by older patients is efficacious and well-tolerated, according to longitudinal data published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Israeli researchers assessed the use of cannabis products in patients ages 65 or older over a period of 18 months. Participants in the trial suffered from cancer, chronic pain, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress, spasticity, and other ailments.

Of those patients who continued the use of medical cannabis for six-months or more, 79 percent reported either "significant" or "moderate improvement" from the treatment. The most commonly reported side effects of cannabis treatment were dizziness, fatigue, and dry mouth.

Authors concluded, "Our results show that cannabis was well tolerated by most of our patients... [and that] most of the patients were satisfied with the treatment."

The findings are consistent with those of prior trials – such as those here and here – similarly finding that cannabis preparations are safe and effective for elderly patients.

Full text of the study, "Medical cannabis for older patients – Treatment protocol and initial results," appears in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Working Paper: Adult-Use Legalization Associated with Reduction in Alcohol-Related Vehicle Accidents

Logan, UT: The enactment of adult marijuana regulations in Washington state is associated with a decrease in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents in neighboring Idaho counties, according to the findings of a working paper published by the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.

The paper, authored by University of Oregon economist Benjamin Hansen, reported that the decline was most significant in those counties closest to the Washington border, but was no longer evident in counties residing six hours away from the border.

The author concluded, "These findings are consistent with increased access to marijuana leading to substitution away from alcohol to marijuana."

The paper's findings are consistent with a prior paper identifying a decrease in traffic accidents in Colorado following the regulation of medical cannabis – a decline which authors attributed to a reduction in alcohol consumption. By contrast, a more recently published paper identified an association between retail cannabis sales in Colorado in Washington and a slight uptick in fatal crashes compared to control states.

Full text of the working paper, "Are Marijuana and Alcohol Substitutes? Evidence from Neighboring Jurisdictions" is available online.

Minnesota: Regulators Move to Expand Medical Cannabis Access

St. Paul, MN: Health Department representatives have announced forthcoming changes to the state's medical cannabis program in an effort to expand patients' access.

Beginning in August 2020, those diagnosed with chronic pain and/or age-related macular degeneration will be eligible to receive medical cannabis recommendations.

Regulators are also amending the program to allow cannabis products to be sold in the form of powders, gum, lozenges, and sublingual tablets, among other formulations. State law does not allow for the sale of herbal cannabis.

Officials also announced that they would be expanding the total number of licensed dispensaries operating within the state.

An estimated 18,000 Minnesotans are registered to legally access medical cannabis products.

Report: Potency of Commercially Available CBD Products Often Mislabeled

Seattle, WA: The percentage of cannabidiol present in many commercially available CBD products differs from what is advertised on the label, according to an analysis.

Authors lab tested 47 commercially available CBD-infused products. Products were purchased either online, at drug store chains, or at independent grocery stores.

Twenty-three percent of the products possessed significantly lower percentages of CBD than advertised, a finding that is consistent with prior reports. An additional 11 percent of products contained no identifiable level of CBD. Fifteen percent of the products contained higher percentages of CBD than advertised.

CBD-infused tinctures and edibles were most likely to possess accurate labeling. By contrast, CBD-infused capsules and water-based products were the least likely to be accurately labeled.

Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration provides no regulatory oversight on commercially available CBD products.

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