#NORML #News Source: @norml @WeedConnection Posted By: email@example.com media :: news - Tue, 11 Feb 2020 04:20:21 PST
Study: Cannabis Significantly Reduces Symptoms of Gastroparesis
Bridgeport, CT: Cannabis treatment significantly reduces symptoms in patients with refractory gastroparesis, according to clinical data published in the journal Cureus. Gastroparesis is a stomach condition associated with abdominal pain, heartburn, bloating, nausea, and vomiting.
A team of gastroenterologists from multiple states evaluated the effects of cannabinoids on disease symptoms in 24 patients with treatment-resistant gastroparesis. Patients in the study utilized either herbal cannabis or oral THC (dronabinol) for at least 60 days.
Researchers reported, "[C]annabinoids dramatically, and significantly, improve[d] all symptoms of gastroparesis. ... When compared directly, marijuana was superior [to dronabinol] in improving overall symptoms."
They concluded: "[C]annabinoids dramatically improve refractory gastroparesis symptoms, including abdominal pain. Marijuana may be superior to dronabinol in improving these symptoms, though both cannabinoids seem to be promising as novel therapeutic options in gastroparesis. ... This role in pain management represents a breakthrough for gastroparesis-associated abdominal pain treatment, for which there are currently no validated therapies."
Separate trials have previously reported that cannabis therapy can mitigate symptoms associated with Crohn's disease and other types of gastrointestinal disorders.
Full text of the study, "Impact of cannabinoids on symptoms of refractory gastroparesis: A single-center experience," appears in Cureus. Additional information on cannabinoids and GI disorders appears online.
Gallup: Twelve Percent of Adults Acknowledge Smoking Marijuana
Washington, DC: Twelve percent of US adults self-identify as cannabis consumers, according to survey data compiled by Gallup.
According to the poll, men (15 percent) were more likely than women (nine percent) to acknowledge "smoking marijuana." Those between the ages of 18 to 29 were most likely to use cannabis (22 percent). Those self-identifying as "white" were more likely to admit using cannabis than were those who identified as non-white (14 percent versus nine percent).
Cannabis use was least likely to be reported by respondents over the age of 65 (three percent), those identifying politically as "conservatives" (four percent), and those residing in the southern region of the United States (seven percent)."
Despite changes in the legal status of marijuana in several states, the Gallup poll reports that there has been little change in nationwide marijuana use patterns since 2015.
Additional information is available from Gallup.
Study: No Association Between Marijuana Smoking and Heart Disease
Charleston, SC: Marijuana smoking is not associated with an elevated risk of coronary artery disease (CAD aka heart disease) in young to middle age adults, according to data published in the journal PLOS One.
A team of investigators affiliated with the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of Texas assessed the relationship between CAD and self-reported cannabis use in 1,420 subjects. Participants in the study were all between the ages of 18 and 50, had experienced chest pain, and underwent a coronary CT angiography.
Researchers reported that subjects with a history of cannabis use were less likely to show evidence of CAD as compared to subjects with no cannabis exposure. Marijuana using subjects also tended to be younger and were less likely to suffer from either hypertension or diabetes.
"The results demonstrate a relatively low frequency of CAD in a younger, marijuana-using patient subgroup," authors concluded.
Their findings are similar to those of a longitudinal trial which found, "Neither cumulative lifetime nor recent use of marijuana is associated with the incidence of CVD (cardiovascular disease) in middle age."
Full text of the study, "Marijuana use and coronary artery disease in young adults," appears in PLOS One.
Survey: Cannabis Use Common Among Patients with Rheumatic Diseases
Wichita, KS: Patients with rheumatic diseases – such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis – are increasingly turning to cannabis for symptom management, according to data presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.
Investigators with The National Databank for Rheumatic Diseases surveyed over 11,000 patients enrolled in the registry about their use of cannabis. Eighteen percent of those surveyed in 2019 acknowledged having used cannabis, up from only 6 percent of respondents in 2014. Of those who reported consuming cannabis, over six in ten acknowledged that it was "helpful in relieving symptoms." Cannabis using patients were more likely to report suffering from more severe disease symptom than were non-users.
"Reported cannabis use among patients with rheumatic diseases has increased significantly, and most patients stated it was helpful for symptom relief," authors concluded.
An abstract of the study, "Cannabis use among patients in a large US rheumatic disease registry," appears online.
Australia: Cannabis Possession Now Depenalized in the Capital Territory
Canberra, Australia: Activities involving the personal possession and/or cultivation of cannabis in private are no longer subject to either criminal or civil penalties in the Australian Capital Territory, in accordance with legislation that took effect last week.
Under the new law, those age 18 or older may possess up to 50 grams of cannabis and cultivate up to four plants per household without penalty. The use of marijuana in public remains prohibited.
The ACT's policy conflicts with Australian federal law, which defines cannabis-related activities as criminal offenses. Between 2017 and 2018, Australian police made over 72,000 marijuana-related arrests – 92 percent of which were for personal possession.
The ACT is the first Australian territory to eliminate penalties specific to marijuana possession.
Additional information about the new policy is available online.
California: Analysis of Counterfeit Vape Pens Finds Vitamin E, Other Additives
Los Angeles, CA: The majority of THC vaping products seized from illicit operators in southern California contain undisclosed additives, such as vitamin E, according to an analysis of over 10,000 confiscated products. 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). To date, the CDC reports over 2,700 EVALI-related hospitalizations and 60 fatalities.
Of the confiscated products, 75 percent contained undisclosed additives. Nearly all of the products provided incorrect information on the label regarding THC content, with most containing far lower percentages of THC than advertised.
"The prevalence of dirty and dangerous vape pens at unlicensed cannabis stores demonstrate how important it is for consumers to purchase cannabis goods from licensed retailers, which are required to sell products that meet state testing and labeling standards," said Lori Ajax, who heads California's Bureau of Cannabis Control. Ajax has previously acknowledged that no cases of EVALI have been linked to products sold by state-licensed California retailers.
The findings are similar to those from other states. A review of illegal vape cartridges in New York State identified the presence of vitamin E in 64 percent of the products sampled. Analyses of both legal and counterfeit vaping products in Massachusetts identified the presence of vitamin E oil in some illicit products, but not in regulated products. A recent review of publicly available data by Leafly.com reports that "cannabis prohibition states had ten times the number of vape injuries per capita as [did] states that offered licensed, tested, and legal cannabis vape products. There have been zero confirmed cases exclusively associated with a licensed store or product in the US."
For more information, see the new California NORML white paper, "Health Benefits and Risks of Cannabis Vaporizers and Vape Pens."
Missouri: Regulators Clarify That Registered Patients May Legally Possess Medical Cannabis Ahead of Dispensary Openings
Jefferson City, MO: A recently issued memorandum from state regulators affirms that state-qualified patients may legally possess medical cannabis, even if it is obtained from sources other than licensed dispensaries.
The memo, issued last week by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, states, "Individuals who hold a valid medical marijuana identification card are currently authorized to possess and use medical marijuana, and the lack of a mechanism by which those individuals may legally come into possession of medical marijuana does not change their right to possess it."
Some 30,000 Missourians are currently registered with the state's medical marijuana program. However, state regulators just began approving licenses for cannabis providers in late-January. State-licensed dispensaries are anticipated to be operational by this spring.
Additional information about the program is available online from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.