#NORML #News
Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 24 Dec 2019 04:20:21 PST

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Clinical Trial: Topical Application of CBD Mitigates Neuropathy

San Diego, CA: The topical administration of CBD oil is associated with reduced pain in patients with peripheral neuropathy, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.

A team of investigators affiliated with Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego and Des Moines University in Iowa assessed the efficacy of topically delivered CBD oil in the management of neuropathic pain in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Twenty-nine patients participated in the study. Each patient received both treatment and placebo at various intervals of the four-week trial.

Authors reported: "There was a statistically significant reduction in intense pain, sharp pain, cold and itchy sensations in the CBD group when compared to the placebo group. No adverse events were reported in this study."

They concluded: "Our findings demonstrate that the transdermal application of CBD oil can achieve significant improvement in pain and other disturbing sensations in patients with peripheral neuropathy. The treatment product was well-tolerated and may provide a more effective alternative compared to other current therapies in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy."

Full text of the study, "The effectiveness of cannabidiol oil in symptomatic relief of peripheral neuropathy of the lower extremities," appears in Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.

Cannabis Access Laws Associated with Reduction in Opioid Prescriptions

Nashville, TN: The enactment of statewide cannabis access laws is associated with a reduction in opioid prescriptions, according to data published in the Journal of Health Economics.

A team of researchers from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and the University of Alabama School of Law analyzed "a dataset of over 1.5 billion individual opioid prescriptions, which represent approximately 90 percent of all prescription opioids filled by outpatient pharmacies over the time period" of 2011 to 2018.

They reported that cannabis access laws were associated with significantly lower rates of opioid prescriptions and NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) prescriptions.

"In general, we find evidence that both RCLs [recreational cannabis laws] and MCLs [medical cannabis laws] decrease opioid prescribing," authors reported. "Thus, the evidence presented here suggests that cannabis access laws could be a useful tool in combatting the prescription opioid epidemic. While our data do not allow us to test this potential mechanism explicitly, our results are consistent with a substitution of cannabis for prescription opioids in the treatment of pain."

They concluded, "The evidence reported here presents the most accurate picture of the effect of cannabis access laws on prescription opioid use to date and can therefore inform the ongoing state and national debates over the legality of cannabis as well as other policy options to combat the opioid epidemic. ... While the results here do not suggest that cannabis access laws are the only tool to address prescription opioid use, they do suggest that cannabis access laws could play a meaningful role in addressing the opioid epidemic."

The findings are consistent with those of other studies finding an association between legal cannabis access and declines in the use of opioids, sleep aids, benzodiazepines, and other controlled substances.

Full text of the study, "The impact of cannabis access laws on opioid prescribing," appears in the Journal of Health Economics.

New Jersey: Lawmakers Place Legalization Ballot Question Before Voters

Trenton, NJ: Super-majorities of the New Jersey Assembly and Senate decided on Monday to place a marijuana legalization ballot question before voters in 2020.

Commenting on the legislative action, Garden State NORML Executive Director Charlana McKeithen said: "We support any move beyond prohibition. Now marijuana consumers and anyone who supports reform can cast a vote for freedom."

The question will appear as a constitutional amendment on the November election ballot. Senators voted 24 to 16 in favor of the effort, while members of the Assembly voted 49 to 24. State law requires that three-fifths of lawmakers in both chambers approve a resolution to place an amendment on the ballot.

The ballot question will read: "Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called 'cannabis'? Only adults at least 21 years of age could use cannabis. The State commission created to oversee the State's medical cannabis program would also oversee the new, personal use cannabis market. Cannabis products would be subject to the State sales tax. If authorized by the Legislature, a municipality may pass a local ordinance to charge a local tax on cannabis products."

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy had previously backed a legislative effort to regulate the personal use and retail sale of cannabis, but the proposed measure never received a Senate floor vote.

NORML Northeast Political Assistant Tyler McFadden said that expeditious legislative action would have been preferable, but expressed confidence that "New Jersey voters will overwhelmingly support the legalization of cannabis in the Garden State" in 2020. According to a statewide Monmouth University poll, 62 percent of New Jersey adults support legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

If voters approve the amendment in 2020, lawmakers will still have to finalize its language prior to implementing the new law.

Near-Record Support for Cannabis Legalization Reflected in Latest National Polls

Washington, DC: Over six in ten US adults support legalizing marijuana nationwide, according to a pair of public opinion polls released this week.

According to a new Fox News survey of registered voters nationwide, 63 percent of respondents endorse "legalizing the recreational use of marijuana on a national level." The total represents an increase in public support of four percentage points since the last time Fox polled the issue in 2018.

A second national poll, conducted by NPR/PBS and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, reported that 62 percent of US adults believe that "legalizing marijuana nationally" is a "good idea."

The poll results are consistent with those of other recent national surveys — including those conducted by Gallup, the Public Religion Research Institute, Pew, and Axios — all showing greater than 60 percent public support in favor of legalizing cannabis.

Commenting on the results, NORML's Political Director Justin Strekal said: "This holiday season, Americans are more likely than ever to agree in favor of legalizing marijuana when the topic comes up at the dinner table. With a public majority mandate, now is our time to demand an end to prohibition in advance of the 2020 elections."

Clinical Trial: Daily CBD Dosing Reduces Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

Inuyama, Japan: The daily administration of CBD reduces symptoms of social anxiety disorder (SAD) in teens, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

A Japanese investigator assessed the efficacy of CBD versus placebo in 26 teenagers (ages 18 or 19) with SAD in a randomized trial. Subjects consumed 300mgs of CBD daily for a period of four weeks.

The author reported that CBD dosing was associated with a "significant decrease" in subjects' anxiety. None of the participants expressed any significant health complaints as a result of the treatment.

He concluded: "In all, the results of the current study provide evidence for anxiolytic effects of repeated CBD administration in teenagers with SAD. ... The results indicate that CBD could be a useful option to treat social anxiety."

Full text of the study, "Anxiolytic effects of repeated cannabidiol treatment in teenagers with social anxiety disorder," appears in Frontiers in Psychology.

Massachusetts: Latest Analysis of Regulated Cannabis Vape Products Finds No Presence of Vitamin E

Boston, MA: An analysis of nearly 100 regulated THC vape products by the state's Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) failed to detect the presence of vitamin E acetate (oil).

In November, the US Centers for Disease Control identified vitamin E acetate as a "very strong culprit of concern" in EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury). Illicit market manufacturers have been purported to include the oil as an additive in an effort to thicken the consistency of their e-liquids and to mask dilution.

Of the 91 product samples tested by the CCC, none were positive for detectable levels of vitamin E. A separate analysis of vape products, commissioned weeks earlier by MCR Laboratories, similarly report finding no evidence of vitamin E in state-regulated vapor products, but did identify the oil in some counterfeit vape cartridges.

In recent days, Massachusetts regulators have lifted bans on the retail sale of certain THC vapor products. Under the new rules, THC vape products sold at licensed retail facilities are now required to be inspected for the presence of vitamin E acetate and must have been manufactured after December 12.

On Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control announced that just under 2,300 Americans have been hospitalized as a result of EVALI. The agency has yet to definitively determine if vitamin E is solely responsible for the illness.

The CDC's latest advisory is online.

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